Syntactic Change In Akkadian: The Evolution Of Sentential Complementation

Paperback | January 11, 2007

byGuy Deutscher

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In this book Guy Deutscher examines the historical development of Akkadian, the oldest recorded Semitic language and one of the earliest attested languages. Two thousand years of texts from 2500BC to 500BC provide a unique source for the study of linguistic change.The first two parts of the book present an historical grammar of sentential complementation. Part one traces the emergence of new structures, describing how finite complements first developed, and tracing the grammaticalization of the quotative construction. Part two examines the language'sfunctional history. It looks at the evolution of linguistic structures, showing for example how finite complements and embedded questions became more widespread as other parataxis and non-finite complements receded. In the final part of the book the author puts these changes in a broader typologicalperspective and compares the development of Akkadian to similar processes in other languages. The emergence of finite complementation may, he suggests, be an adaptive process, related to the growing complexity of communication.This book throws new light on the nature of linguistic change and offers fresh insights on a language that has rarely been presented to non-specialists, despite its enormous historical importance.

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In this book Guy Deutscher examines the historical development of Akkadian, the oldest recorded Semitic language and one of the earliest attested languages. Two thousand years of texts from 2500BC to 500BC provide a unique source for the study of linguistic change.The first two parts of the book present an historical grammar of sentent...

Guy Deutscher is at the Department of Languages and Cultures of Ancient Mesopotamia at the University of Leiden in Holland. His book, The Unfolding of Language, was published in 2005 to both critical and popular acclaim.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.54 inPublished:January 11, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199532222

ISBN - 13:9780199532223

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Table of Contents

Part I: Preliminary Chapters1. Introduction2. What is Sentential Complementation?3. AkkadianPart II: Structural History: The Emergence of Complementizers and Quotatives4. The Emergence of Finite Complements5. The Grammaticalization of the Quotative ConstructionPart III: Functional History: The Changes in the Functional Domain of Complementation from 2500 BC to 500 BC6. The Functional Domain of Complementation in Babylonian7. Verbs of Knowledge, Perception, and Others8. Manipulation and Modality9. The WH-Functional Domain, Direct and Indirect QuestionsPart IV: The Development of Complementation as an Adaptive Process10. Functional Parallels for the Babylonian Development11. The Development of Complementation as an Adaptive ProcessGlossaryReferencesIndex of SubjectsIndex of Quoted Texts

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