Adverbial Accent Shift in Vedic Sanskrit
A hypothetical process of ‘adverbial shift of accent’ is universally assumed, e.g. by Grassmann (1873), Lanman (1880), Whitney (1889), and as recently as Gotō (2013), to explain the irregular accent of several dozen Vedic case-forms in adverbial use, which are differentiated from non-adverbial comparanda by a contrast in accent. The pool of affected forms is so morphologically wide-ranging and inconsistent that it is difficult to define the rules and distributional restrictions of the supposed process. For example, adv. dravát ‘at a run, quickly’ beside drávant- ‘running’ appears to show rightward accent shift to a suffix. But among numerous adverbial neuter accusative participles, only dravát (and possibly patayát ‘in flight’) shows any trace of abnormal accent. Likewise loc. sg. upāké ‘close by’ apparently shows adverbial accent shift onto a case ending, contrasting with several attested forms in a barytone stem úpāka- ‘neighboring(?)’. But adverbial accent shift cannot explain the oxytone accent of an unambiguously adnominal form upākáyos (RV I.81.4). Nor can it account for the semantic change that accompanies the leftward accent ‘shift’ from inst. sg. divā́ ‘through heaven’ to dívā ‘by day.’ Other forms show additional formal irregularities beyond the accent that must be explained before we may reasonably suppose that a shift of accent has occurred. In many individual cases, traditional analyses that rely on ‘adverbial accent shift’ have been rejected in favor of more concrete explanations, but this has not led to a systematic reappraisal of adverbial accent shift itself. In other cases, the persistent assumption that any adverbial case-form in the language may be targeted for a contrastive shift of accent—as if by a suppositious [+adverb] feature—has forestalled further morphological investigation into a number of formally ambiguous or problematic adverbs. In this dissertation I argue that the data does not support a generalized rule of adverbial accent shift that is either inherited or synchronically active in Vedic. The majority of purported examples are better explained as derived adverbs in accented suffixes, as old retentions that maintain the original accent of synchronically remodeled paradigms, or as analogical innovations based on accentually regular models. By providing alternative analyses for key cases I show that we must either eliminate ‘adverbial accent shift’ entirely, or at least severely limit its scope of application within the Vedic grammar to concrete analogical scenarios.
accent shift; analogy; derivational morphology; diachronic change; Indo-European; historical linguistics; Linguistics
Weiss, Michael L.
Nussbaum, Alan Jeffrey; Whitman, John
Ph. D., Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
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