Letters show considerable variation in their use of moods. Here the discussion proceeds from typical linguistic differences to detailed analysis of individual language usage. The data consist of private letters coming mainly from Roman forts and the Fayyum. The majority of the letters can be dated between 100 and 160 CE. Several lexical forms turn out to be tricky. I focus on the imperative, the infinitive, and the participle, and analyze variation in their written form as well as in their syntax. Scribes could produce good documentary standard Greek, but other experienced writers working with small-scale businesses were subject to language contact. The infinitive is represented in the letters, which have a register suitable for its use, for example when using indirect narrative, and which are written by a competent scribe. The infinitive is also used in idiomatic clauses. The imperative is very common, and was taken up by Sahidic Coptic to be the infinitive mood for borrowed Greek verbs. Identical forms for the imperative and the infinitive in Sahidic Coptic and the borrowing of Greek verbs in the imperative mood increased Egyptian L1 speakers’ confusion about the imperative and the infinitive when they were writing Greek.
the subject of this study, is the function of indicating the (anti)causative alternation that will be explored in detail in Chapter 9. In addition, various verbs are media tantum , and have no active inflection, in spite of their meaning, which is often similar to the meaning of active verbs
types of construction of their causative counterparts, and explore the semantics of voice and derivation.
With causative verbs, the subject, hence the inducer, is most often the stimulus, as with (apo)deidíssomai ‘frighten’ in (436) and (437), but in a limited number of cases we find three
respect to verbs in other subdomains, and also represent two extremes. Verbs that denote bodily sensations are often monovalent, and take nominative subjects, as mentioned in Section 3. Among them, only verbs that encode feelings concerning a state of saturation or its contrary, such as ‘be hungry’, ‘be
emotions are subject to different construals to a higher extent than other types of experiential situations, which look in this respect more ‘objective’.
The domain of bodily sensations includes feeling of body temperature, physical needs such as
been the subject of both language-specific and cross-linguistic studies.
Research from different fields has pointed out that experiential situations constitute a matter of special concern for humans. In a corpus study of conversational English, Thompson and Hopper (2001) have found that people
which the subject (the first argument or proto-agent) is always in the nominative case.
Another verb that occurs with both constructions is epimaíomai . Let us consider the meaning of the complex constructions resulting from the occurrence of this verb with either argument structure
The Encoding of Experiential Situations in Homeric Greek
As I have pointed out in the Introduction, the bulk of coding patterns for experiential situations in Homeric Greek consists of constructions in which the experiencer takes the subject role and
coding properties of subjects. Concerning semantic and pragmatic subject properties, specific occurrences must be taken into account, as relevant properties can be variously distributed between the experiencer and the stimulus, as argued in Section 8.5.
In Section 8.6 I discuss the findings