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Volume 52, Issue 4


Direct and indirect evidence for lability in Middle Indo-Aryan

Artemij Keidan
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  • Istituto Italiano di Studi Orientali (ISO), Sapienza Università di Roma, Via Principe Amedeo 182b, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
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Published Online: 2014-06-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2014-0017


The paper is devoted to the labile verbs in the Middle Indo-Aryan languages. To begin with, the general causes of the diachronic development of lability are taken into consideration. The main such cause is suggested to be the casual diachronic deletion of the valency changing morphemes. In this respect, the valency changing verbal morphology of late Sanskrit, along with its outcome at the Middle Indian stage, is taken into consideration. All of the possible sources of ambiguity are identified. Subsequently, it is shown how these ambiguities effectively brought about the creation of labile patterns, which are indeed attested in our sources in MIA languages (namely, literary and epigraphic Prakrits, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit and Pāli). At the end, some indirect traces of labile verbs in MIA languages are hypothesized through the analysis of the writings of the Pāṇinian grammarians.

Keywords: lability; valency derivation; Middle Indo-Aryan; Sanskrit grammar; Pāṇini

About the article

Published Online: 2014-06-27

Published in Print: 2014-07-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 52, Issue 4, Pages 1107–1138, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2014-0017.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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