Guglielmo Inglese, Simone Mattiola
August 17, 2020
Hittite features three derivational suffixes, i.e., -ške/a- , - šša -, and - anna/i- , that attach to verbs and are commonly described as expressing a number of imperfective-like functions. So far, the distribution and use of these suffixes has defied a satisfactory explanation. Whereas some scholars argue that they operate within the domain of lexical aspect, others view them as associated with the encoding of grammatical imperfective aspect. In this paper, we focus on the interpretation of -ške/a- and argue that a better understanding of the nature of this suffix can be achieved if one frames its description within the typology of pluractional constructions. As we show, the range of polyfunctionality of -ške/a- fully complies with the cross-linguistic behavior of pluractional markers. We also provide a tentative diachronic scenario that accounts for the rise of such polyfunctionality out of the original semantic core of the suffix.