Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Zygmunt Frajzyngier

Second Advisor

Andy Cowell

Third Advisor

David Rood

Abstract

This study analyzes three unmarked-marked verbal pairs that exist in the Neo-Aramaic dialects of Christian Barwar and Christian Urmi. Each pair is analyzed for the opposing forms' formal and functional differences, with an emphasis on function. It is argued that despite the fact that the morphemes affixed to the marked forms are aspectual prefixes, the marked forms' main functional differences from their unmarked counterparts are pragmatic ones. Chapter I presents an introduction to the study, including information about the dialects analyzed and the study itself. Chapter II focuses on the marked forms that signal relationships between events in the discourse. This chapter first explores the unmarked qaṭəl form versus the marked bəd-qaṭəl form, wherein it is argued that the marked form signals to the listener to interpret the marked event in relation to another event in the nearby discourse. The same unmarked qaṭəl form is then presented in opposition to the marked i-qaṭəl form, and it is claimed that the marked form indicates a sequence-final event. Chapter III is an analysis of the unmarked qṭille form versus the marked qəm-qaṭəl form, and it is determined that the marked form is used to represent the event from the point of view of the object. Chapter IV presents concluding remarks.

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