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Jacob Wackernagel, Lectures on SyntaxWith Special Reference to Greek, Latin, and Germanic$
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David Langslow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198153023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198153023.001.0001

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Lecture I, 15

Lecture I, 15

(p.112) Lecture I, 15
Jacob Wackernagel, Lectures on Syntax

David Langslow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a grammatical function common to nouns and verbs, that of number. It starts with the dual, reviewing its place in linguistic scholarship,and its distribution in Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages, and argues that it tends to be present early on and progressively lost. A brief history of the dual in Greek is presented, from Homer, through the dialects and the Koine, to (Lecture 15) the Atticist reaction, concluding with remarks on the use of the dual. Passing on to singular and plural, the chapter focuses first (Lectures 15–16) on nouns without singular forms (pluralia tantum) and nouns without plural forms (singularia tantum), and then (Lectures 17–18) it discusses the most important uses of singular and plural, ending with the neuter plural and other instances of disagreement in number between subject and verb.

Keywords:   Atticist reaction, dual, Homer, Indo-European, Koine Greek, neuter plural, number, plural, pluralia tantum, singular

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