Double argument marking in Timok dialect texts (in Balkan Slavic context)

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Idioms of the Torlak dialect (spoken in southeast Serbia and western Bulgaria) are known for their “double affiliation”. On the one hand, by virtue of their historical and phonetic features, they belong to the western range of the South Slavic dialectic continuum. On the other hand, according to their morphosyntactic characteristics (the presence of the post-positive article, the reduced case system, etc.), they adhere to the eastern range (i. e. Balkan Slavic). This paper views the innovative features of Torlak syntax from a strictly synchronic perspective and as a phenomenon of double (i. e. both head- and dependent-) argument marking. It is argued that cases of double argument marking in Torlak appear when several conditions are met. In order to be archaically marked with an overt relict case marker, a nominal group should either refer to the a-declension or, in case of the other declension types, assume a prominent position not only on the animacy scale but also on the scale of emotional involvement. In order to be innovatively indexed by a bound personal form (Haspelmath 2013), the argument should create the most favourable pragmatic and semantic conditions for the possible (optional) occurrence of argument indexing, i. e. be a derhematised and highly individualised Patient.

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A corpus-based method for assessing a range of dialect-standard variation is presented for identifying samples exhibiting the highest prevalence of dialect features. This method provides insight into areal and inter-speaker variation and allows the extraction of maximally non-standard manifestations of the dialect, which may then be sampled and used for the study of language change and variation. The focus is on a non-standard Torlak variety, which has undergone considerable change under the influence of standard Serbian. The degree of variation is assessed by measuring the frequencies of five distinguishing linguistic features: accent position, dative reflexive si , auxiliary omission in the compound perfect, the post-positive article, and analytic case marking in the indirect object and possessive. Locations subject to the greatest and least influence of the standard are revealed using hierarchical clustering. A positive correlation between the frequencies of occurrence reveals which non-standard feature is the best predictor of the others.
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This paper gives an overview of differential place marking phenomena and formulates a number of universals that seem to be well supported. Differential place marking is a situation in which the coding of locative, allative or ablative roles depends on subclasses of nouns, in particular place names (toponyms), inanimate common nouns and human nouns. When languages show asymmetric coding differences depending on such subclasses, they show shorter (and often zero) coding of place roles with toponyms, and longer (often adpositional rather than affixal) coding of place roles with human nouns. Like differential object marking, differential place marking can be explained by frequency asymmetries, expectations derived from frequencies, and the general preference for efficient coding. I also argue that differential place marking patterns provide an argument against the need to appeal to ambiguity avoidance to explain differential object marking.
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The so-called Celtic Doubling in Bulgarian: Between a descriptive and a prescriptive analysis The article deals with the problem of the C(litic) D(oubling) in the modern Bulgarian language from a didactic perspective. The mean point can be formulated as the following question: How is the syntactic construction under discussion described and/or explained in the grammars and handbooks of Bulgarian? The results of the investigated material and presented examples clearly show that CD, as a syntactic device which is more common in the spoken language, cannot receive an useful and valuable treatment in the traditional, written language oriented literature devoted to the Bulgarian language.
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This paper focuses on the application of Differential Object Marking (DOM) in Old Romanian such as reflected in DÎ, which is a 16th-17th century collection of documents written directly in Romanian. The investigation is twofold: (i) I identify the contexts that led to the reanalysis of the lexical preposition pe as a DOM element; (ii) I compare the type of DOM-ed DPs in Old Romanian with those of Modern Romanian. The proposal is that pe underwent grammaticalization up to the stage of a Topic marker within DP in Old Romanian, but went further to be a grammatical DOM marker in Modern Romanian. An analysis of the distribution of pe-DP in Old Romanian leads to amendements to the current theoretical generalizations on DOM: we find that DOM is excluded for direct objects having a property reading (type <e,t>). © 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.
Comparison of the grammars of human languages reveals systematic patterns of variation. Typology and universals research uncovers those patterns to formulate universal constraints on language and seek their exploration. In this essential textbook, William Croft presents a comprehensive introduction to the method and theory used in studying typology and universals. The theoretical issues discussed range from the most fundamental to the most abstract. The book provides students and researchers with extensive examples of language universals in phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. This second edition has been thoroughly rewritten and updated to reflect advances in typology and universals in the past decade, including: new methodologies such as the semantic map model and questions of syntactic argumentation; discussion of current debates over deeper explanations for specific classes of universals; and comparison of the typological and generative approaches to language.
The Slavic group of languages - the fourth largest Indo-European sub-group - is one of the major language families of the modern world. With 297 million speakers, Slavic comprises 13 languages split into three groups: South Slavic, which includes Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian; East Slavic, which includes Russian and Ukrainian; and West Slavic, which includes Polish, Czech and Slovak. This 2006 book, written by two leading scholars in Slavic linguistics, presents a survey of all aspects of the linguistic structure of the Slavic languages, considering in particular those languages that enjoy official status. As well as covering the central issues of phonology, morphology, syntax, word-formation, lexicology and typology, the authors discuss Slavic dialects, sociolinguistic issues, and the socio-historical evolution of the Slavic languages. Accessibly written and comprehensive in its coverage, this book will be welcomed by scholars and students of Slavic languages, as well as linguists across the many branches of the discipline.
When first published in 1980, Dialectology broke new ground by integrating urban dialectology (sociolinguistics), dialect geography and spatial variation into a cohesive discipline. In this second edition, the authors take account of the renaissance of dialect research in the last twenty years. They offer new sections on dialectometry and mapping variability, a revised section on dialect geography as well as updates of other recent developments. A reliable textbook for over seventeen years, this new edition will continue to serve the needs of undergraduates and individual scholars with its comprehensive coverage of methods, models and findings in the study of language variation and change.
This dissertation explores the status of clitic pronouns by analyzing several morpho-syntactic and semantic phenomena, and by examining their implications. I analyze several peculiar restrictions on clitic doubling and other related cliticization phenomena in non-standard Serbian and Slovenian dialects, and explore their relevance for the general theories of clitic doubling. Additionally, I examine the availability of the full spectrum of clitic meanings in Slavic and Romance, and show that clitics in article-less Slavic languages exhibit the kind of semantic flexibility that is not found in article clitic languages (both Slavic and Romance). I then explore the implications of this finding for null arguments in East Asian languages. The standard claim is that pronouns, including clitics, involve a D(eterminer) P(hrase) in all clitic languages, including article-less Slavic languages. Nevertheless, the data from the aforementioned phenomena show that clitics in article-less languages are strikingly different from clitics in article languages. Following Bošković (2008b, 2012), who contends that languages without overt articles lack a DP on top of the (full) N(oun) P(hrase), I extend this claim to clitics, ultimately arguing that clitics in article-less languages cannot enjoy the status of DPs, but of NPs. The major evidence comes from pronominal clitic doubling in non-standard Serbian and Slovenian (Chapter 2), noun doubling in non-standard Serbian and Iroquoian (Chapter 3), and the availability of the clitic sloppy interpretation in article-less languages (Chapter 4). Finally, I consider theoretical implications of the above and contend that the Argument Ellipsis Analysis (Saito 2007, i.a.), quite prominent in the work on Japanese null arguments, should be re-evaluated (Chapter 4). Specifically, I argue that clitics in article-less languages and null arguments in Japanese and other East Asian languages are both NPs, and that null subjects and objects in East Asian are not derived via ellipsis, as often assumed, but that they are null pronominal elements.
It is often assumed and sometimes explicitly stated that both agreement marking and word order constitute viable alternatives to morphological case with respect to some subset of the functions that case marking may fulfil. This article examines the extent to which this is indeed so and how the three forms of marking interact with each other on a cross-linguistic basis. First, it provides an overview of what are typically considered to be the primary functions of case marking, agreement, and word order, and then considers the ways in which case marking interacts with word order and agreement. It discusses the relationship between case marking and basic clausal constituent order first noted by Greenberg (1966), namely, the predilection for case marking of core grammatical relations in languages with basic APV order and the scarcity of case marking in languages with basic AVP order. The article also explores core grammatical relations including those found in ditransitive clauses, focusing on the differences in the degree of overlap in case and agreement marking exhibited by the verbal arguments. © editorial matter and organization Andrej Malchukov and Andrew Spencer 2009, chapters their several authors 2009. All rights reserved.
Morphological marking of grammatical relations may appear on either the head or the dependent member of the constituent (or on both, or on neither). Grammatical relations-and whole languages-may be classified according to their propensity for using one of these types of marking. Implicational relations among various marking patterns can be stated: languages display a tendency to use one type consistently throughout their grammar. The difference in patterns provides a typological metric and a functional explanation for certain word-order preferences. For historical linguistics, it provides a diagnostically conservative feature and a clue to genetic relatedness. Although the head-marked pattern is cross-linguistically favored, grammatical theory is strongly biased toward the dependent-marked patterns that happen to dominate in Indo-European.
A formal approach to the typology of differential object marking (DOM) is developed within the framework of Optimality Theory. The functional/typological literature has established that variation in DOM is structured by the dimensions of animacy and definiteness, with degree of prominence on these dimensions directly correlated with the likelihood of overt case-marking. In the present analysis, the degree to which DOM penetrates the class of objects reflects the tension between two types of principles. One involves iconicity: the more marked a direct object qua object, the more likely it is to be overtly case-marked. The other is a principle of economy: avoid case-marking. The tension between the two principles is resolved differently in different languages, as determined by language-particular ranking of the corresponding constraints. Constraints expressing object markedness are derived throughharmonic alignment of prominence scales. Harmonic alignment predicts a corresponding phenomenon ofdifferential subject marking. This too exists, though in a less articulated form.
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