LINGUIST List 15.954

Sun Mar 21 2004

Qs: Dictionary Database; Greek Possessive Enclitics

Editor for this issue: Steve Moran <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at


  1. Drezner, dictionary database
  2. Michael Cysouw, Qs: Modern Greek possessive enclitics

Message 1: dictionary database

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 23:34:02 +0200
From: Drezner <>
Subject: dictionary database


My name is Arik Drezner and I am developing dictionary software.

I am looking for a bilingual dictionary databases (in text file).

I have a number of questions:

1. Where can I find such a database (if you don't have it)?

2. How much it will cost? I will appreciate if you could fill up the following table.

3. Is there additional fees or royalties for distributing the database in my software?

 Number of words
 Price ($)
 English -> Dutch
 Dutch -> English
 English -> French
 French -> English
 English <-> German
 English <-> Hebrew
 English <-> Italian
 English <-> Russian
 English <-> Spanish
 English <-> Portuguese
 English <-> Japanese
 English <-> Korean
 English <-> Chinese

Best regards

Arik Drezner

R&d engineer

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Qs: Modern Greek possessive enclitics

Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 11:56:59 +0100
From: Michael Cysouw <>
Subject: Qs: Modern Greek possessive enclitics

Dear colleagues,

I'm looking for more information on the placement of enclitic
possessive pronouns in Modern Greek (MG). I would be grateful for any
references to published work or input from personal knowledge. The
phenomenon in which I am interested is the following.

Sadock (1991: 71-72) mentions that MG possessive pronoun enclitics can
either be placed at the end of the NP (1a), or on the immediate
preverbal word (1b) but not elsewhere (1c).

1a) a-filos-mu

1b) o-kalos-mu filos
 the-dear-my friend

1c) *o-kalos-mu palyos filos
 the-dear-my old friend

Halpern (1995: 35-36) finds that sentences like (1c) are not
completely ungrammatical to all speakers, and further notes the
possibility to have multiple possessive enclitics (2).

2) to-mikro-mu palo-mu spiti
 the-little-my old-my house

In a basic description of MG, Mackridge (1987: 222) notes in passing
that the possessive pronoun enclitic, while normally final in the NP,
'may also follow an adjective or other premodifiers ... when the
pronoun really qualifies the noun modified by the premodifier.' He
claims there to be a difference in meaning between the pre-nominal
enclitic (3a) and the post-nominal enclitic (3b), in that the possible
meaning of (3b) are more restricted.

3a) to palio mas autokineto
 the old our car
 'our car, which happens to be old'
 'our previous car'

3b) to palio autokineto mas
 the old car our
 'our previous car'

My questions are:

- What are the possible placement of the possessive enclitics in MG?
- Do all different person/number enclitics behave the same?
- Is there any consice investigation into the possibilities of the 
placement of the possessive enclitic in MG, preferably with corpus 
- Is the immediate preverbal word really the preferred host, as 
claimed by Sadock?
- Is there any difference in meaning, as claimed by Mackridge?
- Is there any dialectal/idiolectal variation, as claimed by Halpern?

Thanks in advance for any help
Michael Cysouw
ZAS Berlin
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue