Dana-Mihaela Zamfir, Quelques cas de grammaticalisation des formes flexionnelles du verbe a vrea « vouloir » en vieux daco-roumain : les conjonctions et locutions conjonctionnelles disjonctives et concessives să veri (că), săva(i) (că) et leurs correspond

Dana-Mihaela Zamfir - Institut de Linguistique « Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti », Bucarest
p. 5-41
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Grammaticalization, Balkan areal features, concession, disjunction, indefinite formatives, desemanticization, linguistic remnants

Among the numerous instances of grammaticalization of the verb “to want” ‒ generally known as a strong characterisitic feature in the Balkan idioms ‒ in Romanian, there is one distinctly marked by its historical status, namely the fusion between the 3rd pers. singular present indicative, va (< late lat. volēt) and the conjunction să (< lat. si). Its result, săva, has been an Old Daco-Romanian word with many meanings and functions, as reflected in its various usages during the 16th century, when săva appeared mostly prefixed to relatives in order to express an indefinite meaning, but also as a restrictive adverb, as an appositive reformulation marker and even as a disjunctive conjunction. This variety was sensibly reduced in the next century, when the pronominal and adverbial usage occurred rarely, whereas the concessive connector săva(i) că (with a peripheric variant resulting from the grammaticalization of the 2nd pers. of the verb instead of its 3rd person: să veri că) had a noticeable expansion in the syntax of many cultural areas. This change of function and usage was followed by an abrupt decline after the year 1700; săva(i) survived only as a philological oddity or as a desemanticized and fossilized relic in the popular poetry. The inner structure of săvai că (with its marginal “variant” să veri că) is repeated in the Albanian conjunction ndonëse – which otherwise is neatly opposed to the Romanian structure by being currently used nowadays. Although săvai că and ndonëse are etymologically different, their structural identity, as opposed to their distinctly incongruous historical destiny, sets them at variance with all the other instances of grammaticalization of “to want”.

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