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The Syntax of Neo-Aramaic: The Jewish Dialect of Zakho


This monograph provides an extensive syntactic description of the rather well-known but not previously described Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialect of Zakho. The description covers both microsyntax, namely, syntactic relationships within the confines of the sentence: the predicative link, the attributive and completive relationships, and apposition.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-048-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 19,2012
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 490
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-048-8
$203.00
$142.10

This monograph is the result of a four-year project, featuring an extensive syntactic description of a rather well-known but not previously described dialect, the Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialect of Zakho. The description is based on published material as well as on unpublished linguistic material collected by Professor H. J. Polotsky during the 1940s.

The description covers both microsyntax, namely, syntactic relationships within the confines of the sentence: the predicative link, the attributive and completive relationships, and apposition. The domain of macrosyntax covers both ultra-sentential relationships and describes syntactic units larger than the sentence, such as the narrative and the dialogue, each of which is addressed separately; the narrative is examined for various text linguistic issues—information structure (rhematization, peak marking, expressing surprise, etc.), point of view (presentative constructions, free indirect speech), cohesion, grounding, and other categories, such as tense and aspect. Within the dialogue are treated information structure (topic and focus), the modal system, the tense system and spatial deixis. A short appendix provides the uninitiated reader with information about the morphological system of the dialect so as to enable easier access.

This monograph is the result of a four-year project, featuring an extensive syntactic description of a rather well-known but not previously described dialect, the Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialect of Zakho. The description is based on published material as well as on unpublished linguistic material collected by Professor H. J. Polotsky during the 1940s.

The description covers both microsyntax, namely, syntactic relationships within the confines of the sentence: the predicative link, the attributive and completive relationships, and apposition. The domain of macrosyntax covers both ultra-sentential relationships and describes syntactic units larger than the sentence, such as the narrative and the dialogue, each of which is addressed separately; the narrative is examined for various text linguistic issues—information structure (rhematization, peak marking, expressing surprise, etc.), point of view (presentative constructions, free indirect speech), cohesion, grounding, and other categories, such as tense and aspect. Within the dialogue are treated information structure (topic and focus), the modal system, the tense system and spatial deixis. A short appendix provides the uninitiated reader with information about the morphological system of the dialect so as to enable easier access.

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Contributor Biography

Eran Cohen

Eran Cohen is currently the chair of the linguistics department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a linguist specializing in Semitic languages and their syntax, and has published many works on both Akkadian and Neo-Aramaic.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
    • History of Research (page 13)
    • Method (page 15)
    • The Corpus (page 17)
    • Structure (page 20)
    • General Practices (page 21)
    • Abbreviations (page 22)
    • A Short Glossary of Terms (page 23)
  • Part I. Microsyntax: Intraclausal Syntactic Relationships (page 27)
  • 1. The Predicative Relationship (page 29)
    • 1.1 Verbal Forms (page 29)
    • 1.2 Thematic Nominal Groups (page 32)
      • 1.2.1 Nouns and Determination (page 32)
      • 1.2.2 Pronouns (page 39)
      • 1.2.3 Clauses and Infinitives (page 40)
      • 1.2.4 Adjectives and Adjective Clauses (page 41)
    • 1.3 Copular Expressions (page 42)
      • 1.3.1 The Present Copula (page 43)
        • 1.3.1.1 The Affirmative Copula (3rd pers.) (page 44)
        • 1.3.1.2 The Affirmative Copula (1st and 2nd pers.) (page 52)
        • 1.3.1.3 The Negative Copula (3rd person) (page 58)
      • 1.3.2 The Verb Hwaya (page 60)
        • 1.3.2.1 R-wele (page 61)
        • 1.3.2.2 Present kawe (page 66)
        • 1.3.2.3 Future/modal pawe (page 69)
        • 1.3.2.4 Subjunctive hawe (page 70)
      • 1.3.3 The Presentative Copula (page 75)
      • 1.3.4 Other Copular Expressions: pšle (page 77)
    • 1.4 Dependent Nexus (page 81)
      • 1.4.1 Object nexus (page 82)
      • 1.4.2 Adjunct nexus (page 84)
      • 1.4.3 Subjunct nexus (page 86)
    • 1.5 Complex Rhematic Groups (page 89)
      • 1.5.1 Existential expressions (page 89)
        • 1.5.1.1 Existential proper (page 89)
        • 1.5.1.2 Other existential and existential-like expressions (page 91)
      • 1.5.2 Presentative function (page 97)
        • 1.5.2.1 Abstract presentative (page 97)
        • 1.5.2.2 Concrete presentative (page 99)
      • 1.5.3 Other thetic expressions (page 100)
  • 2. The Attributive Relationship (page 103)
    • 2.1 Nucleus Marking and Nucleus Groups (page 104)
      • 2.1.1 Pronominal nuclei (page 105)
      • 2.1.2 Substantival nuclei (page 109)
      • 2.1.3 The infinitive as nucleus (page 110)
      • 2.1.4 The adjective as nucleus (page 112)
      • 2.1.5 Adverbial nuclei (page 114)
    • 2.2 Attributive Groups (page 117)
      • 2.2.1 Substantival attribute group (page 117)
      • 2.2.2 Pronominal attribute group (page 124)
      • 2.2.3 Adverbial attribute group (page 128)
      • 2.2.4 Predicative attribute group (page 130)
    • 2.3 Attributive Complexes (page 135)
      • 2.3.1 Substantival complexes (page 135)
      • 2.3.2 Adjectival complexes (page 143)
      • 2.3.3 Pronominal complexes (page 150)
      • 2.3.4 Adverbial complexes (page 150)
  • 3. Completive Relationship (page 153)
    • 3.1 Object Complements (page 153)
      • 3.1.1 Direct object paradigms (page 153)
        • 3.1.1.1 The substantive group as direct object (page 154)
        • 3.1.1.2 Pronouns as objects (page 159)
        • 3.1.1.3 Objects preceding the verbal form (page 162)
        • 3.1.1.4 Object nexus: external syntax (page 165)
        • 3.1.1.5 Clausal objects: external syntax (page 166)
      • 3.1.2 Indirect/prepositional object syntagms (page 171)
      • 3.1.3 Representative valency patterns: parameters (page 175)
        • 3.1.3.1 Giving (page 175)
        • 3.1.3.2 Ability, will, obligation and permission (page 177)
        • 3.1.3.3 Fear (page 183)
        • 3.1.3.4 Asking vs. not-knowing (page 184)
        • 3.1.3.5 Knowing and thinking (page 188)
        • 3.1.3.6 Seeing (page 189)
        • 3.1.3.7 Saying (page 191)
      • 3.1.4 Causative and passive (page 191)
      • 3.1.5 Reciprocal and reflexive (page 194)
    • 3.2 Adverbial Complements (page 197)
      • 3.2.1 Circumstantial adverbials (page 198)
      • 3.2.2 Qualifying adverbials (page 203)
      • 3.2.3 Adverbials of manner (page 205)
        • 3.2.3.1 Purpose clauses (page 205)
        • 3.2.3.2 Temporal syntagms (page 207)
        • 3.2.3.3 Comparative adverbials (page 211)
        • 3.2.3.4 Causal expressions (page 212)
        • 3.2.3.5 Concessive expressions (page 216)
        • 3.2.3.6 Other adverbial types (page 219)
          • 3.2.3.6.1 Presupposed degree or amount (page 219)
          • 3.2.3.6.2 Spatial adverbials (page 221)
          • 3.2.3.6.3 Without (page 222)
          • 3.2.3.6.4 Result adverbials (page 224)
  • 4. Apposition (page 225)
    • 4.1 Adjectival Syntagms (page 226)
      • 4.1.1 Morphological adjectives (page 226)
      • 4.1.2 Adnominal prepositional syntagms (page 228)
      • 4.1.3 Adjective syntagms and clauses (page 231)
      • 4.1.4 mare syntagms (page 236)
      • 4.1.5 Non-clausal adjectival nexus (page 237)
    • 4.2 Appositive Content Clauses (page 238)
  • Part II. Macrosyntax (page 241)
  • 5. Narrative Syntax (page 249)
    • 5.0 Narravtive Events (page 249)
    • 5.1 Narrative FSP Effects OF Focus and Topic (page 251)
      • 5.1.1 Focus particles (page 251)
      • 5.1.2 Topic (page 254)
        • 5.1.2.1 Introduction of a new topic (page 254)
        • 5.1.2.2 Contrastive topic (page 256)
        • 5.1.2.3 Identification (page 258)
        • 5.1.2.4 Topic shift (page 259)
      • 5.1.3 Rhematization (page 261)
      • 5.1.4 Peak marking signals (page 263)
        • 5.1.4.1 The particle hama (page 263)
        • 5.1.4.2 oqad gzele (page 264)
        • 5.1.4.3 lá modulu (page 265)
        • 5.1.4.4 Paronomastic infinitive construction (page 267)
        • 5.1.4.5 xa behna (page 268)
      • 5.1.5 Subordinate events (page 269)
    • 5.2 Point of View (page 270)
      • 5.2.1 Characters point of view (page 271)
        • 5.2.1.1 Presentative constructions (page 271)
        • 5.2.1.2 Free indirect discourse (FID) (page 276)
        • 5.2.1.3 kšaqil forms in narrative (page 282)
      • 5.2.2 Narrators point of view (page 282)
        • 5.2.2.1 Nominal syntagms: pap(p)uka and -nka/-unta (page 282)
        • 5.2.2.2 Narrative particles (page 286)
        • 5.2.2.3 Evaluatives (page 289)
        • 5.2.2.4 (k)mat—free choice quantification (page 291)
        • 5.2.2.5 Address to the listener (page 292)
      • 5.2.3 Direct thought representation (page 294)
    • 5.3 Cohesion (page 296)
      • 5.3.1 Episode markers (page 296)
      • 5.3.2 basir hadax (page 299)
      • 5.3.3 qšmle (page 302)
    • 5.4 Grounding (page 305)
      • 5.4.1 šqilwale, qam šaqilwale and šqila wele (page 305)
      • 5.4.2 Presentative constructions (page 309)
      • 5.4.3 Textually marked circumstantials (page 312)
        • 5.4.3.1 Circumstantial qšlle: the setting paradigm (page 313)
        • 5.4.3.2 qšlle summing up (page 319)
      • 5.4.4 Negative preterites: la šqille, la qam šaqille (page 322)
      • 5.4.5 Setting (page 326)
        • 5.4.5.1 Temporal setting (page 327)
        • 5.4.5.2 Local setting (page 328)
      • 5.4.6 Descriptions (page 329)
        • 5.4.6.1 Description pertaining to the character (page 329)
        • 5.4.6.2 Circumstantial description (page 332)
        • 5.4.6.3 Imperfective or generic dependencies (page 334)
      • 5.4.7 Passive forms (page 336)
    • 5.5 Aspectual Oppositions (page 342)
      • 5.5.1 The gerund bišqala vs. simple forms (page 342)
      • 5.5.2 pišle bišqala (page 345)
    • 5.6 Tense Oppositions in Narrative (page 346)
      • 5.6.1 šaqil for šqille (page 347)
      • 5.6.2 kšaqil in narrative (page 349)
        • 5.6.2.1 kšaqil for šqille (page 349)
        • 5.6.2.2 kšaqil for kšaqilwa (page 351)
      • 5.6.3 pšaqil and pšaqilwa in narrative (page 355)
      • 5.6.4 Tense in narrative: subordinate clauses (page 358)
        • 5.6.4.1 Adjective clauses (page 358)
        • 5.6.4.2 Substantive clauses (page 360)
        • 5.6.4.3 Adverbial clauses (page 361)
    • 5.7 Concluding Remarks (page 362)
  • 6. Dialogue Syntax (page 365)
    • 6.1 Functional Sentence Perspective (page 366)
      • 6.1.1 Topic (page 367)
      • 6.1.2 Questions and answers (page 372)
      • 6.1.3 Focus (page 377)
        • 6.1.3.1 Syntactic patterns (page 377)
          • 6.1.3.1.1 Subject focus: the post-verbal position (page 377)
          • 6.1.3.1.2 Cleft pattern (page 381)
          • 6.1.3.1.3 Object focus: the pre-verbal position (page 386)
        • 6.1.3.2 Particle-marked focus (page 387)
          • 6.1.3.2.1 Simple inclusive focus (page 387)
          • 6.1.3.2.2 Scalar inclusive (page 389)
          • 6.1.3.2.3 Specifying focus (page 390)
          • 6.1.3.2.4 Exclusive focus (page 392)
          • 6.1.3.2.5 Contrastive focus (page 393)
          • 6.1.3.2.6 Conclusive remarks (page 395)
    • 6.2 The Modal System (page 396)
      • 6.2.1 Deontic modality (page 397)
        • 6.2.1.1 ud (page 400)
        • 6.2.1.2 Particles (page 403)
      • 6.2.2 Epistemic Modality (page 405)
        • 6.2.2.1 Epistemic particles and expressions (page 405)
        • 6.2.2.2 Verbal forms denoting epistemic modality (page 409)
        • 6.2.2.3 Conditional (page 411)
          • 6.2.2.3.1 Conditional forms and values (page 412)
          • 6.2.2.3.2 Conditional types (page 416)
          • 6.2.2.3.3 Paratactic (concessive-)conditional pattern (page 417)
          • 6.2.2.3.4 Counter-factual conditional patterns (page 420)
    • 6.3 The Tense-Aspect System (page 425)
      • 6.3.1 šqil-wa-le, qam šaqil-wa-le and šqila we(wa)le (page 426)
      • 6.3.2 šqil-le and qam šaqil-le (page 431)
      • 6.3.3 k-šaqil-wa and bi-šqala we(wa)le (page 434)
      • 6.3.4 wal šqil-le (or qam šaqil-le) and wele~win~k-awe šqila (page 439)
      • 6.3.5 k-šaqil: generic/aoristic present (page 443)
      • 6.3.6 wele bi-šqala and wal k-šaqil: actual or specific present (page 447)
      • 6.3.7 p-šaqil~lak-šaqil form (page 450)
      • 6.3.8 Conclusions (page 452)
    • 6.4 Space (page 455)
      • 6.4.1 Vocative (page 455)
      • 6.4.2 Concrete presentatives (page 457)
      • 6.4.3 Anchored deixis (page 458)
  • 7. Appendix: The Morphology of JZ (page 461)
    • 7.1 Pronouns (page 461)
      • 7.1.1 Personal pronouns (page 462)
      • 7.1.2 Demonstrative pronouns (page 464)
      • 7.1.3 Interrogative pronouns (page 464)
      • 7.1.4 Other pronouns (page 465)
      • 7.1.5 Determiners (page 465)
    • 7.2 The Noun (page 466)
    • 7.3 The Predicative Forms (page 467)
      • 7.3.1 Copulas (page 467)
      • 7.3.2 Verbs (page 468)
        • 7.3.2.1 Verbal inflection: the sound verb (page 469)
        • 7.3.2.2 Weak verbs (page 473)
  • References (page 479)
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