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Abstract

Albanian possesses eight different lexemes built to a radical element vetë, with meanings ranging from ‘person’, ‘self’, ‘own’ to ‘only’ and ‘apart’. The aim of this paper is to clarify the distribution and meaning of these words in Old Albanian, in particular, in texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I also discuss the etymology of these various stems, though the ultimate origin of vet(ë) cannot be established.

Open Access
In: Indo-European Linguistics

Abstract

For more than a century, a verbal-governing compound type has featured prominently in Indo-Europeanist discourse on compounding, a type exemplified by Vedic dā́ti-vāra- ‘granting wishes’, with a -ti-stem first member having a transitive relationship to the nominal second member. However, a critical reexamination of the Vedic evidence for this type reveals that almost none of the standard, regularly repeated examples actually mean what it is claimed they mean. The existence of this “type” is therefore seriously called into question and should not be reconstructed for Indo-European on the basis of the Vedic data.

Open Access
In: Indo-European Linguistics
In: Bamboo and Silk
Author:

Abstract

This article proposes a set of function-based criteria for identifying paratextual elements in manuscript texts. With *Tang zai Chimen and *Tang chu yu Tangqiu as examples, I show how their narrative frames perform functions akin to titles, authors’ names, and prefaces. This approach offers a new explanation for the prevalence of the anecdote genre as well as a renewed understanding of the functions of the paratext.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Authors: and

Abstract

The phenomenon of preserving ancient character forms (wenzi cungu xianxiang 文字存古現象) can be observed in certain recently unearthed bamboo slip manuscripts from the Warring States. These characters have preserved early character structures or word usage habits, thus reflecting an interactive relationship between the copyist and the source text. Based on the number of early characters observed in a copied manuscript, Warring States bamboo manuscripts can largely be divided into three categories. One category containing relatively more words with early word forms can be dubbed as “transcripts containing characteristics of ancient text preservation,” with the Tsinghua manuscripts *Xinian 繫年, *Hou fu 厚父, *Sheming 攝命, and *Si gao 四告 being the most emblematic of this category. The value of research into ancient character forms preserved in Warring States bamboo-slip manuscripts is important in many ways, such as providing evidence for character identification; helping to determine the origins of ancient manuscript source texts and their time of transcription; and demonstrating how documents may have been transmitted. All these aspects are evident in the relevant Tsinghua manuscripts. However, in assessing whether ancient character forms were indeed preserved in Warring States manuscripts, two problems must be accounted for: first, some characters that have previously been identified as having characteristics of different scripts may have earlier origins or lack any obvious script-specific features; second, some ancient-looking characters cannot necessarily be used as a standard to determine the occurrence of ancient script forms.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Author:

Abstract

*Zi Chan in Volume 6 and *Shi fa in Volume 4 of Tsinghua University Collection of Warring States Bamboo-slip Manuscripts were written by one scribe. This study aims to use features of the brushwork to demonstrate this. In addition, this study will also examine physical features of the bamboo slips, handwriting, character forms, the orthography of different states, punctuation marks, erasures, and the binding of the bamboo slips. The texts of both manuscripts were first written and then bound. Research on the arrangement of *Shi fa and the layout of its text enriches our understanding about the activity of writing among Pre-Qin people, how ancient books were compiled, and how scrolls were opened.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Authors: and

Abstract

First, through an analysis of the binary categorization of the heavenly stems and the earthly branches in calculations and arts (shushu 數術) literature in transmitted and excavated texts, this paper argues that the two characters meng 䖟(孟) and zhong 中(仲) next to the branches in the Punishment Day diagram do not connote substantive meaning, but constitute a set of binary categories in the same vein as the binarisms yin/yang, hard/soft, man/woman, female/male, heaven/earth, punishment/virtue, and so on. Next, this paper points out a mistake made in the previous calculation of punishment days in the Changsha Mawangdui Han mu jianbo jicheng before putting forward a new calculation method. Based on the new method, we find that the two columns of stem-branch binomes inscribed on the manuscript should be construed such that the stem-branch binomes in one column represent the punishment days resulting from the movements of a stem and a branch starting from contiguous branch positions, and those in the other column represent the punishment days resulting from the movements of a stem and a branch starting from branch positions six branches apart. The reason for the emphasis on the punishment days resulting from these two cases lies in the fact that the branches of these punishment days are the grave branches (muchen 墓辰) in the Three Unions Scheme of the Five Agents. The meaning of the grave branches as vanishing and decaying resonates with the activities of military display, battling, attacking, killing, imprisonment, and demolishing constructions that may be undertaken on punishment days. Therefore, particular attention is paid to the punishment days identified by the four grave branches. In the end, this paper argues against the view that correlates Punishment Day with Meeting Day. This paper maintains that despite their similarity on the surface, they are in fact two different types of calendar spirits and should not be confused.

Open Access
In: Bamboo and Silk
Author:

Abstract

This study offers a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective on invitations. It explores invitation seQuences in a symmetrical invitation-refusal situation, performed by 20 female native speakers of British English and 20 female native speakers of Japanese, from a discursive approach using role plays. The qualitative analysis of the data obtained from the adapted version of conversation analysis revealed some similarities and differences in turn designs of the English and the Japanese invitations. Although pre-sequences were highly frequent in the English data, they were more so in the Japanese data. The analysis of the linguistic formats of the invitations in the two sets of data revealed that an approach to handle uncertainty seen in the cases where the invitation was initiated with a preface differed – the English speakers used a syntactic solution whereas the Japanese speakers used a sequential solution. These findings highlight the importance of analysing speech acts in situated interactions.

Open Access
In: Contrastive Pragmatics
Author:
The East Baltic languages are well known for their conservative phonology as compared to other Indo-European languages, which has led to a stereotype that the Balts developed in isolation without much contact with other speech communities. This book challenges that view, taking a deep dive into the East Baltic lexicon and peeling away the layers of prehistoric borrowings in the process. As well as significant contact events with known languages, the lexicon also reveals evidence of contact with unattested languages from which previous populations must have shifted.