LINGUIST List 24.1472

Mon Apr 01 2013

Diss: Historical Ling/Persian, Iranian: Lenepveu-Hotz: 'Diachronic Study of Persian Verbal System...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <>

Date: 31-Mar-2013
Subject: Diachronic Study of Persian Verbal System (10th-16th Centuries): From a balance to another?
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Institution: École Pratique des Hautes Études Program: Histoire, textes et documents Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2012

Author: Agnes Lenepveu-Hotz

Dissertation Title: Diachronic Study of Persian Verbal System (10th-16th Centuries): From a balance to another?

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Persian, Iranian (pes)
Dissertation Director:
Gilbert Lazard PHILIP HUYSE
Dissertation Abstract:

This work is devoted to the morphological and syntactic changes in the Persianverbal system between the 10th and 16th centuries. Ten representative prosetexts (from various regions and dialects, including Early Judaeo-Persian) haveshown the following evolutions. The new analytical passive uses variousauxiliaries before one of them, šudan, 'to become', overcomes (12th century).The infinitive and the past participle change jointly: the infinitive in an disappearsin favour of the short infinitive (kard) when the old past participle kard is replacedby the karda participle (13th-14th centuries). The Middle-Persian adverb hamē isgrammaticalized in prefix mē- and its principal value of concomitance hasgradually weakened. The suffix -ē, marker of the past habitual and thecounterfactual, declined in favour of mē- (15th century). Gradually the perfecthas also been used to express the evidential. The periphrastic future, formedwith xwāstan, 'to want', at first marks an intention-based future, then alsoexpresses a prediction-based future (14th century). Although the system isunravelling at the 15th century, the prefix bi- is a marker of rhematicitythroughout the period and the opposition indicative/subjunctive is not yetrecreated. buvad, 'is', is replaced by bāšad; at the times when they coexist(10th-11th centuries), buvad marks the inherent and bāšad, the transient. As forthe construction of modal verbs, it went from a governed infinitive to a governedfinite verb, whose morphology is richer (14th-16th centuries). As a result, withoutcrystallizing all the changes, the 15th century is a milestone in the evolution ofPersian verbal system.

Key-words: diachronic linguistics – New Persian – Early Judaeo-Persian –verbal system – tense-aspect-mood (TAM)

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