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What role for inscriptions in the study of syntax and syntactic change in the old Indo-European languages?

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Abstract

It happens that scholars dealing with syntactic problems (especially of a theoretical nature) tend to dismiss inscriptional records of ancient I.-E. languages as being “not useful” or “too difficult to investigate”. In this paper, I will try firstly to understand where this attitude towards inscriptions originates from. Secondly, I will present some case-studies useful to shed light on the specific characteristics of inscriptions, which are not only texts but also concrete objects, and I will explore the pros and cons of the integration of epigraphic texts in the study of syntactic problems in the case of ancient languages. Finally, I will provide some reflections on the fact that scholars who would like to use inscriptions in their studies still do not have suitable digital tools at their disposal.**

References

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