Séminaire Théories et Données linguistiques

18 novembre 2022 --14h30 - 17h30

Animé par Alexandru Mardale et Anaïd Donabédian (INALCO, PLC salle 3.15)

Peter Arkadiev (University of Zurich) Non-canonical noun incorporation in Northwest Caucasian (with focus on Abaza)

Northwest Caucasian (NWC) languages have usually been considered to lack noun incorporation (NI). Indeed, they do not feature structures considered prototypical NI as familiar from such languages as Iroquoian or Chukotkan, where the verb optionally and productively combines with the root of its P or S argument under specific discourse conditions with consequences for transitivity and case marking. However, I argue that NWC still shows phenomena amenable to an NI analysis. These are found in the domain of the so-called spatial preverbs, many of which not only historically go back to incorporated nouns, but may be analysed as such synchronically as well, albeit under a broad understanding of NI. In my talk, I shall focus on constructions with two types of incorporated nouns in Abaza, a member of the Abkhaz-Abaza branch of NWC, i.e. body-part nouns and non-relational nouns, discussing similarities and differences in their semantics and morphosyntactic behaviour and drawing parallels from other languages of the family as well as cross-linguistically. I shall argue that Abaza and, more broadly, NWC spatial preverbs form a cline from incorporated nouns to fully grammaticalised lexical affixes, suggesting several successive stages of incorporation and ensuing affixalisation.