Convergence in language-change: morpho-syntactic patterns in Mingrelian (& Laz)

Convergence in language-change: morpho-syntactic patterns in Mingrelian (& Laz), Transactions of the Philological Society (TPS) 99.1, 99-145, 2001.

ABSTRACT
The paper examines two features of Mingrelian (a member of the Kartvelian, or South Caucasian, language-family): (i) the marking of subordinate clauses by either clause-final suffix -n(i)/-i/  alone or this suffix + a full subordinating conjunction (or relative pronoun); (ii) the 'Conditional' forms in  -k’o(n(i)), which are peculiar within Kartvelian to Mingrelian and its close sister Laz. Influence exerted long ago by the North West Caucasian language Abkhaz, whose speakers may be presumed to have been in close contact with the Zan ancestors of Laz-Mingrelians, it is claimed, might feasibly underlie these phenomena. The discussion finally touches upon consideration of the possible role played by parataxis in the development of some hypotactic constructions in the history of at least some languages, especially in light of a recent attempt to refute the notion that hypotaxis can be so derived.

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