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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Accentual Mobility: The prehistory of the Balto-Slavic mobile accent paradigms Add Dissertation
Author: Thomas Olander Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Copenhagen, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Phonetics; Phonology;
Subject Language(s): Latvian
Language Family(ies): Baltic
Slavic Subgroup
Director(s): Jens Nørgård-Sørensen

Abstract: In the Baltic and Slavic languages we find in all stem-classes a type of
words where the accent is on the initial syllable in some forms and on the
desinence in other forms, e.g. Lithuanian nom. sg. galvà ‘head’, acc.
gálvą, gen. galvõs etc.; Russian nom. sg. golová ‘head’, acc. gólovu, gen.
golový etc. The high degree of correspondence between the mobile accent
paradigms of Baltic and Slavic makes it plausible that the accentual
mobility found in the two language branches has a common point of
departure. The purpose of the study is to determine the Proto-Indo-European
origin of the Balto-Slavic mobile accent paradigms.

In the two Indo-European languages where the Proto-Indo-European position
of the accent is still directly and unambiguously preserved, viz. Vedic
Sanskrit and Ancient Greek, accentual mobility is limited to certain
consonant stems. While some scholars assume that the general accentual
mobility of Balto-Slavic represents an archaism with respect to the Vedic
and Greek immobility in most stem-classes, others maintain that an
innovation has taken place in Balto-Slavic by which the accentual mobility
of the consonant stems was imitated by the remaining stem-classes. In this
study the proposal is made that the Balto-Slavic innovation consisted in a
pre-Proto-Balto-Slavic accent law. If a word-form was accented on a final
short or hiatal syllable, it became unaccented:

V(short) > [−accent] / _ (V)C₀#

The study consists of five chapters. In the introductory Chapter I some
methodological and terminological questions are addressed followed by a
history of research and a detailed criticism of two of the most popular
explanatory models for the origin of the Balto-Slavic accentual mobility.
Chapter II contains a reconstruction of the prosodic system, the final
syllables and the paradigmatic accentuation system of Proto-Indo-European
based on data from Indo-Iranian, Greek and Germanic. In Chapter III a
reconstruction is made of the prosodic system and the paradigmatic
accentuation system of Proto-Balto-Slavic based on data from the three
Baltic languages and Proto-Slavic. In Chapter IV an examination of the
proposed accent law is undertaken on the basis of a comparison of the
reconstructed Proto-Indo-European desinences and the corresponding forms of
the Proto-Balto-Slavic mobile accent paradigms. In Chapter V the preceding
chapters are summarised and the most important conclusions of the study are