Chapter published in:Space in Diachrony
Edited by Silvia Luraghi, Tatiana Nikitina and Chiara Zanchi
[Studies in Language Companion Series 188] 2017
► pp. 207–240
Typology and dynamics (with special focus on the development from Latin to Romance)
This paper explores the diachronic behavior of the paradigms of the spatial interrogatives where, whither, and whence in forty-five contemporary Romance varieties by way of comparing them to the facts reported for their common ancestor: Latin. It is shown that the vast majority of the paradigms have undergone leveling in the sense that the erstwhile (phonological) suppletion of the Latin paradigm was replaced by ternary sets of word-forms sharing the same stem. This shared stem is identical to that of Latin ubi ‘where’ (= locative) in many of the sample languages. At the same time, an almost equally strong group of Romance varieties has generalized Latin unde ‘whence’ (= ablative) over the paradigm. These facts are inquired into against the backdrop of the general linguistic discussion about the nature of syncretism of spatial relations in language.
Keywords: interrogatives, paradigms, syncretism, Latin, Romance
Published online: 14 August 2017
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