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From focus marker to comparative suffix – the original character of the Lithuanian comparative -iaũs
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From focus marker to comparative suffix – the original character of the Lithuanian comparative -iaũs

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
The Lithuanian comparative suffix -iaũ(s), e.g. OLith. geriaus ‘better’ / Modern Lith.... mehr
From focus marker to comparative suffix – the original character of the Lithuanian comparative -iaũs
The Lithuanian comparative suffix -iaũ(s), e.g. OLith. geriaus ‘better’ / Modern Lith. geriaũ, has risen from a postpositive contrastive focus particle -jaũ used in the function of ‘emphatic assertion of identity’ (see König 1991). A final consonant /-s/ in -iaũ-s is an etymologically heterogeneous element, appearing optionally in such lexemes as Lith. dial. nèt-s ‘even’ : nèt ‘even’ < OLith. ne-te, OLith. tačiau-s ‘however, but’ : tačiaũ ‘however, but’ < tat ‘this, that’ + -jaũ, OLith. tuojau-s ‘at soon, once’ : tuojaũ < tuo + -jaũ. The primary contrastive function of the suffix -iau-s can be compared to Old Greek -τερος in such uses as δεξίτερος right(-hand)’, emphatic non-σκαιός ‘left(-hand)’.