Edited by Silvia Luraghi, Tatiana Nikitina and Chiara Zanchi
[Studies in Language Companion Series 188] 2017
► pp. 67–94
Ablative and allative marking of static locations
A historical perspective
The study addresses the diachronic relationship between locative marking and the marking of goals and sources of motion. In ancient Indo-European languages, and in some modern ones, static spatial relations can be described by means of inherently dynamic expressions, which are normally used for encoding Goals and Sources (as in to the left of the door). I suggest that this strategy presents an alternative to the use of rich systems of spatial prepositions specialized for encoding particular configurations. Its use pre-dates the development of basic spatial prepositions, which came to replace, in Indo-European languages, directional adverbs (sometimes also described as particles). The directional adverbs played a prominent role in the encoding of spatial notions in ancient languages. After they were reanalyzed as spatial prepositions and verbal prefixes, the directional strategy continued to be used for the expression of peripheral spatial meanings, for which no prepositional expression had developed. I illustrate this phenomenon with data from Ancient Greek and Modern Russian, and discuss how it can explain the data commonly described by the somewhat mysterious term “ablative-locative transfer”.
- 2.Static spatial relators vs. access paths
- 3.Etymology of spatial prepositions
- 4.Motion-based strategies in ancient languages
- 5.Access paths in modern languages
- 5.1Lexical restrictions
- 5.2Access paths in Russian: ‘left’ and ‘right’
- 5.3Access paths in Russian: Cardinal directions
- 5.4Summary of the Russian data
Cited by 4 other publications
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