By Geoffrey L.J. Haig

The Iranian languages, because of their unparalleled time-depth of attestation, represent one of many only a few situations the place a shift from accusative alignment to split-ergativity is admittedly documented. but remarkably, inside ancient syntax, the Iranian case has obtained in basic terms very superficial insurance. This publication offers the 1st in-depth therapy of alignment switch in Iranian, from previous Persian (5 C. BC) to the current. the 1st a part of the e-book examines the declare that ergativity in center Iranian emerged from an outdated Iranian agented passive development. This view is rejected in favour of a thought which hyperlinks the emergence of ergativity to exterior ownership. hence the first mechanisms concerned isn't really reanalysis, however the extension of a pre-existing building. The idea of Non-Canonical Subjecthood performs a pivotal function, which within the current account is associated with the semantics of what's termed oblique Participation. within the moment a part of the ebook, a comparative examine modern West Iranian is undertaken. it may be proven that during the next advancements within the morphosyntax, precise parts corresponding to contract, nominal case marking, or the grammar of cliticisation, actually built remarkably independently of each other. It was once this de-coupling of sub-systems of the morphosyntax that ended in the infamous multiplicity of alignment kinds in Iranian, a undeniable fact that additionally characterises past-tense alignments within the sister department of Indo-European, Indo-Aryan. in addition to facts from greater than 20 Iranian languages, awarded in a fashion that renders them obtainable to the non-specialist, there's large dialogue of extra common themes comparable to the adequacy of useful money owed of alterations in case platforms, discourse strain and the function of animacy, the thought of glide, and the query of alignment in early Indo-European.

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