The inflection of the imperfect in Abruzzian Romani and its genesis. The unusual inflection of the imperfect tense in Abruzzian Romani has been repeatedly pointed out. As correctly suggested by Yaron Matras and Viktor Elšík the remoteness morpheme -sənə, one of the two morpheme variants that characterize Abruzzian Romani imperfect (and pluperfect), can be compared with the remotness marker -sine, that we find, for example, in the Romani dialects spoken by Arli groups in the Balkans, and originates from the 3s of the past tense of the copula, which has been grammaticalized as a tense marker. The process of grammaticalization of the past 3s of the copula as a morpheme indicating remoteness is ubiquitous in Romani, but the more common outcomes are forms such as -ahi, -as, -a, -e usually traced back to Middle Indo-Aryan īsā/īsā ‘(he/she/it) was’. In the case of Abruzzian Romani the remoteness morpheme has two variants -sənə and -sa. The article aims to reconstruct the genesis of both variants and, more in general, of the inflectional pattern of imperfect (and pluperfect) displayed by Arbuzzian Romani. By means of a comparison with other Romani dialects it is possible to outline the path of evolution that produced the innovative inflection of the imperfect in Abruzzian Romani and to propose an etymology for the remoteness morphemes -sənə and -sa. Moreover, starting from this specific case study a new form *sasi can be proposed for the Proto-Romani past 3s of the copula. Besides being interesting for Indo-Aryan diachronic linguistics, the remoteness morpheme of Abruzzian Romani, and more in general of Romani, is noteworthy also from a structural point of view, especially for being placed after the person/number morpheme. Finally, also its current content, limited to tense information, deserves attention in diachronic perspective. In fact the past 3s of the copula, which Romani remoteness morpheme is historically based on, in its evolution path has lost every context inflection content and has preserved only tense content, i.e. only an inherent inflection feature. Such an innovation originates from a language change that implies a process of grammaticalization, but can be described also as a moving back along the cline of grammaticality, in other words as a process of degrammaticalization. In the complex genesis of Romani remoteness morpheme different and only apparently opposite processes of innovation seem to coexist

La flessione dell’imperfetto nella romaní d’Abruzzo e la sua genesi / A. Scala. - In: ARCHIVIO GLOTTOLOGICO ITALIANO. - ISSN 0004-0207. - 105:2(2020), pp. 223-243.

La flessione dell’imperfetto nella romaní d’Abruzzo e la sua genesi

A. Scala
2020

Abstract

The inflection of the imperfect in Abruzzian Romani and its genesis. The unusual inflection of the imperfect tense in Abruzzian Romani has been repeatedly pointed out. As correctly suggested by Yaron Matras and Viktor Elšík the remoteness morpheme -sənə, one of the two morpheme variants that characterize Abruzzian Romani imperfect (and pluperfect), can be compared with the remotness marker -sine, that we find, for example, in the Romani dialects spoken by Arli groups in the Balkans, and originates from the 3s of the past tense of the copula, which has been grammaticalized as a tense marker. The process of grammaticalization of the past 3s of the copula as a morpheme indicating remoteness is ubiquitous in Romani, but the more common outcomes are forms such as -ahi, -as, -a, -e usually traced back to Middle Indo-Aryan īsā/īsā ‘(he/she/it) was’. In the case of Abruzzian Romani the remoteness morpheme has two variants -sənə and -sa. The article aims to reconstruct the genesis of both variants and, more in general, of the inflectional pattern of imperfect (and pluperfect) displayed by Arbuzzian Romani. By means of a comparison with other Romani dialects it is possible to outline the path of evolution that produced the innovative inflection of the imperfect in Abruzzian Romani and to propose an etymology for the remoteness morphemes -sənə and -sa. Moreover, starting from this specific case study a new form *sasi can be proposed for the Proto-Romani past 3s of the copula. Besides being interesting for Indo-Aryan diachronic linguistics, the remoteness morpheme of Abruzzian Romani, and more in general of Romani, is noteworthy also from a structural point of view, especially for being placed after the person/number morpheme. Finally, also its current content, limited to tense information, deserves attention in diachronic perspective. In fact the past 3s of the copula, which Romani remoteness morpheme is historically based on, in its evolution path has lost every context inflection content and has preserved only tense content, i.e. only an inherent inflection feature. Such an innovation originates from a language change that implies a process of grammaticalization, but can be described also as a moving back along the cline of grammaticality, in other words as a process of degrammaticalization. In the complex genesis of Romani remoteness morpheme different and only apparently opposite processes of innovation seem to coexist
romanì; imperfetto; mutamento linguistico; mutamento morfologico; Romani, imperfect; language change; morphological change
Settore L-LIN/01 - Glottologia e Linguistica
giu-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/859166
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