By Haig, Geoffrey L.J.
The Iranian languages, because of their remarkable time-depth of attestation, represent one of many only a few situations the place a shift from accusative alignment to split-ergativity is de facto documented. but remarkably, inside of old syntax, the Iranian case has got in simple terms very superficial assurance. This ebook offers the 1st in-depth therapy of alignment swap in Iranian, from outdated Persian (5 C. BC) to the current. the 1st a part of the booklet examines the declare that ergativity in center 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 reanalysis, however the extension of a pre-existing building. The idea 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 in the course of the next advancements within the morphosyntax, unique elements corresponding to contract, nominal case marking, or the grammar of cliticisation, in reality constructed remarkably independently of each other. It used to be this de-coupling of sub-systems of the morphosyntax that ended in the infamous multiplicity of alignment kinds in Iranian, a incontrovertible fact that additionally characterises past-tense alignments within the sister department of Indo-European, Indo-Aryan. besides information from greater than 20 Iranian languages, awarded in a fashion that renders them available to the non-specialist, there's broad dialogue of extra basic issues similar to the adequacy of useful money owed of alterations in case platforms, discourse strain and the position of animacy, the inspiration of waft, and the query of alignment in early Indo-European.
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Extra resources for Alignment Change in Iranian Languages: A Construction Grammar Approach
However, as nothing is known of their syntax, they will be ignored henceforth. 24 Alignment in Old Iranian and dated 5–4c. BC. The language itself is considered to have been spoken in what is now southwestern Iran and was presumably the vernacular of the rulers of the Achaemenian dynasty, whose deeds are recounted in the inscriptions. According to Schmitt (2000: 30–31), however, Old Persian played no role in the administration of the Empire, where Aramaic continued to be dominant. The longest texts, the Behist¯an inscriptions, are generally accompanied by translational equivalents in Elamite and Accadian, in some cases also by a version in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Alignment in Old Iranian 25 Alignment in Old Persian was accusative throughout all tenses, and this can be assumed to be representative of Old Iranian generally. S and A took a uniform case, the Nominative, and the verb agreed with them, while O was marked with a special case, the Accusative. ’ (Old Avestan, Yasna 29,6) However, in many modern Iranian languages, alignment in past tenses is no longer accusative. Past transitive clauses with the accusative alignment found in (14), or (16), were, by Middle Persian, simply no longer part of the grammar, and indeed in many modern languages they remain a syntactic impossibility.
Construction is simply a straightforward participle-based passive, typical of many Indo-European languages, which has been extended by the addition of a (facultative) Agentphrase. Skjærvø (1985: 218) goes as far as to suggest that the m. k. construction shows all the features generally associated with an Agented passive construction: 1) the predicate is a form of the verb with passive meaning, 2) the direct object of the corresponding active structure becomes grammatical subject of the 4 The example with the reconstructed participle xšn¯utam ‘heard’, quoted by Benveniste (1952/1966: 178) and repeated by Statha-Halikas (1979: 350), is, according to Skjærvø (1985), not reliable.