Chapter published in:Historical Linguistics 2015: Selected papers from the 22nd International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Naples, 27-31 July 2015
Edited by Michela Cennamo and Claudia Fabrizio
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 348] 2019
► pp. 320–341
Perfecting the notion of Sprachbund
Perfects and resultatives in the “Stratified Convergence Zones” of Europe
In response to recent skepticism concerning the relevance of the concept of the Sprachbund, this paper argues that there is value in preserving the notion, but only with substantial updating. What is proposed here is a more dynamic, three-dimensional depiction of the linguistic area, as embodied in the concept of a “Stratified Convergence Zone.” In order to assess the usefulness of this redefined notion of the Sprachbund, the paper examines evidence from the periphrastic perfects and resultatives of three proposed Sprachbünde – the Balkan Sprachbund, the Charlemagne Sprachbund, and the Peipus-Bund of the Circum-Baltic area. In each case, the two-dimensional image of a Sprachbund only succeeds in presenting the end product of these complex changes, in synchronic fashion, without accounting for the sources of these similarities or their socio-historical contexts. It is argued that only a three-dimensional, chronologically-stratified model can adequately represent these developments.
Keywords: Sprachbund, perfect, resultative, Balkan, Charlemagne, Circum-Baltic, areal linguistics, contact
Published online: 10 September 2019
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