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By Antonia Ruppel

Long ago, discussions approximately absolute structures (ACs) were constrained by way of an vague knowing of what ACs are. by means of interpreting the character and serve as of ACs and comparable buildings in Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, this new research arrives at a transparent and easy definition of ACs. targeting the earliest attested fabric in each one language, Dr Ruppel highlights how using ACs differs among the languages and provides motives for those transformations. Referring without delay and greatly to the early fabric, she identifies the typical middle shared by way of all ACs and reconstructs their improvement into Greek, Latin and Sanskrit. This old point of view unearths how ACs were conceived of via grammarians, philologists or even Christian missionaries during the last thousand years and the way enduring misconceptions nonetheless impact our dialogue of them this day.

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Extra resources for Absolute Constructions in Early Indo-European

Example text

Pulcherrimum facinus videbatur ‘the dictator seemed like the most beautiful deed’, which does not make sense. g. piro florente ‘at the bloom of the pear-tree, when the pear-tree is in bloom’ (Cato Agr. 131) leaves us with a nonsensical ‘during the pear-tree’. To my mind, Ziegler is on the right track in adopting Pinkster’s idea, but she does not make anything further of it. In the remainder of this present study, I shall attempt to demonstrate why the ‘dominance’ of participles (or rather one specific sub-category of this phenomenon, which I shall call ‘obligatory’) is the crucial factor in the definition of ACs.

Sg ) ‘at sunrise’ seem equivalent more to noun phrases than to verbal clauses. As the more detailed studies of the following three chapters will show, the ‘verbal’ or ‘clausal’ element in ACs is brought about in a different, much simpler fashion. Discussions such as Keydana’s make an extremely valuable contribution to our synchronic understanding of at least some ACs. g. Greek historiography would have rephrased (or ‘transformed’) verbal clauses into such (nominal) ACs once ACs already existed in the language.

Generally speaking, this study thus aims to answer open questions relating to ACs and, where that is not possible, to at least identify the areas for further research on whose clarification an answer depends. More specifically, it aims to demonstrate that we can define ACs as temporal expressions with non-temporal heads, and that all their characteristic qualities follow from this definition. Using the oldest attestations of ACs in the oldest languages in which they are unambiguously attested, it then shows from what source and how ACs first came to be, and, taking into account later information from each language, how these constructions developed.

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