Case innovation and agentive marking: A comparative overview of Central Indo-Aryan

Phillips, Maxwell P. (2014). Case innovation and agentive marking: A comparative overview of Central Indo-Aryan. Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, 1(2), pp. 157-185. De Gruyter Mouton 10.1515/jsall-2014-0009

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A split-ergative construction had developed during the late MIA period (Bubenik 1998; Peterson 1998) in which subjects of perfective transitive clauses were marked ergative by an oblique form, in contrast with the nominative form for non-ergative subjects. Later in the NIA period, most NIA languages (e.g. Urdu/Hindi) developed a postpositional clitic that was added to the oblique suffix, while others (e.g. Sindhi) continued to mark ergative subjects with a generic oblique suffix. This paper focuses on one exceptional case: the Dehwali language of Gujarat. Dehwali has an ergative marker that is a fusional suffix (i.e. layer I - Masica 1991: 231) and appears to inflect to agree in number and gender with the subject it marks. I will present two possible scenarios as to the origin of the Dehwali ergative marker: that it may be the remnant of an archaic MIA oblique form, or that it may be a more recent innovation as the result of increased contact with neighbouring varieties. Based on theories of grammaticisation, I argue that the former hypothesis is more likely. These theories show that it is not uncommon for oblique case forms (i.e. ablative; genitive) to carry agentive properties.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics > Comparative Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Phillips, Maxwell Perkins

Subjects:

400 Language > 410 Linguistics

ISSN:

2196-078X

Publisher:

De Gruyter Mouton

Language:

English

Submitter:

Maxwell Perkins Phillips

Date Deposited:

05 May 2015 09:04

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 20:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1515/jsall-2014-0009

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.60106

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/60106

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