Mathiassen, Terje: Old Prussian

Mathiassen, Terje: Old Prussian

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Dr. philos. Terje Mathiassen (1938–1999) was Lecturer of Russian at the University of Oslo from 1971 to 1985, and Professor of Slavic and Baltic Linguistics from 1985 until his death in 1999. During his lifetime Professor Mathiassen published a large number of influential books and articles, including his doctoral dissertation Studien zum slavischen und indoeuropäischen Langvokalismus (1970; published 1974), Russisk grammatikk (1990; second, revised edition 1996), A Short Grammar of Lithuanian (1996) and A Short Grammar of Latvian (1997).

Throughout his career, Professor Mathiassen took a keen interest in the only attested West Baltic language, namely Old Prussian, which died out around 1700. It was never in the ordinary sense a literary language, but there survive three sixteenth-century catechisms translated from German, and two word lists, one of about 1400, the other of the sixteenth century. The present book is a collection of Professor Mathiassen’s works on Old Prussian. It contains his previously unpublished “Outline of Old Prussian”, which was close to completion at the time of his death, the likewise previously unpublished article “Die Form altpreußisch dessimton in Stai Dessimton Pallaipsai”, and a reprint of his article “Zur Verbreitung der Pluraliatantum im Altpreußischen” (1998).

Included in the volume are also a memorial article on Professor Mathiassen’s life and work, and a bibliography of his writings.

The editor, John Ole Askedal, is Professor of German Linguistics at the University of Oslo.


Editor’s Preface 7

Terje Mathiassen 12 April 1938–9 January 1999 (by John Ole Askedal and Svein Mønnesland) 11

A Bibliography of Terje Mathiassen’s Writings (by John Ole Askedal and Svein Mønnesland) 17

An Outline of Old Prussian 25 Foreword 27 Abbreviations 28 Introduction 29

Part 1: Phonology 31

1.1 Segmental phonology: Consonants. Vowels. Diphthongs 31
1.2 Suprasegmentals: Stress. Quantity. Tone 32

Part 2: Morphology 35

2.1 Nouns: The grammatical categories of the noun. Gender. Number. Case. Definiteness vs. indefiniteness. Articles. Declensional types (stem types). Singular and pluralic nouns 35
2.2 Adjectives: The short (indefinite) form. The long (definite) form. Degrees of comparison 39
2.3 Pronouns: Personal pronouns. Possessive pronouns. Demonstrative pronouns. Interrogative and relative pronouns. Indefinite, negative and other pronouns 41
2.4 Numerals: Cardinal numbers. Ordinal numbers 45
2.5 Verbs: The grammatical categories of the verb. Finite and non-finite verbs. Conjugational types. Athematic and thematic present tense forms. Personal endings. The present tense of athematic verbs. The present tense of semi-thematic verbs. The present tense of thematic verbs. The past tense. Excursus: Discussion of a single verb, billit ‘to say’, with respect to stem formation. The future tense. Periphrastic tenses. Aspect. Mood.

6 Old Prussian

Voice: active and passive. Reflexive verbs. Non-finite forms (1): infini­tives. Non-finite forms (2): participles 46

2.6 Adverbs 58
2.7 Prepositions 59
2.8 Conjunctions: Coordinate conjunctions. Subordinate conjunctions 62
2.9 Word formation: Prefixes. Suffixes. Particles and clitics 64

Part 3: Syntax 67

3.1 Case: Nominative. Vocative. Adnominal non-partitive genitive. Adverbal non-partitive genitive. Adverbal partitive genitive. Dative. Instrumental. Locative. Accusative. The accusative as a casus obliquus generalis 67
3.2 Agreement 71
3.3 Word order 71

Part 4: Vocabulary 73

Reference literature 75

Zur Verbreitung der Pluraliatantum im Altpreußischen 85

Die Form altpreußisch dessimton in Stai Dessimton Pallaipsai 95

ISBN 978-82-7099-509-7, 99 pp., hardcover
Format: 17x24 cm, weight: 0,5 kg, year of publication 2010, language: English

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