This article adduces evidence which helps to confirm the hypothesis of the adverbial origins of final -ς on the -οντα(ς) participle which arose in medieval Greek. First, data from the early vernacular text The Chronicle of the Morea is used to show the inability of a rival hypothesis to account for the distribution of this -ς. Afterward, the hypothesis of adverbial origins is investigated further by noting the distribution of the -ς across multiple editions of three medieval works. As the frequency of innovative -ς appearing on certain adverbs occurs in direct correlation to the frequency of innovative -ς on the participle, the hypothesis for a link between the two phenomena is strengthened.
Alexandra Prentza and Ianthi-Maria Tsimpli
We examine the microparameters of null and postverbal subjects in the Greek L1/English L2 interlanguage, exploring the role of interpretability in interlanguage representations. Our results suggest that while uninterpretable features are inaccessible in L2 acquisition, interpretable features are available and play a compensatory role. Although the abstract L1 properties of subject-verb agreement seem to transfer to the L2 representation, the effects appear scattered and transfer is not direct. We thus suggest that Greek-learner L2 English grammar exhibits non-random optionality in the properties of null and postverbal subjects, regulated by parameter-resetting (feature re-valuation) which is, however, neither the L1 (Greek) nor the target L2 (English) option.
In this paper, multiword NN combinations in Greek are explored within the framework of construction morphology (Booij 2009, 2010a, 2010b). I understand NN combinations as multiword sequences constructed by two inflected words, such as: arxitéktonas-arxeoló γ os ‘architect-archeologist’; taksí δ i-astrapí lit. ‘trip-lightning’, thus ‘very fast and sudden trip’; sáltsa manitárja lit. ‘sauce mushrooms’, thus ‘mushroom sauce’. I use the classification of Gavriilidou (1997) in order to account for possible different subtypes of NN combinations. I claim that all three types of NN combinations (coordinate, attributive and complementation NN combinations) are visible to syntactic operations, they exhibit, however, various degrees of tightness which are due to whether they exhibit a naming function or not.
This paper examines the position of preverbal subject in Greek SV(O) orders. Using interpretational and configurational evidence we confirm the conclusion of much of the standard literature that preverbal subjects in Greek do not occupy the [Spec, TP] position, but are left dislocated elements. In particular, we discuss the proposals of Roussou & Tsimpli (2006) and Spyropoulos & Revithiadou (2007, 2009), who argue for the existence of an A-subject in the Greek T-domain, and we point out a number of counterarguments to their suggestions. Finally, we tentatively suggest that the EPPT-requirement might be suspended in Greek.
Evangelia K. Asproudi
The present paper investigates the use of oti, na and negation in wh-question production in L1 Greek. Children’s preference is explored for use of oti and na, and for use of the negation markers ðen and min. These elements have been extensively studied from a theoretical perspective, yet they remain poorly investigated from an acquisition perspective, hence the present study. In long-distance wh-questions na is predicted to be preferred over oti due to its stronger entrenchment as clause-introducing element and as mood marker; in short-distance questions, however, na is predicted to be less preferred than the indicative due to the enriched modal semantics it carries in matrix clause environments. In negative matrix questions ðen is expected to be the preferred choice, since min occurs with na, which carries an extra semantic/pragmatic load. To test these predictions, a group of ninety four-to-seven-year-old Greek children participated in elicited production tasks designed mainly along the methodological principles of Crain and Thornton (1998). The results were generally in line with initial expectations. Children resorted mostly to na in long-distance contexts and to the semantically simpler indicative questions in short-distance contexts. With negative questions, higher accurate use rates were attested for target ðen than for target min, reflecting the simpler semantics associated with the former. Overall, these findings provide evidence that children opt for economy, with semantic factors contributing to their economy-based choices.
Tatiana Nikitina and Boris Maslov
In traditional Ancient Greek grammar, the term constructio praegnans refers to an apparent syntactic anomaly whereby the idea of motion is missing from either the verb or the prepositional phrase: a verb that does not express motion is combined with a directional prepositional phrase (e.g., ‘slaughter into a container’) or a motion verb combines with a static prepositional phrase describing a goal of motion (e.g., ‘throw in the fire’). This study explores such usages in the period from Archaic to Classical Greek and argues against treating constructio praegnans as a unitary phenomenon. The seemingly aberrant combinations of the verb’s meaning and the type of prepositional phrase are shown to be motivated by four independent factors: 1) lexical (some individual non-motion verbs select for a directional argument); 2) aspectual (static encoding of endpoints is allowed with perfect participles); 3) the encoding of results with change of state verbs; and 4) the archaic use of static prepositional phrases in directional contexts (the goal argument of a motion verb is described by a static prepositional phrase). The four types of “pregnant” use are paralleled by different phenomena in other languages. Based on statistical analysis, they are also argued to undergo different kinds of diachronic development. Some of these developments, nevertheless, fall into a more general pattern: Ancient Greek gradually moves toward a more consistent use of specialized directional expressions to mark goals of motion, conforming increasingly to the “satellite-framed” type of motion encoding.