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Author: Carlotta Viti

This paper discusses the morphosyntactic strategies used in Tocharian to encode argument functions in simple clauses, with focus on experience predicates. This may be relevant to fill a lacuna in the literature on experience predicates, which have not been investigated in Tocharian. We shall see that experience predicates in Tocharian typically require a nominative experiencer, rather than an oblique experiencer, and that the low transitivity of the predicate is expressed by the middle voice. All this may also be of more general relevance to illustrate the interaction between case marking and verbal voice to express argument functions in languages.


Cet article analyse les stratégies morphosyntaxiques employées en tokharien pour codifier les prédicats dits d’« expérience », par le biais de parallèles issus d’autres langues indo-européennes. Cela peut être important pour remplir un vide dans la littérature concernant ce type de verbes, qui jusqu’ici n’ont pas été analysés par rapport au tokharien. On montrera que ces prédicats demandent le cas nominatif pour le sujet qui réalise l’expérience, au lieu d’un cas oblique, et que la faible transitivité de ces prédicats est exprimée par la diathèse moyenne. De manière plus générale, tout cela pourra aussi mettre en lumière l’interaction entre les cas de la déclinaison et la diathèse verbale dans l’expression de fonctions argumentales dans les langues.


In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Carlotta Viti

This paper discusses the problem of linguistic reconstruction in the Indo-European languages with particular attention to syntax. While many scholars consider syntactic reconstruction as being in principle impossible, other scholars simply apply to syntax the same tenets of the Comparative Method and of Internal Reconstruction, which were originally used in Indo-European studies for reconstructing phonology and morphology. Accordingly, it is assumed that synchronically anomalous syntactic structures are more ancient than productive syntactic constructions; the former are considered as being residues of an early stage of Proto-Indo-European, where they were also more regular and took part in a consistent syntactic system. Various hypotheses of Proto-Indo-European as a syntactically consistent language, which in the last years have witnessed resurgence, are here discussed and criticized. We argue that syntactic consistency is nowhere attested in the Indo-European languages, which in their earliest records rather document an amazing structural variation. Accordingly, we reconstruct Proto-Indo-European as an inconsistent syntactic system in the domains of word order, agreement, configurationality, and alignment, and we consider inconsistency and structural variation to be an original condition of languages. Moreover, we make some proposals for the appropriate use of typology in linguistic reconstruction, with some examples of what can or cannot be reconstructed in syntax.

Open Access
In: Indo-European Linguistics
Editor-in-Chief: Zhi CHEN
Associate Editors: Carlotta Viti and Xiang (Shawn) WANG
This is a peer-reviewed, inclusive, non-Eurocentric, multi-disciplinary journal devoted to the study of temporal, spatial, economic, social, and linguistic aspects of ancient civilizations from the Old World, namely Africa, Asia, and Europe. We want to offer a comprehensive perspective on civilizations developed in these continents in pre-modern times, from prehistory to the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire (15th century AD).

- OW is an Open Access journal, fully-funded by the Research Centre For History and Culture (RCHC).
- OW is only published in a digital format.
- Submissions by both eminent and young scholars are welcome.
- Submissions may regard any aspects of the Old World: linguistics, history, archeology, art and architecture, philology, literature, philosophy, religion, economy, sociology, anthropology, etc.
- Submissions may regard any civilizations of Africa, Asia, and Europe, developed between prehistory and the 15th century AD, that is, the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire.
- OW also takes into consideration studies of oral literature, such as proverbs and folklore, as well as field work on endangered languages, which represent the legacy of ancient traditions verbally transmitted from generation to generation.
- Scholarly reviews are welcome as well.
- Special issues may be considered for publication.
- Articles must present original work and must have been submitted exclusively to OW.
Open Access