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Hittite and the Indo-European Verb$
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Jay H. Jasanoff

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249053.001.0001

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The Problem of the ḫi-conjugation

The Problem of the ḫi-conjugation

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Problem of the ḫi-conjugation
Source:
Hittite and the Indo-European Verb
Author(s):

Jay H. Jasonoff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249053.003.0001

This chapter begins with a descriptive account of the hi-conjugation, emphasizing its synchronic status as a purely morphological form class, parallel to the historically more transparent mi-conjugation. The form of the hi-conjugation endings and the apparent *o : zero ablaut of some hi-verbs have often been thought to show that the hi-conjugation goes back to the PIE perfect. On critical review, however, the ‘perfect theory’ turns out to be untenable: the absence of plausible word equations linking the two categories, the functional disparity between them, and the conspicuous presence of suffixed present stems in the hi-conjugation all militate decisively against it. Other thinkable scenarios, such as the ‘middle theory’ and the ‘thematic conjugation theory’, prove on examination to be equally unsatisfactory.

Keywords:   hi-conjugation, mi-conjugation, perfect, perfect theory, middle theory, thematic conjugation theory, *o : zero ablaut

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