Formal Origins of the Perfect

Formal Origins of the Perfect

Postby MAubrey » December 12th, 2012, 4:08 pm

As I've been working on my research project on the Greek perfect, one thing I've been trying to trace is the historical origins of the various morphemes involved in the perfect, particularly reduplication and the -κ suffix, but I'm not finding a lot information. Sihler has some, but he's not particularly helpful on the question (I also might not be looking in the right place...)

Any other suggestions for resources or even your own opinions on the matter would be wonderful.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Formal Origins of the Perfect

Postby Stephen Carlson » December 12th, 2012, 4:59 pm

The classic studies are those by Wackernagel and Chantraine:

Wackernagel, J., 1953[1904]. ‘Studien zum griechischen Perfectum’, Programm zur akademischen Preisverteilung, 3–32. Repr. in Kleine Schriften, 1000–21, Göttingen: Vandenhoek and Ruprecht.

Chantraine, P., 1927. L’histoire du parfait grec. Paris: Champion.

Perhaps helpful is: Drinka, B., 1998. ‘The evolution of grammar. Evidence from Indo-European perfects’, in Monika Schmid (ed.), Historical Linguistics 1997, Amsterdam: Benjamins, 117–133.

K. Benstein has some articles on the perfect in a recent issue of the Transactions of the Philological Society (from which I got these cites).

Sara Kimball has a discussion and a complicated proposal: Kimball, Sara E. (1991). ‘The origin of the Greek k-perfect’. Glotta, 69: 141–53.

The kappa-formation appears to be a Greek development, while the reduplication may be late PIE.

Stephen
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Re: Formal Origins of the Perfect

Postby MAubrey » December 16th, 2012, 8:30 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:The classic studies are those by Wackernagel and Chantraine:

Wackernagel, J., 1953[1904]. ‘Studien zum griechischen Perfectum’, Programm zur akademischen Preisverteilung, 3–32. Repr. in Kleine Schriften, 1000–21, Göttingen: Vandenhoek and Ruprecht.

Chantraine, P., 1927. L’histoire du parfait grec. Paris: Champion.

Perhaps helpful is: Drinka, B., 1998. ‘The evolution of grammar. Evidence from Indo-European perfects’, in Monika Schmid (ed.), Historical Linguistics 1997, Amsterdam: Benjamins, 117–133.

Right. I've debated taking the time to work through translating these. The problem is (1) time and (2) how much I trust my ability to translate accurately.
Stephen Carlson wrote:K. Benstein has some articles on the perfect in a recent issue of the Transactions of the Philological Society (from which I got these cites).

Sara Kimball has a discussion and a complicated proposal: Kimball, Sara E. (1991). ‘The origin of the Greek k-perfect’. Glotta, 69: 141–53.

I'll take a look at those. Or, I should say, I'll check to see if I have access to though...
Stephen Carlson wrote:The kappa-formation appears to be a Greek development, while the reduplication may be late PIE.

Yeah, I knew that much. I'm wondering specifically about theories as their grammatical source. For example, reduplication may be motivated cognitively by various factors (common cross-linguistic examples are iterativity and intensive usage), but stativity isn't one of them, which makes the perfect look a little odd, since it was the PIE stative aspect (vs. eventive). One guess I have is that the reduplication was adapted from the athematic imperfectives (which would then fits Bhat's idea [followed by Buth & Runge] about perfects as being a combination of both perfective and imperfective). Likewise, if the kappa is borrowed from the aorist, well, then, that fits nicely. The connection between the form and the perfective and imperfective might just be wishful thinking, but it might be worth digging into if there's a clear answer one way or the other.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Formal Origins of the Perfect

Postby Stephen Carlson » December 17th, 2012, 8:10 am

OK, Mike, I think the following article probably has what you want:

Drinka, Bridget. 2003. The development of the perfect in Indo-European: stratigraphic evidence of prehistoric areal influence. In Henning Andersen (ed.), Language Contacts in Prehistory: Studies in Stratigraphy, 77-105. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

I don't have the book here, but excerpts are available on Google books and it seems to address your questions (though two of the most crucial pages are not to be displayed by Google books). Drinka is pretty much the expert on the IE perfect, so her other writings should also be consulted. She likes areal diffusion as an explanation, just so you know.

Basically, it seems that the reduplication has a separate origin, grammaticalized via a progressive -> present -> perfect route (one of the two grammaticalization routes for the perfect that Bybee et al. identified) and merged with the more primitive o-grade ablauting pattern we see (sans reduplication) in οἶδα. Drinka also takes into account the Homeric intensive perfect with State that do not have the o-grade ablaut forms, but a long value.

Greek will later add a kappa suffix and middle endings to the perfect stems.

In my own research, I have found that the functions of the (Koine) perfect are still quite a bit more sensitive to diathesis than to actionality, in contrast with the imperfective and perfective stems.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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Re: Formal Origins of the Perfect

Postby Stephen Carlson » December 17th, 2012, 11:59 am

Another book on point is

Niepokuj, Mary Katherine (1997). The Development of Verbal Reduplication in Indo-European. Washington: Institute for the Study of Man.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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