The Genitive-Accusative of the Personal Pronouns in Old Church Slavonic

in Indo-European Linguistics

In those Slavic languages that retain both a case system and clitic pronominal forms two case-related phenomena partially overlap: (1) Masculine animate nouns and gendered pronouns display differential object marking with sensitivity to the animacy hierarchy. Some subset of these forms with the highest score on the animacy hierarchy show the original genitive form instead of the expected accusative in contexts that otherwise call for that case, the so-called genitive-accusative. (2) Personal pronouns also show instances of the genitive for the accusative but with important differences. In languages with a clitic~stressed contrast for oblique pronominals the accusative forms generally are continued as clitics and the genitive forms as stressed. It is unlikely that the nominal and personal-pronominal gen.-acc. are unrelated. On the other hand, the case choice for nouns and gendered pronouns is sensitive to the animacy hierarchy, but for the personal pronouns the choice between genitive and accusative is phono-semantic. Whatever semantic structure evokes the stressed forms leads to the production of the gen.-acc. I suggest that gen.-acc. began with o-stem masculine personal names, the most prototypical expression of the semantic class [+human, +male, +free, +definite] and was extended to the interrogative pronoun (gen.-acc. kogo). The interrogative pronoun had just those properties that allowed the remapping of an animacy hierarchy into a tonicity distinction.

Abstract

In those Slavic languages that retain both a case system and clitic pronominal forms two case-related phenomena partially overlap: (1) Masculine animate nouns and gendered pronouns display differential object marking with sensitivity to the animacy hierarchy. Some subset of these forms with the highest score on the animacy hierarchy show the original genitive form instead of the expected accusative in contexts that otherwise call for that case, the so-called genitive-accusative. (2) Personal pronouns also show instances of the genitive for the accusative but with important differences. In languages with a clitic~stressed contrast for oblique pronominals the accusative forms generally are continued as clitics and the genitive forms as stressed. It is unlikely that the nominal and personal-pronominal gen.-acc. are unrelated. On the other hand, the case choice for nouns and gendered pronouns is sensitive to the animacy hierarchy, but for the personal pronouns the choice between genitive and accusative is phono-semantic. Whatever semantic structure evokes the stressed forms leads to the production of the gen.-acc. I suggest that gen.-acc. began with o-stem masculine personal names, the most prototypical expression of the semantic class [+human, +male, +free, +definite] and was extended to the interrogative pronoun (gen.-acc. kogo). The interrogative pronoun had just those properties that allowed the remapping of an animacy hierarchy into a tonicity distinction.

1. Introduction

In those Slavic languages that retain both a case system and clitic pronominal forms we find two case-related phenomena that seem partially to overlap.1 Masculine animates and gendered pronouns display differential object marking (DOM; see Bossong 1984; Mardale 2008) with sensitivity to the animacy hierarchy (Silverstein 1976; Aissen 2003). Some subset of these forms with the highest score on the animacy hierarchy show the original genitive form instead of the expected accusative in contexts that otherwise call for that case.

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The various Slavic languages have extended the animate gen.-acc. to different degrees on various axes (semantic, morphological).3

2. The Genitive-Accusative of Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns also show instances of the genitive for the accusative but with important differences. In languages with a clitic~stressed contrast for oblique forms of the personal pronoun the accusative forms generally are continued as the clitic forms and the genitive forms are the stressed ones.

For these two languages the old plural accusatives ny and vy have been entirely ousted by the old genitives.

For Russian the old accusatives have been entirely lost in the standard language, but OR clearly passed through the stage still preserved in South and West Slavic (gen.-acc. menjá is mene gen. x mja acc. < *).4

3. Similarity, Differences, and Questions

Similarity: The use of the genitive in syntactic contexts otherwise requiring the accusative is rarely found outside of Slavic.5 Even Baltic, which shares the innovative genitive after negative verbs, does not show the Slavic phenomenon.6 It is unlikely that the nominal and personal-pronominal gen.-acc. are unrelated.

Differences: The case choice for nouns and gendered pronouns is sensitive to the animacy hierarchy. The animacy hierarchy is irrelevant for the personal pronouns, which predominantly have human reference, and almost always have animate reference. In the personal pronouns the choice between genitive and accusative is phono-semantic. Whatever semantic/pragmatic structure evokes the stressed forms indirectly leads to the production of the gen.-acc. This is obviously not a factor for nominals. The personal pronouns have (or had) the contrast in the singular and plural, as is shown by the total replacement of the old acc. forms ny and vy with the exception of Bulgarian which has ni, vi as the enclitic dat./acc. contrasting with accented nas, vas.7 But nominal and gendered pronominal forms originally only made this contrast in the singular. Masculine animate nouns take the ending -a in all Slavic languages that retain case. And even in Bulgarian and Macedonian there are traces of -a in both the standard languages and in the dialects.8 Serbo-Croatian and Slovene preserve the original situation.

Questions: What is the original distribution of the gen.-acc. vs. acc. pronominal forms in OCS and Novgorodian and what can be reconstructed for PS? What is the connection between nominal and pronominal gen.-acc.? Where does the innovation originate and how did the reinterpretation happen?

4. The Slavic Personal and Reflexive Pronoun

Oldest Old Church Slavonic9article image

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In the case of the dat. sg. it is clear from the two forms and the distribution of the shorter forms that there was an stressed ~ enclitic opposition. These clitic forms continue PIE clitic forms. Cf. Ved. me, te, etc. The accusative forms11 given normally pattern as clitics, but they can occur in positions where true clitics would be excluded, e.g. clause-initial position.

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Note too that a clitic would be surprising for a realization of a strongly contrastive pronoun.

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After i ‘and’ (not a potential clitic host in OCS; Sławski 1946:25)

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After prepositions17

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Cf. Novgorod na mja ‘on me’ (no. 527, 1050–1075), na tja ‘on you’ (no. 862, 1100–1120). Middle Bulgarian accents in za mę, etc. and Štokavian záme < *zā ˈmę is consistent with retention of a long vowel in pretonic position.18

5. The Distribution and Spread of the Pronominal Genitive-Accusative

Apparently the first change affecting this system was the introduction of gen.-acc. forms (mene, tebe, sebe, nasŭ, vasŭ). In the oldest OCS texts they are very rare.19

Almost all the occurrences of the gen.-acc. are in a position where a clitic would normally not be permitted. In sentence-initial position:

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In some sort of stressed position: Corrective focus25

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Contrastive focus

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Before an apposition at an intonational phrase boundary

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As subject of secondary predication

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Note that in English and German the subject of a resultative secondary predication receives a focus accent (Winkler 1997:282, 291):

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In depictive secondary predication the focus accent is assigned to both the subject and the depictive predicate.

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Associated with focalizing elements

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Unclear

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The previous sentence is dokolě sŭ vamui bǫdǫ “How long shall I be with you!” so there is probably some sort of emphasis on ‘you’.

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The choice of acc. or gen.-acc. is not determined by the Greek. In the Gospels Gk. stressed accusative emé ‘me’ as DO is often translated if in a nonnegated construction not following a Slavic verb requiring a different case.40 Only a subset of the instance of emé are translated with mene in either some or all of the manuscripts. The cases where Gk. emé is unanimously translated with the OCS accusative seem to be predominantly noncontrastive.

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The Birchbark Documents from Novgorod.41 According to Zaliznjak 2004:106, 2008:137 there are basically no examples of gen.-acc. in personal pronominal forms in the oldest period and only very few from the end of the 12th century onward.42 Other Old Russian texts show an encroachment of genitive forms beginning with the plural. The fact that the genitive forms are quite uncommon in OCS or even unattested in early Novgorodian does not in itself mean that they are an innovation. The genitive forms occur only under very specific conditions, basically some kind of focus. The necessary conditions for this environment are presumably fairly infrequent and it is not surprising that they do not occur in the mainly very short early letters.

What is more significant is the fact that the old accusative forms were still viable options for the focus positions in OCS. There is only one Gospel passage transmitted unanimously in M, Z, A, O and V with the genitive:

(27 = 11) J. 7.28 (M, Z, A O, V)

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All others have the accusative in at least one manuscript. This is good evidence that the gen.-acc. in pronominal forms is fairly recent.

6. The Nominal Genitive-Accusative

If the gen-acc. in pronominal forms is recent, how about the nominal gen.-acc.? The gen.-acc. for nominal forms was firmly established within its original sphere of usage in OCS and probably in Novgorod. The OCS manuscripts do not vary between acc. and gen.-acc. for (1) substantivized singular definite adjectives and participles referring to male persons and (2) o-stem male personal names.43 As is well known, an important factor that favors the gen.-acc. is the physical and social status of the referent. In OCS and OR healthy, free, male, persons, i.e. persons most capable of exercising agency, tend to take the gen.-acc.44 It is probable that o-stem masculine personal names are simply prototypical representatives of the healthy, free, male category, and, in addition, are always definite, a factor known to favor DOM elsewhere.45 This second category, o-stem male personal names, is precisely the one that according to Zaliznjak (2004:106) always shows the gen.-acc. in Novgorod.46

Kwon 2009:44 claims (1) that in these Novgorod documents the gen.-acc. is observed earlier in the plural and (2) “the gen.-acc. -a in the declension of masc. sg. o-stems began to appear in the 2nd half of the 13th century and was fixed only in the 14th to 15th century” (citing Krys’ko 1993, 1994).47 Ad (1) I don’t know exactly what is being referred to here. As far as I can tell there is no evidence for the gen.-acc. for masculine plurals in the o-stems. The genitive ending is -ŭ (often written o) and the masc. acc. pl. is -ě. Ad (2) gen.-acc. -a is attested as early as 1025–1050 in no. 247:

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The inference is that the nominal gen.-acc. is older than the pronominal one.

Gendered pronouns behave like nouns rather than personal pronouns. In OCS the gen.-acc. for gendered pronominals is found, with a few exceptions, only in the singular (at J 5.21 Z has the gen.-acc. sg. jegože but M and A have the acc. pl. jęže) and is sensitive to animacy.49

Different gendered pronouns have different rates of innovation. For the suppletive pronoun nom. onŭ, acc. i < *jĭ the accusative form with human reference is the most common. The gen-acc. jego is quite rare. For example in C there are 17 instances of i with human reference vs. only two cases of jego (13a 13, 13b 19). In A there are well over a hundred instance of i, the majority of them with human referent, vs. only 4 cases of jego (89a 28a, 107a 7a, 119b 10a, 119b 24a). The figures for ‘this’, which has the accusative , are similar.

On the other hand, the replacement of the gen.-acc. for the acc. in the relative pronoun has gone much further and is practically the norm. In A there are 33 instances of jegože vs. 16 of iže some of which may have non-human reference. In the parallel passages in Z M A and S there are 36 instances where gen.-acc. jegože is the unanimous reading of however many manuscripts attest the verse in question. There are only 3 cases where there is some disagreement, for which a number of different explanations are required.

At J. 4.22

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In the first sentence the gen. is regular after the negation. In the second, M has eže, but A egože. This may result from uncertainty about animacy of reference. The Greek original has the neuter , but the natural inference is that the Jews worship God.

In two other cases we may see the interaction of syntax and phonology. At J. 19.37 Z has a gen.-acc. for the pronoun i after a preposition and the acc. for the relative pronoun:

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But M and A have the accusative of the pronoun and the genitive of the relative na n’ĭ egože probasę. The latter is what may be considered the general pattern since the accusative i is especially resistant to replacement after prepositions50 and, as we have said, the gen.-acc. is the norm for the relative. Thus we may suppose that if the gen.-acc. were to be introduced we would expect *na njego jegože and that this was replaced by na njego iže to avoid cacophony.51 Likewise at Mr. 14.71 Z has eže, but M has egože.

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7. Connecting the Two Genitive-Accusatives

Obviously the genitive and the accusative are closely related in Slavic with the genitive regularly replacing the accusative under negation, for example. Meillet 1897 argued that the nominal gen.-acc. had its origin in an original pronominal gen.-acc. *teu̯e *mene.52 There is no evidence for the accusative function of the forms *teu̯e *mene outside of Slavic and in fact the Indo-Iranian cognates are exclusively genitive. Berneker 1904:369.53 The innovative character of the pronominal gen.-acc. as argued for above makes the pronouns an unlikely starting point for the innovation. Kuryłowicz 1962 still seems the most straightforward explanation of how the nominal gen.-acc. could have got its start: Neg. + part. gen. : part. gen. :: Neg. + gen. : X, X = gen. (still one needs additional machinery to explain why only animate o-stem names were affected).54 If this account is correct then we would have a potentially theoretically interesting case of DOM in human proper nouns but not in pronouns.55

In order to account for the pronominal facts we need to explain the following differences: (1) The genitive pronominal forms are found in both singular and plural, unlike the nominal forms. (2) The genitive pronominal forms are typically associated with focal stress or some other intonational marking. One and only one form provides the bridge between nominal and pronominal forms, viz. kogo, the old genitive of the interrogative-indefinite kŭto.56 The nominal gen.-acc. is used primarily to mark nouns that score high on the animacy hierarchy. Kŭto is the only pronominal form to make an animate/inanimate contrast.57 The nominal gen.-acc. occurs only in the singular in OCS and OR. The pronominal gen.-acc. is found in all three numbers.58 Kŭto is number-indifferent and thus provides a model for the extension of the pattern to the plural. Like the o-stems, the nom. and acc. of kŭto would have been identical. Avoidance of this homonymy is often cited as a motivation for the nominal gen.-acc. innovation. (Kuryłowicz 1962 inter alios).59

But it is noteworthy that Novgorodian has an o-stem nominative in -e and accusative in -ŭ, and also the interrogative keto60 (and thus had no nom.-acc. homophony).61 If Olander 2012 is correct that *-os# gave *-ə in Proto-Slavic which merged with ŭ in all forms of Slavic except Novgorodian where it merged with e, then a Proto-Slavic nom.-acc. homonymy could not have been a crucial factor in the creation of the gen.-acc. It seems to me that the vocative hypothesis (recently Kwon 2009) has not been adequately refuted. The main objection seems to be that the wholesale morphological replacement of the nominative by the vocative is typologically unparalleled (so Zaliznjak 2004:148), but this is exactly what appears to have happened in the Latin 1st declension nom. sg. in -ă.62

Unlike the personal pronouns, the gen.-acc. kogo is the only form found in OCS Gospels. (Diels 1963:97: “The accusative is lacking. It is always represented by the genitive kogo.”) My examination of the Gospels confirms this.

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The extension of DOM specifically to the interrogative is also found in Persian.65

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The forms of kŭto in interrogative function may have been characterized intonationally. In Serbo-Croatian the WH-word, unlike English, generally has a higher pitch.

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Lehiste and Ivić 1986:207 report that in ten sentences introduced by kada ‘when’, the average F0 peak was at 269Hz; the next word, which is comparable to the first word of a simple statement, had an average F0 peak of 235Hz followed by a regular decline. The F0 on the first word of the ten corresponding statements was 230Hz. This raised pitch is comparable to “emphasis” in a declarative sentence.66

Bulgarian shows the same pattern as can be seen from the Praat spectrogram with pitch track below:

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Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian are not OCS, but we will never know OCS sentence prosody. Russian and Polish are similar. Thus it is not improbable that this intonation was characteristic of Proto-Slavic.67 This would explain why the early personal pronominal gen.-acc. show the distribution they do, as stressed (often focused) variants. In particular, the extension from Q > A seems natural.

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In fact, according to a formulation first introduced by Hermann Paul (1880:283) the focused information is the part of the sentence that answers the WH-part of WH-questions.68

d1744781e1071

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Figure 1

Spectrogram with pitch track for Koj otide da vzeme deteto ot učilište?

Citation: Indo-European Linguistics 3, 1 (2015) ; 10.1163/22125892-00301005

8. Conclusions

The gen.-acc. pronominals are employed in an intonationally marked context, predominantly focus. The gen.-acc. originates in o-stem personal names (as prototypically free, male, definite referents) in direct object function and spreads from there first to the interrogative pronoun already in Proto-Slavic. From these two bases the gen.-acc. spreads along two vectors. On the one hand, the gen.-acc. is extended as a marker of higher animacy to the gendered pronouns (first of all to the relative pronoun) and to o-stem substantives with human referent. These extensions were not complete in Proto-Slavic and there are significant traces of the old accusative forms in these categories in the historically attested Slavic languages. On the other hand, the extension from the interrogative gen.-acc. kogo ‘whom’ to the personal pronouns crucially involved a re-mapping of the animacy distinction into a tonicity distinction. This extension too was only incipient in Proto-Slavic. The creation of new distinctively tonic personal-pronominal forms accelerated the downgrading of the old tonic forms to clitics.69 The cliticization of old tonic pronouns and their replacement by new tonic forms is a pattern that reoccurs in a wide variety of Indo-European languages (e.g. Latin and Romance) and which perhaps deserves to be called a close cousin of Jespersen’s Cycle.

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Appendices for Further Examples

(A). Accusative Personal Pronouns after i

K 32.6: i ny milostijǫ tvoejǫ prïmi [sic etiam nos per gratiam tuam sustineas] “Support also us with your grace.”

J. 15.20 (A, O): i vy iždenǫtŭ [kaì humâs diṓksousin] “They will also persecute you.”

(B). Gen.-acc. Pronouns in Contrastive Focus

J. 15.18 (A, M, Z S, O Z omits vasŭ. O adds it marginally): vědĭte jako mene prěžde vasŭ vĭznenavĭdě (vĭznenavĭděti despite including a negative particle regularly takes the accusative). [ginṓskete hóti emè prō̂ton humō̂n memísēken] “ye know that it (the world) hated me before it hated you.”

J. 16.27 (M, Z, O, V but A, S ): samŭ bo otecŭ ljubitŭ vy, jako vy mene vŭzljubiste [autòs gàr ho patḕr phileî humâs, hóti humeîs emè pephilḗkate] “For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me.”

J. 16.32 (M, Z, O V, but A, S ): i mene jedinogo ostavite [k’amè mónon aphē̂te] κἀμὲ μόνον ἀφῆτε (Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own) “and shall leave me alone.” (But I won’t be alone.)

M. 27.40 (M, Z, O, V, but A, S ): sŭpasi sebe [sō̂son seautón] (Vulg. salva temetipsum) “Save thyself!”

L. 9.25 (M, Z, A, V, verse missing from S): ašte priobręštetŭ vesĭ mirŭ, a sebe pogubitŭ [kerdḗsas tòn kósmon hólon heautòn dè apolésas] “If he gain the whole world, and lose himself.”

L. 16.15 (M, Z, S, O, V, but A ): vy jeste opravĭdajǫštei sebe prědŭ clvky. [humeîs este hoi dikaioûntes heautoùs enṓpion tō̂n anthrṓpōn] “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men.” (But God knows your hearts.)

Supr. (VPauli et Iulianae 2v.11): meně bo oblĭgŭčajetŭ otŭ mǫkŭ Xs. tebe že imatŭ pričęstĭnika sŭtvoriti ognju. [emè mèn epokouphízei tō̂n basánōn … Christós. sè dè ékhei klēronomē̂sai tò pûr] “Me Christ protects from tortures but he will make you a shareholder of fire.”

Enina Ap. (Ep. Jo. 1.4.19): my ljubimyi zane onŭ prěžde vŭzljubi nasŭ [hēmeîs agapō̂men hóti autòs prō̂tos ēgápēsen hēmâs] “We love him because he first loved us.”

(C). Gen.-acc. as Subject of Secondary Predication

Supr. (VCononis 24v.6) [azŭ] tebe stara sǫšta i tacěmi sědinami ukrašena sǫšta [zĭrę] (My supplement for the sake of illustration) [egṑ mén se presbútēn ónta kaì toiaútēi poliâi kekosmēménon horō̂n] “I seeing you being old and adorned with such gray hairs.”

Euch. Sin. 85a 22 Priimi mne zablǫždĭšaago “Receive me who was lost.”

9a10 (C): samŭ že sebe esi stvorilŭ bez otŭvěta na sǫdŭny denĭ. “You made yourself without excuse on the judgment day.”

2a40 (C): dlŭženŭ jestŭ vĭsěkŭ krŭšteny samŭ sebe čista chraniti “Each Christian should keep himself pure.”

5a4 (C): sebe prědastŭ [heautòn ekdídōsi] “gives himself up”; 2b32 (C): ne povinna sebe věčŭnumu ognju osǫždenĭju nepĭštjuetŭ “who thinks himself not subject to condemnation to eternal fire” (but here negation may be responsible for the genitive).

(D). OCS acc. Translating Greek Stressed Accusative

J. 8.19 (M, Z, A, not in S): ašte mę biste věděli [ei emè ḗideite] “if ye had known me.”

J. 8.42 (M, Z, A, not in S): ašte bogŭ otĭcĭ vašĭ bi bylŭ, ljubili mę biste [ei ho theòs patḕr humō̂n ē̂n, ēgapâte àn emé] “If God were your father, ye would love me.”

J. 17.18 (M, A, S, not in Z): jakože ty mę posŭla vŭ vĭsĭ mirŭ [kathṑs emè apésteilas eis tòn kósmon] “as thou hast sent me into the world”

J. 17.23 (M, A, S, not in Z): jakože i mę vŭzljubilŭ jesi [kathṑs emè ēgápēsas] “as thou hast loved me”

L. 24.39 (M, A, not in S, Z) jakože mę vidite imǫšta [kathṑs emè theōreîte ékhonta] “as ye see me have”

J. 12.45 (M, Z, not in A, S): i vidęi mę viditŭ posŭlavŭšajego mę [kaì ho theōrō̂n emè theōreî tòn pémpsantá me] καὶ ὁ θεωρῶν ἐμὲ θεωρεῖ τὸν πέμψαντά με “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.”

L. 9.48 bis (M, Z, not in A, S): jĭže ašte priimetŭ otročę se vŭ imę moje mę priemljetŭ. i jĭže ašte priemletŭ mę, priemletŭ posŭlavŭšaago mę [hós eàn déksētai toûto tò paidíon epì tō̂i onómatí mou, emé dékhetai kaì hós àn emè déksētai, dékhetai tòn aposteílantá me]. “Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth him that sent me.”

(E). Accusative kogo in the Gospels

M. 16.15 (M, Z, A) vy že kogo mę glete byti [humeîs dè tína me légete eînai] “But whom say ye that I am?”

Mr. 8.27 (M, Z, A, S) kogo mę gljǫtŭ člvci byti [tína me légousin hoi ánthrōpoi eînai] “Whom do men say I am?”

Mr. 8.29 (M, Z, A, S) vy že kogo mę glte byti [humeîs dè tína me légete eînai] ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι “But whom do you say I am?”

L. 9.18 (M, Z) kogo mę nepĭštjujǫtŭ narodi byti [tína me hoi ókhloi légousin eînai] “Whom say the people that I am?”

L. 9.20 (M, Z) vy že kogo mę glte byti [hymeîs dè tína me légete eînai] “But whom say ye that I am?”

Μ 27.17 (Z, M, A, S, O) kogo xoštete otŭ oboju otŭpuštǫ vamŭ [tína thélete apolúsō humîn] “Whom will ye that I release [of both] unto you?”

M. 27.21 (M, Z, A, S, O) kogo xoštete otŭ oboju otŭpuštǫ vamŭ [tína thélete apò tō̂n dúo apolúsō humîn] “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?”

Mr. 11.25 (M, Z, O) otŭpuštaite ašte čto imate na kogo [aphíete eí ti ékhete katá tinos] “Forgive, if ye have ought against any.”

L 19.8 (M, Z, A, O) i ašte jesmŭ kogo čimĭ obidělŭ [kaì eí tinós ti esukophántēsa] “and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation.”

J 8.53 (M, A, O) kogo sę samŭ ty tvoriši [tína seautòn poeîs] “whom makest thou thyself?” The variant in Z kŭto sę samŭ ty tvoriši probably does not have a trace of the old accusative but shows the nominative agreement with a reflexive pronoun which is found elsewhere in OCS and is the rule in Serbo-Croatian. Cf. the translation of Karadžić ко се ти сам градиш.

Thanks to E. Wayles Browne, Miloje Despić, Andrew Garrett, Alexis Manaster Ramer, Krassimira Trifonova, Brent Vine, Olga Yokoyama, Draga Zec, and two anonymous reviewers for help and advice.

Abbreviations: M = Codex Marianus, Z = Codex Zographensis, A = Codex Assemanianus, S = Savvina Kniga, V = Vatican Palimpsest, C = Codex Clozianus, K = Kiev Missal, O = Ostromir Gospel, Supr. = Codex Suprasliensis, Ps. Sin. = Psalterium Sinaiticum, Euch. Sin. = Euchologium Sinaiticum, PSN = Psalterium Sinaiticum Novum.

Kowalewicz and Kuraszkiewicz 1972.

See Huntley 1980, Klenin 2009 for a survey.

V. Kiparsky 1967:137 cites Иду на вы “I come against you,” an OR declaration of war from the Tale of Bygone Years. See Zaliznjak 2008:36–37.

One of the reviewers notes that Ossetic and Mordvin also have DOM with the genitive for definite objects. But given the geographic distribution of these it seems plausible that these similarities result from contact. See Nichols 1993:387.

Baltic Fennic also uses the partitive after negated verbs, but has no trace of the gen.-acc.

Macedonian has dat. nam ni, vam vi and acc. nas ne, vas ve with the accusative forms created on the model of the acc. sg. clitic me and te.

One of the referees calls my attention to the definite object form of Bulgarian света ‘world’ which continues the old gen.-acc.

By Oldest Old Church Slavonic I mean the manuscripts datable to the 10th and early 11th centuries (the Moravian recension (the Kiev Missal) and the Ohrid school Glagolitic manuscripts). The representation in the table above is somewhat idealized. See the table in section 5 for actual figures.

The claim is sometimes made that Old Polish, Kashubian, and Polabian retained a reflex of the originally expected clitic form *me *te, *se (Weiss 2011:326; the originator of the claim seems to have been Berneker 1904). Some OPol. (e.g. the Psałterz floriański) has gen.-acc. mie, cie, sie as clitic objects distinct from na mię, cię, się. Kashubian has mie, ce, se but after prepositions na mią cą, są, and Polabian had -me, -te, -se but no mang, tang, sang. Most probably, however, these forms are analogical to the ending of the tonic gen.-acc. mnie, etc. after preposition mię was retained. See Vaillant 1958:34.

The general facts on the distribution of the accusative (tonic and clitic) vs. genitive (rare and tonic) of the personal pronouns are well known. See for example, van Wijk 1931:198; Diels 1963:214.

But S has vasŭ and mene.

Z has primetŭ.

The English translations of the Gospels are from the King James Bible.

But M, Z, O, V mene.

See Appendix A for further examples.

The accusative forms are the norm after prepositions in OCS. For the 1st sg., for example, in the Gospel texts with one exception (J. 12.44, A, Z, but even here M, O, V have ) is the only form: vŭ mę (M. 18.6, 18.21, Mr. 9.42, J. 7.38, 11.25, 11.26, 12.44 (first occurrence), 12.46, 14.1, 14.12, 16.9, 17.20) na mę (L. 22.53, J. 13.18). For the reflexive, sebe is the form of choice after (L. 11.18, L. 15.17, 18.11); vŭ sę does not seem to occur in OCS although na sę is just fine (Mr. 3.26, M. 27.42).

For Middle Bulgarian see Hock 1992 I:120. Exactly which intonation to reconstruct is uncertain. See Kapović 2006:81–82.

The counts are my own based on the available indices. Figures for Z according to Moszyński 1990:151–152: 149× vs. mene 13×; 77× vs. tebe 1×; 1130× vs. sebe 6×; ny 17× vs. nasŭ 0×; vy 74× vs. vasŭ 6. For the Euch. Sin. 79× vs. mene 2× (once as object of nominalized participle 85a 16 lovęštiixŭ mene “of those hunting me” once (85a 22) in secondary predication); 105 × vs. tebe 1×; (a lot) vs. sebe 3×. nasŭ 1× and vasŭ 2×. The Zograph palimpsest has 3 instances of vy, 2 and 1 of . The Enina Apostolos has 8× vs. mene 0×, 10× vs. tebeny 11 vs. nasŭvy 2× vs. vasŭ 0×. The Freising monuments have me 4×, vs. mene 0×; no examples of the 2nd sg. acc.; ze 17× vs. *zebe (sebe) 0×, acc. ni 2×, nas(ŭ) 0×; Freising also has one instance of vi as 2nd pl. dative form (I.34 ese vi iest ugotoulieno “which is prepared for you.”). For M. van Wijk 1926:262 counted ny 18 × vs. nasŭ 0×, vasŭ 2×.

But some argue for a later date. See Garzaniti 2001:314.

Combining both the Ps. Sin. and the Psalterium Sinaiticum Novum.

Since Meyer 1935 doesn’t separate the gen.-acc. from the genitives for the 2nd person form, I give the gen.-acc. forms here in the pagination of the ms.: 2v.11, 24v.6, 66r.26, 116v.25, 149v.24, 156r.8, 235r7, 20.

The form nasŭ in i věra tvoeja vŭ nasŭ da vŭzdrastetŭ et fides tua in nobis ut succrescat. “And may your faith grow in us” is almost certainly a locative.

van Wijk 1926:263 was suspicious of the antiquity of two of these cases.

For a recent discussion of focus types see Riester and Baumann 2013. In their approach corrective focus is merely an extreme case of contrastive focus. Contrastive focus differs from novelty focus in that while both generate a focus semantic value defined as a set of individuals of the same semantic type as the focused constituent, contrastive focus is also associated with an anaphoric operator that permits the identification of at least one alternative with certainty. See Rooth 1992.

But M, O, V .

But A, N have mę, vy.

See Appendix B for further examples.

= M 6.30 A, Z O, M S.

A .

Dostál’s emendation for chotęsta.

But the significantly later SCS Miroslav gospel has se here.

See Appendix C for further examples.

Miloje Despić informs me that clitic pronouns are possible in this position in SCr. Cf. note 34 above about the SCS Miroslav Gospel.

But A, Z (absent in S). A adds i before samŭ. Miroslav too has se.

But at M. 22.38 has vĭzljubiši iskrĭnjago tvoego jako samŭ sę (M, A, Z, also Miroslav). M. 19.6 O has jako samŭ sę as well.

But A, S vy.

But the Psalterium Bononiense has .

After a preposition the old accusative forms are quite resistant. An example like PSN 31a 15L (= 32a 27, similar formula 31b 19, 20, and elsewhere):

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probably contains a locative, which often translates Gk. epí plus the accusative.

For further examples see Appendix D.

I have chosen to focus on the Novgorod documents rather than on Old Russian manuscripts because they are less influenced by OCS norms and because they are of great antiquity and are directly transmitted.

An early example may be и позовало мене во погосто “and he called me into the churchyard.” (531, 1200–1220).

See Vaillant 1964:178. Lunt’s statement (2001:144) “Personal names tend to keep the accusative form” is just not correct. A corpus study of M by Eckhoff (p. 6) finds that all proper names take the gen.-acc. But as an anonymous reviewer points out, there is one example of an o-stem personal name in the accusative in Z (J 8.57 abraamŭ li esi vidělŭ “and hast thou seen Abraham?”). This might be a simple error. M and A have the expected gen.-acc. form. Note that the gen.-acc. is governed by both semantic and morphological factors. Non-o-stem masculine personal names, for example, do not show the gen.-acc. in OCS, e.g. Mt. 1.10 (As. Sav., Ost.): Amosĭ že rodi Iosajǫ “Amos begat Josaiah.” with Iosajǫ the acc. of Iosaja, a masculine a-stem.

See e.g. Janda 1999:205.

Unfortunately there are, to my knowledge, no crucial cases of named unhealthy or unfree males in the Gospels. Slaves and the sick are normally not given names. The stories of Bartimaeus, the blind man, and Lazarus, the dead man, the two named sick men I know of, simply don’t provide the requisite structures.

And the OR of the Laurentian ms. of the Primary Chronicle also almost always uses the gen.-acc. for masculine personal names. See Klenin 1987:407.

In fact, Krys’ko 1993:69 says that in the documents from the 11th to 13th centuries we find 8 forms of the gen.-acc. vs. 15 forms of the accusative. Four of these eight are suspect of being nonnative forms, but four (really three) are unimpeachable. See the next note.

A second instance of gen.-acc. клеветьника in 247 has the crucial final vowel restored. In addition we have моли Воньзда “ask Vnezd.” (82, 1180–1200), на Домажировица (510, 1220–1240), на Ивана (897, 1120–1140).

There are a few scattered examples of the extension of the gen.-acc. to the plural. At L. 6.32 M and S read ljubęštęję ixŭ ‘loving them’ Z and A have just ljubęštęję. Both perhaps are employing different strategies for avoiding *ljubęštęję ję. AS alone has the gen. pl. at Mt. 8.16 vsěxŭ bolęštixŭ icěli “He healed all the sick” and at J. 17.6 ixŭže dastŭ mi ‘whom you gave to me’.

na nĭ < *na n-jĭ is retained in the Serbian Church Slavonic Miroslav Evangelium. Pronominal accusatives survive into modern times with no animacy distinctions in Slov. vánj ‘on him/it’, zánj, SCr. zȃ nj ‘for him/it’ (confirmed by Draga Zec). See Nahtigal 1961:213. The replacement of the acc. by the gen.-acc. seems to have come first to direct objects and only subsequently to prepositional objects. There are quite a few prepositional objects in the accusative with human referent in the Gospels, e.g. J. 6.29 vŭ tŭ, Mr. 10. 12 za nŭ, and even with the relative pronoun Mt. 12.18 na niže, J. 1.33 nadŭ n’ĭže.

Schulze 1906:612.

van Tilburg 1988:595–596 argues that the observed extensions of the gen.-acc. to the plural pronominal forms either predominantly (Rešetar 1898:187 on 15th century SCr.) or earlier than the further extension to nominal forms supports Meillet’s claim.

The East Baltic facts might be interpreted as pointing to a onetime accusative function of the genitive, but Old Prussian shows through its accusative forms mien, tien, sien, exactly matching OCS, that this cannot be old.

As one of the referees notes, this problem may be serious enough to rule out Kuryłowicz’s account. In that case, the exact origin of the gen.-acc. -a is still a mystery to be solved.

Or maybe not. First and 2nd personal pronouns have exclusively animate reference (except in metaphorical contexts like speaking inscriptions!) but they do not necessarily refer to humans (we can address dogs and cats, for example, with 2nd person forms).

The important role of the interrogative pronoun has been noted before, e.g. by Vondrák 1908:340: “Der Impuls zum Gen.-Akk. ging also wohl vom urslav. kogo aus. Da mit kŭtokogo nach Personen gefragt wird, so sind davon zunächst auch die Personennamen tangiert worden und zwar aus dem angegebenen Grunde zunächst die o-St., welche männlicher Personen bezeichneten.” Huntley 1980:205. But these accounts take kogo as the starting point for the spread of the gen.-acc. to nouns.

The loss of a distinct feminine is in itself an innovation. For traces of the expected *ka throughout Slavic see Boryś 2005:226, s.v. każdy, Majer 2012:226.

Cf. J. 6.64 kŭto sǫtŭ nevěrujǫštei [tínes eisìn hoi mḕ pisteúontes] “who they were that believed not” (an indirect question) where the Greek has an explicit plural.

See also Klenin 1987 and Bratishenko 1998, 2003.

Staraja Rjazan’ 12 and Novgorod itself in the form ketŭ (892, 1120–1140). Zaliznjak 2004:125.

For a review of theories about this phenomenon see Olander 2012.

One referee notes the absence of palatalization is another serious obstacle to the vocative hypothesis. This would have to be explained analogically.

byti instead of sǫšta.

See Appendix E for examples of kogo from the Gospels.

Browne 1970; Cf. also Finnish where the accusative marker -t is added to the human personal pronouns and to the human interrogative. See Comrie 1979:16.

For the acoustic correlates of focus in English see Breen et al. 2010.

According to Buning and Schooneveld 1961:11 WH questions have the same general intonation pattern as declarative sentences, i.e. a drop on the final stressed syllable, but in their annotated example któ is the highest pitch in the sentence. Comrie 1984:24 notes that the intonational nucleus is on the WH-word KTO ljubit Tanju? “Who loves Tanya?” In Comrie’s view “carrying over the location and contour of a Russian special question into English gives rise to a distinct sensation of aggressive hostility.” See also Yokoyama 1987:265 on the Type II (sentence accent on the WH-word) intonation characteristic of “impositional” questions, which today at least is the most typical question intonation. The intonation of questions in Russian appears to be quite complicated. See also Yokoyama 2009.

Of course, there are complications. See Goedegebuure 2009 for one recent discussion of focus and questions.

One of the reviewers remarks that this paper does not explain the tonicity downgrade of the old accusative pronouns. It seems to me that loss of tonicity for originally stressed pronominal forms is so widespread cross-linguistically and so natural a consequence of semantic bleaching that no special explanation is required.

  • 2

    Kowalewicz and Kuraszkiewicz 1972.

  • 3

    See Huntley 1980Klenin 2009 for a survey.

  • 4

    V. Kiparsky 1967:137 cites Иду на вы “I come against you” an OR declaration of war from the Tale of Bygone Years. See Zaliznjak 2008:36–37.

  • 24

    van Wijk 1926:263 was suspicious of the antiquity of two of these cases.

  • 43

    See Vaillant 1964:178. Lunt’s statement (2001:144) “Personal names tend to keep the accusative form” is just not correct. A corpus study of M by Eckhoff (p. 6) finds that all proper names take the gen.-acc. But as an anonymous reviewer points out there is one example of an o-stem personal name in the accusative in Z (J 8.57 abraamŭ li esi vidělŭ “and hast thou seen Abraham?”). This might be a simple error. M and A have the expected gen.-acc. form. Note that the gen.-acc. is governed by both semantic and morphological factors. Non-o-stem masculine personal names for example do not show the gen.-acc. in OCS e.g. Mt. 1.10 (As. Sav. Ost.): Amosĭ že rodi Iosajǫ “Amos begat Josaiah.” with Iosajǫ the acc. of Iosaja a masculine a-stem.

  • 44

    See e.g. Janda 1999:205.

  • 47

    In fact Krys’ko 1993:69 says that in the documents from the 11th to 13th centuries we find 8 forms of the gen.-acc. vs. 15 forms of the accusative. Four of these eight are suspect of being nonnative forms but four (really three) are unimpeachable. See the next note.

  • 51

    Schulze 1906:612.

  • 52

    van Tilburg 1988:595–596 argues that the observed extensions of the gen.-acc. to the plural pronominal forms either predominantly (Rešetar 1898:187 on 15th century SCr.) or earlier than the further extension to nominal forms supports Meillet’s claim.

  • 59

    See also Klenin 1987 and Bratishenko 19982003.

  • 67

    According to Buning and Schooneveld 1961:11 WH questions have the same general intonation pattern as declarative sentences i.e. a drop on the final stressed syllable but in their annotated example któ is the highest pitch in the sentence. Comrie 1984:24 notes that the intonational nucleus is on the WH-word KTO ljubit Tanju? “Who loves Tanya?” In Comrie’s view “carrying over the location and contour of a Russian special question into English gives rise to a distinct sensation of aggressive hostility.” See also Yokoyama 1987:265 on the Type II (sentence accent on the WH-word) intonation characteristic of “impositional” questions which today at least is the most typical question intonation. The intonation of questions in Russian appears to be quite complicated. See also Yokoyama 2009.

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The Genitive-Accusative of the Personal Pronouns in Old Church Slavonic

in Indo-European Linguistics

Sections

References

2

Kowalewicz and Kuraszkiewicz 1972.

3

See Huntley 1980Klenin 2009 for a survey.

4

V. Kiparsky 1967:137 cites Иду на вы “I come against you” an OR declaration of war from the Tale of Bygone Years. See Zaliznjak 2008:36–37.

24

van Wijk 1926:263 was suspicious of the antiquity of two of these cases.

43

See Vaillant 1964:178. Lunt’s statement (2001:144) “Personal names tend to keep the accusative form” is just not correct. A corpus study of M by Eckhoff (p. 6) finds that all proper names take the gen.-acc. But as an anonymous reviewer points out there is one example of an o-stem personal name in the accusative in Z (J 8.57 abraamŭ li esi vidělŭ “and hast thou seen Abraham?”). This might be a simple error. M and A have the expected gen.-acc. form. Note that the gen.-acc. is governed by both semantic and morphological factors. Non-o-stem masculine personal names for example do not show the gen.-acc. in OCS e.g. Mt. 1.10 (As. Sav. Ost.): Amosĭ že rodi Iosajǫ “Amos begat Josaiah.” with Iosajǫ the acc. of Iosaja a masculine a-stem.

44

See e.g. Janda 1999:205.

47

In fact Krys’ko 1993:69 says that in the documents from the 11th to 13th centuries we find 8 forms of the gen.-acc. vs. 15 forms of the accusative. Four of these eight are suspect of being nonnative forms but four (really three) are unimpeachable. See the next note.

51

Schulze 1906:612.

52

van Tilburg 1988:595–596 argues that the observed extensions of the gen.-acc. to the plural pronominal forms either predominantly (Rešetar 1898:187 on 15th century SCr.) or earlier than the further extension to nominal forms supports Meillet’s claim.

59

See also Klenin 1987 and Bratishenko 19982003.

67

According to Buning and Schooneveld 1961:11 WH questions have the same general intonation pattern as declarative sentences i.e. a drop on the final stressed syllable but in their annotated example któ is the highest pitch in the sentence. Comrie 1984:24 notes that the intonational nucleus is on the WH-word KTO ljubit Tanju? “Who loves Tanya?” In Comrie’s view “carrying over the location and contour of a Russian special question into English gives rise to a distinct sensation of aggressive hostility.” See also Yokoyama 1987:265 on the Type II (sentence accent on the WH-word) intonation characteristic of “impositional” questions which today at least is the most typical question intonation. The intonation of questions in Russian appears to be quite complicated. See also Yokoyama 2009.

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    Figure 1

    Spectrogram with pitch track for Koj otide da vzeme deteto ot učilište?

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