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At the beginning of the discussion about the Gothic preverbs, there was the astonishing insight, that simple and compound verb did not have different meanings. Rather, it seemed that relations to grammatical categories of the Greek original of the Gothic bible exist. Based on Jacob Grimm’s comparison with the Russian aspectual system Wilhelm Streitberg considers the Gothic preverbs, predominantly ga-, as a morphological marker of perfective aspect. Next to unreserved acceptance and fundamental rejection, others searched for a mediating position, by assuming ga- as one possible marker of aspectuality.
By this growing limitation of research interest to ga-, the basic morphological opposition between simple and compound verbs has disappeared from the linguistic field of research. However, the other preverbs form synonymous compounds, too, and those show a similar usage with regard to the respective simple verb. Therefore, the main focus of analysis lies on the simple verb, because it always may be regarded as a morphological expression of a grammatical category, while preverbs may also be used for semantic modification. For a synonymous compound verb syntagma can be formed to every usage of a simple verb, by using a preverb in accordance with the meaning of the corresponding simple verb syntagma.
By using the simple verb, the meaning of the verbal phrase is based on the primary role of the subject. By using the synonymous compound, the speaker puts the perspective on the effects of the action, which become manifest on an affected entity. The importance of the terms „subject“ and „affectee“ in the description of the grammatical opposition places it in the domain of voice.
Furthermore, the book examines the semantics of some of the Gothic preverbs, their etymology and accompanying problems of historical phonology, the grammaticalization of Proto-Indo-European local particles to the preverbs of the daughter languages and some philological problems in connection with the Gothic preverbs.
Ihr Werk im Verlag Dr. Kovač
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