Hittite & Celtic dative in /k/ ?

Damien Erwan Perrotin 114064.1241 at Compuserve.com
Sun Aug 8 17:57:05 UTC 1999

Lloyd Anderson wrote Sun, 8 Aug 1999

>I am not as familiar with typological tendencies for an
>adessive (being "at" or "near") to develop either into a dative
<or into an accusative.

>Whether the speculated connection is valid or not is quite another question.

>I just do not see how the offered information (except the *angh part)
>has a bearing other than to strengthen the plausibility.

>Until someone finds another example of a postposition "near"
>turning into a dative/accusative etc., in some language of the world,
>I am doubtful of this etymology
>on typological grounds.
>I would love to have my typological horizons expanded if this is really a
>clear case,
>with intermediate stages actually attested.

Irish is such a case, as the preposition ag has a dative meaning only in
possessive construction of the kind "this is to me", a common feature in
Modern Celtic. In all other case it is adessive. It is also used to form
the continous present in a "I am at his seing" construction, where it
cannot be considered as a dative.

The use of adessive to express the verb "to have" is a common feature in
Celtic. We have so Breton "Se a zo ganin" (I have this), using the
preposition gan (with) and not da (to). Another exemple is Russian /u/
(at, near to) which is used to form the equivalent of I have : /u minja
jest'/ litterally : by me there is.

The transition from adessive to dative is also attested in Welsh "i"
derivated from *in, but with a strict dative meaning. There is also the
faroese preposition "hjà" whose classical meaning is "by; with" (meaning
retained in Icelandic), but is used in colloquial speech with the
meaning "for" or "of".

Anyway, I am quite sceptical about the use of typology in the study of
Celtic tongues (at least modern ones). These languages have so much
"curiosities" in them - at least from an IE point of view, that typology
is often hazardous. Examples are relative form of the verb, verb
centered syntax, non-redundant conjugation.

Damien Erwan Perrotin

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