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Albert Rijksbaron


Among the uses of ουκουν (oukoun) Denniston (1954: 235) mentions 'ουκουν ου, ουκουν ... ου, expecting a negative answer.' This paper argues that Denniston's view, which is shared by most (all?) other grammars and dictionaries of Ancient Greek (e.g.Kühner-Gerth 2, 164: 'Wenn nach ουκουν eine verneinende Antwort erwartet wird, so wird demselben die Negation ου nachgesetzt', Smyth § 2651 a: 'ουκουν ου expects the answer no', Liddell-Scott-Jones s.v. ουκουν) should be rejected. Actually, the answer is never no. As always, ουκουν expects an a irmative answer, in this case to a negated question: 'Is it not true, then, that not X?' = 'Surely, then, not X?' To be sure, ου does occur as an answer, but this can be shown to be a proposition (or sentence) negative (= not), rather than an answering particle like no. The situation in Greek is compared with negatives in several other languages, notably Latin and Old French. Finally, Modern Greek is briefly discussed, which, unlike Ancient Greek, does have a negative answering particle, viz. οχι, alongside a proposition negative, viz. δε(ν).

Brian D. Joseph, Anna Roussou, Dag T.T. Haug and Gaberell Drachman

Edited by Gaberell Drachman, Dag T.T. Haug, Brian D. Joseph and Anna Roussou

Paul Kiparsky


The Homeric and Classical Greek systems of referentially dependent pronouns support an approach to binding and anaphoric reference which characterizes pronouns by two cross-classifying features, which specify the maximal domain in which their antecedent must be located, and whether they can overlap in reference with a coargument (Kiparsky 2002). By treating reflexivity as a special case of referential dependency, this approach predicts a class of referentially dependent non-reflexive anaphors, or discourse anaphors, whose characteristic is that they need not have a structural antecedent but can serve as reflexives in contexts where a dedicated reflexive is unavailable. This class is instantiated in the Greek clitic anaphors ε&ogr;, ε, &ogr;ι, μιν. It also predicts a class of reflexive pronouns which must be disjoint in reference from a coargument, attested in Homeric Greek as the bare reflexive ε-. Greek also gives some support to the Blocking principle, which dictates the use of the most restricted pronoun available in a given context. The proposal is compared to the well-known theory of Reinhart & Reuland (1993) on the basis of Greek as well as Germanic (Swedish, German, Dutch, Frisian, Old English), and is shown to provide a better answer to the challenge raised by Evans & Levinson (2009).

Richard Faure

In this paper, we argue against the claim that exclamatives could be reducible to interrogatives in Classical Greek as sometimes claimed for English. Exclamatives are original in that they denote presupposed propositions and are headed by specific (wh-morpheme h-) and focused wh-items. They necessarily involve degrees. We try to make sense of all these features by showing that the exclamative speech act resides in the meeting of knowledge (presupposition, specificity) and unexpectedness (focus, extended scales) at the semantic/pragmatic/syntax interface.

Corien Bary and Rob van der Sandt

Nikolaos Lavidas and Gaberell Drachman

This article presents independent morpho-syntactic evidence from Ancient Greek and Old English supporting the existence of two alternative Aspect functional heads (following Fukuda 2007 on Modern Japanese and Modern English). The focus of the study is on the similarities between Ancient Greek and Old (and Modern) English aspectual verbs and on the consequences of these similarities for the analysis of aspectuals. Ancient Greek and Old English aspectual verbs fall into two groups: (a) aspectual verbs that could select both infinitive/to-infinitive and participial/ bare infinitive complements (aspectual in H-Asp), and (b) aspectual verbs that selected only a participial/bare infinitive complement (aspectual in L-Asp). No aspectual verb takes only infinitive/to-infinitive. Furthermore, “long middles/passives” is an option only with aspectual verbs in L-Asp, while the regular embedded middle/passive is the only option with an aspectual verb in H-Asp. The similar properties of the Greek and English aspectual verbs, however, historically manifest di󰀇ferent developments: English not only retained Old English possibilities (to- vs. bare infinitives), but later extended them from Middle English into the 18th century, while in Greek the development of the infinitive and the participle a󰀇fected the options of verbal complements of aspectual verbs.

Klaas Bentein

I analyze the use and development of perfect periphrases with the verbs “be” (εἰμί) and “have” (ἔχω) in Post-classical and Early Byzantine Greek. While their importance has often been stressed in the context of the restructuring of the verbal system (more in particular the loss of the synthetic perfect), they have not received an in-depth, corpus-based treatment yet. The approach adopted in this article builds on insights from recently developed ecological-evolutionary models, which recognize the fact that language change is a two-step process, consisting of innovation and propagation, and that multiple ‘ecologogical’ factors influence the spread of a construction through the population (what I discuss in terms of ‘register’).

Silvia Luraghi