Impersonal Constructions in Balochi
2010 (English)In: Orientalia Suecana, ISSN 0078-6578, Vol. 59, 168-181 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Impersonal constructions are interesting from a typological perspective. Siewierska (2008: 3-4) finds that "[t]he semantic characterizations of impersonality centre on two notions", either "the lack of a human agent controlling the depicted situation or event" or "situations or events which may be brought about by a human agent but rucially one which is not specified." The present article focuses on grammatical constructions for situations or events brought about by a non-specified agent in one Iranian language, namely Balochi. It draws upon four Balochi corpuses available to the authors, comprising four different dialects of Balochi and consisting of altogether approximately 130,000 words.
There are three constructions for a non-specific agent found in the corpus, those with the verb in 3PL, those with the verb in 2SG, and those with a passive verb. It seems that the 3PL construction allows the speaker to distance himself/herself from the event somehow in narrative texts, where the speaker and addressee are not included in the referential framework of this construction. The 2SG construction, on the contrary, allows an unrestricted impersonal interpretation in narrative texts. However, in procedural texts, the 2SG and 3PL constructions are used interchangeably to include the speaker, and probably also the addressee. The 2SG construction in narrative texts and the 2SG and 3PL constructions in procedural texts are open to a truly impersonal interpretation. Thus, the 3PL construction does follow the referential properties described by Siewierska (2008: 14–17) in narrative texts but has wider referential properties in procedural texts. In Balochi, the referential properties of the passive construction seem, on the contrary, not to be as unrestricted as Siewierska (2008: 23) suggests.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala, 2010. Vol. 59, 168-181 p.
Iranian languages, Balochi, impersonal constructions, agentless constructions
Research subject Iranian Languages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-149750OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-149750DiVA: diva2:405396