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The Hittite Demonstratives: Studies in Deixis, Topics and Focus (Studien Zu Den Bogazkoy-Texten)

The Hittite Demonstratives: Studies in Deixis, Topics and Focus (Studien Zu Den Bogazkoy-Texten)

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  • ISBN-13: 9783447102285
  • Publisher: Harrassowitz Verlag
  • Release Date: Sep 01, 2014
  • Pages: 636 pages
  • Dimensions: 7.0 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches

Overview

In order to mitigate the lack of context inherent to the study of dead languages, the author has developed a descriptive model that combines (a) cognitive approaches to reference, (b) a theory of information structure, and (c) typological studies on demonstratives. With the help of this model, the author not only provides for the first time a thorough description of the long-known demonstratives ka- ""this"" and apa- ""that"", but also identifies a third demonstrative, asi ""that, yonder"". This identification has led to a reappraisal of the distal semantics of apa-: apa- does not mark remote objects at all but points at objects in the vicinity of the addressee. In short, the Hittite demonstratives are not distance- but person-based. As a third person pronoun, apa»- also expresses emphasis. A detailed analysis within the framework of information structure shows, for example, that apa»- in preverbal position marks a referent as the Contrastive Focus of its clause (in ""the dog (not the cat) chased the horse"", dog is in Contrastive Focus). Non-contrastive focal apa»-, on the other hand, always occurs in initial position. The addition of information structure to the grammatical description of Hittite thus provides a better understanding of the meaning effects of word order variation in this SOV language.

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