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Ait Said-Ghanem, Nadia (2019) 'The Accusative-Initial Sentence in YOS 10 omen texts.' Revue d'assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale, 113 (1). pp. 139-150.

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Word-order in Akkadian is generally described as SOV, and although other word-orders than SOV are visible in texts when they are examined individually, trends over an entire corpus remain difficult to establish. Buccellati (1996: 396) recommended that to make word order trends visible, a representative body of texts would have to be tested statistically. In this respect, Old Babylonian omen texts constitute a useful corpus to investigate for trends. In this corpus, protases and apodoses regularly begin with a nominative, a prepositional phrase/adverb, or an accusative. Old Babylonian omens in the YOS 10 collection are particularly noteworthy for the recurrence of apodoses that not only begin with an accusative object but also contain a suffixed pronoun that resumes the sentence-initial accusative and is always attached to the verb. To discuss word-order trends in Old Babylonian omens and this specific type of apodosis construction, the present article begins a three-part series that will present non-SOV sentence structures in protases and apodoses, beginning with the accusative-initial sentence. This discussion will focus on the structure of accusative-initial apodoses in YOS 10 omen texts and their function. Linguistic studies, both ancient and modern, describe the accusative object as a constituent that carries new information in the sentence, in contrast to the nominative subject that carries old or shared information. On the basis of the value of the accusative, accusative-initial sentences can not only be analysed as focus, but can also be viewed as sentences that communicate new information first via the accusative. Their function is to contrast nominative-initial sentences that communicate old or shared information first, via the nominative.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Assyriology; Akkadian; Grammar; Decolonising Grammar; Old Babylonian Omens; Sentence Structure; Arabic
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
ISSN: 03736032
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2022 16:17

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