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The Ezafe as a head-marking inflectional affix: Evidence from Persian and Kurmanji Kurdish

Abstract : This paper suggests a new analysis of the Persian Ezafe as a suffix attaching to the head and to some of its intermediate projections, and marking them as awaiting a modifier or a complement. Viewed as such, the Ezafe construction is an illustration of the head-marked pattern of morphological marking of grammatical relations (Nichols 1986). This view of the Ezafe is quite the opposite of the Case-marker analysis suggested by Samiian (1994) and Larson and Yamakido (2005), according to which the Ezafe is rather a dependent marking device. The analysis outlined in this paper entails that the Ezafe particle, whose origins in Modern Persian can be traced back to the Old Persian relative/demonstrative hya/tya (Darmesteter 1883), has undergone a process of reanalysis- grammaticalization, being thus reinterpreted as a part of the nominal inflection. It is further shown that although a comparable process might have taken place in some other West Iranians languages, Kurmanji Kurdish dialects for instance, grammaticalization has not proceeded in the same way and at the same rate, resulting in a more complex picture for the different uses of the Ezafe.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 11:40:14 PM
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Pollet Samvelian. The Ezafe as a head-marking inflectional affix: Evidence from Persian and Kurmanji Kurdish. S. Karimi, V. Samiian, D. Stillo. Aspects of Iranian Linguistics: Papers in Honor of Mohammad Reza Bateni, Cambridge Scholars ltd, pp.339-361, 2007. ⟨halshs-00673182⟩



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