23.471, Qs: Performatives in Medieval Czech

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LINGUIST List: Vol-23-471. Tue Jan 31 2012. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 23.471, Qs: Performatives in Medieval Czech

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1)
Date: 27-Jan-2012
From: stephen dickey [smd at ku.edu]
Subject: Performatives in Medieval Czech


-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 10:08:53
From: stephen dickey [smd at ku.edu]
Subject: Performatives in Medieval Czech

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Dear colleagues,
I am wondering if anyone has any knowledge of what I can only 
describe as a kind of repeated epistolary performative in European 
Medieval texts, in particular Latin or Old High/Middle High German. 
The examples I have come across occur in Czech letters from the 
fifteenth century, of which the following are representative examples:

vyznávam tiemto listem… že sem prodala a mocí tohoto listu prodávám 
lan dědiny v  Vysoce Lhotě

I make known by this letter, that I have SOLD and by virtue of this letter 
SELL a piece of land in Vysoka Lhota. (early 15th cent.)

já Oldřich svrchupsaný slíbil jsem i slibuji svú dobrú a čistú vierú…
I Oldřich the aforementioned have PROMISED and PROMISE my good 
and pure faith… (early 15th cent.)

What I'm trying to determine is whether this construction, consisting of 
a perfective preterit followed by the corresponding imperfective 
present-tense performative is a home-grown Czech construction, or 
whether it was imported on the basis of some western European 
model.
Any comments are appreciated.
Stephen M. Dickey 

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics





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