Download Alignment Change in Iranian Languages: A Construction by Haig, Geoffrey L.J. PDF

By Haig, Geoffrey L.J.

The Iranian languages, as a result of their remarkable time-depth of attestation, represent one of many only a few cases the place a shift from accusative alignment to split-ergativity is absolutely documented. but remarkably, inside of historic syntax, the Iranian case has obtained in simple terms very superficial assurance. This booklet presents the 1st in-depth remedy of alignment swap in Iranian, from previous Persian (5 C. BC) to the current. the 1st a part of the booklet examines the declare that ergativity in heart Iranian emerged from an previous Iranian agented passive development. This view is rejected in favour of a thought which hyperlinks the emergence of ergativity to exterior ownership. hence the first mechanisms concerned isn't really reanalysis, however the extension of a pre-existing development. The suggestion of Non-Canonical Subjecthood performs a pivotal function, which within the current account is associated with the semantics of what's termed oblique Participation.?  within the moment a part of the e-book, a comparative examine modern West Iranian is undertaken. it may be proven that during the next advancements within the morphosyntax, precise parts similar to contract, nominal case marking, or the grammar of cliticisation, in truth built remarkably independently of each other. It used to be this de-coupling of sub-systems of the morphosyntax that resulted in the infamous multiplicity of alignment forms in Iranian, a indisputable fact that additionally characterises past-tense alignments within the sister department of Indo-European, Indo-Aryan. besides info from greater than 20 Iranian languages, offered in a fashion that renders them obtainable to the non-specialist, there's huge dialogue of extra common themes corresponding to the adequacy of practical bills of alterations in case structures, discourse strain and the function of animacy, the suggestion of go with the flow, and the query of alignment in early Indo-European.

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Additional info for Alignment Change in Iranian Languages: A Construction Grammar Approach

Sample text

Nevertheless, a number of linguists are prepared to assume that such a change in the construction-internal syntax must have occurred. The theoretical prereqisites for these theories can be traced back to the seminal insights of Keenan (1976). Keenan recognized that cross-linguistically, the concept of subjecthood can be most meaningfully investigated in terms of a number of logically independent properties. Based on the investigation of a large number of languages, Keenan identified some 30 properties relevant to defining “subjecthood”, generally referred to as subject properties.

Construction consists of: 1. a NP in the nominative case (here the ‘relative article’ tya, Nominative Neuter Singular) 2. a NP in the Genitive case expressing an Agent (here man¯a ‘first person singular Genitive’) 3. a resultative participle in −ta, here kartam, from kar- ‘do, make’, carrying Nominative Singular Neuter ending in agreement with tya. Optionally, the participle may be extended with a form of the copula verb, for example astiy in (18). However, it is unclear what factors influence the presence or absence of the copula.

Construction does indeed contrast with active verb forms (this is the standpoint adopted by Bynon 1980: 152). However, it is not a neat binary opposition, because, as Table 1 shows, the Imperfect had its own synthetic passive, so the participle cannot simply be considered to stand in a voice opposition to the Imperfect Active. The issue of the systemic status of the verb forms in the m. k. construction is thus disputable. However, it is nevertheless quite clear that within the tense identified as Perfect, there was no formal voice contrast available on the verb forms, a fact which Skjærvø (1985) recognizes quite clearly.

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