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Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax$
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Eric Mathieu and Robert Truswell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198747840.001.0001

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Case in diachrony: Or, why Greek is not English

Case in diachrony: Or, why Greek is not English

(p.125) 9 Case in diachrony: Or, why Greek is not English
Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax

Nikolaos Lavidas

Oxford University Press

Greek demonstrates both a change from inner (Aktionsart) into outer (grammatical) aspect as well as a change from demonstratives into definite articles, as does English. Even though aspect and definiteness are connected with Case, we argue that the tendencies in Greek with regard to the Case system differ in several aspects from the development of the Case system in English. We consider changes in the Case system of Greek in relation to syntactic properties of the clause, and in particular the realization of +/-interpretable features in inner and outer aspect. We argue that the change that takes place in the history of Greek involves a transitional stage in Ancient Greek where the relevant features can appear on the Trans[itivity] head (outer aspect) or the (inner) Asp[ect] head. The completion of the change in Post-Koine Greek involves the loss of the interpretable feature on Asp; thus Case remains (uninterpretable) on the higher Trans head.

Keywords:   case, Greek, English, transitivity, aspect, definiteness

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