THE GLAGOLITHIC ALPHABET,ANOTHER HELLENIC SCRIPTURE (IVb)


(BEING CONTINUED FROM 25/07/13 )

This suggestion has much to recommend it, and as it happens, a fuller defense of it can
— and should — be mounted, going beyond the relatively brief remarks that Landsman
himself provided.
First, there is more within Turkish to cite as a source of influence on the development of  image
besides just yo. In particular, there is also the form yok, which basically has an
existential sense (‘there is not’) but which, as an isolated form, means ‘no’, apparently an
emphatic ‘no’ moreover, to judge from the description in Redhouse (1981: s.v.) of its use
as “a refusal to a request or negative answer to a question.” Moreover, the velar final of yok
would have aligned it even more definitively with image (cf., the ancient variant image  , and the
Pontic forms mentioned above), providing a more solid basis for some influence of yok on
the Greek form.
Assuming some role for Turkish yo and yok in the development of  image  provides a ready
explanation for the difficulties alluded to above. The vowel development in the initial
syllable is explained and the accent on that vowel is accounted for as well, inasmuch as both
yo and yok contain an initial accented [o]. Moreover, the shift from clausal negator to free
negation word seen in the development of  image to image  is solved by reference to Turkish
yo/yok, since those forms are used as free negatives in Turkish, so that identifying them with
 image   could have induced a change on the part of Greek speakers in the function of their
corresponding word.
Moreover, there is a wealth of corroborating evidence that makes the positing of Turkish
influence on a wholly plausible solution to the difficulties in the details of the passage
from image .
First, despite what Landsman says about speakers showing a “reluctance” to  borrowing negatives, there are several examples that show just that in the Hellenic milieu — and see section 4 below for additional support from Slavic — including the Tsakonian

image

image

image

5. Conclusion
Besides what the foregoing suggests about developments with negation in Greek and
about language contact in the Balkans, a couple of points of general interest regarding
language contact emerge from these case-studies. In particular, lexical borrowing and
grammatical borrowing can be taken to be essentially the same mechanism, with
grammatical effects thus being secondary, language-internal, developments only indirectly
caused by borrowing. Also, it must be acknowledged that the effects of language contact
can be pervasive, even with so highly grammatical a part of a language as negation, which
might be otherwise considered to be resistant to contact-induced change; this result is in
keeping with Thomason & Kaufman 1988’s claim that there are no linguistic constraints on
the outcome of language contact .

THE END

Brian D. Joseph

image

image

(TO BE CONTINUED )

About sooteris kyritsis

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