Comparison and Gradation in Indo-European
Hittite and Luwian express degrees of comparison with a rather limited range of structures. For the most part, Hittite uses syntactic and pragmatic means to express comparatives and superlatives — indeed, there are no dedicated suffixal markers for expressing comparison that might correspond to Greek -ιων, -ιστος, -τερος, -τατος, Latin -ior, -issimus, or English -er, -(e)st. The structural differences between Anatolian and the core Indo-European languages (Hoffner & Melchert 2008; Molina 2019) suggest that gradation morphosyntax has been formed independently after the separation of the Anatolian branch (cf. the discussion of Proto-Indo-European in Luján 2019; Szeptynski 2019). The general consensus is that the reconstructable morphosyntax of Indo-European developed after the Indo-Hittite split (the division between Proto-Anatolian and core Indo-European).
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The paper discusses certain aspects of Indo-Uralic reconstruction, focusing on a comparison of our theoretical expectations from the comparison of Indo-European and Uralic basic lexicon with the actual results of lexicostatistical analysis.
Over the last few decades, the widespread diffusion of digital technology and the growing ease of transferring information via the Internet have made an enormous amount of textual data available to scholars. The vastly increased availability of pri- mary sources has radically changed the everyday life of scholars in the humanities, who are now able to access, query and process a wealth of empirical evidence in ways not possible before.
This development also encompasses ancient languages. The first aim in the eighties and the nineties was to digitize textual data and make them available on CD-ROM and online. Later, the need for linguistic annotation gave rise to projects aimed at building corpora enhanced with increasingly complex layers of metalin- guistic information, such as part-of-speech (PoS) tagging and syntactic annotation, opening the field to precise queries for particular linguistic phenomena. We are now at a stage where several of these syntactically annotated corpora, or treebanks, have reached a mature state, providing representative selections of texts for several diachronic stages of a given language. These new resources allow for a new approach to diachronic studies of syntactic phenomena where scholars previously had to content themselves with empirical work on a much smaller scale.
This volume brings together a set of papers that report research on various diachronic matters supported by evidence from diachronic treebanks for different languages, i.e., treebanks that provide data for a language across several historical stages. We show that diachronic treebanks can provide considerable methodological advances in terms of greater transparency and better ways of exploiting frequently problematic source material, thus allowing us to shed new light on vexed topics.
The paper presents a brief assessment of “Nostratic” – the controversial, but promising hypothesis on deeper linguistic connections of the Indo-European family, as envisaged by Vladislav Illich-Svitych and his contemporaries (particularly Aharon Dolgopolsky). We discuss some of the most important developments of the theory since the 1960s, and explain how emphasis on “quantity over quality” of data in the new huge corpora of “Nostratic” comparanda is less useful for advancing the hypothesis than a narrowly targeted emphasis on identifying the “core” evidence for the macrofamily. Identifying this “core” evidence, consisting of a small, but generally stable layer of the basic lexicon, is necessary to lend a more historically realistic flavor to the hypothesis, and its statistical evaluation will also help better understand the place of Indo-European among the other potential constituents of “Nostratic”. We argue that, in weighing the evidence, typological plausibility of semantic shifts and absence of topological conflicts in the tree are no less important than regularity of sound changes. We also show how the credibility level of various theories on the external connections of Indo-European can be arranged along a gradient – from “Indo-Uralic” to a general “Nostratic”, and indicate implications that such an arrangement may hold for future studies.
In many areas, such as social science, politics or market research, people need to track sentiment and their changes over time. For sentiment analysis in this field it is more important to correctly estimate proportions of each sentiment expressed in the set of documents (quantification task) than to accurately estimate sentiment of a particular document (classification). Basically, our study was aimed to analyze the effectiveness of two iterative quantification techniques and to compare their effectiveness with baseline methods. All the techniques are evaluated using a set of synthesized data and the SemEval-2016 Task4 dataset. We made the quantification methods from this paper available as a Python open source library. The results of comparison and possible limitations of the quantification techniques are discussed.
Over thirty specialists in Indo-European linguistics have contributed this elegant volume in honor of Prof. Sasha Lubotsky of Leiden University. Besides giving an excellent snapshot of the research currently being undertaken by his students and colleagues at that institution, Farnah contains contributions from well-known scholars across the world covering topics in Tocharian, Germanic, Slavic, Indo-Iranian, and Anatolian linguistics, to name a few.
In this paper we discuss the results of an automated compari-son between two 50-item groups of the most generally stable elements on the so-called Swadesh wordlist as reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic. Two forms are counted as potentially related if their first two consonantal units, transcribed in simplified consonantal class notation (a rough variant of the Levenshtein distance method), match up with each other. Next to all previous attempts at such a task (Ringe 1998; Oswalt 1998; Kessler & Lehtonen 2006; Kessler 2007), our automated algorithm comes much closer to emu-lating the traditional procedure of cognate search as em-ployed in historical linguistics. “Swadesh slots” for protolan-guages are filled in strict accordance with such principles of reconstruction as topology (taking into consideration the structure of the genealogical tree), morphological transpar-ency, typology of semantic shifts, and areal distribution of particular items. Altogether we have counted 7 pairs where Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic share the same bi-consonantal skeleton (the exact same pairs are regarded as cognates in traditional hypotheses of Indo-Uralic relation-ship). To verify the probability of arriving at such a result by chance we have applied the permutation test, which yielded a positive result: the probability of 7 matched pairs is equal to 1.9% or 0.5%, depending on the constituency of the conso-nantal classes, which is lower than the standard 5% threshold of statistical significance or even lower than the strong 1% level. Standard methodology suggests that we reject the null hypothesis (accidental resemblance) and offer a more plau-sible explanation for the observed similarities. Since the known typology of language contacts does not speak in favor of explaining the observed Indo-Uralic matches as old lexical borrowings, the optimal explanation is seen in the hypothesis of an Indo-Uralic genetic relationship, with the 7 matching pairs in question representing archaic retentions, left over from the original Indo-Uralic protolanguage.
In the paper, the classes of labile verbs (verbs which can be transitive or intransitive without any formal changes) are analyzed on the data of European and North Caucasian languages. The main conclusion is that there is a semantic difference between classes of labile verbs in the two language groups under analysis. In European languages, predicates with low semantic transitivity are labile (for instance, motion verbs and phasal verbs), while in Caucasian languages, lability is more characteristic of verbs with high semantic transitivity (verbs of destruction and similar verb classes).
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.