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Gotiska verb på miþ-: mellan adverbialkongruens och applikativum
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Applying basic linguistic theory, a grammatical analysis of Gothic verbs formed with the previously underdescribed quasi-prefix (or preverb) miþ- shows that it forms what could be called an atypical type of applicative, though in two cases it seems instead to mark verbal congruence to an adverbial. Of the possible meanings of the etymologically identical preposition miþ, the comitative seems most salient for the quasi-prefix.

An introduced core argument in these constructions do not behave like a typicaltransitive object, as it cannot be passivised, and so is likely rather an extension E (or indirect object) to the core. An underlying transitive object O remains as is, and can be passivised. The construction is only used when E pertains to the topic of the discourse, either an overlapping or a new topic. It is never a background comment, as is attested with peripheral arguments.

The dative case of the introduced E seems to be semantically motivated, it being thecombination—comparable to a complex case marking—of the preposition and the quasi-prefix with the dative case that signals the comitative meaning.

This construction is formally unrestrained, being applied to intransitive, ambitransitive, and transitive verbs, either with or without vowel gradation. In most cases the introduced E has a human referent, but it can also be a concrete object or an abstract. It cannot be inferred from this investigation whether Gothic allowed more than one applicative construction to be applied to the same verb.

It would seem there are indications that this construction might have been a relatively new and developing construction in Gothic. In the verbal template, miþ- occupies the outermost position, in itself an indication of late grammaticalization. The one extant exception to this position could indicate an uncertainty of the translator regarding as to which its proper place was. The two instances with both miþ- and a comitative adverbial suggest—unless an artifact of translation—a possible development from peripheral argument to an atypical E-introducing applicative via verbal congruence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 46
Keywords [sv]
Gothic language, applicative, comitative, quasi-prefix, preverb
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-385090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-385090DiVA, id: diva2:1322731
Subject / course
Swedish/Scandinavian Languages
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Available from: 2019-06-19 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-06-19Bibliographically approved

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