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Open Access Evaluating directionality in the internal reconstruction of pre-Old Irish copular clauses

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Evaluating directionality in the internal reconstruction of pre-Old Irish copular clauses

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This article reconstructs the syntax of pre-Old Irish copular clauses using relic or anomalous formations within Old Irish. It is therefore an exercise in syntactic internal reconstruction. The two patterns that are reconstructed are (a) the word order of subject and predicate, which was Predicate Subject in Old Irish but is argued to have been Subject Predicate in pre-Old Irish; (b) the order of negation, the clause-typing enclitic *de, the relative pronoun and the copula which is argued to be NEG+REL+de+COP. Furthermore, It is argued that a change from a fully verbal copula *issi in pre-Old Irish to a clause-typing particle is in Old Irish is implicated in the innovation of both (a) and (b). The reconstruction is evaluated using the technique of ‘local directionality’, by examining detailed feature/phrase-structure analyses of the constructions in at least two languages and hypothesizing the most economical and plausible relation between the two.

Affiliations: 1: Maynooth University elliott.lash@mu.ie

10.1163/22125892-00501006
/content/journals/10.1163/22125892-00501006
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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This article reconstructs the syntax of pre-Old Irish copular clauses using relic or anomalous formations within Old Irish. It is therefore an exercise in syntactic internal reconstruction. The two patterns that are reconstructed are (a) the word order of subject and predicate, which was Predicate Subject in Old Irish but is argued to have been Subject Predicate in pre-Old Irish; (b) the order of negation, the clause-typing enclitic *de, the relative pronoun and the copula which is argued to be NEG+REL+de+COP. Furthermore, It is argued that a change from a fully verbal copula *issi in pre-Old Irish to a clause-typing particle is in Old Irish is implicated in the innovation of both (a) and (b). The reconstruction is evaluated using the technique of ‘local directionality’, by examining detailed feature/phrase-structure analyses of the constructions in at least two languages and hypothesizing the most economical and plausible relation between the two.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22125892-00501006
2017-01-01
2018-09-24

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