Chapter published in:Argument Selectors: A new perspective on grammatical relations
Edited by Alena Witzlack-Makarevich and Balthasar Bickel
[Typological Studies in Language 123] 2019
► pp. 1–50
Grammatical relations in Telkepe Neo-Aramaic
This chapter describes grammatical relations in the North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic. Telkepe Neo-Aramaic has nominative-accusative alignment. The core arguments that can be clearly distinguished are subject, direct object of a transitive verb, dative object of a ditransitive verb and theme of a ditransitive verb. Core grammatical relations are predominantly encoded on the verb and there is no case-marking, while word order is conditioned not by syntactic roles but by information structure. Up to three arguments may be indexed on the verb, but only subjects are always indexed on the verb. In certain constructions, specific semantic roles may be indexed: one suffix may index a goal, affectee or human source, while another indexes location or metaphorically expresses ability. Telkepe exhibits a type of differential object marking, conditioned by definiteness and topicality and manifested in two separate ways: indexing on the verb and (less consistently) flagging of the object with a dative preposition. Telkepe shows an unusual inversion in the syntactic roles of the indexes on verbs. The suffix set which indexes the subject in Present Base forms indexes the object in Past Base forms, while the suffix set which indexes the object in Present Base forms indexes the subject in Past Base forms.
Published online: 05 March 2019
Aramaic Bible Translation
Bickel, Balthasar, Iemmolo, Giorgio, Zakharko, Taras & Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena
Cowell, Mark W.
Hoberman, Robert D.
Maclean, Arthur J.