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Typologie

Mirative im Maltesischen – ein Fall von Grammati(kali)sierung? 


Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 210
EUR 14,90


Maltese presents a particular construction that should be classified as Mirative, although this has not been noted in Arabic linguistics. In fact, other Neo-Arabic varieties, e.g. the closely related Moroccan Arabic, do not show this category. What is present in all Arabic varieties are forms of syntactic reduplication that are grammaticalized in Maltese as miratives. This is why we need to differentiate between grammatization, i.e. giving a notional category a grammatical expression in a language, and grammaticalization, i.e. changing the (semantic) function of a form into a grammatical function. In the article, the uses of the Maltese mirative are explored in some detail and compared to another better known case, the Albanian (Ad-)Mirative. The formal resources of the Maltese mirative, the syntactic reduplication of a verbal predicate by a masdar as the reduplicand, is discussed and put in relation to its Old Arabic sources. The paper is presented as a methodological contribution, demonstrating the difficulties of exploring a “covert category” when doing field work.