By Haig, Geoffrey L.J.
The Iranian languages, as a result of their unheard of time-depth of attestation, represent one of many only a few circumstances the place a shift from accusative alignment to split-ergativity is really documented. but remarkably, inside historic syntax, the Iranian case has acquired basically very superficial insurance. This publication offers 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 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 idea 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 building. The proposal 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 publication, a comparative examine modern West Iranian is undertaken. it may be proven that in the course of the next advancements within the morphosyntax, specific elements similar to contract, nominal case marking, or the grammar of cliticisation, actually constructed 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 incontrovertible 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 way that renders them obtainable to the non-specialist, there's broad dialogue of extra normal issues comparable to the adequacy of sensible debts of adjustments in case structures, discourse strain and the position of animacy, the suggestion of flow, and the query of alignment in early Indo-European.
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Additional resources for Alignment Change in Iranian Languages: A Construction Grammar Approach
Construction as a passive. If, on the other hand, it can be demonstrated that the Agent-phrase possesses at least some properties of a core argument, then the passive interpretation is weakened. In the analysis of case systems, it is commonplace to draw a distinction between structural (also termed grammatical, or syntactic) and semantic (also termed concrete, or inherent) cases. The former are restricted to the expression of grammatical relations, such as Subject, Direct Object, and Indirect Object (Blake 1994: 32–34).
5. But perhaps the most telling evidence in favour of a passive interpretation of the m. k. construction comes from the fact that participial constructions occur in Old Persian without any form of overt agent at all. This point is made most clearly by Skjærvø (1985), and independently by Statha-Halikas (1979). away:PTCPL a¯ ha be:PST:3 S ‘the kingdom which was taken away from our family’ (Kent 1953: DB I,61–62) a minority of linguists accept his position (see especially Anderson (1977) and Trask (1979) for a positive assessment).
Gveda – the earliest Avestan poems can probably be dated to around 1500 BC (Skjærvø 2003). Geographically, it is assumed that Avestan reflects an Iranian language spoken in what is now northeastern Iran. Young Avestan refers to a body of texts differing linguistically quite sharply from Old Avestan. 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.
Alignment Change in Iranian Languages: A Construction Grammar Approach by Haig, Geoffrey L.J.