By Antonia Ruppel
Some time past, discussions approximately absolute structures (ACs) were constrained by means of an obscure figuring out of what ACs are. through interpreting the character and serve as of ACs and similar buildings in Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, this new examine arrives at a transparent and easy definition of ACs. targeting the earliest attested fabric in every one language, Dr Ruppel highlights how using ACs differs among the languages and provides motives for those adjustments. Referring at once and broadly to the early fabric, she identifies the typical center shared by way of all ACs and reconstructs their improvement into Greek, Latin and Sanskrit. This old standpoint unearths how ACs were conceived of through grammarians, philologists or even Christian missionaries over the past thousand years and the way enduring misconceptions nonetheless have an effect on our dialogue of them this day.
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A Greek temporal genitive such as taÅthv t v ¡mrav ‘on that day’ and a GA such as meÓ zäntov ‘while I am alive, in my lifetime’? 47 I agree that this force must have played a decisive role in the development of GAs within Greek. The participle system in Classical Greek, whose members are regularly paradigmatic and verb-like in their syntactic behaviour,48 allowed the GA to become what sometimes does look like a full equivalent to a verbal subordinate clause. Compare the following Attic prose example: EÉrusqwv mn n t¦ %ttik¦ Ëp¼ ëHrakleidän poqan»ntov, %trwv d mhtr¼v delfoÓ Àntov aÉt , kaª pitryantov EÉrusqwv, Ât’ strteue, Muknav te kaª tn rcn kat t¼ o«ke±on %tre± (tugcnein d aÉt¼n feÅgonta t¼n patra di t¼n Crus©ppou qnaton), kaª Þv oÉkti necÛrhsen EÉrusqeÅv, boulomnwn kaª tän Mukhna©wn f»b tän ëHrakleidän .
To my mind, he himself here shows why his 1974 argument does not work: even in languages that have a variable word order (a characteristic, I assume, of any language undergoing a change in standard word order) speakers will be able to parse sentences and tell where their boundaries are rather easily. Whether a complement of a verb stands before or after that verb does not matter – in parsing any given sentence, a listener will look for a verb that requires such a complement, and will take the two together.
Schliesst sich der Genetiv als Genetiv des Ziels . . an das regierende Verbum an (auf diesen schoss er, als er vorw¨arts st¨urmte; . . ); aber zugleich bildet er das Subjekt eines durch das Partizip vertretenen Nebensatzes (er schoss, als dieser vorw¨arts st¨urmte; . . ). Je mehr das Gef¨uhl hierf¨ur im Sprachbewußtsein wirksam wurde, desto mehr lockerte sich der grammatische Zusammenhang zwischen dem Genetive und dem Verbum, und man wandte nun den Genetiv mit dem Partizip auch da an, wo eine Abh¨angigkeit von dem u¨ bergeordneten Satze nicht mehr vorhanden ist, also nach Verben, mit denen ein Genetiv nicht verbunden werden kann.
Absolute Constructions in Early Indo-European by Antonia Ruppel