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Title: Sulla marcatura differenziale dell'oggetto in armeno classico
Subtitle: Una questione di definitezza?
Author(s): SCALA, Andrea
Journal: Revue des Études Arméniennes
Volume: 41    Date: 2022   
Pages: 15-29
DOI: 10.2143/REA.41.0.3291876

Abstract :
In Classical Armenian some direct objects are marked by the preposition z-. According to the most comprehensive grammars of Classical Armenian the preposition z- would be placed before definite direct objects. This way of marking differently some direct objects is a well-known phenomenon in linguistic typology and it is usually labelled as DOM (Differential Object Marking). The idea that DOM in Classical Armenian would depend on definiteness is challenged by many occurrences of z- before indefinite phrases in Biblical Armenian. The achievements of linguistic typology about DOM and the evidence coming from some passages of the Armenian Bible suggest that the parameters that triggered DOM in Classical Armenian was specificity (closely linked with topic continuity), rather than definiteness. The working hypothesis proposed in the article is that the rule underlying the Classical Armenian DOM should be reconsidered and rewritten as follows: specific direct objects (i.e definite direct objects and indefinite specific direct objects) required the preposition z-, while non-specific indefinite objects were unmarked.

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