Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


New from Brill!

ad

Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Summary Details


Query:   Historical Present Outside of Indo-European
Author:  Keira Ballantyne
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Discourse Analysis
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Typology
Ling & Literature

Summary:   Regarding query: http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2043.html#1

Many thanks to all who responded my Linguist List query asking for examples
of the historical present or similar phenomena outside of Indo-European.

Several people alerted me to the fact that the HP is found in Semitic
languages.

Yishai Tobin sent a reference to his article “Space, time and point-of-view
in the Modern Hebrew verb” (In Tobin, Yishai (ed). 1989. From Sign to Text:
A Semiotic View of Communication. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins).

Peter Daniels notes that “if you were to claim that Biblical Hebrew has
tenses” then it indeed has an HP, and provides several references to
analyses of Hebrew verbs: Driver, S.R. 1974. A Treatise on the Use of the
Tenses in Hebrew and Some Other Syntactical Questions; McFall, L. 1982. The
Enigma of the Hebrew Verbal System: Solutions from Ewald to the Present
Day. Sheffield: Almond Press; Waltke, Bruce K. and Michael Patrick
O'Connor. 1990. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Eisenbrauns.

Holger Gzella provided references to the phenomenon in Imperial Aramaic
(Gzella, Holger. 2004. Tempus, Aspekt und Modalität im Reichsaramäischen.
Eisenbrauns: Wiesbaden. and Gzella, Holger, forthcoming, Erscheinungsformen
des historischen Präsens im Aramäischen. Orientalia) and to instances in
classical Arabic (in accounts of dreams) (Nöldeke, Theodor. 1963. Zur
Grammatik des Classischen Arabisch, repr. Darmstadt p. 67).

Pete Unseth sent a short note letting me know that he had observed
instances of first person narratives told as if they were happening right
now in Amharic.

Outside of Semitic, all I have is a note from Aidan Coveney in which he
points out that the HP occurs in some European based creoles and a
suggestion that it might occur in Swahili.

Finally, Graham Shorrocks kindly offered to share with me his references to
works on the infinitive as a marker of narrative clauses as well as work on
the historical present in English.

LL Issue: 16.2237
Date Posted: 22-Jul-2005
Original Query: Read original query


Back

Sums main page