In this contribution, I offer a summary of my 2013 Ph.D. dissertation from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on Griko dialect.
In this contribution, I offer a summary of my 2015 Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Ghent on the language and metre of Late Medieval Greek πολιτικὸς στίχος poetry as they pertain to information structure.
Nina Topintzi and Stefano Versace
Dekapentasyllavo (DPS), the dominant poetic meter in the Modern Greek poetic tradition since several centuries, has barely received any attention by modern linguistic theories. Basing our discussion on the analysis of several dimotiká tragoúdia (folk songs), we seek to understand the structure underlying the meter. Our investigation reveals which patterns are frequently attested, which are less frequent and those which are (virtually) inexistent. DPS verifies the oft-cited L-R asymmetry in verselines (cf. Ryan 2013), which renders L-edges looser than the stricter R-edges. It also tolerates stress lapses much more than stress clashes. Our ensuing account captures this distribution by referring to, primarily, the relation of phonological phrasing to counting of metrical positions and, secondarily, to rhythm. These components are then integrated within a formal analysis along the lines of the Bracketed Grid Theory (Fabb & Halle 2008). We conclude by outlining how DPS poses a challenge for theories of poetic meter and by contemplating its contribution to the field.
This summary presents the main findings of my 2014 Ph.D. dissertation (La Trobe University) on the diachrony of the genitive case and its dialectal evolution in Greek.
Argyro Katsika and Darya Kavitskaya
Several accounts of the typologically unusual compensatory lengthening through the loss of the onset r in Samothraki Greek exist in the literature. However, none of these accounts take into consideration the precise phonetic detail of r-deletion and vowel lengthening in the language. This paper addresses this shortcoming by providing a phonetic analysis of Samothraki Greek compensatory lengthening through r-deletion. Our data show that vowels resulting from r-deletion are categorically longer than vowels not involving r-deletion. Moreover, there is no trace of r in the formant structure of vowels from compensatory lengthening. Finally, in contexts that do not allow for r-deletion, the majority of r productions are taps, most of which are accompanied by a vocoid. A new account of r-deletion in Samothraki Greek is proposed that takes into consideration the articulatory makeup of the r. The implications of this proposal for existing phonological accounts are discussed.
This dissertation offers a thorough examination of the Modern Greek distributive determiner. Specific focus is placed on particular parameters that involve whole sentences, which seem to result in different readings (semantic interpretations). I conclude through my analysis, which is circumscribed within the syntax-LF interface, that a common mechanism of Agree/binding is responsible for the emergence of these different readings.
Ursula Stephany and Maria D. Voeikova
Requests are among the three basic human communicative motives which emerge earliest in ontogeny. The imperative constitutes the prototypical linguistic verb form category for expressing direct requests. In both Modern Greek and Russian, this category is differentiated from other verb forms and most verbs distinguish between perfective and imperfective imperative forms. In the present paper, the perfective and imperfective imperative verb forms occurring in the early speech of a Greek and a Russian child and their mothers’ child-directed speech are studied with regard to their frequencies and functions. It will be shown that the perfective/imperfective contrast of imperative forms does not function alike in the two languages. The differences of imperative usage between the two mother-child dyads and the similarities within each of them may be taken as evidence that the children construct the grammatical distinctions of their language on the basis of usage.
Anthi Revithiadou, Kalomoira Nikolou and Despina Papadopoulou
Greek is a morphology-dependent stress system, where stress is lexically specified for a number of individual morphemes (e.g., roots and suffixes). In the absence of lexically encoded stress, a default stress emerges. Most theoretical analyses of Greek stress that assume antepenultimate stress to represent the default (e.g., Malikouti-Drachman & Drachman 1989; Ralli & Touratzidis 1992; Revithiadou 1999) are not independently confirmed by experimental studies (e.g., Protopapas et al. 2006; Apostolouda 2012; Topintzi & Kainada 2012; Revithiadou & Lengeris in press). Here, we explore the nature of the default stress in Greek with regard to acronyms, given their lack of overt morphology and fixed stress pattern, with a goal of exploring how stress patterns are shaped when morphological information (encapsulated in the inflectional ending) is suppressed. For this purpose, we conducted two production (reading aloud) experiments, which revealed, for our consultants, first, an almost complete lack of antepenultimate stress and, second, a split between penultimate and final stress dependent on acronym length, the type of the final segment and the syllable type of the penultimate syllable. We found two predominant correspondences: (a) consonant-final acronyms and end stress and (b) vowel-final acronyms and the inflected word the vowel represents, the effect being that stress patterns for acronyms are linked to the inflected words they represent only if enough morphonological information about the acronym’s segments is available to create familiarity effects. Otherwise, we find a tendency for speakers to prefer stress at stem edges.