By Geoffrey L.J. Haig

The Iranian languages, as a result of their unprecedented time-depth of attestation, represent one of many only a few situations the place a shift from accusative alignment to split-ergativity is de facto documented. but remarkably, inside of old syntax, the Iranian case has acquired simply very superficial insurance. This ebook offers the 1st in-depth remedy of alignment switch in Iranian, from outdated Persian (5 C. BC) to the current. the 1st a part of the ebook examines the declare that ergativity in heart Iranian emerged from an outdated Iranian agented passive development. This view is rejected in favour of a concept which hyperlinks the emergence of ergativity to exterior ownership. therefore the first mechanisms concerned isn't really reanalysis, however the extension of a pre-existing building. The proposal 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 booklet, a comparative examine modern West Iranian is undertaken. it may be proven that in the course of the next advancements within the morphosyntax, specific elements reminiscent of contract, nominal case marking, or the grammar of cliticisation, in truth built remarkably independently of each other. It used to be this de-coupling of sub-systems of the morphosyntax that ended in the infamous multiplicity of alignment forms in Iranian, a incontrovertible fact that additionally characterises past-tense alignments within the sister department of Indo-European, Indo-Aryan. besides facts from greater than 20 Iranian languages, provided in a way that renders them available to the non-specialist, there's broad dialogue of extra basic subject matters similar to the adequacy of useful money owed of adjustments in case structures, discourse strain and the position of animacy, the concept of flow, and the query of alignment in early Indo-European.

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