By Geoffrey L.J. Haig
The Iranian languages, because of their remarkable time-depth of attestation, represent one of many only a few circumstances the place a shift from accusative alignment to split-ergativity is absolutely documented. but remarkably, inside historic syntax, the Iranian case has acquired purely very superficial assurance. This publication offers the 1st in-depth remedy of alignment switch in Iranian, from previous 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 thought which hyperlinks the emergence of ergativity to exterior ownership. therefore the first mechanisms concerned isn't reanalysis, however the extension of a pre-existing development. The idea of Non-Canonical Subjecthood performs a pivotal position, 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, exact parts reminiscent of contract, nominal case marking, or the grammar of cliticisation, in truth 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 forms in Iranian, a indisputable fact that additionally characterises past-tense alignments within the sister department of Indo-European, Indo-Aryan. besides information from greater than 20 Iranian languages, offered in a fashion that renders them available to the non-specialist, there's huge dialogue of extra basic issues reminiscent of the adequacy of useful bills of alterations in case structures, discourse strain and the function of animacy, the proposal of go with the flow, and the query of alignment in early Indo-European.
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