Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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Hypotaxis has been found since the earliest records of Vedic, especially for relative and adverbial functions. However, some adverbial relations more often resort to alternative structures such as clause juxtaposition, nominalization, or particles. The principles underlying the inconsistent representation of hypotaxis remain unclear. My analysis of clause linkage strategies in the Rig-Veda shows that non-hypotactic constructions are used preferentially for relations, such as purpose or concession, that are considered complex in studies of the ontogenesis of hypotaxis in first language acquisition. This suggests that the spread of hypotaxis follows a cognitive path of increasing complexity through the diachronic stages of Vedic. Moreover, the different entrenchment of some adverbial relations, particularly of conditionals, in Vedic with respect to ontogenetic studies allows us to refine the concept of cognitive complexity in the adverbial domain, and to consider it as a contrast to the speaker’s expectations rather than to the extra-linguistic world, as it is usually seen.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): adverbial; hypotaxis; ontogenesis; phylogenesis; Vedic
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