Sunday, August 21, 2011

Status update

I am happy to announce (to any readers who may still be checking this) that I am blogging again, and happier to announce that I've gotten married during the hiatus.

I'm starting a three-year British Academy post-doc based at SOAS next month, focusing on the historical development and synchronic typology of agreement in Berber, particularly indirect object agreement. (Basically: why do people commonly say nniɣ-as i Muḥend "I said-to-him to Mohand" rather than nniɣ i Muḥend "I said to Mohand", and why is this more or less obligatory in some areas but rare or absent in others? Similar phenomena can be observed in Spanish and some dialects of Maghrebi Arabic - probably as a result of areal contact - but Berber is the only family I know of to exhibit the full range of possibilities.)

On a non-academic note: if any readers have leads on reasonably cheap 2-pièce flats in Paris, I would love to hear from you!

15 comments:

bulbul said...

I am blogging again
A 'yay!' to that with an extra 'thank God!'. I think I speak for everyone when I say we missed you.

why do people commonly say nniɣ-as i Muḥend
Whoa, wait. Aren't we talking about clitic doubling here? E.g. Guerssel's "Berber Clitic Doubling and Syntactic Extraction" (Revue québécoise de linguistique, vol. 24, n° 1, 1995, p. 111-133.) or Hamid Ouali's Agreement, Pronominal Clitics and Negation in Tamazight Berber, not to mention this humble conference paper.

As for the flat, let me ask around. Any area preferences?

BTW, bloody good to have you back...

Ed said...

Glad to have you back.

The phenomenon you mention is also very common in Aramaic (especially Syriac) and in Rabbinic Hebrew.

bulbul said...

Ed,

precisely. It's also been noted to exist in other Semitic languages, e.g. G. Khan's "Object Markers and Agreement Pronouns in Semitic Languages" (BSOAS 47/3, pp. 468-500). The older Syriac grammars usually lump it with other reduplication phenomena, but recent studies, like this one, started paying proper attention. Still, our colleagues working on Romance languages and languages of the Balkan Sprachbund are years ahead of us in the study of these phenomena and no one has yet attempted to bring what they've learned into Semitology.

languagehat said...

What they said about your being back! I'm afraid I have nothing useful to say about clitics or Paris apartments, however.

Lameen Souag said...

Thanks! Yes, the commonest version of this phenomenon in Berber is clitic doubling. However, at least in Siwi the "doubled" element has become a suffix not a clitic, and it appears to be obligatory in most contexts, suggesting that it has transitioned to full-blown agreement. The Balkan and Semitic cases provide very interesting comparisons, but differ in that they apply indifferently to direct and indirect objects (and sometimes other types of object) rather than being specific to datives.

bulbul said...

Lameen,

I see, so the Spanish equivalent would then be leísmo, right?

they apply indifferently to direct and indirect objects
Not entirely. AFAIK, in Albanian, indirect objects must be doubled, whereas direct objects don't have to be. There appear to be dialects of Macedonian where that is true as well, while in standard Macedonian, CD is only obligatory is indirect objects and definite direct objects.

John Cowan said...

Congratulations, and indeed mazel tov!

Mo said...

"they apply indifferently to direct and indirect objects"

Well, apparently in Western Neo-Aramaic the clitic is only used for the dative in two (older) tenses, while in two (newer) tenses it may also mark the direct object. Thus faθḥille = "I opened to/for him", while ṭaʿenle = "he carries him" or "he carries to/for him".

Anonymous said...

Lameen: congratulations on your wedding as well as on your post-doc. Clitic doubling involving only indirect objects is something I've never heard of in Romance, and PACE Bulbul I don't think Spanish LEISMO is comparable: LEISMO involves merger of the accusative and dative third person clitic pronouns, whereas from what I understand Berber accusative and dative pronouns are separate entities, with the latter but not the former being liable to "doubling".

Your friendly neighborhood Romance scholar.

Lameen Souag said...

Bulbul: I had no idea Albanian does that - thanks! I'll have to read up on that.

Mo: Interesting interplay of tense and argument marking there, but is doubling involved?

Etienne: Your understanding is correct; however, a more limited parallel does exist, insofar as Spanish (like Macedonian, from what Bulbul is saying) allows doubling for practically all indirect objects but only a subset of direct objects.

تامر said...

Congratulations on your marriage and post doc! :)

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Mabruk on your marriage. We need you back as your subsequent Siwa/Nafusa post makes clear.

David Marjanović said...

Belated congratulations!

Also belatedly... what do you want? Cheap, or Paris? Seriously, my thesis supervisor had to wait for a promotion so he could afford to move from his small flat at the outer fringe of public transport zone 2 (1 is Paris) to a bigger one somewhere in zone 4, big enough for him, his wife, and their baby daughter. You'll need insane amounts of luck, or lots of money, to find something you can afford.

Lameen Souag said...

Thanks to you too!

The rent isn't actually the big problem - the problem is that a dozen people show up to every viewing, and the landlord chooses among them based on the quality of the "dossier" of papers indicating their previous rental record in France...

David Marjanović said...

papers indicating their previous rental record in France

*headdesk*