Grammaticalization and the Rise of Configurationality in Indo-Aryan

Grammaticalization and the Rise of Configurationality in Indo-Aryan

by Uta Reineohl


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This book examines historical changes in the grammar of the Indo-Aryan languages from the period of their earliest attestations in Vedic Sanskrit (around 1000 bc) to contemporary Hindi. Uta Reinohl focuses specifically on the rise of configurational structure as a by-product of the grammaticalization of postpositions: while Vedic Sanskrit lacks function words that constrain nominal expressions into phrasal units - one of the characteristics of a non-configurational language - New Indo-Aryan languages have postpositions which organize nominal expressions into postpositional phrases. The grammaticalization of postpositions and the concomitant syntactic changes are traced through the three millennia of Indo-Aryan attested history with a focus on Vedic Sanskrit, Middle Indic Pali and Apabhramsha, Early New Indic Old Awadhi, and finally Hindi. Among the topics discussed are the constructions in which the postpositions grammaticalize, the origins of the postpositional template, and the paradigmatization of the various elements involved into a single functional class of postpositions. The book outlines how it is semantic and pragmatic changes that induce changes on the expression side, ultimately resulting in the establishment of phrasal, and thus low-level configurational, syntax.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198736660
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/05/2016
Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Uta Reinöhl studied General Linguistics, Philosophy, and English Literature at University College Dublin and at Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster. She has been affiliated with the University of Cologne since 2010, and has been Assistant Professor in the Department of General Linguistics there since 2013. She wrote her dissertation on the rise of configurationality in Indo-Aryan, for which she received the Wilhelm von Humboldt Award 2015 of the German Linguistic Society as well as an award from the German National Academic Foundation.

Table of Contents

Series preface
1. Introduction
2. Grammaticalization and configurationality
3. The diverse origins of the Hindi simple postpositions
4. Local particles: The unique source of adpositions and configurationality in Indo-European?
5. The components of the source constructions
6. The origin of the postpositional syntagm
7. From group to phrase
8. Paradigmatization: A process sui generis?
9. Conclusion
Appendix: Attested examples of madhye/upari

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