Imagining Greek Grammar Books of the Future

Many of my long time readers will probably remember that I am a major fan of the three volume set of linguistics books entitled:

Language Typology and Syntactic Description: Volume 1, Clause Structure

Language Typology and Syntactic Description: Volume 2, Complex Constructions

Language Typology and Syntactic Description: Volume 3, Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon

This 3 volume set is edited by Timothy Shopen and as of 2007 is in its second edition (first edition 1985).

I have often imagined that an analysis and survey of Hellenistic Greek following the themes & topics discussed in these books would make for a fantastic read. That is, if you really enjoy reading grammar – which I do.

The table of contents of this set reads almost like a Whose Who of linguistics for the past couple decades (with a few notables missing, like Dik, Van Valin, Bresnan, Chomsky, Hale, Culicover, Jackendoff, & Pike).

Volume 1, Clause Structure:

Chapter #1: Parts-of-speech systems by Paul Schachter & Timothy Shopen

Chapter #2: Word Order by Matthew S. Dryer

Chapter #3: The major functions of the noun phrase by Avery D. Andrews

Chapter #4: Clause types by Matthew S. Dryer

Chapter #5: Speech-act distinctions in grammar by Ekkehard Konig and Peter Siemund

Chapter #6: Passive in the world’s languages by Edward L. Keenan and Matthew S. Dryer

Chapter #7: A typology of information packaging in the clause by William A. Foley

Volume 2, Complex Constructions:

Chapter #1: Coordination by Martin Haspelmath

Chapter #2: Complementation by Michael Noonan

Chapter #3: Noun phrase structure by Matthew S. Dryer

Chapter #4: Relative clauses by Avery D. Andrews

Chapter #5: Adverbial clauses by Sandra A. Thompson, Robert E. Longacre and Shin Ja J. Hwang

Chapter #6: Discourse structure by Elise Karkkainen, Marja-Leena Sorjonen, and Marja-Liisa Helasvuo

Chapter #7: Sentences as combinations of clauses by Robert E. Longacre

Volume 3, Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon:

Chapter #1: Typological distinctions in word-formation by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

Chapter #2: :Lexical typologies by Leonard Talmy

Chapter #3: Inflectional morphology by Balthasar Bickel and Johanna Nichols

Chapter #4: Gender and noun classes by Greville G. Corbett

Chapter #5: Aspect, tense, mood by Alan Timberlake

Chapter #6: Lexical nominalization by Bernard Comrie and Sandra A. Thompson

The average length of each chapter is roughly 70 pages — almost the size of an MA thesis and the whole set is 1436 pages total. And to be honest, if anyone was looking for a thesis or dissertation topic on Greek grammar (or the grammar of any language), they really just need to open up one of these volumes, pick a chapter and write on on that topic.

But this is the main question of this post:

If you were editing a three volume set of essays on Hellenistic Greek grammar subjects, what topics would you add? What topics would you remove? Who would write them?

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