The paper describes the usage of the partitive genitive in Ancient Greek. We show that the partitive genitive can take a variety of syntactic functions, including subject, direct object, complement of other bivalent and trivalent verbs, adverbial, and complement of preposition. Hence, the partitive genitive is not connected with a specific grammatical relation: rather, it indicates partial involvement of a referent in an event, which is usually reflected in a low degree of transitivity. In addition, the partitive genitive may indicate indefiniteness. From the point of view of discourse organization, partitive subjects, which often occur in presentative clauses, convey new information and are never topical. Beside partitive subjects in personal constructions, partitive arguments also occur in impersonal constructions, in which they can display some behavioral properties of subjects. Partitive adverbials occur in space and time expressions, mostly limited to Homeric Greek. Especially when occurring with prepositions, the partitive genitive indicates that a portion of space is conceived as constituted of detachable units, as opposed to the accusative. This has various consequences on possible landmarks and on the structure of trajectories when the same preposition occurs with either case.

The Ancient Greek partitive genitive in typological perspective

LURAGHI, SILVIA;
2014

Abstract

The paper describes the usage of the partitive genitive in Ancient Greek. We show that the partitive genitive can take a variety of syntactic functions, including subject, direct object, complement of other bivalent and trivalent verbs, adverbial, and complement of preposition. Hence, the partitive genitive is not connected with a specific grammatical relation: rather, it indicates partial involvement of a referent in an event, which is usually reflected in a low degree of transitivity. In addition, the partitive genitive may indicate indefiniteness. From the point of view of discourse organization, partitive subjects, which often occur in presentative clauses, convey new information and are never topical. Beside partitive subjects in personal constructions, partitive arguments also occur in impersonal constructions, in which they can display some behavioral properties of subjects. Partitive adverbials occur in space and time expressions, mostly limited to Homeric Greek. Especially when occurring with prepositions, the partitive genitive indicates that a portion of space is conceived as constituted of detachable units, as opposed to the accusative. This has various consequences on possible landmarks and on the structure of trajectories when the same preposition occurs with either case.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/985113
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