Article published in:Proto-Indo-European Syntax and its Development
Guest-edited by Leonid Kulikov and Nikolaos Lavidas
[Journal of Historical Linguistics 3:1] 2013
► pp. 28–48
The rise of ‘subordination features’ in the history of Greek and their decline
The ‘Indirect Speech Traits Cycle’
This study is a contribution based on Greek material to a field of inquiry that deals with the diachronic development of formal syntactic devices and their interrelationship with the dichotomy between main and subordinate clauses in Indo-European (Kiparsky 1995, Lühr 2008). First, we focus on some devices signaling indirect speech that emerged in Pre-Classical and Classical Greek, such as the development of a system of complementizers (hóti ‘that.COMP’, hōs ‘that.COMP’) and some characteristic usages of moods (the optative of indirect speech). In Post-Classical Greek, this system of traits that had been employed to code indirect speech collapsed, as evidenced by the disappearance of hōs ‘that.COMP’ and the optative of indirect speech as well as the high frequency of pleonastic hóti ‘that.COMP’. Later in the history of Greek a new subordination system arises. We interpret these developments in the light of contemporary syntactic theory (Emonds 2004, 2012), and try to formulate a hypothesis regarding the cycle-like regularities and recurrent patterns that are followed by (clusters of) traits, that is, the “Indirect Speech Traits Cycle”.
Keywords: indirect discourse, subordination, diachronic syntax, Ancient Greek, main clause phenomena, linguistic cycles
Published online: 02 August 2013
Cited by 2 other publications
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