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Dream Syntax: Hittite imma and mān as Indefiniteness Markers

Pages 301 - 332


The paper assesses two markers of Hittite dream narratives, indefinite mān “like, kind of” and imma “even”. It shows that their status as markers of dreams is somewhat illusory—both mān and imma were used inhomogenuously in dreams, they cannot be reduced to one function or even part of speech, their frequency in this genre of Hittite literature is an incidendal by-product of their semantics. Another result is the reinterpretation of part of the evidence of mān and imma as indefinite mān and indefinite imma, similar in function to the marker of indefinite pronouns (existential quantifiers and NPIs) -ki/ka. If interpreted as indefinite in part of its attestations, imma fits very well into the general evolution of Hittite indefinite pronouns.


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