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Verbal Aspect in Old Church Slavonic

A Corpus-Based Approach

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Jaap Kamphuis

In Verbal Aspect in Old Church Slavonic Jaap Kamphuis demonstrates that the aspect system of Old Church Slavonic can best be described if one divides the verbs into three main categories: perfective, imperfective and anaspectual. This differs from the traditional division into perfective and imperfective verbs only. To support the categorization, the study contains a corpus-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of the available Old Church Slavonic data. This analysis contributes to a better understanding of the development of aspect in Slavic. Kamphuis shows that aspect in Old Church Slavonic functions more like verbal aspect in the Western groups of Slavic languages (e.g. Czech) than like that in the Eastern group (e.g. Russian).

Dispersals and Diversification

Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Early Stages of Indo-European

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Edited by Matilde Serangeli and Thomas Olander

Dispersals and diversification offers linguistic and archaeological perspectives on the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of the Indo-European language family.
Two chapters discuss the early phases of the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European from an archaeological perspective, integrating and interpreting the new evidence from ancient DNA. Six chapters analyse the intricate relationship between the Anatolian branch of Indo-European, probably the first one to separate, and the remaining branches. Three chapters are concerned with the most important unsolved problems of Indo-European subgrouping, namely the status of the postulated Italo-Celtic and Graeco-Armenian subgroups. Two chapters discuss methodological problems with linguistic subgrouping and with the attempt to correlate linguistics and archaeology.

Contributors are David W. Anthony, Rasmus Bjørn, José L. García Ramón, Riccardo Ginevra, Adam Hyllested, James A. Johnson, Kristian Kristiansen, H. Craig Melchert, Matthew Scarborough, Peter Schrijver, Matilde Serangeli, Zsolt Simon, Rasmus Thorsø, Michael Weiss.

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Edited by Egbert Fortuin, Peter Houtzagers and Janneke Kalsbeek

Every five years, on the occasion of the International Congress of Slavists, a volume appears that presents a comprehensive overview of current Slavic linguistic research in the Netherlands. Like its predecessors, the present collection covers a variety of topics: Bulgarian and Polish aspectology (Barentsen, Genis), Slavic historical linguistics (Kortlandt, Vermeer), pragmatics of tense usage in Old Russian (Dekker), dialect description (Houtzagers), L2 acquisition (Tribushinina & Mak), Russian foreigners’ speech imitation (Peeters & Arkema), corpus-based semantics (Fortuin & Davids) and theoretical work on negation (Keijsper, Van Helden). As can be seen from this list, the majority of the contributions in this peer-reviewed volume displays the data-oriented tradition of Dutch Slavic linguistics, but studies of a more theoretical nature are also represented.

Grammaticalising the Perfect and Explanations of Language Change

Have- and Be-Perfects in the History and Structure of English and Bulgarian

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Bozhil Hristov

In Grammaticalising the Perfect and Explanations of Language Change: Have- and Be-Perfects in the History and Structure of English and Bulgarian, Bozhil Hristov investigates key aspects of the verbal systems of two distantly related Indo-European languages, highlighting similarities as well as crucial differences between them and seeking a unified approach.

The book reassesses some long-held notions and functionalist assumptions and shines the spotlight on certain areas that have received less attention, such as the role of ambiguity in actual usage. The detailed analysis of rich, contextualised material from a selection of texts dovetails with large-scale corpus studies, complementing their findings and enhancing our understanding of the phenomena. This monograph thus presents a happy marriage of traditional philological techniques and recent advances in theoretical linguistics and corpus work.

Julia G. Krivoruchko

Abstract

The article presents fourteen case studies of the Judeo-Greek lexemes of Hebrew and Aramaic origin that have passed into the dialects and sub-standard sociolects of Modern Greek, and aims at improving their lexicological and etymological analysis. Starting with a brief description of the sources, it continues with a reconstruction of the semantic development of Hebrew/Aramaic loanwords and their derivatives on the background of typological parallels from other Jewish and non-Jewish languages.

Lea Schäfer

Abstract

This article shows what we can learn from Vienna Jewish cabaret, so-called Jargontheater ‘jargon theater’ and the language situation of Vienna Jews at the end of the 19th century. By analyzing one of the most popular plays of this genre, we can see how structures from Yiddish dialects fused with Viennese German and what may have caused ‘Vienna Jewish speech,’ a Judeo-German city variety in the First Austrian Republic (1920s and 1930s).

Yishai Neuman

Abstract

Oral transmission of the Tannaitic Hebrew double genitive vocative ribbono šella‘olam ‘Master of the Universe’ maintains the definite article in the Hebrew component of two ancient Jewish vernaculars: Jewish Neo-Aramaic and Judeo-Arabic in Djerba. The textual transmission of the phrase, changed it graphemically from the Tannaitic original רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁלָּעוֹלָם into medieval רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם. The new spelling was the source of its final formation in Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish, without the definite article. The decategorialization of this double genitive phrase from a theocentric vocative to a semantically bleached interjection in these Jewish languages, especially Yiddish, was the point of departure for its meaning and pragmatic function in nascent spoken Modern Hebrew, as evidence from Mendele’s bilingual oeuvre indicates. It may be tentatively proposed that further grammaticalization and broadening of this substrate component structure-function pairing may have led to the emergence of a new category of analogically constructed discourse markers in Modern Hebrew.

Habib Borjian

Abstract

This article studies the native language of the Isfahani Jewish community. A description of the provenance of the community is followed by the sociolinguistic situation in the diaspora. The language description includes phonology and morphosyntax, with an emphasis on poorly studied features. The article is supplemented with texts and a glossary. The data was collected in Isfahan and from the diaspora community in New York City.