From typology to diachrony: Synchronic and diachronic aspects of predicative possessive constructions in Akkadian

Elitzur A.Bar Asher Siegal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study uses typological surveys of predicative possessive constructions across languages and illustrates how a typological study may contribute to a historical discussion. More specifically it provides an account of such constructions in the history of Akkadian. The typological surveys reveal that various constructions in Akkadian not only connote possession accidently, but rather are tokens of predicative possessive constructions. Thus, this article provides a synchronic survey of different marginal predicative possessive constructions in Akkadian, of different dialects and from different periods, most of them unnoticed in the literature. Second, once these constructions are identified, assuming their existence in the history of a language may contribute to explaining other related phenomena, either as motivations for certain diachronic developments or as historical syntactic/semantic explanations for other phenomena. In the context of Akkadian, it will be first and foremost used to explain the origin of the Akkadian verb im, the equivalent of the English verb 'to have', as Akkadian is unique among the Semitic languages in having a finite verb for this function.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)43-88
Number of pages46
JournalFolia Linguistica Historica
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Adnominal possession
  • Akkadian
  • Existential predication
  • Linguistic typology
  • Predicative possessive construction
  • Semitic languages
  • have drift

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