The Expression of Modality in Late Middle Persian

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  ICIL 5 – Abstract The expression of modality in Late Middle Persian In a series of three articles which have not yet appeared (Josephson forthcoming, to appear a and b) I have studied the fate of the modal paradigms in Late Middle Persian (henceforth LMP) texts in Pahlavi script as part of a larger project to establish the grammar of this language. My studies show that usage of the subjunctive, optative and hortative (the particle ē  w  + present tense verb) moods which is frequent in the Manichaean MP texts (see Brunner 1977, Lazard 1984, Skjaervø 2009, Durkin-Meisterernst to appear) decreases drastically in the late MP texts and that they are seldom used in what was once their main functions. My question has been: how are the functions no longer expressed by these forms conveyed in the language of the late MP texts? The aim of this paper is to present an overview of my findings and to relate them more generally to the term “LMP”. Examples of the functions no longer expressed by formal means include the use of subjunctive to express future tense, use in subordinate complement clauses and subordinate adverbial clauses. Further, optative present forms are extremely rare with the result that they are no longer found in conditional clauses or in comparisons and parables (“the parabolic optative” described by Henning (1943). Likewise usage of the particle ē  w  + present tense verb to express exhortation diminishes. While the late MP texts received their final redactions in the 9 th  and 10 th  centuries CE they often contain material that had been tradited for centuries. In some instances quotations from earlier material and/or the conflation of more than one source leads to the presence of passages from older texts which are unmarked and often hard to recognize. In spite of this, a detailed analysis of a large number of passages from the texts listed below shows that there is a surprising uniformity in the grammatical features of the language of this period. Thus it is possible to identify the same types of constructions appearing in all of these texts in place of the old modal forms. Brunner, Ch. 1977.  A Syntax of Western Middle Iranian . [Persian Studies Series. 3] Delmar, New York: Caravan Books. Durkin-Meisterernst, Desmond. To appear. Grammatik des Westmitteliranischen (Parthisch und Mittelpersisch).  Henning, W. B. 1943-46. The Book of the Giants.  Bulletin of the School of Oriental and  Asiatic Studies , 11. Josephson, Judith. forthcoming. The Fate of the Subjunctive in Late Middle Persian, in  Diachronic and Typological Perspectives on Verbs. Eds. F. Josephson & I. Söhrman. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Josephson, Judith. to appear a. Deontic modality in Middle Persian and Judaeo-Persian. In  Irano-Judaica VII  . Eds. M. Glatzer & Sh. Shaked. Jerusalem. Josephson, Judith. to appear b. The Construction ham ē   + verb in Middle Persian. In the proceedings of the workshop Turco-Iranica: Language and History convened by the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala May 20-22, 2006. Eds. E. Csató et al. Lazard, G. 1984. Les modes de la virtualité en moyen-iranien occidental. In  Middle Iranian Studies . Eds. W. Skalmowski & A. van Tongerloo. 1-13 Leuven: Peeters. Skjærvø, P. R. 2009. Middle West Iranian. In The Iranian Languages . Ed. G. Windfuhr. 196-278. London: Routledge. Sundermann, W. 1989. Mittelpersisch. In Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum . Ed. R. Schmitt. 138-164. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.  Ard  ā  wir  ā  z n ā mag    Ay ā dg ā r ī   Zar  ē  r  ā n    Bundahišn  D ā dest  ā n ī   d  ē  n ī  g    D ā dest  ā n ī   m ē  n ō g ī   xrad     Denkard Book 3  D ē  nkard Book 6 K  ā rn ā mag ī   Ardaš  ī  r ī   P ā bag ā n    M  ā diy ā n ī   haz ā r d  ā dest  ā n    N  ā mag-nib ē  sišn ī  h Pahlavi riv ā  yat accompanying the  D ā dest  ā n ī   d  ē  n ī  g Pand-n ā mag Supplementary Texts to the Š  ā  yast n ē  -Š  ā  yast    Š  ā  yast n ē  -Š  ā  yast    Wiz ī  dag ī  h ā   ī   Z  ā dspram    Zand ī   Wahman Yasn  
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