Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Hello,

    What is thought to be the origin of the infinitive suffix -ti seen in Baltic and Slavic languages (e.g., the infinitive of the verb "to be" is Lithuanian ti, Russian byt', Slovenian biti, Polish być, etc.)?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    Native language
    English - America
    Posts
    47

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    It comes from *-tei, which is originally a case suffix, probably locative. So, verb-ti basically means "in doing verb".

    Interestingly, the gerund (also used as something like a locative, sometimes) is formed in Japanese by adding -te/-de. This is obviously unrelated, and I'd assume it's from the postposition de, meaning by means of, but it's an interesting coincidence. ^^
    Last edited by Triginta Septem; 7th April 2013 at 12:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Triginta Septem View Post
    It comes from *-tei, which is originally a case suffix, probably locative. So, verb-ti basically means "in doing verb".
    The suffix -i is considered to be locative, but the -te- would have to come from somewhere else, correct? Is it thought to be from a verbal noun formation, like the Latin supine suffix -tu-?

    Also, is it expected that *-ei would reduce to -i in this position? I recall that *ei was generally monophthongized to *e: in Baltic and Slavic, but maybe the development was different in word-final (unstressed) position.

    Interestingly, the gerund (also used as something like a locative, sometimes) is formed in Japanese by adding -te/-de. This is obviously unrelated, and I'd assume it's from the postposition de, meaning by means of, but it's an interesting coincidence. ^^
    It seems quite common (cross-linguistically) for infinitives to be based on frozen locative case forms. I'm thinking of starting a thread on this when I've gathered a little more data.
    Last edited by Gavril; 7th April 2013 at 2:39 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    Native language
    English - America
    Posts
    47

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    Also, is it expected that *-ei would reduce to -i in this position? I recall that *ei was generally monophthongized to *e: in Baltic and Slavic, but maybe the development was different in word-final (unstressed) position.
    I don't know much about this, so I can't tell you why, but it would appear to be an exception, if that's the case... (http://books.google.com/books?id=bSx...page&q&f=false)

    Actually, is what he's talking about there what you meant about -tu-?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Triginta Septem View Post
    I don't know much about this, so I can't tell you why, but it would appear to be an exception, if that's the case... (http://books.google.com/books?id=bSx...page&q&f=false)

    Actually, is what he's talking about there what you meant about -tu-?
    Yes, in the section you linked to, he derives the *-tei ending from a verbal abstract noun in *-ti-, perhaps related to Greek -sis (as seen in words like thesis, praxis, parataxis, etc.), if -si- reflects earlier *-ti-.

    The author references an earlier section of the book when he discusses this verbal abstract noun formation, but this section isn't currently viewable on Google.
    Last edited by Gavril; 8th April 2013 at 12:12 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    US New York
    Native language
    Lithuanian
    Posts
    5,825

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Hi, Gavril. What do you mean by "come from"? Wouldn't an infinitive be the basic form of any verb. What were the infinitive endings in PIE?

    Added: I have actually found out that it is unclear what the infinitive endings in the PIE were (possibly -ti as well, but not confirmed). Infinitives, as verbal nouns, were formed through the use of suffixes in the PIE.


    The third person singular ending was reconstructed as *ti, in the PIE.
    Last edited by LilianaB; 7th April 2013 at 3:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    Hi, Gavril. What do you mean by "come from"?
    Triginta Septem wrote that "[-ti] comes from *-tei, which is originally a case suffix, probably locative." Since the *-t- can't have been part of the locative case suffix, I wondered what its origin was.

    Wouldn't an infinitive be the basic form of any verb. What were the infinitive endings in PIE?
    It's not clear that PIE had an infinitive in the sense of a default, undeclined nominal form for each verb. Not every IE branch has one: e.g., the Celtic languages have various verbal noun formations, but no regular infinitives.

    As far as the verbal noun suffixes reconstructed for PIE, I recall reading that the suffix -tu- (which appears in the Latin supines: e.g., conspectus "view" < spec- "look") is found in a number of different IE branches.
    Last edited by Gavril; 7th April 2013 at 4:35 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Native language
    Bosnian
    Posts
    1,452

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    Also, is it expected that *-ei would reduce to -i in this position? I recall that *ei was generally monophthongized to *e: in Baltic and Slavic, but maybe the development was different in word-final (unstressed) position.
    This is what Frederik Kortlandt has to say on the matter:

    6.5. (B8) Monophthongization of diphthongs: ai > ē, ei > ẹ̄, ui > ǖ, au > ō.
    ...
    7.9. (B13) Raising of ẹ̄ and ō. The empty hole which the delabialization had left was filled by raising the remaining rounded vowel ō to ū. The corresponding front vowel ẹ̄ < PIE. ei was raised to merge with ī.
    I have no idea what the dot under the e is supposed to indicate, perhaps he explains it somewhere else in the article. Also, it is not clear to me when and how ī was shortened, but he says this:
    7.13. (A13 = B14) Rise of the new timbre distinctions. ... This development was posterior to the raising of ẹ̄ and ō (7.9) because these vowels are reflected as i and u in the historical languages.
    Last edited by DenisBiH; 8th April 2013 at 6:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    US New York
    Native language
    Lithuanian
    Posts
    5,825

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Since the infinitive is treated as a verbal noun, wouldn't it be more feasible that it would take an Accusative ending, rather than a Locative? I would like an apple (Acc. -- in Slavic and Baltic languages) I would like to eat (Infinitive).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    Since the infinitive is treated as a verbal noun, wouldn't it be more feasible that it would take an Accusative ending, rather than a Locative? I would like an apple (Acc. -- in Slavic and Baltic languages) I would like to eat (Infinitive).
    I don't think that the accusative singular ending of a noun in *-ti- (which is the proposed origin of the Baltic and Slavic infinitives) would be expected to give *-ti in Baltic or Slavic. In Baltic, if I'm not mistaken, the accusative singular contains at least a nasalized vowel rather than a plain -i: cf. Lithuanian širdį, the accusative sg. of širdis "heart". In Slavic languages, as far as I know, the acc. sg. of older i-stems is endingless. For example, Slovenian pot "path, journey" is thought to be from an earlier i-stem, and its accusative singular is identical to the nom. sg., whereas its locative sg. is poti.

    More generally, I don't think that a verbal noun is necessarily likelier to be "frozen" in the accusative than in the locative: cf. English I'm a-doing [X] < I'm at doing [X]. (I'm hoping to discuss this question in more depth on a thread about the development of infinitives.)
    Last edited by Gavril; 9th April 2013 at 12:11 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Norway
    Native language
    Polish
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,105

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    Hi, Gavril. What do you mean by "come from"? Wouldn't an infinitive be the basic form of any verb.
    There is no reason to believe that the infinitive came before the finite forms of the verb. One must not confuse the infinitive with the primitive, pre-finite form of a verb. The infinitive, at least in IE languages is truly a newer construction than the finite forms.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Native language
    Finnish
    Posts
    28

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    I remember reading that lacking infinitives is typical to languages with active-stative alignment (just like the gender system with no active case in neuter gender).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by muhahaa View Post
    I remember reading that lacking infinitives is typical to languages with active-stative alignment (just like the gender system with no active case in neuter gender).
    Hi Muhahaa,

    What do you mean by active/stative alignment?

    Most of the older (attested) IE languages have a neuter gender category in which the accusative is formally identical to the nominative, but only a few branches lack what we would think of as an infinitive.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    US New York
    Native language
    Lithuanian
    Posts
    5,825

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Yes,, the Older Baltic languages had an active neuter gender. The present time Lithuanian does not have it (in the active -- only partial passive use). Most Slavic languages have a neuter gender.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    UK
    Native language
    Russian
    Posts
    194

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavril View Post
    Hello,

    What is thought to be the origin of the infinitive suffix -ti seen in Baltic and Slavic languages (e.g., the infinitive of the verb "to be" is Lithuanian ti, Russian byt', Slovenian biti, Polish być, etc.)?

    Thanks
    This is a very interesting question. It is generally agreed that I-E infinitives are "derived NOUNS"
    Robert J. Jeffers. "Remarks on Indo-European Infinitives".Language , Vol. 51, No. 1 (Mar., 1975), pp. 133-148
    Published by: Linguistic Society of America
    Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/413155)


    They are believed to be 'fossilised' case forms (accusative, dative, locative etc.) of verbal nouns structured as root + nominal suffix + case ending i.e. formed from verbal roots or bases by means of suffixes. You may want to read Jeffers pp. 142-144 where he treats Slavonic and Baltic infinitives. This does not answer the question of what was the origin of the suffix -ti- which is for me the most interesting part. It was quite productive in Vedic e.g.: iṣ- ‘to endeavour to obtain, strive, seek for’ > iṣ-ti ‘desire’; dā- ‘to give’ > dā-ti ‘gift’. Slavonic and Baltic infinitives in -ti look strikingly similar to the bare (non-inflected) Vedic noun base in -ti. It is also interesting that the other productive Vedic suffix -tu also used for making infinitives (e.g. in -tum) coincides with the old Slavonic supine ending -tŭ (-тъ) which was very close in function to the infinitive.
    Last edited by Dhira Simha; 20th April 2013 at 1:40 AM. Reason: Addition
    शुभमस्तु


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Native language
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    Posts
    92

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by Triginta Septem View Post
    It comes from *-tei, which is originally a case suffix, probably locative. So, verb-ti basically means "in doing verb".

    Interestingly, the gerund (also used as something like a locative, sometimes) is formed in Japanese by adding -te/-de. This is obviously unrelated, and I'd assume it's from the postposition de, meaning by means of, but it's an interesting coincidence. ^^
    I found other "coincidental similarities" between Japanese and Northern European languages, Lithuanian among them. To me, Japanese, if we remove Chinese loan words from it, is more like Northern European or Pacific language rather than Asian. Here's an example: "oshiri kajiri mushi" (butt biting bugs), in Lithuanian it will be "subine kandancios muses". Where muse is rather a fly, but it is also a bug. Now the root kand- is the same in Japanese and in Lithuanian, so is mus-.

    There are other coincidences, I will mention only a few that I remember (JP - LT - EN):

    Kawa = kavoja, slepia (hiding)
    Oppai = papai (tits, breasts)
    Kande = kanda (bite, bites)
    Mushi = muse (bug, fly)
    Oshiri = uzhpakalis (butt, behind) (Lit. often pron, as "oshpakalis")
    Kochi kochi = kuti kuti (tickling, tickle-tickle)
    Katai = kietai, kieta, kietas (hard)
    Konki = kantri (patience) (not very similar)
    Tairaka = taikinga, taika (peaceful, peace)
    Tooi = toli (far) (very similar because our "o" is pronounced long as Japanese "oo")
    Wakai = vaikai (kids, young) (wakaa - in West Lithuanian dialect)
    Ikimas(u) = ejimas (going)
    Ikimasho = eikime (let's go)
    Ate = ate (end, bye)
    Aishiteru = aistra (Jp: I love you; Lt: passion)
    Te = te (JP: hand; LT: take it (command))
    Matane = iki pasimatymo (adios)

    Some entertaining ones:

    arimas (JP, grammatical form) = arimas (LT, a ploughed field)
    simas (JP, grammatical form) = Simas (LT, male name)
    wakarimas (JP, I understand) = vakarejimas (LT, evening is approaching; its becoming dark(er)) or dusk

    This could be the lost Ainu connection.
    Žuvėdrai reikia ryti ir sparnais plasnoti, kad išgyventų!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Native language
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    Posts
    92

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    I think -ti, -tj is similar to English to: to do = daryti, delatj (Lit., Rus.).

    For example:

    Lithuanian: grandyti
    English: to grind

    Yet English also has it at the end of words sometrimes, for instance:

    Lithuanian: persekioti (very often Lithuanian -ti is written, spoken and spelled as persekiot, without "i" at the end)
    English: to persecute

    Lithuanian: laukt(i)
    English: to wait
    Žuvėdrai reikia ryti ir sparnais plasnoti, kad išgyventų!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    English, USA
    Posts
    4,776

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by neonrider View Post
    Lithuanian: laukt(i)
    English: to wait
    There might be something to the comparison involving English wait: the English word is thought to be related to Dutch wachten "wait", which is in turn thought to come from the same stem as Eng. wake, awake etc. It's possible that the -t- suffix used to derive wacht- from earlier *wak- is the same as the -tu- of the Latin supines, the -si- of Greek verbal nouns, and the -ti of Balto-Slavic infinitives. However, there are other possibilities: the -t- of wait could be participial (from earlier *-to- rather than *-tu-/-ti-), for example.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Native language
    Assembly
    Posts
    337

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    Quote Originally Posted by neonrider View Post
    I found other "coincidental similarities" between Japanese and Northern European languages, Lithuanian among them.

    Why is coincidental similarities in quotes?

    Quote Originally Posted by neonrider View Post
    To me, Japanese, if we remove Chinese loan words from it, is more like Northern European or Pacific language rather than Asian. Here's an example: "oshiri kajiri mushi" (butt biting bugs), in Lithuanian it will be "subine kandancios muses". Where muse is rather a fly, but it is also a bug. Now the root kand- is the same in Japanese and in Lithuanian, so is mus-.
    Could you clarify what you mean by "is more like", Northern European and Asian?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Санкт-Петербург
    Native language
    Russian
    Age
    40
    Posts
    2,205

    Re: Baltic and Slavic infinitive suffix -ti

    So many fruitful ideas, why not just to check the relevant literature where everything was discussed to death back in the 19th century?

    Both infinitive forms are related and continue the former deverbal nouns on -t-, but the Lithuanian Infinitive continues the original Locative of t-stems (the IE Locative ending was -i or zero), while the Slavic form continues the Locative of ti-stems (since it has an acute "i" that may come only from the i-stem Locative -e:i). If Lithuanian had the same form, it would have sounded -ti in plain and -ties in Reflexive verbs and would have been stressed in verbs with non-acute roots (e. g. *vestì/vestíes like Praes. Sg. 1 vedù/vedúosi instead of the actual Infinitive vesti/vestis with the stem-stress).

    The situation in Latvian is ambiguous: this language actually has vest/vesties, but since -ie- in Latvian is a universal fill vowel between the consonant and the reflexive marker -s (e. g. -ties in Imperative Pl. 2), it is unknown, which stem, -t- or -ti- was original there.

    By the way, Prussian had different Infinitive forms (e. g., -twei), so the actual Infinitive was a result of choice between various deverbal nouns made in individual Balto-Slavic branches.
    Last edited by ahvalj; 29th September 2013 at 6:58 AM. Reason: typos

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •