The Hittite -ḫi/-mi conjugations: an early voice opposition

Rose, Sarah (Sarah R.) (2004) The Hittite -ḫi/-mi conjugations: an early voice opposition. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The Hittite -ḫi conjugation is acknowledged to be one of the most enigmatic of Indo-European formations. Despite its link to the Indo-European perfect, attempts to establish the extent and nature of this relationship have met with serious difficulties. In this thesis, I argue that the -mi/-ḫi conjugations represent a vestige of an earlier Indo-European binary system and the original voice opposition in Hittite, with other voice-related developments, including the "medio-passive" in -rand the "reflexive" particle -z(a) secondary and/or increasing as the original diathesis became obsolete. Volume I discusses the morphological, phonological and semantic factors which distinguish the two Hittite conjugations. Adopting Lehmann's (2002) terminology, I identify the -ḫi conjugation as the centripetal member of the opposition and the -mi as centrifugal. The former is distinguished by its orientation to the self--a direct parallel to Sanskrit atmanepada voice ('word for self') vs. parasmaipada voice ('word for another'). Higher self-involvement is the essential characteristic of middle voice as traditionally defined (Lyons 1969, Barber 1975, Klaiman 1991 and Kemmer 1993). I present argument and evidence that the inflectional elements which mark the Hittite opposition most clearly in the first person singular represent different cases of first person pronominal stems cliticized to the verb: direct case -ḫ (centripetal voice) and oblique case -m (centrifugal voice). These grammaticalized elements are identical in origin to the independent pronouns of IE. Two factors unique to Hittite allow me to make this argument: the existence of laryngeal phonemes and the presence of nominative-case clitics Volume II focusses on 132 clearly attested Hittite -bi verbs. I motivate the allocation of this group of verbs to 'high-self-involvement-type' by illustrating their social, cultural and intellectual centrality both in Hittite and IE culture. I refer to criteria set out in Kemmer' s 1993 study of middle voice to show that the majority of -bi verbs fall clearly within the semantic range of this type of verb. I provide evidence of morphological similarity of -ḫi verbs to the IE perfect, including o-grade, ablaut patterns and archaic stative morphology (in -e ), as well as semantic parallels to media tantum, deponent or middle-marked verbs in other IE languages.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 12301
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: May 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hittite language--Verb; Opposition (Linguistics)

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