Dependent vs. independent verb forms

Annie Montaut Annie.Montaut at EHESS.FR
Tue Apr 13 10:48:54 UTC 2004

Q3: a case exactly similar to Armenian is Hindi/Urdu, where the to-day
subjunctive is the old Sanskrit present (used in middle Indian for non past
and up to the XIXth century optionnally for indicative
present/subjunctive/future, while new forms were in the process of
grammaticizing for present and future): kare do-3s < Scrt karasi,
do-3s-prest. The to-day future is formed by suffixation of a go-aux to this
tense (person marked): kare-ga, do-3s-go-ms "he will do", and the to-day
general present is of the "is doing" type (karta hai "doing-ms is", he
does), a form previously used with a specific and general meaning (XIXth
c.), now only in the general meaning since a new periphrastic present with
"stay" aux. developped for the specific progressive meaning.
Q2: an example in the same family of languages of a deverbal adj integrated
in the verbal paradigm is the Eastern Indo-Aryan future (Bengali, Maithili,
Eastern dialectal Hindi speeches such as Bhojpuri): the Sanscrit verbal
adjective in -tavya (meaning close to Latine -endus form. Kartavya: whis has
to be done > duty, with still the meaning "duty" in standard Hindi) gave
a -b- future with now personal endings added: Bengali karbo do-b-1s, "I will
do", Old Eastern Hindi had forms without personal endings (karab, will do).

----- Original Message -----
From: "Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm" <tamm at LING.SU.SE>
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 11:15 AM
Subject: Dependent vs. independent verb forms

> Dear colleagues, I am interested in the different ways languages can
> acquire their distinctions between finite vs. non-finite or
> independent vs. dependent verb forms, i.e. distinctions between those
> verb forms that can be used as the main predicate in independent
> clauses and those that cannot (at least, not in the normal case). So
> far I know of the three following main sources for such splits:
> S1. In some cases, dependent verb forms originate as words belonging
> to other word classes, but gradually join the verbal paradigm - e.g.,
> participles from deverbal adjectives and nominalizations from
> deverbal nouns.
> S2. In other cases, dependent forms are leftovers, residues or
> fossilized forms of older dependent verb forms that, in one or
> another way, have been trapped in various syntactic environments ­
> e.g., infinitives as locative / directional cases of nominalizations,
> and converbs as locative cases of nominalizations or some particular
> forms of participles.
> S3. Sometimes the original forms are older independent forms ­ when
> splits between independent and dependent verb forms arise as a result
> of gradual spreading of new grammatical phenomena (primarily
> tense-aspect-mood) across different types of constructions involving
> verbs. Bybee, Perkins & Pagliuca (1994) mention the cases of
> Armenian, Cairene Arabic and Spanish, in which subjunctives (i.e.,
> forms typically used in subordinate clauses) have originated from
> older indicatives.
> In this connection I would need your help with the following questions:
> Q1: Do you know of any other ways by which languages can acquire
> distinctions between independent and dependent verb forms?
> Q2: Do you know of any sources which would trace the history of
> "non-verbal" words (such as deverbal adjectives and nouns, apart from
> English gerunds) being gradually incorporated into the verbal
> paradigm, or at least suggesting a plausible scenario?
> Q3: Do you know of any other S3-cases apart from Armenian, Cairene
> Arabic and Spanish mentioned above? Can gradual spreading of other
> grammatical phenomena apart from tense-aspect-mood lead to
> asymmetries between verb forms used in independent / main clauses and
> in dependent ones ­ e.g., agreement?
> Needless to say, I would be extremely grateful for any advices!!!
> All the best to all of you,
> --
> Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm
> Office: Dept. of linguistics, Stockholm university
> 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
> Tel.: +46-8-16 26 20
> Home: Vaesterled 166
> 167 72, Bromma, Sweden
> Tel.: +46-8-26 90 91

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