From verb to New Event Marker
A new look at the Hittite pai- and uwa- constructions
In Hittite, deictic motion verbs pai- ‘go’ and uwa- ‘come’ may co-occur in a monoclausal structure with a second verb that carries the lexical meaning. As yet, their exact function remains obscure. I argue that motion verbs involved in such construction underwent transcategorization and function as New Event Markers. I show that this development is best explained as an instance of constructionalization involving both the motion verbs and the second verb in the clause, which is based on a pragmatic inference arising when motion verbs were used without a spatial complement. Either motion verb contributes a different semantics to the construction based on the different perspective regarding the deictic center identified by the ego, whereby pai- ‘go’ (motion originating from the deictic center) marks an event as close in time and controlled, while uwa- ‘come’ (motion originating outside the deictic center) indicates distance in time and possible lack of control.
Keywords: motion verbs, New Event Marker, deictic center, constructionalization
Published online: 25 August 2020
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
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Luraghi, Silvia & Guglielmo Inglese
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Graeme Trousdale
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van den Hout, Theo
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Yates, Anthony D.