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Abstract

Negation is an operator that reverses the truth value of a proposition and it is considered an universal category (: xiii) since all human systems of communication contain a representation of propositional negation. Therefore, one of the most important features of negation is its markedness that sets a contrast between affirmation and negation. Said markedness is carried out in various ways by the world languages. As its standard negation, which is the most common kind of negation marking found in a given language (: 198), Old Persian (OP) has nai̯, which is mainly used in assertions, while it has a non-standard, prohibitive marker, OP . Concerning correlative negation (‘neither … nor’), Old Persian systematically employs the asyndetic repetition of the negative marker, provided the notorious absence among Indo-Iranian languages of the standard negation plus the enclitic particle IIr. *-ča. The objective of this paper is to make a thorough description of this isogloss shared by Indo-Iranian languages and, in the case of Old Persian, try to contrast its data with the Achaemenid Elamite material. I believe this will shed some new light on the nature of the asyndetic repetition of the negative marker as a means of expressing correlative negation in Old Iranian.

Abstract

The threefold division noun-verb-adjective is often considered a hallmark of the IE family from the remote PIE phase. However, , , forth.) claims that this view is incorrect: while in Latin three major classes of lexemes are found (nouns, verbs and adjectives), in the Sanskrit language of the Rig Veda only two major classes are found (verbal roots and nouns) and the most typical “adjective” (i.e. the Quality Modifier) is a derived stem built on a verbal root meaning a quality. As a consequence, a deep and previously neglected typological change should be reconstructed in the IE family, namely the lexicalization of the adjective class and the change from a parts of speech (PoS) system “without” adjectives and quality concepts verbally encoded, which is still preserved in the RV, to a PoS system with “true” adjectives, which is found in Latin and in almost all other, especially modern and Western, IE languages. In this case, the data in , , forth.) are confirmed focusing on the Quality Argument and the Quality Predicate, so as to show that the presence of a lexical class of adjectives is a common development that has come about independently in different branches of the IE family.

Abstract

In PIE, quality modifiers were expressed by stative verbs and nominal epithets, rather than by special adjectival lexemes. Adjectives did not form a separate lexical class. This made the encoding of the NP constituency less explicit. If we consider what I suggest calling “second-generation IE languages” we can observe a general tendency to create new, more explicit morphological means of dependency marking within a NP. The exact outcomes of this diachronic process vary from one language to another. However, if we parametrise the variation, a common pattern becomes clearly observable. In all the languages analysed in the present paper, there is a pronoun undergoing grammaticalisation as a dependency marker. What varies is (1) the position of this element with respect to the nominal base (pre- vs. postposed); (2) the degree of agglutination (bound morpheme vs. clitic vs. free morpheme); and (3) the locus of marking (head vs. modifier vs. double or alternant marking); (4) the source morpheme that undergoes grammaticalisation (relative vs. demonstrative pronoun).

Abstract

The goal of this article is to introduce to the field a particular subtype of valency-reducing strategies, referred to as oblique anticausativization below. This subtype differs from more common and better known dependent-marking types, such as, for instance, the canonical anticausative. Instead, oblique anticausatives are characterized by the preservation of the object case of the transitive-causative alternant, hence the term oblique. This object case marker shows up with the subject of the corresponding intransitive construction. We document the existence of this alternation in seven branches of Indo-European, particularly in the North-Central region, but also sporadically in the South-Eastern parts of the Indo-European area. Ruling out alternative accounts of the relevant geographical distribution, such as borrowing and shared innovation, we argue for a morphosyntactic isogloss common for Germanic, Baltic, Slavic and Italic. This is paralleled by isolated enclaves found in other branches of Indo-European, such as Ancient Greek, Anatolian and Indo-Aryan. Altogether, the evidence speaks for the existence of oblique anticausativization in the proto-language, thus motivating a reconstruction of this alternation for the grammar of Proto-Indo-European.

Abstract

Since the pioneering paper by Emenau (1956) there have been many attempts (cf. , 2001; ; among many others) to select areal features which are shared among languages spoken in South Asia. However, there has been little consent on the number of such features and the possible direction of their spread.

In this paper we are focusing on two selected isoglosses, namely alignment and constituent order. Both of them have been used to define the Indo-Aryan linguistic area: alignment is one of the key elements to distinguish western from eastern Indo-Aryan () and word order is one of the innovations which differentiates some of the “Outer” languages from “Inner” Indo-Aryan languages (: 15).

This article focuses on two languages which are said to determine these isoglosses: Awadhi and Kashmiri. Our study of Awadhi shows that the isogloss delineating ergative or accusative case marking zones is situated in the area where the so-called Eastern Hindi dialects (among them Awadhi) are spoken. As we will demonstrate, this specific isogloss is substantially supported by diachronic evidence. The second language under consideration, namely Kashmiri, is an example of an “Outer” language with a quite stable V2 feature. Both Awadhi and Kashmiri are compared with Pahari, a language branch which functions as a link between the two of them. Our comparison of Kashmiri with certain Western Pahari Himachali languages shows that there is no clear borderline between two language groups supported by word order. We conclude from these case studies that the study of isoglosses is by definition a study of fluid boundaries, and qualitative, historical studies of one language can prove or disprove hypotheses based on synchronic similarities between languages.