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HomeAbstracta IranicaVolume 282. Linguistique2.2. Langues vivantes et dialectes« Iranian as Buffer Zone between ...

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Donald Stilo

« Iranian as Buffer Zone between the Universal Typologies of Turkic and Semitic », in : Éva Ágnes Csató ; Bo Isaksson and Carina Jahani, eds., Linguistic Convergence and Areal Diffusion: Case Studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic. London - New York, Routledge Curzon, 2005, pp. 35-63.

Book review by Behrooz Mahmoudi Bakhtyari

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1This is one of the most informative papers in the field of the typology of the Iranian languages. Within the study of implicational syntactic universals, knowing the placement of the direct object and the adposition (OV/PO vs. VO/PR, where O, V, PR, and PO stand for direct object, verb, preposition and postposition respectively), is believed to be sufficient for predicting the other syntactic features of a language, and it can be agreed upon for at least 50% of the languages with those features. By restricting the discussion to the placement of direct objects, adpositions, adjectives, genitives, demonstratives, numerals, relative clauses and adverbs modifying adjectives in languages of the Middle East and Central Asia, Stilo proves that those Iranian languages which do not meet the expectations of implicational syntactic universals are those which are found between two language areas that are more or less opposite to each other, so a “mixed type” language of this kind serves as a buffer zone between a group of typical VO/PR languages and a group of typical OV/PO ones. The writer shows that in such Iranian languages, the opposite patterns may alternate, merge into one circumposed pattern occurring both before and after the head, or may exhibit both the mentioned patterns. Discussing the percentage of OV/PO features in the areal context of Arabic, Turkish and Caucasic), he concludes that the “buffer zone” languages with unexpected word orders are not inconsistent with their areal distribution.

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References

Electronic reference

Behrooz Mahmoudi Bakhtyari. Donald Stilo, « « Iranian as Buffer Zone between the Universal Typologies of Turkic and Semitic », in : Éva Ágnes Csató ; Bo Isaksson and Carina Jahani, eds., Linguistic Convergence and Areal Diffusion: Case Studies from Iranian, Semitic and Turkic. London - New York, Routledge Curzon, 2005, pp. 35-63. », Abstracta Iranica [Online], Volume 28 | 2007, document 40, Online since 18 September 2007, connection on 25 September 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/10672 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.10672

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