About Latin Ecce ‘Behold! Lo! See! There!’ and Some Ancient Languages Presentatives
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2020, Pages: 17-23
Received: Dec. 19, 2019; Accepted: Jan. 18, 2020; Published: Feb. 4, 2020
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Author
Marie-Ange Julia, Lycée Henri-IV, Center Alfred Ernout, University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France
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Abstract
In this study, which is part of a larger research project on dialogue, the author deals with “little words” (as they are often called). These common and polyfunctional words seldom appear in grammars and are only dealt with within short lemmata in dictionaries. Presentatives, such as Fr. voici / voilà, Lat. ecce, Gr. ἰδού “Here is, lo!”, form an independent grammatical class which needs to be defined, firstly, in a genetic approach. The author starts with the enumeration of ancient languages presentatives, classifies them according to their etymology and goes on to study Latin ecce in particular. This classification shows two structures: most ancient language presentatives come from a grammaticalized form of the imperative form of a verb requiring a visual or tactile perception; other presentatives are based on a demonstrative theme or a particle agglutination. Only Latin ecce remains unclear in spite of the many assumptions that have already been proposed. In addition, while all the other presentatives are often grammaticalized with a second-person pronoun, the sequence ecce + tibi is not attested in archaic Latin and does not even function as a pure presentative: the structure ecce me is used for self-presentation. In reality, while all the other presentatives are allocentric, ecce is egocentric. The author concludes that ecce is related to ego ‘I’. This particularity can help us both reconstruct the etymology of this word and define the presentation it expresses, thus enabling us to understand how ecce fundamentally illustrates the inscription of the dialogue within morphology.
Keywords
Presentatives, Presentation, Grammaticalization, Pragmaticalization, Deixis, Morphology, Dialogue
To cite this article
Marie-Ange Julia, About Latin Ecce ‘Behold! Lo! See! There!’ and Some Ancient Languages Presentatives, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2020, pp. 17-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20200801.13
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Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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