Conditional Structures in Mesopotamian Old Babylonian by Eran Cohen

By Eran Cohen

Cohen’s monograph takes up the problem of conditional buildings in previous Babylonian from a linguistic perspective. The genres that shape the corpus for the learn 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 various nature to the services of the types. Conditionals usually exhibit modality (the supposition, or the aptitude issue) yet are literally even more; they interface with many linguistic subsystems: clause-combining techniques, interclausal family members (for example, the syntactic dating among protasis and apodosis), syntactic styles, syntactic devices above clause degrees (the essence of previous Babylonian macro-syntax); tense-related concerns, the basic competition among particular and conventional, and extra. the entire conditional styles (there are a number of assorted styles) are supplied with a syntactic characterization, in order that the peculiarity of every conditional series is differentiated from all different capability sequences.

Language specialists will locate, furthermore, an in-depth, special dialogue concerning the values of assorted verbal and different predicative types in numerous conditional constructions taking place within the corpus; the diversities among superficially related conditional styles are acknowledged and defined, and the features of many of the conditional styles are defined. Many ordinarily tough issues are taken care of and given compatible recommendations. The concluding sections of every bankruptcy comprise lingustic glosses and more-general discussions that let linguistic typologists to peek into the conditional approach of outdated Babylonian.

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Iprus forms, however, do not normally function as the apodosis of a šumma conditional, whereas precative forms are the most common form in the apodosis. The semantic relationship is not corroborated by syntactic equivalence. 2), we shall now turn to the main task, to examine the internal paradigm of the protasis and its members and attempt to arrive at a statement about the different values of the various forms. These statements are based on all of the occurrences (to the best of my knowledge) of conditional šumma clauses in the letter corpus.

4. 8 protasis 1 qatala yaqtul 1a x-kāna/kāna/ yakun + comp ʾin divider apodosis none qatala yaqtul nominal clause qtul qad qatala yaqtulu etc. fa- 3 kāna (qad) qatala fa- 4 yaqtul qatala yaqtul qatala/yaqtulu +other forms without fa- qatala la (qad) qatala qatala (la) mā qatala lam yaqtul 5 iḏā law ordinary condition (modal interdependence) no tense-aspect oppositions equivalent of nom. clause qatala yaqtul 2 remarks ordinary condition as well as special types (modally split) ­– tense-aspect oppositions in apodosis verification, perfect value of protasis (rather than preterite) –temporal or conditional –often generic (in this case, just a main clause) counterfactual conditions [24] ʾiyyāyā fa-ttaqūni ‘Meacc (alone) [ fa-] (you should) fear’ (Q2/41) 34 Khan (1988: 57) mentions that this fa- in extrapositional structures is to be identified with the fa- separating protasis and apodosis.

In this group are ordinary conditions—that is, hypothetical conditions—as well as nonhypothetical conditions: in some, the protasis is factual and in others, the apodosis. This description agrees with the apodosis paradigm after fa-, which shows tense-mood-aspect oppositions (much like an independent clause) while the apodosis paradigm of the pattern without fa- does not. The particle fa‑ allows for more independence on either side of the conditional structure. Peled’s sixth chapter is devoted to other constitutent orders, such as when the protasis either follows or is embedded in the apodosis.

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