the role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto syntax n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto-syntax PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto-syntax

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 41

The role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto-syntax - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

The role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto-syntax. Katalin É. Kiss Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy , and Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Can proto-syntax be reconstructed ?. Lightfoot (2002): No, because

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'The role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto-syntax' - ruby

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
the role of historical corpora in the reconstruction of proto syntax

The role of historicalcorporainthereconstruction of proto-syntax

Katalin É. Kiss

Research Institute forLinguistics of theHungarianAcademy, and

Pázmány Péter Catholic University

can proto syntax be reconstructed
Canproto-syntax be reconstructed?

Lightfoot (2002): No, because

  • there is no theory of linguisticchange, aslinguisticchange is chaotic;
  • thecomparativemethod is onlyapplicableinthereconstruction of proto-lexemes.
campbell and harris 2002 pires and thomason 2008 a harris 2008 etc
Campbell and Harris (2002), Pires and Thomason (2008), A. Harris (2008), etc.:

yes, onthebasis of regularsyntacticcorrespondences of cognatesinrelatedlanguages, + directionalitygeneralizations.

Von Mengden:

Yes, onthebasis of implicationaluniversals, and byundoinggrammaticalization.

how to identify syntactic cognates

Roberts & Roussou (2003), Longobardi (2003): Syntacticcognates: theparametricvalues of UniversalGrammar.

Alice Harris (2008):

Onthebasis of functional, distributional and phonologicalcorrespondence.

a problem for establishing uralic syntactic correspondence sets
A problemforestablishingUralicsyntacticcorrespondencesets:

Hungarian and itsclosestsisters (theOb-Ugriclanguages ) parted 3000-4000 yearsago; theyaretoo far.

Hungariandocumentsonlysince 1192-95.

Proposal: obtainingcognatesforcomparison

byextendingbackwardsthe ʃ curves of linguisticchangesattestedinthedocumentedhistory of Hungarian.

the curve of linguistic changes
The ʃ curve of linguisticchanges:

The progress of a linguisticinnovation over timeformsan ʃ-curve (Osgood & Sebeok 1954, Weinrech, Labov & Herzog 1965, etc.)

The disappearingvariant (ʅ) representstheprevalentvariant of the previous, undocumented phase of the language.

obtaining evidence about proto ugric and early proto hungarian syntax
ObtainingevidenceaboutProto-Ugric and earlyProto-Hungariansyntax :

ReconstructinglateProto-Hungarianstructuresbythebackwardextension of ʃ-curves of linguisticchangesattestedinthedocumentedhistory of Hungarian;

findingcognatesinreconstructedlateProto-Hungarian and inpresent-dayOb-Ugric (Vogul and Ostyak).


a case study reconstructing the word order of proto hungarian
A casestudy: Reconstructingthewordorder of Proto-Hungarian

Hungarian has been Top Foc V X* throughoutitsdocumentedhistory (since 1192-95).


[TopPozgimilsneki[FPvvlkeseruvk[VPuola[ti vize] tk]]]


’ofthefruit, sobitterwasthejuice’

  (FuneralSermon 1192-95)

ArgumentsthatProto-HungarianwasSOV:DecliningOVpatterns, spreadingVOpatternsinthehistorical corpus


  • DisappearingSOVclausetypes
  • Decreasingpreheadparticipialrelatives
  • Decreasingparticipialadverbialclauses
  • Decreasinginfinitivalcomplementclauses
  • Disappearingclause-finalcomplementizer
  • DisappearingV-adjoinednegativeparticle
  • DisappearingV-Auxiliaryorder

The decliningstructures must haveprevailedinProto-Hungarian.

Theyconvergewithcorrespondingstructures of Vogul and Ostyak ->

They must representUgricheritage.

1 disappearing sov clause types
1. DisappearingSOVclausetypes

Ostyak and more distantsisterlanguages:

StrictlySOVorder; object is unmarked, e.g.:

(1) Juwanjik-ə-lpilnaxo:p we:r-s-ə-ŋən.

Ivan son-3sgwithboatmake-past-ep-3d

‛Ivan made a boatwithhisson.’

(2)(luw) juwanre:sk-ə-s

he Ivan hit-ep-past.3sg

’He hit Ivan.’ (Nikolaeva 1999)

sov non finite clauses with an unmarked object in old hungarian
SOVnon-finiteclauseswith an unmarkedobjectin Old Hungarian:


(3) ne fordo’l’lon mˉg ǫ kǫntosǫfeluènninotturn-SUBJ-3SGback he gown-3SG-øput.on-INF

‘he shouldnotturn back toputonhisgown’(Munich C. a.1416)


(4) Kirallèuèliirokat


‘thosewritingtheking’sletters’ (Vienna C. a.1416)

sov non finite clauses with an unmarked object in old hungarian1
SOVnon-finiteclauseswith an unmarkedobjectin Old Hungarian:


(5) Agyad meg ymmarbewnezantnak

give-IMP back nowsin-3SG-ørepented-DAT

‘giveit back nowtothatrepentedhis sin’

(Jókai C. a.1370)


(6) ky zent fferenczetlewlteualaegyhazfeprette

whoStFrancis-ACCfoundchurch-NOMsweeping ‘whofoundSt Francis sweepingthechurch’

(Jókai C. a.1370)

sov non finite clauses with an unmarked object in old hungarian2
SOVnon-finiteclauseswith an unmarkedobjectin Old Hungarian:


(7) kyhaluanlegottan el mene


‘whichhavingheard, he immediatelywent

away’ (Jókai C. a. 1370)

why was sov with an unmarked object preserved in non finite clauses
WhywasSOVwith an unmarkedobjectpreservedinnon-finiteclauses?
  • BecauseUgriclanguages displayed/display differentialobject marking, withonlytopicalobjectsmarked -> topic marking onlyin main clauses
  • Lightfoot (1991)’s degree-0learnability: childrenidentify/reanalyzethegrammar of theirmothertongueonthebasis of rootclauses ->

embeddedclausesare more conservative

the fast decline of unmarked objects
The fastdecline of unmarkedobjects:

Codexes: tokensunmarkedOstoken/unm.O

Jókai C. a1370: 22 733 42 540

MunichC. a1416: 69 589 78 892

Apor C. a1416: 22 118 18 1382

ViennaC. a1416: 54 423 24 2268


a. 1516: 200 185 16 12 511

accusative marking vo order
Accusative marking  VOorder:

(8) Munich C. (a.1416) Matthew 4,20:

Azoc [legottanhaloiocmeghaguā] kǫuetecǫtet


‘Leavingtheir net immediately, theyfollowedhim’

(9) Jordánszky C. (a.1516):

Azok kedyg [legottanel hagywanhaloyokat]


es hayoyokat] kóweteekhewtet

and boat-3PL-ACCfollowedhim

fossilized ov structures with unmarked o in modern hungarian
FossilizedOVstructureswithunmarked O in Modern Hungarian:


a. szava tartó ember

word-3SG-økeeping man ‘a man keepinghisword’

Mi tévő legyek?

what-ødoingbe-1SG ‘Whatshall I be doing?’

b. esze vesztett ember,

mind-3SG-ølost ‘ man ‘a man havinglosthis mind’

c. kalap levéve

hat-øoff-taking ‘takingoffthe hat’

2 decreasing participial relatives
2. Decreasingparticipialrelatives

WALS: SOV -> preheadrelatives; gaprelativization

Ostyak: non-finitepreheadrelatives

(11) [(mä) tini-m-äm] loγ

I sell-PastPart-1SGhorse

‘thehorsewhich I sold’

(12) [Naŋmo:sməlt-əm] o:xa:r-e:n jel an man-l

youwound-PastPartfox-2SG far notgo-Pr.3SG

’Thefoxwhichyouwoundeddoesnot go far.’

old hungarian participial relatives
Old Hungarianparticipialrelatives

(13) Es ueǵed az neko̗d zo̗rzo̗ttemCoronat

and taketheyou-DATobtain-PP-1SGcrown-ACC

‘and takethecrownwhich I obtainedforyou’

(Kazinczy C. 1526)

decreasing of gap relativization increasing number of relative pronouns
Decreasing of gaprelativization;increasingnumber of relativepronouns

Number of therelativepronounswho, what, whichin St. Matthew’sGospel:

Munich C. (a. 1416): 225

Jordánszky C. (a. 1516): 314

Károli Bible (1590): 330

semi productive gap relativization in modern hungarian
Semi-productivegaprelativizationin Modern Hungarian:

(14)a. az[anyám sütötte] kenyér



b. egy [tanárok vezette] vetélkedő

a teachersadminister-PastPart-3SGquiz

‘a quizwhichteachersadministered’

Onlylexicalsubject, and 3SGagreement.

3 decreasing non finite adverbial clauses
3. Decreasingnon-finiteadverbialclauses

WALS: SOV -> nonfiniteadverbialclauses

Ostyak: onlynon-finitesubordination

(15) [Kase:-m man-ti jupina] li-tipit-l-əm


‘I start eatingaftermypainstops.’

hawkins s 2001 performance theory of word order
Hawkins’s (2001) performance theory of wordorder

The ConstituentRecognition Domain for a phrasalmothernodeconsists of theset of nodesthatareminimallyneededtorecognizeitscategory, and itsmajor constituents.

OptimallinearordersminimizetheConstituentRecognition Domain. The shortestrecognitiondomainfora matrix VP with a clausalcomplementcontainsthematrixverb and thesubordinator.

Inan SOVsentence, thisdomain is shortestifthesubordinator is a participialsuffixontheembeddedverb, left-adjacenttothematrixverb.

old hungarian
Old Hungarian:

(16) [Nap kedigfelkèluē] meg hèuọlėnc


’Thesunhavingrisen, theyburned.’ (Munich C. a. 1416)


(17) Mykoron az nap fel tamadotwolna,


meg swteewket


’Whenthesun had risen, itburnedthem.’

(Gábor Pesthi, Novum Testamentum 1536)

decreasing number of non finite adverbial clauses
Decreasingnumber of non-finiteadverbialclauses

Number of -ván/vén clausesinStMatthew:

  • Munich C. a. 1416: 486
  • Jordánszky C. a. 1516: 322
  • Károli Bible 1590: 286
4 decreasing infinitival clauses
4. Decreasinginfinitivalclauses

Ostyak: finitecomplementclausesonlyintheRussifiedspeech of theyoung.

(18) [porniŋimijuw-əm] wa:n-mantaj-l-əlli

Por womancome-PastPsee-PARThave-Pr-3SG

‘Shesawthat a Por womancame.’

Infinitiveswith PRO subject:

(19) luw-e:l [ø man-ti] mo:sl


‘He has toleave.’

old h a much larger set of vs taking an infinitive clause than in middle mod h
Old H: a muchlargerset of Vstaking an infinitiveclausethaninMiddle/Mod.H

CompareMatthew 14,19:

(20) És mikor parancsolt volna az gyölekezetnek

and whenorderedAUXthecrowd-DAT

‘And when he orderedthecrowd’

a. leülni az szénán (Munich C. a1416)


b. hogy le ülnénec az füuen(Károli Bible 1590)

that down sit-SUBJ-3PLthegrass-on

5 disappearing clause final interrogative particle
5. Disappearingclause-finalinterrogativeparticle

SOV Vogul and Ostyak:


(21)a. titχujew-ä

here sleep.1pl-q

’Dowesleep here?’ (Vogul)

b. nèηemtǒttεù.tot-á


’Wasmywifethere?’ (Ostyak)

e a cognate interrogative particle in old modern hungarian
-e: a cognateinterrogativeparticlein Old/Modern Hungarian

Old Hungarian: clause-finalorV-adjoined-e:

(22) Nemdèkètvèrèbecadatnaceģfelpenzenė?


’Arenottwosparrowssoldfor a farthing?’

(Munich C., Matthew 10,29)

(23) Il’l’esvag ėtè?

Elias areqyou

’Areyou Elias?’ (Munich C., John 1,21)

middle mod hungarian e adjoined to the v or to a preverbal element
Middle/Mod. Hungarian: -eadjoinedtothe V (orto a preverbalelement)

Jordánszky C. (a 1516)

(24) Nem de ket verebek adatnak ee




(25) yllyesvagy eethe?

Elias areq you

6 disappearing v adjoined negative particle
6. DisappearingV-adjoinednegativeparticle

Ostyak: pre-Vnegativeparticle

(26) Taminaŋke:se:-nant u:-l


‘This is notyourknife.’

(27) Niŋ ne:ŋxiantaj-əl

woman man NEGhave-Pr.3SG

old hungarian two negative constructions
Old Hungarian: twonegativeconstructions
  • PRTNEG V – withNEGleft-adjoinedto V:

(28) Rázódott nádat meg nem szeg (Munich C.)


‘A bruised reed shall he not break’

(ii) NEG V … PRT– with V raisedtoNEG:

(29) És nem esmeré meg őtet(Munich C.)

and notknewPRTher

‘And knewhernot’

evidence of v to neg movement in the innovative pattern
Evidence of V-to-NEGmovementintheinnovativepattern:


[NegPnem fyzetteli[VP telyesseguel[VP megti]]]


’…youhavenotpaidupcompletely’ (Jókai C.)

7 disappearing v auxiliary order
7. DisappearingV-Auxiliaryorder

Old Hungariancomplextenseswith a temporalaux. arecognatewith Udmurt complextenses

(Udmurt: a sisterlanguage. Hungarians and Udmurtsshared a habitatin 600-700 AD) ‘go-INF’

megy-ekmini-sko ‘go-Pr.1SG’

megy-ekvalamini-skoval ‘go-PastCont.1SG’

ment-emmin-em ‘go-PrPerf.1SG’

men-t-emvalamin-emval ‘go-PastPerf.1SG’

old hungarian complex tenses strict v aux order
Old Hungarian: complextenses, strictV-Auxorder

(31) És imé az czillag, mellyetláttacvala

and lothestarwhich-ACCsee-PERF.3PLbe-PAST

nap keleten, elöttöcmégyenvala


‘And, lo, the star, which they had seen in the

east, wasgoing before them’

disappearing temporal auxiliary present perfect reinterpreted as past
Disappearingtemporalauxiliary; presentperfectreinterpretedaspast

(32) És íme, a csillag, amelyet napkeleten

and lothestarwhich-ACCeast-in

láttak, előttük haladt,


(Neovulgata 1969)

surviving auxiliaries aux v order in the unmarked case
Survivingauxiliaries: Aux-Vorderintheunmarkedcase


hogy ehsegtewl sok emberekfognak meg halny

thathunger-frommanypeplewill-3plprt die

’thatmanypeoplewill die fromhunger’ (Jókai C. a. 1370)


Ostyak and Hungarianaretoofaretocontaincognatesto be compared.

The backwardextension of ʃ-curvescreatedonthebasis of historicalcorporamakesitpossibletoreconstructlateProto-Hungariansyntax.

LateProto-Hungarian and present-dayOstyakarecloseenoughtoreconstructsyntacticproperties of theirsharedancester.