Genitives and 2nd position adjectives

This is another question that was asked online (this time New Testament Greek Club) that would be difficult to answer without treebanks. Can a phrase with an adjective in second attributive position be broken up by a genitive? Luke 23:35 reads: εἰ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ χριστὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ ἐκλεκτός. Can this be, "if he is... Continue Reading →

Typology, perfects, telicity, and definiteness

Dahl (1985, 138; 2000, 9-10) describes to a hierarchy of usage for perfects across languages. The hierarchy lays out how a perfect is used in terms of its progress along the path of grammaticalization to being a simple past perfective form. An indefinite* time-point in the past < A time-point located by an overtly marked temporal... Continue Reading →

Prepositional phrases with indefinite NP’s

The question was asked on Facebook about what principles might motivate the occurrence of indefinite noun phrases to take prepositional phrases. It's a good question. Prepositions phrases tend be restrictive when they occur in noun phrases just like other NP modifiers. But they certainly can still be descriptive, too. I ran a quick and dirty... Continue Reading →

There is a lot of significant work on Ancient Greek that came out in the 19th century. Some of it was by native Greek speakers. The challenge is that during that period, the politics of language in Greece was a source of constant debate and argument. Many times the ancient language was used as a... Continue Reading →

Langacker on learning the meaning of words.

"For illustrative purposes, let us sketch a plausible (though simplistic) scenario for the evolution of a complex category. Consider a child in the process of learning the various senses (conventional usages) of the word tree, and suppose the term is first applied, in his early experience, to such ordinary specimens as oaks, maples, and elms.... Continue Reading →

ἐκ vs. ἀπό: The history

Notes for the Greek Preposition Workshop, on June 30th through July 1st. Already by the first century CE, ἐκ & ἀπό have experience two thousand years of history and they have already experience a bit of linguistic change. Both words can be traced to Proto-Indo-European, ἐκ from *h1ǵʰ-s 'out' and ἀπό from *h2epo 'from' (Beekes 2010). Their... Continue Reading →

The myth of the synchronic-diachronic dichotomy

The overarching dialectic treated in this work is framed in terms of the familiar ‘synchronic-diachronic’ opposition indicative of 20th century linguistic dualism. Taken as a strict dichotomy, synchrony and diachrony are, ipso facto, irreconcilable. If we distance ourselves from the old essentialist presuppositions and approach the actual unfolding of language use and linguistic cognition in... Continue Reading →

The relevance of typology in grammatical research

Many New Testament scholars look at language typology with suspicion. Some believe that using typological studies is dangerous because they have the potential to mislead the scholar to draw conclusions about Greek grammar not from the internal structure of the language, but instead the structure of other languages. I would like to suggest that is... Continue Reading →

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