25.3166, Diss: Indo-Aryan; Historical Linguistics: Rein=?UTF-8?Q?=C3=B6hl=3A_?='Grammaticization and Configurationality...'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3166. Mon Aug 04 2014. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 25.3166, Diss: Indo-Aryan; Historical Linguistics: Reinöhl: 'Grammaticization and Configurationality...'

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Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2014 08:03:28
From: Uta Reinöhl [uta.reinoehl at uni-koeln.de]
Subject: Grammaticization and Configurationality - The Emergence of Postpositional Phrases in Indo-Aryan

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Institution: Universität zu Köln 
Program: Department of General Linguistics 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2013 

Author: Uta Reinöhl

Dissertation Title: Grammaticization and Configurationality - The Emergence of
Postpositional Phrases in Indo-Aryan 

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
                     Historical Linguistics

Language Family(ies): Indo-Aryan


Dissertation Director(s):
Hans Henrich Hock
Nikolaus Himmelmann

Dissertation Abstract:

In my dissertation, I study the change from a largely non-configurational language (Vedic Sanskrit) to a part-
configurational one (Hindi, representing New Indo-Aryan languages). While it is a long-standing fact of Indo-
Aryan studies that the morphological case system eroded in the course of Old and Middle Indo-Aryan and 
was functionally in part replaced by postpositional phrases in New Indo-Aryan, the precise mechanisms 
behind this overhaul have not been studied. This dissertation presents the first detailed corpus study of the 
gradual emergence of postpositional phrases through the Old, Middle, and Early New Indic periods. It is 
shown, contrary to what has been claimed, that the Indo-Aryan postpositional phrases arise along paths 
altogether different from those of prepositional phrases attested in other branches of Indo-European. In 
particular, it is not groups of adverbs and local case forms that are reanalyzed as phrasal units, but 
relational nouns, participles and other denominal and deverbal forms in conjunction with their morphological 
dependents are revamped as postpositional phrases. The emergence of the very first configurational 
structures in this branch of languages - postpositional phrases - is shown to be intimately tied to the 
grammaticization of this broad assortment of lexical items, recruited as grammatical items at different points 
in the history of Indo-Aryan.






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