Body and soul: the reflexive in Tocharian.

Abstract : Both Tocharian languages have a noun meaning ‘self, person’ which is used also as reflexive pronoun: Toch. B āñme, Toch. A āñcäm. This noun is the match of Skt. ātman-, which is used in the philosophical sense in Buddhist texts. Vis-à-vis of the usage of Skt. ātman- as reflexive pronoun, Toch. uses currently the phrase TB ṣañ āñm, TA ṣñi āñcäm, the first element of which is the possessive reflexive (‘one’s own’) referring to all persons and numbers. No fully satisfactory account of the etymology of Common Toch. *āñcmæ (> Toch. B āñme, Toch. A āñcäm) has yet been presented. It is proposed to derive it from a binomial phrase meaning ‘breath’+’flesh, body’, hence ‘whole body, person’. Indo-European etymologies of the two components are provided. This phrase would be parallel to Old Turkic ät’öz ‘(own) body’ and ‘self’, the second element of which (öz) is used also as reflexive pronoun. Then the Tocharian development of the reflexive pronoun is evaluated from a typological point of view. It appears that Common Toch. had selected as reflexive a noun referring to the person, the whole body, which served also to render the Skt. term ātman- in Buddhist texts. The specific reflexive pronoun was made through using in combination the reflex of the Proto-Indo-European stem *swé (actually the genitive form matching the possessive *swó- of other languages) in order to make an emphatic or heavy reflexive, Common Toch. *ṣäñ āñcmæ ‘one’s own self’, that was generalized.
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Georges-Jean Pinault. Body and soul: the reflexive in Tocharian. . Indogermanische Forschungen, De Gruyter, 2013, pp.339-359. ⟨halshs-01447043⟩

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