Year of publication
- Article (52) (remove)
- On the history of the genitive plural in Slavic, Baltic, Germanic, and Indo-European (1978)
- A correct interpretation of the genitive plural forms in Slavic and related languages requires a detailed chronological analysis of the material. At every stage of development we have to reckon with both phonetically regular and analogical forms. Analogy operates quite often along the same lines in different periods. Explaining an analogic change amounts to indicating a model, a motivation, and a stage of development for its effectuation. If one of these cannot be indicated, we must look for a phonetic explanation.
- Temporal gradation and temporal limitation (1980)
- In his magnum opus (Syntax and Semantics, Leiden 1978, henceforth: S&S) C.L. Ebeling makes a distinction between temporal gradation (pp 301-308 and 337-339) and temporal limitation (pp 311-315). In the case of temporal gradation “p , q”, the meaning “q” specifies the time during which the referent carries the mean-ing “p”.
- Proto-Indo-European verbal syntax (1983)
- It is argued that the PIE thematic flexion can be compared with the objective conjugation of the Uralic languages. The thematic vowel referred to an object in the absolutive (asigmatic nominative) case.
- Early dialectal diversity in South Slavic I (2003)
- The large majority of the isoglosses which can be established in the South Slavic dialectal area date from the time of the disintegration of Common Slavic and from more recent periods (e.g., Ivi´c 1958: 25ff). The isoglosses have often shifted in the course of the centuries, so that their original position cannot always be determined. In this study I shall concentrate upon the dialectal differences which originated before the 10th century. At that time, Slavic was still a largely uniform language, though it was certainly not completely homogeneous.
- From Proto-Indo-European to Slavic (2005)
- A correct evaluation of the Slavic evidence for the reconstruction of the Indo- European proto-language requires an extensive knowledge of a considerable body of data. While the segmental features of the Slavic material are generally of corroborative value only, the prosodic evidence is crucial for the reconstruction of PIE. phonology. Due to the complicated nature of Slavic historical accentology, this has come to be realized quite recently.1 As a result, much of the earlier literature has become obsolete to the extent that it is based upon an interpretation which does not take the multifarious accentual developments into account. I shall give one example.
- The accentuation of neuter nouns in Slovene and West Bulgarian (2007)
- The Slovene neo-circumflex is our major source of information for the reconstruction of Proto-Slavic long vowels in posttonic syllables (cf. Kortlandt 1976).
- The Germanic weak preterit (2007)
- The main difficulty with the Germanic weak preterit is that one cannot endeavor an explanation of its origin without taking into account almost every aspect of the historical phonology and morphology of the Germanic languages. In the following I intend to show how a number of problems receive a natural explanation in a unified treatment on the basis of earlier studies. The theory presented here is not revolutionary, but aims at integrating earlier findings into a coherent whole. There is no reason to give a detailed account of the scholarly literature, which is easily accessible (cf. Tops 1974, Bammesberger 1986).
- The spread of the Indo-Europeans (2002)
- The publication of Mallory’s book (1989) has rendered much of what I had to say in the present contribution superfluous. The author presents a carefully argued and very well written account of a balanced view on almost every aspect of the problem. Against this background, I shall limit myself to a few points which have not received sufficient attention in the discussion. ...
- On the meaning of the Japanese passive (2003)
- In her discussion of the Japanese adversative passive, Anna Wierzbicka writes (1988: 260): “The problem is extremely interesting and important both for intrinsic reasons and because of its wider methodological implications. It can be formulated like this: if one form can be used in a number of different ways, are we entitled to postulate for it a number of different meanings or should we rather search for one semantic common denominator (regarded as the MEANING of the form in question) and attribute the variety of uses to the interaction between this meaning and the linguistic or extralinguistic context?” Though it “may seem obvious” that the second stand is “methodologically preferable” (261), she takes the first position and concludes that “the Japanese passive has to be recognized as multiply ambiguous” (286). In the following I intend to show that this view is both wrong and fruitful.