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Reconstructed morphemes/historical changes

Zaicz 88:

- "[I]n the earlier stages of proto-Mordva there was certainky a high front rounded *ü, as well." (p.187)

- Proto-Uralic (P.U.) plural suffix *-t (p.191), P.U. genitive = *-n (191), P.U. accusative = *-m (p.192); P.U. lative suffix = *-s, *.-k, P.U. demonstrative base = *cʲe (compare the Mordvin demonstrative sʲe) (p.202); P.U. imperative suffix = *-k (p.201);

- suffix which distinguish the definite from the indefinite noun declension (-sʲ, -tʲ, -nʲtʲ, ne) are derived from demonstrative pronouns (cf. Finnish se = 'it, that', ne = 'those', tä = 'this') (p.191)

- P.U. *-n and *-m have been merged to -n (gen. and acc. in present day Mordvin) because -m was assimilated to a folowing t in some contexts (p. 192)

- Erza possessive suffixes go back to P.U. personal pronouns with roots mV(1st), tV(2nd), sV(3rd) (p. 195)

- P.F.U. (F=?): *-k, *-n = pluralizer (p. 195)

- verbal affixes: -n (1sg) from P.U. *-m; -n(1sg) and -t(2) derive from the P.U. personal pronoun roots (see above, p. 198)

- see Zaicz 88 p. 205 for a table including non-finite verb Erza forms and their P.U. origin; p.203 for the origin of verbal suffixes


Abondolo 82:

- the non-past tense suffixes express also object person (allomorphy s ~ t) "The historical implication is that neither -S- nor -T- was a tense marker originally, but that rather they developed this role during the formation of the objective [=definite, D.G.] conjugation." (p.15)

- the morpheme -z which encodes 3pl subject (acting on a 3rd person object) in the definite conjugation is "probably historically identical with the (past) participle -z" (p.17)

- in the definite non-past conjugation the 3rd sg subject suffix -ze (still present in the corresponding past paradigm) has been replaced by the 3rd singular subject suffix -i from the indefinite non-past conjugation (van-s-azo replaced by van-s-y)

General statements about Uralic inflectional morphology

Abondolo 82:

- Mansi, Kanty, Nenets (and all other Northern Samoyedic languages): in the definite conjugation a 3rd person object is imlicit, only number of the object is marked (sg, pl, du); the same holds for Hungarian

- Syncretism arises by neutralization of person and/or number (object number in northern Kanty, subject number in northern Mansi, subject person in Nenets, person and number of the subject in eastern Kanty, Gulya)

- Mordin is unique in Uralic because that person and number of the object are reflected in verbal agreement markers (in fact, object person is never neutralized, only object number and subject person and number)

- "In all Uralic languages, verb inflection finds its morphological counterpart to one degree or another in the possessive paradigm of the noun." (p. 17)

Interaction of verbal and nominal morphology

Abondolo 82:

-Mordvin: nouns can be inflected with the markers of the indefinite conjugation and then function as predicates (nominal predicate paradigm).

- indefinite conjugation: non-3rd person forms are verbal, 3rd person forms are nominalized (-i is a participle [van-i = (s)he looks = (s)he is a looking one], -t in 3rd person plural is the general nominal plural marker, thus this form is a plural participle [van-i-i = they are looking ones])

- in Mordvin verbal and nominal inflection take the same set of markers (compare the nominal paradigms with the subanalyzed verbal suffixes)

Additional literature

- Klemm 27, Bubrix 53, Seremrennikov 67: diachronic account of syncretism/allomorphy in Mordvin (cited in Abondolo 82)

- Erdödi 71: on neutralization of number in Mordvinian and other Uralic languages (cited in Abondolo 82)


This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.





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