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Dissertation Information

Title: Diachronic Study of Persian Verbal System (10th-16th Centuries): From a balance to another? Add Dissertation
Author: Agnes Lenepveu-Hotz Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: École Pratique des Hautes Études, Histoire, textes et documents
Completed in: 2012
Linguistic Subfield(s): Historical Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): Persian, Iranian
Director(s): Gilbert Lazard
Philip Huyse

Abstract: This work is devoted to the morphological and syntactic changes in the Persian
verbal system between the 10th and 16th centuries. Ten representative prose
texts (from various regions and dialects, including Early Judaeo-Persian) have
shown the following evolutions. The new analytical passive uses various
auxiliaries before one of them, šudan, 'to become', overcomes (12th century).
The infinitive and the past participle change jointly: the infinitive in an disappears
in favour of the short infinitive (kard) when the old past participle kard is replaced
by the karda participle (13th-14th centuries). The Middle-Persian adverb hamē is
grammaticalized in prefix mē- and its principal value of concomitance has
gradually weakened. The suffix -ē, marker of the past habitual and the
counterfactual, declined in favour of mē- (15th century). Gradually the perfect
has also been used to express the evidential. The periphrastic future, formed
with xwāstan, 'to want', at first marks an intention-based future, then also
expresses a prediction-based future (14th century). Although the system is
unravelling at the 15th century, the prefix bi- is a marker of rhematicity
throughout the period and the opposition indicative/subjunctive is not yet
recreated. buvad, 'is', is replaced by bāšad; at the times when they coexist
(10th-11th centuries), buvad marks the inherent and bāšad, the transient. As for
the construction of modal verbs, it went from a governed infinitive to a governed
finite verb, whose morphology is richer (14th-16th centuries). As a result, without
crystallizing all the changes, the 15th century is a milestone in the evolution of
Persian verbal system.

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

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