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Transitivity in Indo-Aryan: A diachronic syntactic data base of valence-changing categories

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TRIA (Transitivity in Indo-Aryan: A diachronic syntactic data base of valence-changing categories)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2019-01-31

The aim of the project is a systematic description and analysis of the valence-changing categories (causative, passive, intransitive) in Indo-Aryan.
The main tasks of the research are:
(i) creation of an online free-accessible data base of Old Indo-Aryan verbs;
(ii) a description of the diachronic development and balance of the different intransitivity markers in Indo-Aryan;
(iii) a systematic analysis of causatives and transitivity markers in Vedic and their reflexes in Middle and New Indo-Aryan;
(iv) a description of the valence-changing function of the middle voice and other means of valecy reduction (passive);
(v) a systematic analysis of the labile forms (i.e. forms that can be used both transitively and intransitively) in Vedic;
The planned data base is the first available for Old Indo-Aryan verbs, and provides a template for annotation of valence-changing categories in other texts. The diachronic analysis of the valence-changing categories in Indo-Aryan provides a basis for the typological study of these categories in a new perspective, particularly, for uncovering the stability of some categories and the expansion of some others, and thereby for determining what is constant in dynamic processes.
The innovative and challenging character of the research is determined by its threefold perspective: (i) provide freely accessible resources for research on valence-changing categories in Old Indo-Aryan in their synchronic and (partly) diachronic aspects; (ii) create synergies with similar works on other ancient Indo-European languages and offer a basis for the reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European syntax; (iii) evidence from Indo-Aryan offers a possibility to study different features and developments within a group of related categories (passive, causative,etc.), being of particular relevance for a typological diachronic study of these categories.
1.2.1 Work Package 1
WP 1 – Preparation of the Database of Early OIA verbs (months 1-23).
1.1 Preparation of the electronic corpus for the extraction of verb forms - Deliverable: markup template for valency-changing categories.
The markup template has been done and is available at the project’s website:
1.2 Extraction of verb forms from corpus - Deliverable: list of verb forms.
Verbs have been extracted, and are available at
1.3 Check of over- and under-extension of forms against the concordances - Deliverable: preliminary version of the Database.
Forma have been thoroughly checked. The preliminary version of the data base is available as text file attached to this report.

1.2.2 Work package 2
WP 2 – Diachronic analysis of selected Indo-Aryan verbs and extension of the Database (months 6-24)
2.1 Compilation of the representative verb list (50 verbs) - Deliverable: list of verbs for the diachronic analysis.
The list of verbs is available in the project’s website at

1.2.3 Work package 3
WP 3 – Dissemination (months 1-24)
3.1 Preparation of Website - Deliverable: website.
The project’s website can be found at
3.2 Blog - Deliverable: on-going advances in project webpage.
Updates on on-going advances have been regularly posted in the project’s webpage and in the Facebook page (see below)
3.3 Social networks - Deliverable: document.
A Facebook page has been created
[3.4 Final workshop organization - Deliverable: report and publication plan.] Planned at the end of the second year
3.5 Conference/seminar attendance - Deliverable: report/document.
The ER delivered a lecture with a presentation of the TRIA project after his arrival in the Host institution (21-2-2017; see the project’s webpage at Later, as planned in the proposal under Hosting arrangements, he contributed to organizing the Annual Vedic Seminar as a networking event where he could meet the PIs of other projects devoted to the creation of resources for Sanskrit (see
The preliminary version of the data base contains a fully corrected list of verbs exhaustively annotated for verbal categories, which constitutes an advancement beyond the concordances presently available. The publication of the data base could make the data freely available to the scientific community. This could be a major advantage not only for students of Sanskrit, but also for other linguistsa.
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