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image of The ventive and the deictic shift
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Abstract

Abstract

The Old Assyrian language is a branch of East Semitic. East Semitic has been extinct since around 400 BCE. The Old Assyrian texts used in this study were produced by Assyrian merchants between 1890 and 1860 BCE in Northern Mesopotamia and Central Anatolia. Old Assyrian, as well as most other East Semitic varieties, had a ventive (or cislocative) marker hosted on motion verbs. This marker obligatorily encoded motion either toward the speaker or the interlocutor (the addressee of a written message). By way of a deictic shift, the ventive sometimes also came to point to a future location of the speaker and even to the whereabouts of non-speech act participants. The ventive marker had three allomorphs which are also allomorphs of the 1st person singular indirect object pronoun ‘to/for me’. The cislocative and personal pronoun meanings of the marker evolved in the course of a complex interaction which we trace in the etymological part of the study.

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2024-05-30
2024-06-19
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