Grammaticalization

From MedNub
Jump to: navigation, search

As already noted by Bechhaus-Gerst, inter alia, Old Nubian exhibits a host of grammaticalized verbs, that Browne sometimes lists as suffixes, sometimes as adjunctive forms:


Applicative/Benefactive:

-den (give to 2/3sg/pl) -tir (give to 1sg/pl)

St. 10.9: tidra tiǧ-ǧinia; St. 5.6-7 pilligra deñ-ǧesō


Completive:

L 112.10: ǧan-os-; L. 102.2 odñ-oos-; St. 4.12 kork-a et-;

Compare also St. 15.7 aul-os-iǧ[a] with an "earlier", ungrammaticalized form:

L 105.13: auou-l os-k eir-ilgille. Note that the verb form os-k ends directly in the accusative case. This suggests that the so-called participle/verbid form in -l behaves exactly like any other noun with determiner -l, otherwise we would expect *os-il-k, an unattested form, which is however assumed by Browne.


Perfect:

L 106.6: kon-ko-

Note that for all suffixes, there are several possibilities to attach to the main verb: after predicative -a, sometimes reduced to -ou, or even without juncture vowel. There also seems to be a continuum in ON, effaced in modern variants, between independent verb forms and the beginnings of grammaticalized "suffix"-like behavior. Perhaps, a quantitative analysis might prove useful for the indication of relative dating of the texts (which is particularly difficult in ON), as it is assumed that "full" forms are usually older than grammaticalized forms, although this may also depend on level of speech.

back