The Semantics of APUD in Lezgian
A crosslinguistically unusual case of morphological fusion, in which two clauses fuse morphologically in the absence of preceding syntactic fusion or clause union, is found in the East Caucasian language Agul. This phenomenon involves a set of “verificative” verbal forms (forms that seek ‘to find out the truth value or the value of an unknown variable’). The verificatives are completely morphologically bound, but manifest clear biclausal properties: in particular, the introduction of a new agentive argument by the verificative (the ergative “verifier”) causes no change in the argument structure of the embedded clause. This article argues that the Agul verificative has grammaticalized from the matrix verb ‘see’ plus an indirect question complement in the conditional form: over time, the two verbal heads have fused into one form. Partial parallels to this development can be found in the related languages Archi and Lezgian, where a semantic shift from ‘see’ to ‘check, find out’ is attested, together with a change in subject encoding from typically experiential (dative) to canonically agentive (ergative). Still, the complete morphologization of the verificative structure in Agul dialects remains exceptional given its comparatively recent origin, the infrequency of the construction, and the general absence of observed cases in which matrix verbs become fused with their complements.
The material of the present paper is grounded on the holist algebraic method (Q-analysis) proposed by English mathematician and physicist R.H.Atkin. At its core, the approach is aimed at both analysis of systems structures (in the form of simplicial complexes K, which is formed by a set of properly adjoined objects called simplexes) and calculation of numeric estimates of structural complexity of systems based on the results of such analysis.
Turning complexity estimate of system’s structure into a real number creates additional difficulties in the comparison of two different complexes because there is no real verbal scale, which would have been accustomed to human beings and would allow a group of experts to express opinions and draw easily conclusions about degree of complexity of K at each particular dimensional level of its analysis. Therefore, the present paper deals with consideration of the approach that is more focused on human perception of characteristics obtained, mental comprehension and formation (comparison) of personal constructs in psychological space (or, P-space) – modified structural complexity estimate is based right on notions of distance and similarity within psychological space.