The paper discusses changes in the encoding of basic valency and valency alternation in Greek. At its earliest stage, Homeric Greek, valency alternation is most frequently encoded through voice, whereby the active voice encodes caused events and the middle encodes spontaneous ones. This pattern is almost exclusive with inanimate verbs, while one third of animate verbs show suppletion. In Modern Greek lability plays a relevant role for inanimate verbs, while suppletion increases its frequency among animate verbs. Diachronic evidence shows an extension of voice alternation in Classical Greek, while lability emerged at the end of the Classical age and developed in Middle Greek. Comparison of Ancient with Modern Greek points to the replacement of a detransitivizing strategy (voice opposition) through an undetermined one (lability), which is clear-cut with inanimate verbs, with animate verbs showing an increasingly marginal adherence to either pattern and a tendency toward suppletion.

Basic valency in diachrony: from Ancient to Modern Greek

Luraghi Silvia
;
2021

Abstract

The paper discusses changes in the encoding of basic valency and valency alternation in Greek. At its earliest stage, Homeric Greek, valency alternation is most frequently encoded through voice, whereby the active voice encodes caused events and the middle encodes spontaneous ones. This pattern is almost exclusive with inanimate verbs, while one third of animate verbs show suppletion. In Modern Greek lability plays a relevant role for inanimate verbs, while suppletion increases its frequency among animate verbs. Diachronic evidence shows an extension of voice alternation in Classical Greek, while lability emerged at the end of the Classical age and developed in Middle Greek. Comparison of Ancient with Modern Greek points to the replacement of a detransitivizing strategy (voice opposition) through an undetermined one (lability), which is clear-cut with inanimate verbs, with animate verbs showing an increasingly marginal adherence to either pattern and a tendency toward suppletion.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1449138
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