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 acquired merely very superficial assurance. This publication offers the 1st in-depth therapy of alignment swap in Iranian, from previous Persian (5 C. BC) to the current. the 1st a part of the ebook examines the declare that ergativity in heart Iranian emerged from an previous Iranian agented passive development. This view is rejected in favour of a conception which hyperlinks the emergence of ergativity to exterior ownership. therefore the first mechanisms concerned isn't really reanalysis, however the extension of a pre-existing development. The concept 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 booklet, a comparative examine modern West Iranian is undertaken. it may be proven that through the next advancements within the morphosyntax, special parts corresponding 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 varieties in Iranian, a proven fact that additionally characterises past-tense alignments within the sister department of Indo-European, Indo-Aryan. in addition to facts from greater than 20 Iranian languages, awarded in a fashion that renders them obtainable to the non-specialist, there's large dialogue of extra normal subject matters resembling the adequacy of practical money owed of adjustments in case structures, discourse strain and the position of animacy, the idea of waft, 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
For the time being, we should simply note that expressing the Agent through a clitic pronoun was already in Old Persian at least as widespread as full NP or free pronoun Agents. Although the basic outline of the m. k. construction is well-established, its precise analysis and status within Old Persian syntax remains very controversial. In the next sections I will review some of the more important literature on the topic before going on to present my own analysis. 1 The possessive interpretation Traditionally, the m.
There is no requirement to derive one from the other. ) Derivational approaches are faced with intractable problems when confronted with the numerous hybrid types of alignment introduced in the preceding sections, and taken up below. I would, incidentally, apply a similar non-derivational approach to the analysis of the passive in many languages, including English, but this is not the place to expand on that possibility. A Construction Grammar approach on the other hand, is well placed to cope with these phenomena.
The language is quite close to Old Persian (see below) and is dated at a similar period. Young Avestan does not comprise a homogenous body of texts; the consistency with which the texts may be considered to faithfully reflect the language of the time varies according to the date at which the texts were committed to writing, and the respective knowledge of the scribes. Given the difficulties in dating, in distinguishing corrupt scribal practices from genuine linguistic features, along with the highly arcane religious nature of the content, the interpretation of Avestan texts is an incredibly complex undertaking, mastered by only a handful of specialists world-wide.