Brief Notices

in Journal of Greek Linguistics

In this section, we acknowledge the receipt of recent works on Greek that have come to our editorial offices, and offer a brief characterization of their contents.

Γιαννάκης, Γεώργιος Κ. (ed.) 2015. Ο Γλωσσικός Χάρτης της Κεντρικής και Βόρειας Ελλάδας κατά την Αρχαιότητα [The Linguistic Map of Central and Northern Greece in Antiquity]. Thessaloniki: Center for the Greek Language, 222 pp. [This richly documented volume contains 12 essays, including a prologue by the editor setting the problem, by well-known Classical linguists treating the topic of the linguistic and dialectal situation in Central and Northern Greece in ancient times, as well as an Appendix on toponyms and personal names in ancient Macedonia and Thrace. Although all the chapters are in Greek, each one has an English summary. Topics covered include the dialects of ancient Epirus, the question of ancient Macedonian, epigraphic material from Methoni (with photographs in an Appendix), relations with the Lesbian dialect, central Greece as a dialect continuum, and northern Ionic. The basis for this work was two scientific conferences held in Thessaloniki in 2012 and 2015.]

Sims, Andrea D. 2015. Inflectional Defectiveness (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 148). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, xxii, 309 pp. [This exemplary work is an empirical and theoretical study of what may be characterized as “the problem of missing word-forms” (p. 1). Author Sims examines situations in which a particular inflected form is expected, based on the productive patterns of inflection, but fails to occur, giving the paradigmatic configuration named in the book’s title. She exemplifies the problem with data from a wide range of languages, but considerable attention is devoted to Modern Greek, the key issue in Greek being the absence of a genitive singular for some nouns (e.g. αρνάκι ‘lamb’) and the absence of the genitive plural for a considerable array of nouns (e.g. κοπέλλα ‘girl’). The paradigmatic gap in the genitive plural is particularly pervasive, as it is found in over 2000 nouns altogether. Her analysis of Greek is based on careful work with available large dictionaries but also on experiments with native speakers of Greek. Moreover, Sims employs tools from both information theory and probability theory in coming up with a compelling account of why there are gaps in the genitive plural, arguing that it is paradigmatically isolated and that overall there is a “lack of paradigm cohesion” in certain classes of Greek nouns that is “strongly implicated as a primary cause of the genitive plural gaps” (p. 167).]

Χριστοφίδου, Αναστασία (ed.) 2015. Δελτιο Επιστημονικής Ορολογίας και Νεολογισμών [Bulletin of Scientific Terminology and Neologisms] 13. Athens: Academy of Athens (Research Center for Scientific Terms and Neologisms), 354 pp. [This volume continues the excellent lexicographic work of the Academy of Athens, documenting and explaining new vocabulary that has entered the Greek language. Part 1 provides a catalogue of some 200 neologisms created with native Greek material that have come to be an integral part of Modern Greek usage through sufficient (‪>‬ 500) instances in journalistic usage, along with some 30 suggested neologistic calques on English words and phrases that occur in print. Part 2 offers a listing of Greek equivalents for 541 English words associated with computational linguistics, each with an explanatory gloss. In addition, there is an editorial introduction in which the basis for judging neologisms is explained.]

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