Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Superlative Morphology from Syntax: Slavic Nai-/Naj- and Internal Definiteness Marking in Old Lithuanian


Wandl, Florian (2022). Superlative Morphology from Syntax: Slavic Nai-/Naj- and Internal Definiteness Marking in Old Lithuanian. Transactions of the Philological Society, 120(1):103-127.

Abstract

It has long been noticed that the Slavic superlative prefix nai-/naj- comprises two components: *na + *i. The former can be identified with the preposition Sl na ‘on(to)’ which developed an intensifying meaning when used as a prefix. The origin of the second component, on the other hand, has not been determined satisfactorily so far. This paper argues that it can be identified with the Slavic definiteness marker. Drawing upon a typologically common pattern, it is supposed that at a pre-stage of Slavic superlative was derived from the comparative with the aid of a definiteness marker. Definiteness of a noun phrase in earlier Slavic and its neighbouring branch Baltic was denoted by adding a definiteness marker of pronominal origin to the right edge of the adjective. As data from Old Lithuanian show, this morpheme was originally not bound to the position following the adjective. When an adjective/participle was preceded by a prefix/preverb, it could be placed between these two elements. I argue that this state of affairs is also reflected in the Slavic superlative prefix naj-/nai-. Based on the proposed scenario, the article discusses certain general issues related to the externalization of trapped inflectional morphology and the phenomenon of endoclisis.

Abstract

It has long been noticed that the Slavic superlative prefix nai-/naj- comprises two components: *na + *i. The former can be identified with the preposition Sl na ‘on(to)’ which developed an intensifying meaning when used as a prefix. The origin of the second component, on the other hand, has not been determined satisfactorily so far. This paper argues that it can be identified with the Slavic definiteness marker. Drawing upon a typologically common pattern, it is supposed that at a pre-stage of Slavic superlative was derived from the comparative with the aid of a definiteness marker. Definiteness of a noun phrase in earlier Slavic and its neighbouring branch Baltic was denoted by adding a definiteness marker of pronominal origin to the right edge of the adjective. As data from Old Lithuanian show, this morpheme was originally not bound to the position following the adjective. When an adjective/participle was preceded by a prefix/preverb, it could be placed between these two elements. I argue that this state of affairs is also reflected in the Slavic superlative prefix naj-/nai-. Based on the proposed scenario, the article discusses certain general issues related to the externalization of trapped inflectional morphology and the phenomenon of endoclisis.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
1 citation in Web of Science®
1 citation in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

43 downloads since deposited on 28 Apr 2022
14 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:2022
Deposited On:28 Apr 2022 06:14
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0079-1636
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.12230
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)