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Multilingualism and History of Knowledge, Vol. 2: Linguistic Developments Along the Silkroad

Multilingualism and History of Knowledge, Vol. 2: Linguistic Developments Along the Silkroad: Archaism and Innovation in Tocharian
  • Book Info
    Multilingualism and History of Knowledge, Vol. 2: Linguistic Developments Along the Silkroad
    Book Description:

    After decades of relative neglect, the Tocharian languages are assuming an increasingly prominent role in Indo-European studies. The enormous progress in Tocharian historical phonology and morphology since the 1960s has called into question the longstanding perception of this branch as an aberrant offshoot, of little importance for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European. Recent studies, particularly of the verb but also of the noun, phonology, and lexicon, have uncovered a number of probable archaisms, reflecting an older state of affairs than that reconstructible on the basis of the classical Indo-European languages alone. New progress in Tocharian paleography has also led to a greatly improved understanding of the evolution of Tocharian B, and the stages of the language represented in our surviving documents. The present volume arose from a series of lectures delivered in 2009 on the theme of “Indo-European Languages and Cultures on the Silk Road” at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, together with contributions from other leading names in Tocharian linguistics. The papers included here treat problems of Tocharian grammar which are of direct relevance for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European, and for determining the place of Tocharian among the Indo-European languages. They demonstrate the importance of Tocharian for some of the most intensely discussed problems of contemporary Indo-European linguistics, such as the prehistory of the collective and feminine, nominal derivation and ablaut, or the reconstruction of the verbal system.

    eISBN: 978-3-7001-7506-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. 3-4)
    (pp. 5-6)
    Olav Hackstein and Ronald I. Kim

    For decades after the decipherment of the Tocharian languages in 1908, it was taken for granted that they had little to contribute to the study of Indo-European as a whole. Their many peculiar features were generally taken to be the result of millennia of isolated development, and often ascribed to contact with neighboring non-Indo-European languages. The reluctance to revisit 19th-century models of Proto-Indo-European in light of Hittite extended even more forcefully to Tocharian, viewed as an aberrant, peripheral, and relatively late attested offshoot.

    The enormous progress in Tocharian historical phonology and (to a lesser extent) morphology over the past generation,...


    • Eine indirekte Fortsetzung urindogermanischer Prosodie? Zweitsilbenakzent bei finiten Verben im Tocharischen
      (pp. 9-32)
      Ronald I. Kim

      Die beiden tocharischen Sprachen, Osttocharisch (Tocharisch A, TA) und Westtocharisch (Tocharisch B, TB), gehören zu jenen altidg. Sprachen, deren prosodische Merkmale nur indirekt aus der schriftlichen Überlieferung zu erschließen sind, deren Wortbetonung jedoch in manchen Fällen aufgrund akzentbedingter phonologischer Unterschiede feststellbar ist. Obwohl unser Verständnis der synchronen und historischen Phonologie des Tocharischen in den letzten Jahrzehnten erhebliche Fortschritte gemacht hat, bleibt die Vorgeschichte des tocharischen Akzents nach wie vor in vielen Aspekten noch dunkel.

      Der folgende Aufsatz versucht zu zeigen, dass ein bisher als einzelsprachliche Neuerung angenommenes Phänomen, die Betonung finiter Verben auf der zweiten Silbe im Westtocharischen (und daher...

    • Now you see it, now you don’t – Bewegliches -o in Tocharisch B
      (pp. 33-82)
      Melanie Malzahn

      Das auf Tocharisch B beschränkte sog. „bewegliche –o“ tritt nach der Lehre der Handbücher „besonders“ in metrischen Texten als Ersatz eines in der Standardprosa weitgehend geschwundenen auslautenden (*)–ä< vorurtoch. *–e(C), *–i(C), *–u(C)auf (WTG, 7ff., § 4; vgl. Winter 1955, 108).* In Texten aus älterer Zeit ist das später mehr oder weniger generell geschwundene (*)–äim übrigen bisweilen noch bewahrt (siehe bereits Klingenschmitt 1994, 371 = 2005, 402, Anm. 105 und auch schon Stumpf 1971, 129f.); apokopiert wurde es offenkundig erst nach Wirksamwerden der für das Standard-Tocharisch B gültigen Akzentuierungsregeln, wobei die Wortakzente, die aus...


    • Tocharian ‘eat’ and the strong imperfect in Tocharian A
      (pp. 85-120)
      Michaël Peyrot

      The verb for ‘eat’ in Tocharian displays several anomalies. In this paper, it is argued that it can be compared to a small group of other verbs whose pattern is instrumental for the understanding of the strong imperfect in Tocharian A.

      An intriguing insight into the abnormal structure of the verb for ‘eat’ is offered by a variant of the preterite in Tocharian B. The regular form of the 3sg preterite is clearlyśāwa‘(s)he has eaten’ (Peyrot 2008: 145-146), but among the Tocharian B glosses to the Tocharian A leaf A394 we find the innovative variantśuwaas a...

    • The hi-conjugation as a PIE subjunctive
      (pp. 121-140)
      Don Ringe

      One of the basic facts of IE comparative linguistics is that the active preterite 1sg. and 2sg. endings of the Hittitehi-conjugation, and the active preterite 3pl. ending of all Hittite verbs (presumably originally ahi-conjugation ending), have precise cognates in the endings of the perfect indicative reconstructable from the non-Anatolian branches:

      This is the principal reason why many IEists accept the proposal that in Anatolian the inherited perfect became a simple past (as in various other branches of the family) and won the resulting competition with the imperfect and aorist in the paradigms of some verbs; subsequently presents were...


    • Collective and Feminine in Tocharian
      (pp. 143-178)
      Olav Hackstein

      1. The morphological markers of the Indo-European feminine gender arose from a word-formation suffix with collective meaning *-h2and various derivatives formed with it, including thematic *-e-h2and athematic *-i-h2. This insight goes back to Johannes Schmidt and was later substantiated in many ways by advances in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European nominal morphology, most notably Nussbaum 1986 and Harđarson 1987a, b. The origin of the collective morpheme *-h2is hinted at by a wealth of traces of the pre-inflectional, purely word-formational use of *-h2, which survive into the individual Indo-European languages. The evidence includes the placement of *-h2- before derivational suffixes...

    • Tocharian -nt- participles and agent nouns
      (pp. 179-204)
      Georges-Jean Pinault

      1. The handbooks¹ have for long opposed the formations of the Toch. present participles according to the model of classical IE languages, such as Greek and Sanskrit: active with suffix *-(e/o)nt- vs. middle with suffix *-m(X)no-,² which are at face value reflected by the suffixes TB -ñca/-nta, TA -ntvs. TB -mane(*-māne), TA -māṃ. Actually, the expression of the Toch. present participle is detached from voice, as shown extensively by Malzahn (2010: 480-495). Therefore, we will use the terms -nt-participle and -m-participle which she has introduced on a purely formal basis. However, one may detect some other criteria for the...


    • Der Synkretismus der Kernkasus im Tocharischen
      (pp. 207-222)
      Paul Widmer

      Nach dem Ausweis beider tocharischer Sprachen wurde im Urtocharischen das sieben Kasus umfassende konkatenative/nonlineare/flexivische nominale Flexionssystem des Indogermanischen gründlich umstrukturiert. Die neuen marginalen Kasus im rechten Spektrum der Kasushierarchie bis teilweise hin zum Genitiv¹ sind dabei in noch recht durchsichtiger Weise aus Postpositionalphrasen neu aufgebaut worden (z. B. Pinault 2008, 464, Klingenschmitt 1994, 322ff., Gippert 1987). Die Genusklassifizierung des Indogermanischen ist in diesem Umbau insofern modifiziert worden, als das dritte Genus Alternans neben dem Maskulinum und dem Femininum bei Substantiven keine morphologisch distinkte Klasse mehr bildet, sondern sich nur anhand des Kongruenzverhaltens des kongruierenden Elements (Target) identifizieren lässt (Tabelle 1):...

    (pp. 223-228)