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Author: 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.

Open Access
In: Journal of Greek Linguistics
Author: Richard Faure
Adapting tools recently developed in general linguistics and dwelling on a solid corpus study, this book offers the first comprehensive view on Classical Greek wh-clauses since Monteil (1963) and scrutinizes how wh-items (ὅς, ὅστις, τίς) distribute across the different clause types. False ideas are discarded (e.g., there are no τίς relative clauses, ὅστις does not take over ὅς’ functions). This essay furthermore teases apart actual neutralization and so-far-unknown subtle distinctions. Who knew that ὅστις is featured in three different types of appositive clauses? In the interrogative domain, an analysis is given of what licenses ὅς to pop in and τίς to pop out. Tackling these topics and more, this essay draws a coherent picture of the wh-clause system, whose basis is the notion of (non)identification.
Author: Richard Faure

Abstract

This chapter addresses the issue of the τίς (and ὅστις) questions embedded under predicates normally selecting for propositions like know (unselected embedded questions UEQ). This problem was handled in general linguistics in Adger & Quer (2001) and Öhl (2007). Both articles notice a difference between yes/no- and wh-questions. The distribution of the latter seems to be less restricted. However, Classical Greek uses two sets of wh-items in what looks like embedded questions (ὅς and τίς). It is shown that ὅς clauses do not denote questions but propositions. The selection mismatch arises with τίς clauses. They denote questions and have the same distribution as yes/no (εἰ)-questions. Moreover Classical Greek provides new evidence in favor of 1) the sensitivity of the UEQ to the polarity of the environment, building on Giannakidou’s (1998) definition of nonveridicality; 2) the presence of a determiner on top of the UEQ as proposed in Adger & Quer (2001). The chapter argues nevertheless that the sensitivity is not due to the determiner but to the question itself. It is shown that the determiner is a type-shifter turning the question into a proposition and thereby repairing the apparent selection mismatch.

In: The Syntax and Semantics of Wh-Clauses in Classical Greek
Author: Richard Faure

Abstract

In this chapter, we examine a puzzling usage of the relative ὅστις. Despite its indefinite semantics, it can appear with definite terms. We claim here that these expressions [definite term + ὅστις] actually come in three clearly distinct types, none of which can be explained as a neutralization with ὅς, nor by means of the generalizing meaning of ὅστις. In the first case, we are dealing with a rare formula and its variants (ὅστις νῦν + passive verb) limited to the historical literature. In the second case, ὅστις means ‘whoever.’ We focus on the third case in this study. The ὅστις relative clause plays a role at two levels. First, it determines the noun to which it is attached (as ὅς may); second, it is an argument in favor of a disputable speech act (an option not available to ὅς). It is argued that this usage, which I call ‘pragmatic disagreement,’ is simply an instance of the more general, nonidentificational semantics of ὅστις.

In: The Syntax and Semantics of Wh-Clauses in Classical Greek
Author: Richard Faure

Abstract

Even if ὅπως, ὅτι and some ὡς clauses originate in the wh-system, they gained their independence, so that in Classical Greek complement wh-clauses amount to wh-interrogatives, for which all three wh-items ὅς, τίς and ὅστις are used. This chapter explores them from the point of view of the embedding predicates. A classification based on semantic and syntactic properties is proposed. There are eleven categories, divided into four main groups depending on two criteria: Whether they are resolutive or rogative (the mental process that the predicate describes concerns the answer or the question) and whether they are closed or open (the answer to the question preexisting the mental process or not). Interestingly, this division meets categorizations that have been proposed in general linguistics, especially that between rogative and resolutive. Ὅς clauses are only used with the latter, while τίς and ὅστις clauses do not undergo such a restriction.

In: The Syntax and Semantics of Wh-Clauses in Classical Greek
In: The Syntax and Semantics of Wh-Clauses in Classical Greek
In: The Syntax and Semantics of Wh-Clauses in Classical Greek
Author: Richard Faure

Abstract

In this chapter, we argue against the claim that exclamatives could be reducible to interrogatives in Classical Greek as sometimes argued for English. Exclamatives are original in that they denote presupposed propositions, 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.

In: The Syntax and Semantics of Wh-Clauses in Classical Greek