Many ancient IE languages show a variety of expressions of predicative possession. Of these, some are constructions involving a verb form meaning ‘to be’ or ‘to exist’ in combination with an accompanying oblique case denoting the Possessor, while the Possessee NP is constructed as the grammatical subject in the nominative case controlling a verb agreement. This paper analyses possessive constructions from IE languages (Latin, Italic, Celtic, Ancient Greek, Baltic and Indo-Iranian) within the framework of Construction Grammar, in which the basic unit of language is the construction, i.e., a form-meaning pair larger than a word. Indeed, even though the literature on possession in IE languages is vast, recent studies show that a constructional approach is particularly suited to successful syntactic reconstruction (Bergs and Diewald 2008, Barðdal et al. 2013). On the basis of the results of the comparison between the languages investigated, the aim of the analysis is twofold: 1) to identify the constructions which are instantiated by the various expressions of predicative possession; 2) to verify the extent to which it is possible to establish the archaicity of the constructions identified and infer their prior existence in Proto-Indo-European.

A constructional approach to the expressions of possession in IE

BENVENUTO, Maria Carmela;POMPEO, Flavia
2014

Abstract

Many ancient IE languages show a variety of expressions of predicative possession. Of these, some are constructions involving a verb form meaning ‘to be’ or ‘to exist’ in combination with an accompanying oblique case denoting the Possessor, while the Possessee NP is constructed as the grammatical subject in the nominative case controlling a verb agreement. This paper analyses possessive constructions from IE languages (Latin, Italic, Celtic, Ancient Greek, Baltic and Indo-Iranian) within the framework of Construction Grammar, in which the basic unit of language is the construction, i.e., a form-meaning pair larger than a word. Indeed, even though the literature on possession in IE languages is vast, recent studies show that a constructional approach is particularly suited to successful syntactic reconstruction (Bergs and Diewald 2008, Barðdal et al. 2013). On the basis of the results of the comparison between the languages investigated, the aim of the analysis is twofold: 1) to identify the constructions which are instantiated by the various expressions of predicative possession; 2) to verify the extent to which it is possible to establish the archaicity of the constructions identified and infer their prior existence in Proto-Indo-European.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/618263
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