The semantics of ancient Indo-European noun stems has not yet received enough attention from scholars. However, the noun stems exhibit an inner semantic coherence arranged in accordance with the basic linguistic principles of categorisation. My aim in this paper is to demonstrate the internal semantic coherence of the Ancient Greek οι-stem noun category and to compare it with other well-studied morphosemantic categories in order to suggest a particular meaning structure.
Especially in the first half of the twentieth century, language was viewed as a vehicle for the transmission of facts and ideas. Later on, scholars working in linguistic frameworks such as Functional and Cognitive Linguistics, (Historical) Sociolinguistics and Functional Sociolinguistics, have emphasized the social relevance of language, focusing, for example, on linguistic concepts such as deixis, modality, or honorific language, or embedding larger linguistic patterns in their social contexts, through notions such as register, sociolect, genre, etc. The main aim of this article is to systematize these observations, through an investigation of how the central, though ill-understood notion of “social meaning” can be captured. The starting point for the discussion is the work that has been done in the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). This framework distinguishes “social” (“interpersonal”) meaning from two other types of meaning, and offers a typology of different types of contexts with which these different meanings resonate. In order to achieve a more satisfactory account of social meaning, however, I argue that we need to connect SFL to a theory of how signs convey meaning. The discussion is relevant for Ancient Greek in its entirety, but focuses specifically on Post-classical Greek: as a case study, I discuss five private letters from the so-called Theophanes archive (IVAD).
This paper sets out to explore an idiosyncratic linguistic feature only attested on a number of Linear B documents from Pylos, namely the occurrence of sequences of particles in clause-initial, and sometimes also tablet-initial, position. These sequences are o-a2, o-da-a2 and o-de-qa-a2. In this paper, a contextual analysis of the form and function of these sequences will be carried out in order to arrive at a plausible, and convincing, interpretation of their usage. The examination of their occurrences is conducted by placing the usage of these sequences of particles within the backdrop of recording procedures of the Mycenaean palatial administration.
We explore here several kinds of language mixing to be found in the Greek-Albanian bilingual speech community of the village of Palasa in southern Albania. Palasa is of particular interest for Greek dialect studies because it offers a window in the present day into highly localized dynamics of language contact. Among the mixing observed in Palasa is code-switching, motivated by various factors as identified by Myslín & Levy 2015, borrowing, both lexical and structural, and hybridization, at a number of levels of analysis, including phonology, morphology, and semantics. Our findings indicate that language contact is still alive and well in the Balkans at least at the level of village dialects.
This summary presents the main findings of my Ph.D. dissertation (University of Chicago) on verbal morphology and the syntax of the verb in an understudied variety of Greek, namely Cypriot Greek. Allomorphy in the Cypriot verb is explored here by way of investigating the interaction of morphology and syntax.
This paper investigates aspects of adjectival modification in Romance and Greek of Southern Italy. In Italiot Greek, prenominal adjectives obey restrictions that do not exist in Standard Modern Greek, where all types of adjectives are allowed in prenominal position. As far as postnominal adjectives are concerned, in the textual tradition of Calabria Greek there is evidence of postnominal adjectives systematically articulated in definite nominal structures (henceforth DP s), in a structure similar to the so-called polydefinite construction that is typical of Standard Modern Greek (and of Greek in general since ancient times). Some residual evidence of such a construction is also found in Salento. Yet, in the varieties currently spoken in the two areas, postnominal adjectives are never articulated. The paper explores these patterns, with particular attention to the mechanisms potentially responsible for the loss of polydefiniteness.
This paper challenges the commonly held view that the Classical Greek potential optative has a subjective epistemic semantics, the result of a conceptual confusion of subjectivity and epistemic modality inherited from our standard grammars. I propose that this view becomes less convincing when the optative’s unique interaction with the subjective particles ἦ and ἄρα is incorporated into the analysis. Rather, the potential optative has a non-subjective epistemic semantics presenting an epistemic judgment as interpersonally accessible to the conversational participants. Frequencies of combination with ἦ and ἄρα, linguistic tests for subjectivity on the potential optative, and contrastive contextual analyses corroborate this view.