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PALA Papers is a series of volumes that comprises essays selected and edited from presentations at the annual conferences of the Poetics and Linguistics Association, an international body of scholars whose work focuses on the interdisciplinary nexus of linguistics, discourse theory, and literary analysis, criticism, and theory. Each volume will present studies that provide models to scholars throughout the world for conducting their own research in this multidisciplinary paradigm on such topics as, among many others, close linguistic analysis of canonical literary works, corpus-based studies of literary narrative, and the linguistic basis of contemporary social and cultural theory.

Elliott Maloney

The ‘historical present’ describes the use of a present tense indicative form in a narrative where the aorist would be expected. The effect of its discontinuity with the other, preterite, verbs in the story usually marks out the main action of the event. The ‘historical present’ (hereafter HP) is

Georgios K. Giannakis

The formation of the present stem in Ancient Greek follows to a large extent the formative patterns of the parent language of Indo-European, i.e.,  ablaut of radical vowel, affixation (suffixation or infixation), reduplication, and suppletion. These different processes may not be historically


Xinyue Yao and Peter Collins


This paper examines the distribution and function of the present perfect construction in contemporary British, American, Australian and New Zealand English. The data are mainly drawn from the International Corpus of English, representing four major registers: conversation, news, academic and fictional writing. In overall frequency terms, BrE and AmE were found to lie at opposite ends of the scale, with AusE sharing more similarities with AmE, and NZE with BrE. Regional variation was shown to be strongest in news, where the frequency of the present perfect is also the highest irrespective of the variety considered. A qualitative analysis of a set of random samples revealed semantic indeterminacy between the categories of continuative, resultative and experiential perfects, lending support to the view that they represent fuzzy functional categories comprising both prototypical and non-prototypical members. The distribution of prototypical members of the three categories was shown to be strikingly similar across varieties but subject to regional variation, with the highest number of experiential perfects found in academic writing, and resultatives in news reportage, a pattern attributable to the semantic types of verbs commonly found in these registers. The analysis also uncovered atypical uses of the present perfect with past time adjuncts and in narrative contexts where the preterite or historical present would normally be the expected form.

Eran Cohen

Presentatives Presentative constructions and their various functions arguably justify setting up a cross-linguistic category which is to be found in quite a few languages, including the Semitic languages. A rather well-investigated example is found in the various presentative constructions in


Edited by Ramazan Korkmaz and Gürkan Doğan

According to UNESCO, it is believed that at least half of the nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the world will cease to be used within the next 100 years. If this issue is neglected, people will lose not only their cultural heritage but also invaluable understandings about the history of all humankind. Endangered Languages of the Caucasus and Beyond includes the manuscripts of 19 papers that were presented at the 1st International CUA Conference on Endangered Languages, organized by the Caucasus University Association (CUA), at Ardahan, Turkey, on 13 to 16 October 2014. The articles address issues such as the state of the field of documentation, conservation and revitalization of endangered languages with special reference to the endangered languages in the Caucasus region and beyond.

The Germanic 'Auslautgesetze'

A new Interpretation


Dirk Boutkan

The overall interpretation of Old Germanic phonology and morphology has much to gain from the recent and revolutionary views that were developed in its 'mother' discipline, Indo-European linguistics. For the first time, the Germanic Auslaut problem, i.e. the interpretation of the historical development of final syllables between Proto-Indo-European and Germanic, is analyzed against the background of the modern reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. This especially entails new interpretations of various detail problems in the field of nominal and verbal morphology. Moreover, the traditional assumption of contrasting intonations yielding different inflexional endings (e.g. circumflex *-õm > Goth ??o??, OHG -o in the _-stem genitive plural, but acute *-_m > Goth -a, OHG -a in the _-stem accusative singular) must be replaced by a theory that is in accordance with our present-day knowledge of Proto-Indo-European as a language that most probably did not display such contrasts.
It is above all the interpretation of long vowels and diphthongs in Old Germanic final syllables that has given rise to a long discussion. After the standard theory, which entered most handbooks of Old Germanic linguistics, was established, it was proven to be unlikely by new investigations. Especially Lane, in his epoch-making article (JEGP 62, 1963: 155 ff), renewed the discussion and drew interesting conclusions. Studies by Antonsen, Beck, Kortlandt, Voyles and others (sometimes dealing with other subjects than Germanic Auslaut proper) also provide materials for a new theory. With respect to this 'long vowel problem', older theories (including the standard view) and modern ideas are discussed before a new interpretation is proposed.
The evidence is discussed in the form of a historical overview of the nominal and verbal morphology of the Old Germanic dialects. This part of the book can therefore also be used as a reference guide in the field of historical morphology. This approach is adopted from a recent key-study in the field of Auslaut, viz. Jones' dissertation (1979, Chapell Hill).
The growing interest in the relative chronology of Lautgesetze, - which was, for example, the theme of the Leiden Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft of 1986 -, is met with where a chronological order of the Auslautgesetze of the separate dialects is proposed. This part of the book may serve as a stimulus for the necessary discussion of the subject.


Johanna Roelevink


Sustainable editing is necessary in an age when the manifold possibilities of digital editing tempt the editor to be as complete and as exuberant as possible. The role of the editor is considered in the light of the way traffic engineers have handled similar problems in the past. Transparency and taking into account the human weakness and limits of users are pivotal. Especially the mindset of the present generation has to be taken into consideration. To be durable, an edition should select and order material according to transparent and verifiable criteria.

An Editorial Challenge

The General Estoria of Alfonso the Wise


Belén Almeida and Pedro Sánchez-Prieto


The General Estoria, written in the thirteenth century on the initiative of Alfonso X of Castile, is the most ambitious world history of the European Middle Ages. It took more than two decades to translate and combine the more than one hundred Latin, French and Arabic sources into a complex work. After the king’s death, and with the work still unfinished, the original redactional team scattered; the Estoria was not copied or read as a whole for the following few centuries, although various sections knew a limited success in the period up the sixteenth century. Until 2009, no complete scholarly edition of the work was available; only the First, Second and sections of the Third had been edited. 2009, a team of philologists (including the authors of this article) published a critical edition of the entire work. The theoretical basis for this edition is presented in this article.

The Problem with Red Ink

The Marking of Prosodic Signs in Kristijonas Donelaitis’s Manuscripts


Mikas Vaicekauskas


The surviving autographs of the first work of belles-lettres in Lithuanian literature ― the poem Metai ( The Seasons) by Kristijonas Donelaitis (1714–1780) ― as well as a fragment of the poem and the poetic inserts in two letters contain prosodic signs of the dactylic feet marked in red ink. The authorship and authenticity of the prosodic signs has been the subject of various opinions for a long time. The author of the present paper analyses how two opinions were distinguished over the history of research into this issue: either that it was Donelaitis himself who placed the prosodic signs in red ink, or that it was someone else, e.g. one of the subsequent owners of the manuscripts or the researchers and editors of Donelaitis’s texts. The scholarly arguments, and the conclusions of the criminological analysis of Donelaitis’s autographs performed in 1974–1975 are analysed and reviewed. While referring to the conclusions and commentaries of the analysis, a decision on the authenticity of the prosodic signs is made.