• The Uralic passive-automative *-w : Reflexes and reconstructions reconsidered

    Juha Kuokkala (see profile)
    Uralic languages--Etymology, Uralic languages--Word formation
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    Meeting Title:
    CIFU XIII: Congressus XIII Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum
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    University of Vienna
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    In the established Proto-Uralic reconstruction, a detransitivizing verbal suffix *-w is reconstructed on the basis of the Saami -ōj ~ -uvv- (SaaN oidnot ‘to be seen’, čuolbmaduvvat ‘to get entangled’), Finnic -u/-ü (Fi. kuulua ‘to be heard’), Mordvin -v (Erza ńejavoms ‘to be seen’) automative/passive suffixes and the Mansi passive marker -w (Middle Konda teewø ‘he gets eaten’). In Finnic languages, the suffix has a variant -pu/-pü, usually occurring after a long stressed root syllable as in Fi. juopua ‘to get drunk’, but in Livonian also after bisyllabic roots, e.g. rikābõ ‘to get broken, spoiled’. This variant has sometimes been addressed in the literature as a “strong grade” form of -u/-ü, though more often as prothesized or based on the -pa/-pä participle. As more substantive evidence in favor of the “strong grade variant” hypothesis has apparently not been presented before, a survey is conducted in the current presentation to find out whether there are grouds for reconstructing a detransitivizing Uralic *-p(V) suffix and what relationship this kind of a suffix may have to the traditional set of *-w suffixes. In particular, possible unnoticed cases of ancient consonant-stem derivatives are scrutinized, such as SaaS gåarpodh ‘to get ice crust (of water)’ ~ SaaL goarre ‘hoarfrost’ (< PU *kari ‘skin, bark’) and Liv. kuorbõ, Est. kõrbeda, Erza kurvams ‘to burn (intr.)’ ~ SaaN goardit ‘to heat, roast’. Finally, the implications of reconstructing *-p instead of or in parallel with *-w are discussed, considering the overall picture of Proto-Uralic morphology as well as the possible solutions offered to the problem of divergent reflexes of inherited labial vowel suffixes in Saami and Finnic.
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    1 year ago
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