ORA Thesis: "The syntax and semantics of tense-aspect stem participles in early Ṛgvedic Sanskrit" - uuid:45516bfd-cffb-457a-904c-100695cbd938




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Reference: John J. Lowe, (2012). The syntax and semantics of tense-aspect stem participles in early Ṛgvedic Sanskrit. DPhil. University of Oxford.

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Title: The syntax and semantics of tense-aspect stem participles in early Ṛgvedic Sanskrit


In this thesis I investigate the syntax and semantics of tense-aspect stem participles in the Ṛgveda, focusing primarily on the data from the earlier books II–VII and IX, seeking to establish a comprehensive and coherent analysis of this category within the linguistic system of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit. In recent literature tense-aspect stem participles are usually treated as semantically equivalent to finite verbs wherever possible, but contradictorily where they differ from finite verbs their adjectival nature is emphasized. I argue that tense-aspect stem participles are a fundamentally verbal formation and can be treated as inflectional verb forms: they are adjectival verbs rather than verbal adjectives. At the same time, however, they constitute an independent sub-category of verb form which is not necessarily semantically dependent on corresponding finite stems.

I examine the syntactic and semantic properties of tense-aspect stem participles both in relation to finite verbal forms and their wider syntactic context, formalizing the evidence in the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar. Consequently I am able to categorize the syntactic and semantic deviations which many participles exhibit in comparison to finite verbal forms. I contend that many such forms cannot be treated synchronically (and sometimes diachronically) as participles, but form distinct synchronic categories. My analysis permits a considerably more refined definition of the category of tense-aspect stem participles, dependent on clear morphological, syntactic and semantic criteria, as opposed to the usual, purely morphological, definition.

From a diachronic perspective I argue that the category of tense-aspect stem participles as found in the Ṛgveda more closely reflects an inherited Proto-Indo-European category of tense-aspect stem participles than is usually assumed. I also reconsider theoretical treatments of participial syntax and semantics, and develop a more precise typology of non-finite verb systems which adequately accounts for Sanskrit participles.

Digital Origin:Born digital
Type of Award:DPhil
Level of Award:Doctoral
Awarding Institution: University of Oxford
Notes:This thesis is not currently available via ORA.
About The Authors
institutionUniversity of Oxford
facultyHumanities Division
facultyHumanities Division - Linguistics & Phonetics - Comparative Philology and General Linguistics
oxfordCollegeWolfson College
fundingArts and Humanities Research Council
Prof Andreas Willi More by this contributor
Dr Elizabeth Tucker More by this contributor
Bibliographic Details
Issue Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2012
Urn: uuid:45516bfd-cffb-457a-904c-100695cbd938
Item Description
Member of collection : ora:thesis
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Copyright Holder: John J. Lowe
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