Grammaticalization of the Arabic Demonstrative Iyyā- as a Pronominal Object Marker in Ditransitive Verbs: An Answer to Bravmann

Among its many functions, the synsemantic Arabic word iyyā- usually marks one of two pronominal objects of a ditransitive verb. Although its salience as such may give the impression that object marking has always been its primary function, it is likely that its origins lie elsewhere, specifically in...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of Semitic studies
Main Author: Wilmsen, David
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Oxford University Press [2013]
In: Journal of Semitic studies
Year: 2013, Volume: 58, Issue: 1, Pages: 149-167
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Parallel Edition:Non-electronic
Description
Summary:Among its many functions, the synsemantic Arabic word iyyā- usually marks one of two pronominal objects of a ditransitive verb. Although its salience as such may give the impression that object marking has always been its primary function, it is likely that its origins lie elsewhere, specifically in its demonstrative function, which, while it occurs less often in that capacity, it nevertheless appears quite frequently as such in writing and in some speech. Indeed, all of its functions, including object marking, possess a demonstrative quality. Its earliest documented use outside of the Qur’an, wherein it always marks a pronominal object, comes in Sibawayhi’s al-Kitāb, where, in addition to marking an object, it appears as a ‘presentative’ (Arabic arf al-tanbī), used in focusing joint attention. Sharing similarity with and probably ultimately deriving from the vocative particle yā, it thence came to serve in disambiguating pronominal direct objects from pronominal indirect objects.
ISSN:1477-8556
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of Semitic studies
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1093/jss/fgs043