Absolute Constructions in Early Indo-European by Antonia Ruppel

By Antonia Ruppel

Some time past, discussions approximately absolute structures (ACs) were constrained by means of an obscure figuring out of what ACs are. by way of reading the character and serve as of ACs and comparable buildings in Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, this new learn arrives at a transparent and straightforward definition of ACs. targeting the earliest attested fabric in every one language, Dr Ruppel highlights how using ACs differs among the languages and provides causes for those transformations. Referring without delay and generally to the early fabric, she identifies the typical middle shared through all ACs and reconstructs their improvement into Greek, Latin and Sanskrit. This ancient standpoint unearths how ACs were conceived of via grammarians, philologists or even Christian missionaries during the last thousand years and the way enduring misconceptions nonetheless impact our dialogue of them this present day.

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It now remains to see which theories have so far been offered to answer the diachronic question of how ACs came to be, that is, from what source they first arose and how they then developed. One of the main questions in this reconstruction is whether ACs are inherited from PIE, the reconstructed proto-language that Latin, Greek and Sanskrit (among others) developed from, or whether they are the result of parallel, independent development within the single languages. When there are systematically parallel elements in several related languages, comparative philologists reconstruct these elements back to the parent language.

If grammatical case usage is ruled out, the remaining alternative is semantic case usage. 45 The most straightforward example of a grammatical case is the accusative, of a semantic case, the locative. Semantic cases can denote elements dependent on verbs (as in English ‘she put the book on the table, he cut the cake with a knife, they went away from the house’). Using such expressions as the basis of our theories would again require an explanation of how the link between the head and what it governs is weakened.

139 on Wed Jul 17 18:06:26 WEST 2013. 1 Introduction Among the languages focused on in this study, Greek has the AC that is developed furthest. From the earliest literary texts onwards, the Genitive Absolute (GA) appears as a productive and varied phenomenon. At least some cases of this particular AC can rightly be called clausal equivalents. It is unclear whether the GA is attested in Mycenaean Greek or not. 1 Hence, the question of whether the GA is attested in Mycenaean Greek has relatively little bearing on our study of the construction overall.

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