Selected Writings on Slavic and General Linguistics


The larger part of the present volume is about Slavic historical linguistics while the second part is about more general issues and methodological aspects. The initial chapters contain a revision of the author’s Slavic Accentuation and a discussion of the Slovene evidence for the Late Proto-Slavic accentual system and of the Kiev Leaflets. These are complemented by an extensive review of Garde’s theory and an introductory article about the work of earlier authors for those who are unfamiliar with the subject. Then follows a discussion of changes in the vowel system, Bulgarian developments, final syllables in Slavic, early changes in the consonant system, and of Halle and Kiparsky’s review of Garde’s book. This results in a relative chronology of 70 stages from Proto-Indo-European to Slavic. The following chapters deal with the progressive palatalization, the accentuation of West and South Slavic languages, various aspects of the Old Slovene manuscripts, the chronology of nominal paradigms, and other issues under discussion in recent publications. The second part of the present volume contains a number of case studies exemplifying specific theoretical problems, most of them of a semantic nature. The synchronic studies deal with Russian and Japanese syntax and semantics, the diachronic studies with tonogenesis in different languages and with semantic reconstruction in Altaic and Chinese.
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Biographical Note

Frederik Kortlandt is Professor of descriptive and comparative linguistics at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He has published widely on Slavic, Baltic, Germanic, Celtic, Armenian and other languages and on linguistic theory. His publications include Modelling the phoneme (1972), Slavic accentuation (1975), Armeniaca (2003), Italo-Celtic origins and prehistoric development of the Irish language (2007), Baltica & Balto-Slavica (2009), Studies in Germanic, Indo-European and Indo-Uralic (2010), and numerous articles in Lingua, Folia Linguistica Historica, Journal of Indo-European Studies, Historische Sprachforschung, Baltistica, Wiener Slavistisches Jahrbuch, Slavistična Revija, Zbornik za Filologiju i Lingvistiku, and other journals and edited volumes.

Review Quotes

”[a] monumental volume … Any historical linguist would be well served to include this excellent collection of articles on their short list of resources, in particular specialists in Slavic historical phonetics and accentuation as well as those concentrating on comparative Proto-Indo-European linguistics. Theoretical linguistics experts will also welcome this solidly documented, methodologically sound, and argumentatively convincing book. Viewed on its own terms it is a major contribution to the field and deserves to occupy a prominent place in the discipline.” in: Slavic and East European Journal 56.4 (Winter 2012)

Table of contents

Preface Slavic historical linguistics
Slavic accentuation: introduction
Slavic accentuation 1: the l-participle
Slavic accentuation 2: Slovene konj
Slavic accentuation 3: the loss of the Indo-European laryngeals
Slavic accentuation 4: the adjective
Slavic accentuation 5: case endings
The Slovene neo-circumflex
Jers and nasal vowels in the Freising Fragments
The accentuation of suffixless deverbal nouns in Slavic
The accentuation of the Kiev Leaflets
A history of Slavic accentuation
On the history of Slavic accentuation
On the history of the Slavic nasal vowels
Bulgarian accentuation
Indo-European *pt in Slavic
On final syllables in Slavic
Linguistic theory, universals, and Slavic accentuation
Early dialectal diversity in South Slavic I
From Proto-Indo-European to Slavic
On reduced vowels in Slavic
The progressive palatalization of Slavic
On methods of dealing with facts and opinions in a treatment of the progressive palatalization of Slavic
Polabian accentuation
The accentuation of neuter nouns in Slovene and West Bulgarian
The Indo-European stative in Slavic
The accentual system of the Freising manuscripts
On the accent marks in the First Freising Fragment
Kazania Świętokrzyskie: a text edition
Rounded nasal vowels in the Freising Fragments
Bad theory, wrong conclusions: M. Halle on Slavic accentuation
Early dialectal diversity in South Slavic II
Indo-European e-, a-, o- in Slavic
From Serbo-Croatian to Indo-European
On the relative chronology of Slavic accentual developments
Slavic historical morphology: nominal paradigms
Issues in Balto-Slavic accentology
Rise and development of Slavic accentual paradigms
Some points of discussion in Slavic historical linguistics
West Slavic accentuation
General linguistics
Temporal gradation and temporal limitation
On the meaning of the Japanese passive
The origin of the Japanese and Korean accent systems
Are Mongolian and Tungus genetically related?
Syntax and semantics in the history of Chinese
Japanese wa, mo, ga, wo, na, no
Russian syntax and semantics
Glottalization and tonogenesis in Athabaskan, Balto-Slavic and Germanic
Appendix: Indo-European
The Proto-Germanic aorist
The Tocharian s-present
Balto-Slavic o-grade presents


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