The Diachrony of Written Language Contact

A Contrastive Approach


Nobody can deny that an account of grammatical change that takes written contact into consideration is a significant challenge for any theoretical perspective. Written contact of earlier periods or from a diachronic perspective mainly refers to contact through translation. The present book includes a diachronic dimension in the study of written language contact by examining aspects of the history of translation as related to grammatical changes in English and Greek in a contrastive way. In this respect, emphasis is placed on the analysis of diachronic retranslations: the book examines translations from earlier periods of English and Greek in relation to various grammatical characteristics of these languages in different periods and in comparison to non-translated texts.

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Nikolaos Lavidas is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Department of Language and Linguistics, Faculty of English Language and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His research interests lie in the areas of language change, historical linguistics, syntax-semantics interface, argument structure, (historical) language contact and historical corpora.
List of Figures and Tables

Part 1 Written Language Contact and Grammatical Change in English and Greek

1 Written Language Contact and Translations
 1.1 Terminology of Language Contact
 1.2 Written Language Contact

2 Early History of Translations and Grammatical Change: Landmarks in the Development of Early Translations
 2.1 Early History of Translations and Grammatical Change in English
 2.2 Greek in Written Contact: History of Early Translations

3 Biblical Translations
 3.1 The Corpus of Biblical Translations: Source of Evidence of Grammatical Change
 3.2 Biblical Translations as Factor of Grammatical Change
 3.3 English Biblical Translations: Examples of Corpus-Based Surveys

4 Intralingual Translations: Two Directions—to the Past or to the Present
 4.1 Introduction
 4.2 Intralingual Translations as Evidence of Grammatical Change
 4.3 Types of Greek Intralingual Translations
 4.4 Retranslations and Their Relation to Intralingual Translations

5 Examples of Studies on Grammatical Change in English through Translations
 5.1 Translations and Multilingualism in the History of English
 5.2 Grammatical Characteristics and the Effect of Other Languages in the Diachrony of English

6 From Syntactic Diglossia and Universal Bilingualism to What Diachronic Translations Can Tell Us about Grammatical Multiglossia
 6.1 A Theoretical Proposal: Grammatical Multiglossia
 6.2 Historical Grammatical Multiglossia, L2 and Bilingualism
 6.3 Historical Grammatical Multiglossia and Ferguson’s Diglossia
 6.4 Historical Grammatical Multiglossia as Related to (Seminatural Change

Part 2 Data: English and Greek Translations and Grammatical Change

7 English Data
 7.1 Voice, Argument Structure and Transitivity in English Biblical Diachronic Retranslations
 7.2 Voice and Transitivity in English Diachronic Biblical vs. Non-biblical Translations
 7.3 English Biblical vs. Non-biblical Diachronic Retranslations: Borrowing of Word-Formation Morphology

8 Greek Data
 8.1 Greek Diachronic Retranslations of the New Testament: Voice and Argument Structure
 8.2 Greek Diachronic Retranslations: Phrase Matching Approach
 8.3 Greek vs. English Data: An Approach to the Diachrony of Written Language Contact

9 Conclusion

Appendix 1: Further Information on the Texts of the Corpus (III)
Appendix 2: (i) The Corpus of Translations of Biblical Texts; (ii) The Corpus of Translations of Boethius’ De Consolatione Philosophiae
Specialists of historical linguistics, specialists of language contact, of corpus linguistics, translation studies. Researchers interested in English and Greek. Undergraduate students, postgraduate students.
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