Cookies Policy
Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Tmesis and movement in Avestan

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Indo-Iranian Journal

A comparison of the facts described above for Younger Avestan with those uncovered in the discussion of Gathic Avestan reveals that tmesis in Avestan was the result of either (1) a fronting of the preverb or (2) the application of rules governing the placement of the clitics (especially and). The fronting rule allowed movement of the preverb to a limited set of positions, normally initial position in the sentence, second position if initial position was taken up by an element in COMP, and, in metrical texts, to a major metrical boundary. Thus the relationship between a preverb and its verb was easily recoverable by the native speaker.

This close relationship between tmesis and fronting is likely to be very old. The majority of hte Vedic and Greek examples can be analyzed as ‘preverb-fronting’,15 compare also Watkins (1963) for Celtic. It seems likely that the fronting of preverbs at least originally implied some emphasis on the semantics of the preverb, such emphasis being the normal function of fronting in the Proto-Indo-European clause. Tmesis without demonstrable preverb fronting is not found in the Avestan corpus, nor in Vedic prose, but it is not sufficiently rare in the Rigveda (given our current understanding of Rigvedic clause structure) to allow us to say that tmesis and preverb fronting were one and the same process for that language. The Avestan evidence surveyed here will thus prove crucial to the development of a comprehensive account of the diachronic development of tmesis in Indo-Iranian, and, therefore, in the Indo-European language family as a whole.


Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Indo-Iranian Journal — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation