Panel Title: South Asian languages
in linguistic focus
Ruth Laila Schmidt, Dept of East-European and Oriental Studies,
University of Oslo, Norway Co-convenor:Dr.
Vit Bubenik, Department of Linguistics, Memorial University
of Newfoundland, Canada
(Tower Room) in the Academic Society Building,
Tuesday 6 July, 13–18
Panel Abstract: The focus of this
panel is the analytical treatment of language. Papers may analyze
features of any modern or ancient South Asian language (some examples:
analysis of the phonology, morphology or syntax of an Indo-Aryan,
Dravidian or Munda language), or analyze historical linguistic or
sociolinguistic aspects of modern South Asian languages (some examples:
historical development of a South Asian language; language use in
instruction, language use in ethnic or regional politics, endangered
languages and so on). Papers will be based on linguistic, sociolinguistic,
historical linguistic, lexical or textual data, and employ an accredited
theoretical framework from some field of linguistics or philology.
Papers accepted for presentation in the panel:
Paper Giver 1:Ondrej
Sefcik, Department of Linguistics, Masaryk University, Brno,
Paper 1 Title: On OIA root
Paper Abstract: My paper attempts to explain
the structure of the OIA root (based on the Vedic material) and
to postulate models of the OIA root.
The first step is division of the root to the onset (consonantal),
the coda (consonantal) and the peak (vocalic). The main difference
between the onset and the coda on the one side and the peak on the
other is the fact that the first two do not participate in any paradigmatic
alternation whereas the peak enters in a paradigmatic alternation
The second step is an analysis of the patterns both of the onset
(STR-/TSR- etc.) and of the coda (-RTS/-RST etc.)
The final part of my paper presents an interpretation of the syntagmatic
rules used for the formation of the root the rule of the
voice, the rule of the aspiration and the rule of the mirror-shaping
of the onset and of the coda.
Paper Giver 2: Václav
Blazek, Filozoficka fakulta, Masarykova univerzita, Brno, Czech
Paper 2 Title: Dravidian
Paper Abstract: The Dravidian cardinal numerals
have been reconstructed as follows:
*oru _ (C) / *dr _ (V) (DEDR 990a; Zvelebil 1977, 34) = *or- (G.
*oo=u (DEDR 990d) = *on-tu (Krishnamurti 2001, 255: *o + -r-, -n-,
-k- where the root *o had to be attested in Old Tamil *o "to
unite") = *ond- (G. Starostin).
*okk- "one, single, alone" (DEDR 990b) = *ok(k)- (G. Starostin).
*ozri "alone, single" (DEDR 990c).
*iru _ (C) / *ír_ (V) (DEDR 474; Zvelebil 1977, 34) = *ir-
*muv _ (C) / *m¨ _ (V) (DEDR 5052; Zvelebil 1977, 34-35) = *m¨-
(G. Starostin) = *muH- (Krishnamurti 2001, 330: plus the neuter
*nWl (DEDR 3655; Zvelebil 1977, 34; G. Starostin).
*cayN _ (C) / *cay _ (V) (DEDR 2826; Zvelebil 1977, 34-35) = *_ai-
*c!ru _ (C) / *cW= _ (V) (DEDR 2485; Zvelebil 1977, 35) = *_Wd-
*e8u _ (C) / *¯8 _ (V) (DEDR 910; Zvelebil 1977, 35) = *e¬-u-
/ *¯¬- (Krishnamurti 2001, 63) = *jd8- (G. Starostin: vocalization
after Gondwan *jd0- while *-¯- in other branches should have
been influenced by the following numeral *ez- "8"; in
his dissertation Starostin 2000, #350 reconstructs *¯, i.e.
*j¯8-, in his transcription *j¯0-).
*erru / *ez (DEDR 784; Zvelebil 1977, 35) = *ez-(-nr-) (G. Starostin).
*on-/or-paCtu (DEDR 1025).
*toJ-(paC-)tu (DEDR 3532) = *toJ-pad- (G. Starostin).
*paCtu (DEDR 3918) = *paT- (G. Starostin) = *paH- & ntr. suf.
*-tu (Krishnamurti 2001, 328).
*n¨r(-tu ) (DEDR 3729) = *n¨d- (G. Starostin).
Telugu v¯yi, veyi, veyyi, pl. v¯lu "1000", v¯na-v¯lu
"thousands by thousands", cf. Tamil viyam "extensiveness,
height", viyal "greatness, width, expansion", viyan
"greatness, vastness, excellence", Malayalam viyam "extension",
Gondi weeya "high" (DEDR 5404).
Paper Giver 3: Lars Martin
Fosse, University of Oslo, Norway
Paper 3 Title: The Sanskrit
absolutive as a fuzzy form
Paper Abstract: The Sanskrit absolutive has
been discussed regularly for the last 150 years or so, the topics
being the status of the form within the verbal paradigm, its voice,
its agent, and its syntactic role.
a) This paper will discuss the voice of the absolutive in connection
with its agent, and
b) Also take a closer look at the way the absolutive functions syntactically
in the sentence.
a) It has been proposed that the absolutive is partly indifferent
to voice, and that it may have a passive interpretation. I shall
argue that the absolutive is inherently active, and that the combination
of an active verbal form with a passive main verb creates a theoretical
problem that is difficult to solve with standard syntactic theory.
b) It is clear from the way the absolutive is used that it functions
as a converb. However, it can also be used in a clause-chaining
construction which is neither argemental nor adnominal. This raises
the question whether the Sanskrit absolutive can also be regarded
as a medial verb in addition to functioning as a converb. In many
languages, medial verbs are used as a means clause-chaining. However,
the absolutive does not behave exactly like a medial verb in all
respects. Rather, it would appear that the absolutive adopts the
role of a medial verb on some occasions, while adopting the role
of a converb on other occasions.
As a form, the absolutive in itself is fuzzy both in the semantic
sense and in the syntactic sense. It is extremely flexible in use,
and therefore rapidly grew popular, contributing to the erosion
of the Vedic verbal system which lead to the simpler, more straightforward
but less precise verbal usage of the post-Vedic period.
Paper Giver 4: Vit
Bubenik, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns,
Paper 4 Title: On the Evolutionary
Changes in the Middle and New Indo-Aryan Systems of Case and Adpositions
Paper Abstract: The Old Indo-Aryan case system,
outlined as a starting point, will be contrasted with those of Old
(Pali), Middle (Ardha-Magadhi) and Late Middle Indo-Aryan (Apabhramsa)
case systems to demonstrate the gradual erosion of the synthetic
morphology of case during the Middle Indo-Aryan period. The trade-off
between the restructured nominal case system and the evolving system
of adpositions during the MIA period will be discussed in a systemic
fashion (along the lines of Bubenik (1996) and (1998)). It will
be shown that Late MIA ended up with only one form for an earlier
nominative vs. accusative, instrumental vs. locative, and genitive
vs. ablative. Given this drastic reduction from the seven fusional
cases of OIA to four by the end of the MIA period, the adpositions
grew steadily in importance in denoting the relational aspects of
their head nouns. (This will be demonstrated for the notions of
source, location, and accompaniment/instrumentality where the postpositions
supplied unambiguous markers compared with the indistinctive case
morphology of ablative, locative and instrumental).
In Early NIA the four cases of Late MIA were further revamped (Nom/Acc
> Direct, Gen/Dat/Abl > Oblique, Instr > ergative postposition,
Loc > locative postpositions). The system of postpositions was
further developed whereby the simple (primary) postpositions express
the basic topological notions (at - of,
to - from, up) and the projective
notions of interiority/exteriority, anteriority/posteriority, superiority/inferiority,
accompaniment and circumference are expressed by secondary postpositions
whose adverb is preceded by the oblique form of the genitive postposition
ka). Some important typological similarities and differences between
Hindi and European Romani will be outlined. Most remarkably Romani
differs from all the other NIA languages in realizing the layer
of secondary postpositions by prepositions. This typological change
in the structure of the postpositional phrase was accompanied (conditioned
?) by the overall shift from SOV to SVO word order.
Paper Giver 6: Annie
Montaut, INALCO, Paris, & CEIAS/EHESS, Paris, France
Paper 6 Title: Intransitivity
in Hindi: verb morphonology, semantic roles and argumental structure
Paper Abstract: Hindi, as well as other Indo-Aryan
languages is characterized by a verbal lexicon where basic forms
are intransitive, the transitive being derived from it, whereas
an important majority of the world languages derive, the other way
round, intransitive from basic transitives or causatives: middle
in ancient languages is derived from active which is considered
as the basic form, and the so-called modern middle forms of modern
Roman languages (Fr "se casser, souvrir", Sp "rumpir
se, abrirse", are also derived from the corresponding transitive.
Among the some thirty verbal bases listed by Haspelmath (1993) as
representative of the most elementary predicates, Hindi has a large
majority of basic intransitives of the middle or medio-passive type
(TuuTnaa "break-int", toRnaa "break-tr", khulnaa
"to open-int", kholnaa "to open-tr"), whereas
French has a large majority of basic transitives, with little relevance
of semantic roles, and English a majority of equipollent verbs ("to
break, to open").
I propose to explore the class of Hindi intransitives in their relation
to the morphologically related transitives/causatives in order to
inquire in the relation between argumental structure, semantic roles
and morpho-phonological shape of verbal bases. I will study in particular
the ability of a sub-class of intransitives to passivize, an ability
linked to their argumental structure (+agent) and the ability of
a distinct sub-class of intransitives (- agent) to allow an optional
extra argument with very similar modal meanings as the passivable
mujhse calaa nahiin gaya
I-instr walk neg passive
I could not (bring myself to) walk/go
mujhse darvaazaa khul nahiin rahaa thaa
I-instr door open-intr neg progr impft
I could not (manage to) open the door
The semantic distinction of both structures, as the third semantically
"special" meaning of another sub-class of intransitives
(inadvertent process in non negative contexts), will be accounted
for in terms of the semantic roles involved in the argumental structure
of such predicates.
mujhse gilaas TuuTaa
I-instr glass broke-intr
I broke the glass by mistake (inadvertently, unconsciously)
I will then try to revisit some of the main semantics roles as exhibited
by Hindi morpho-syntax, specially the role agent, present in some
intransitives and all transitives providing we refine the features
associated to the role in order to account for such alternances
and contrasts as (cf. Montaut 2004, in Oblique Subjects in SA languages,
mai mahsuus kar rahaa thaa vs mujhe mahsuus ho rahaa thaa
I feeling do progr impft I-dat feeling be progr impft
I was feeling
mujhe tumse irSyaa thii par us samay uskaa bodh nahiin thaa
I-dat you-from jealousy was but that time of-it consciousness neg
I was jealous from you but at that time I was not aware of it
*main tumse irSyaa kartaa thaa par uskaa bodh nahiin thaa
I you-from jealousy do impft but of-it consciousness neg was
maine Siitaa ko rote hue paayaa vs maine apne ko khoye hue paya
I-erg Sita acc crying being found, I-erg refl acc lost being found
I found Sita crying, I found myself lost
mujhe Siitaa rotii huii milii * mujhe main/apna khoyaa huaa milaa
I-dat Sita crying being be-found * I-dat I/refl lost being be-found
Paper Giver 7:L.V.
Khokhlova, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation
Paper 7 Title: Resultative
Constructions with overt Agent in Western NIA Languages
Paper Abstract: There are three types of resultative
constructions with overt agent in Western NIA languages:
1) Objective resultative: stative participle refers to Object in
Nominative case, controlling verbal agreement. Agent is in the Genitive
H. yah ciTThii merii likhii huii hai «This letter is written
2) Possessive resultative: stative participle refers to Agent in
Nominative (Marwari, standard Hindi, restricted to several verbs
in Gujarati), Ergative (colloquial Hindi, Punjabi), Instrumental
(Gujarati) cases. Verbal agreement is controlled by Agent (Marwari)
or Object (Punjabi, Gujarati, colloquial Hindi). The Object NP usually
denotes a part of Agent, something belonging to Agent or something
being in direct contact with Agent. The result of the performed
action affects the subject (possessor) more than the object.
G. gopale kaalii Topii paherelii che "Gopal is wearing a black
3) Resultative with the Promoted Possessor (Possessor-to-Proleptic-Element-Promotion):
Agent is marked by the Genitive postposition in the fixed masculine
oblique case form, the verb agrees with Object. Similar to Object
in Possessive resultative, Object NP in Resultative with the Promoted
Posessor usually denotes something being in direct contact with
Agent. Unlike the first two resultative constructions, resultative
with the promoted possessor is possible only in case of the visuality
of the stationary condition. Construction of this type is used only
P. muNDe de niilii pagRii vajjhii hoii hai "As for the boy,
he is wearing a blue turban". Unlike the first two resultative
constructions, it is possible both with transitive and intransitive
Raising transformation results in Agent promotion in case of the
possessive resultative and in Object promotion in case of Resultative
with the Promoted Posessor, compare:
us nUU banduuk phaRiAA vekhke asII Dar gae "Having seen him
with the rifle we got frightened" and
us de banduuk phaRii vekhke asII Dar gae "Having seen a rifle
kept by him we got frightened".
Resultative constructions in Western NIA languages may be compared
with similar constructions in different languages of the world.
Possessor-to-Proleptic-Element-Promotion exists in Japanese. Russian
dialects are rich in objective and possessive resultative constructions
of various formal structures. They will be discussed in my paper
when the comparisons with the resultative constructions in Western
NIA languages are made.
Paper Giver 8:Indira
Y. Junghare, Institute of Linguistics, ESL and Slavic Lgs.,
Paper 8 Title: Borrowing,
Code-Mixing, Code-Switching and Code-Shift in Diasporic Marathi
Paper Abstract: In this paper, the term code-switching
is employed in the sense of the alternative uses of two languages,
Marathi and English, either within a sentence or between sentences.
Code-switching within a sentence includes borrowing and code-mixing,
while intersentential code-switching seems to include all the three,
borrowing, code-mixing and code-switching. The inter-sentential
code-switching often trigger code-shift. Our study of the Marathi-English
language alternation is based primarily on spontaneous speeches
used by adult members of the first generation Marathi-speaking community
to each other in casual or semi-formal conversations and intergenerational
conversations, i.e. between bilingual parents and their children
in an intimate family situation.
The study includes an examination of extra-sentential and intra-sentential
code switching, and their relation to various variables, i.e. extra-linguistic
factors: sex, age, education, social network membership, ethnic
identity, and occupation. The purpose behind this is to see what
variables are capable of accounting more generally for patterns
of language choice.
The code-switching can be studied from a number of perspectives:
the grammatical, the socio-linguistic and the conversation analytic.
From the grammatical perspective, a number of restrictions on code-switching
within the sentence have been formulated ( Clyne, 2000; Gumperz,
1982; Poplack, 1978/81; and others). However, grammatical restrictions
do not tell us anything about the interactional value or meaning
of intra-sentential or extra- sentential code-switching. The same
thing holds true for socio-linguistic perspective. General statements
are made about the distribution of code switching in certain situations
or among participants holding certain 'roles' and 'statuses' in
a given society (Auer, 2000). It says little or nothing about the
contribution of code-switching to the ongoing interaction, that
is, about its local functioning. Although the value of both the
approaches cannot be denied, they need to be incorporated into a
third perspective which is to investigate the contribution of code-switching
to community members' sense making activities.
Our analyses of social and family conversations, taking into account
the grammatical restrictions when necessary, will relate to larger
sociolinguistic statements. Some fundamental distinctions that are
relevant for the production and interpretation of intra-sentential
and extra-sentential code-switching in conversation will be presented
in this paper. The social content behind the linguistic forms of
borrowing, code-mixing, code-switching and code-shift will also
be discussed. It will be shown that these forms form a continuum,
borrowing being on the far left and code-shift on the far right
of the continuum.
Paper Giver 9: John
Peterson, Universität Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany
Paper 9 Title: Parts of speech
in Kharia (Munda, Austro-Asiatic)
Paper Abstract: The Munda languages are well-known
for the fact that the noun-verb distinction, if one exists in these
languages, is very weak.
Typical of Munda languages is the so-called "precategoriality",
i.e., any lexeme or pro-form can function as either a predicate
or as the complement of a predicate. Consider the following examples
which at least for many speakers of Kharia are perfectly grammatical
utterances and in which the "nouns" and "pronouns"
function both as complements and predicates:
(1) bhagwan lebu-ki-Ø ro Del-ki-Ø. lebu Del-ki-_.
God man-M.PT-S and come-M.PT-S man come-M.PT-S
'God became man (= Jesus) and came [to earth].' 'The / a man came.'
(in a play about me and you, in which both of us will be taking
(2) naTak-te iny-ga ho-kaR-na-iny ro am-ga iny-na-m.
play-OBL 1S-FOC 3-S.HUM-M.IRR-1S and 2S-FOC 1S-M.IRR-2S
'In the play I will be him and you will be me.'
In addition, "nouns" marked for genitive case can function
as predicates. This is a fully productive process: ("?"
= glottal stop)
(3) iny ho-kaR-te iny-a?-y-oj. am ho-kaR-te am-a?-y-ob.
1S 3-S.HUM-OBL 1S-GEN-y-A.PT.1S 2S 3-S.HUM-OBL 2S-GEN-y-A.PT.2S
'I adopted him/her (i.e., I made him/her mine).' 'You adopted him/her.'
But there is more to this issue in Kharia than merely "precategoriality".
For example, entire "NPs" can function as predicates:
(4) ho rochob-ki-ny. ho rochob-te col-ki-ny.
that side-M.PT-1S that side-OBL go-M.PT-1S
'I moved to that side.' 'I moved to that side.'
(5) bharat-ya? lebu-ki bides-a? lebu-ki-y-a? ruprang-ki-may.
India-GEN person-P abroad-GEN person-P-y-GEN appearance-A.PT-3P
'The Indians took on the appearance of foreigners (e.g. by living
abroad so long).'
The only restriction on this system is "world knowledge".
For example, Tebul 'table' is virtually restricted to its function
as the complement of a predicate, since things seldom 'become a
table', which this would mean in the middle voice, nor are things
commonly 'turned into a table' (active voice). Nevertheless, when
a proper context is found (e.g. fairy tales), this predicative use
is possible for any lexeme.
In my proposed talk I will address the issue of parts-of-speech
in general in Kharia. I will show that from a purely language-internal
perspective, lexical classes such as adjective, noun and verb have
no place in Kharia grammar.
Instead, Kharia grammar makes direct use of functional / syntactic
concepts such as "predicates" and their "complements",
both of which are marked morphologically by what may be termed functional
heads. These consist of purely grammatical markers: in the case
of complements, these consist of markers for inalienable possession,
case and number markers, in the case of complements, TAM, voice
and person markers. It is these functional heads which signal the
function of a phrase in a clause as being either a complement or
a predicate. What is important is that all types of lexical heads,
whether they refer to a physical entity or to an action, may occur
with both types of functional heads.
Paper giver 10: Estella
Del Bon, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, France
Paper 10 Title: Reference
and Non-Reference in Impersonal Clauses of Kashmiri
Paper Abstract: For situations that cover the
expression of natural phenomena and mental/physical affections (and
that as such share the characteristic of lacking a participant that
can potentially assume agentive properties) Kashmiri uses two different
grammatical constructions. Either the clause is intransitive (ex.1)
either it is impersonal (ex.2). Intransitive clauses are dominant
in speech and are the unmarked form, whereas impersonal clauses
occur rarely and have a marked aspectual value : they indicate a
change of situation (with implicit reference to the prior situation)
It rained.(lit. It made rain.)
(before it was not raining, now it is raining)
Structurally impersonal clauses are transitive and show on the finite
verb a third person singular marker (ex.2 : personal suffix of set
III -n) that cannot be made explicit by any (pro)-nominal form and
that has no referent, though with transitives it usually has the
form of an agent-agreement marker. Furthermore, it turns out that
part of these impersonal clauses can, as an alternative, have an
additional non-referential marker on their finite verb (ex.3 : personal
suffix of set IV -s). This marker is a third person singular personal
suffix that is usually used for dative case marked arguments.
It rained.(lit. It made rain to it.)
The present paper aims at answering the following questions :
- Why cant this additional non-referential marker -s occur
with all impersonal clauses ?
- Can this additional non-referential marker be assigned any particular
semantic value or semantic role ?
- And finally, for clauses that do accept this marker, to what opposition
corresponds the alternation presence vs absence of the marker (for
instance, example 3 vs example 2)?
The study of this particular marker is of interest to the typology
of personal suffixes and impersonals and shows how reference and
non-reference interact with semantic roles and semantic properties
of situations in a language like kashmiri. Furthermore, since impersonal
constructions and complex personal suffixes systems are not characteristic
of modern Indo-Aryan, and since impersonal constructions similar
to that of Kashmiri have been reported in languages such as Shina,
Kalasha, Burushaski and Limbu, the present study is of particular
interest to areal typology.
Paper giver 11: Ruth
Schmidt, Department of East European and Oriental Studies,
University of Oslo, Norway
Paper 11 Title:Compound
verbs and modality in the Shina of Pakistan
Paper Abstract: Verb sequences consisting of
conjunctive participle + inflected verb, usually called "compound
verbs" are one of the true innovations of New Indo Aryan (Masica
1991: 326). These verb sequences behave as a unit, in which the
first member of the sequence contributes the basic lexical meaning,
and the second (partially emptied lexically) specifies the manner
of an action or event. The second verb has many designations; I
refer to it as a "vector verb".
Compound verbs occur in Shina, although they are a less conspicuous
feature of the language than in Hindi or Panjabi. Five vector verbs
have been found, which meet the usual tests for compound verb status:
"fall", "go", "sit", "leave"
and "give". This paper provides examples of all five vectors
and describes the type of manner specification which each contributes.
Where relevant, Kashmiri compound verb constructions will be compared.
Modality is a more multiform category than compounding. Only one
free modal verb has been found ("to finish"), which patterns
like a vector verb but which can be differentiated by semantic tests.
Other types of modality are expressed variously by a bound modal
verb ("be able"), or an impersonal construction ("should").
Examples of modal constructions will also be given.