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Contact through Translation

(2,328 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract The most important translation of a literary text in the ancient world is the translation of the Bible. In the case of both the Old and the New Testament, Gk. has served as the basis for translations into other languages. Such translations have been the vehicle for the spread of grammatical constructions, and they have created new meanings of words which could hardly be explained by semantic extension. Through translations, Gk. has influenced languages with which it had not been in conta…
Date: 2013-11-01

Agency and Causation

(4,420 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract Semantic roles related to causation are agent, cause, instrument and intermediary, while the status of force and means as independent semantic roles in Greek is controversial. Agents are often encoded as subjects; various types of encoding exist for passive agents, partly depending on the author. Instrument and cause are encoded through the instrumental dative, but cause is most often encoded through various prepositional phrases. Intermediaries occur in events characterized by split agency and are encoded through diá with the genitive. 1. Agent Agent is the semantic rol…
Date: 2013-11-01

Typology of Greek

(2,152 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract Descriptions of Greek abound: according to Joseph (1987:437), “[w]ith the possible exception of English, there has probably been more written on the Greek language than on any other language.” However, in works by typologists Greek does not often feature among languages included in samples. Indeed, typologists would have much to learn from Greek as it presents a number of characteristics which are undoubtedly of interest for language typology. Some of these are summarized in this entry. 1. Morphology 1.a. Verbal Conjugation Greek is a highly fusional language. Inflec…
Date: 2013-11-01

Gender

(2,275 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract The Greek gender system consists of three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter, and largely coincides with the reconstructed gender system of PIE. Gender assignment rules are partly semantic (animate nouns are most often assigned gender based on the sex of the referents), partly morphological (e.g. no nouns in the - ā- declension are assigned neuter gender; various derivational suffixes assign gender to derivative nouns), and partly arbitrary. To some extent, the evolution of gender is connected with the evolution of inflectional classes.   As noted in Wurzel (1989), d…
Date: 2013-11-01

Adpositional Phrase

(5,163 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract Adpositional phrases can feature primary adpositions, belonging to the lexical class of PIE preverbs, or secondary adpositions, variously connected with adverbs or with nominal forms. Primary adpositions could precede or follow their nouns in Hom. Gk., while in Classical Gk. they are virtually restricted to prenominal position (prepositions).  In Hom. Gk., adpositional phrases are emergent, and  feature low constituency. However, adpositions can be said to govern noun phrases to the exte…
Date: 2013-11-01

Case Syncretism (Morphological Aspects of)

(2,686 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract The entry surveys the history and the development of Gk. nominal paradigms, from Myc. Gk. up to the Koine, with a focus on case syncretism, that is, the reduction of the case system. Case syncretism had the effect of reducing the number of cases. It can be better understood in terms of spread of stable and superstable markers, along with ongoing elimination of markers with low token frequency. Case syncretism was one of the outcomes of two major moments of merging of different dialects: (a) the end of the Myc. period, with movements of peoples in the Aegean Sea, and (b) the unificat…
Date: 2013-11-01

Clitics

(4,713 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract Clitics are prosodically deficient items which bear no lexical accent of their own and consequently need to lean on another accented element, the so-called host. The host and its clitics constitute a clitic group. Cross-linguistically, clitics belong to a small yet heterogeneous number of word classes: they are often pronouns, auxiliaries, copulas, determiners, adpositions, conjunctions or particles. Some of these classes may display inflectional morphology, as in fact they do in Greek. 1. Generalities Clitics have raised much discussion, mainly with regard to…
Date: 2013-11-01

Conjunction Reduction

(617 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract Conjunction reduction, or coordination reduction, occurs when some common feature of two coordinated sentences or clauses, which is overtly encoded in the first, is not repeated in the second. In Gk. conjunction reduction applies both to the subject and to the direct object. In addition, grammatical categories can also be subject to conjunction reduction. Conjunction reduction, or coordination reduction ( Harris Delisle 1978), occurs when some common feature of two coordinated sentences or clauses, which is overtly encoded in the first, is not re…
Date: 2013-11-01