By Eran Cohen
Cohen’s monograph takes up the problem of conditional constructions in outdated Babylonian from a linguistic standpoint. The genres that shape the corpus for the examine are letters, in addition to legislations collections and omens. The inquiry concludes with a normal dialogue of the linguistic nature of every style and the relation of this varied nature to the features of the types. Conditionals frequently show modality (the supposition, or the aptitude issue) yet are literally even more; they interface with many linguistic subsystems: clause-combining innovations, interclausal relatives (for example, the syntactic courting among protasis and apodosis), syntactic styles, syntactic devices above clause degrees (the essence of outdated Babylonian macro-syntax); tense-related matters, the basic competition among particular and standard, and extra. all the conditional styles (there are a number of varied styles) are supplied with a syntactic characterization, in order that the peculiarity of every conditional series is differentiated from all different power sequences.
Language specialists will locate, moreover, an in-depth, distinct dialogue in regards to the values of varied verbal and different predicative kinds in a number of conditional buildings taking place within the corpus; the variations among superficially comparable conditional styles are acknowledged and defined, and the capabilities of some of the conditional styles are defined. Many regularly tough issues are handled and given compatible strategies. The concluding sections of every bankruptcy contain lingustic glosses and more-general discussions that let linguistic typologists to peek into the conditional procedure of previous Babylonian.
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Additional info for Conditional Structures in Mesopotamian Old Babylonian
This syntactic characterization leaves us, ideally, with a distinctive pattern, since the particle šumma itself is not enough to tell us whether this pattern is conditional or not. In the conditional pattern, there is mutual dependency between the protasis domain and the apodosis domain. This interdependency makes it clear that šumma without two domains has no conditional function, while the two domains without šumma are possibly not conditional either. For instance, if šumma occurs preceding a precative form (as in ex.
The latter is plain indicative, making a factual statement, whereas the former is not. Being conditioned, it is a nonfactual statement. This special semantic status (the syntactic difference is discussed below, in the following section) is not marked morphologically, but it must not be overlooked. ” 10 However, they are not identical, even though ul illikam in both clauses is presented as factual (in ex. , the example is preceded by aššum lā tallikam ‘because you did not come’). The reason for not coming is different in each case, not only by virtue of content (combat vs.
Voigt (1995) explains this correspondence as a general sound shift that works only in two or three morphemes. Another explanation, suggested by Speiser (1936: 28–29), traces back the different forms to a single historical pair: the pronouns *šīʾa and *hūʾa. 5. ’ (9, 63:5–7). 1. When this nevertheless appears to happen, it is actually the focusing function that occurs when -ma follows nouns and adverbials (simple or complex), rather than independent clauses. It is then marking the protasis as focus (see exx.