ISBN: 978-2-87457-110-7
by Reuben J. Pitts
212 pages
43,00 €
2020. Available

Tense, Aspect and Modality in the Sabellic Languages

Description | The author | Contents |  View a few pages in PDF

This work examines the grammatical expression of tense, aspect and modality (henceforth TAM) in the Sabellic languages, a group of epigraphically attested Italic languages spoken in the second half of the first millennium B.C.E. It focuses on two overarching research objectives.

The first concerns the methodology of dealing with fragmentary languages such as the Sabellic languages. Since the study of poorly attested languages has the potential to play a key role in our understanding of the past history of several branches of Indo-European, finding the right methodological tools to deal with them is an issue with wider ramifications.

The second is to provide an exhaustive overview of the state of knowledge of TAM in Sabellic. Apart from a number of brief recent summaries, the Sabellic TAM system has not been treated in depth since Poultney (1959), and key discoveries have rendered many of the conclusions reached by Poultney and his predecessors obsolete.

View a few pages in PDF

The author

Reuben J. Pitts studied Linguistics at KU Leuven and Ancient Oriental Languages at UC Louvain. His research interests focus on the theoretical aspects of language change in the ancient world, and specifically, on the distinctive contributions that ancient and fragmentary languages can make to our understanding of language change more generally. His past research has touched on Italic and Indo-European comparative linguistics, tense, aspect and modality, and semantic maps.


Preamble, by Toon Van Hal
Conventions and abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. A methodological background
2.1. Working with limited data
2.2. Interpreting the Sabellic corpus
2.3. The digital corpus
2.4. “Common Sabellic” reconstructions

3. Sabellic verbal morphology
3.1. Subgrouping and the Sabellic languages
3.2. The Indo-European comparative evidence
3.3. The Italic comparative evidence
3.4. The etymological evidence
3.5. The internal evidence
3.6. Special cases

4. Approaches to TAM in the literature
4.1. A theoretical background
4.2. TAM in the Sabellic languages

5. The analysis of the data
5.1. The present stem indicative
5.2. The perfect stem indicative
5.3. The present and perfect stem future indicatives
5.4. The Sabellic subjunctives
5.5. The imperatives
5.6. Other TAM-related categories
5.7. Visualising Sabellic TAM

6. Conclusions


1. Sabellic texts cited
2. Evidence for common Sabellic forms
3. Morphological and semantic analysis by token

Keywords : Sabellic languages | Italic languages | Fragmentary languages | Tense, aspect, modality