LINGUIST List 24.2384

Tue Jun 11 2013

Diss: Ancient Greek, Syntax: Perna: 'La frase relativa in greco antico...'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <>

Date: 09-Jun-2013
From: Elena Perna <>
Subject: La frase relativa in greco antico. Analisi sintattica basata sul dialetto attico di Platone.
E-mail this message to a friend

Institution: Università degli Studi di Padova Program: PhD in Linguistics Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2013

Author: Elena Perna

Dissertation Title: La frase relativa in greco antico. Analisi sintattica basata sul dialetto attico di Platone.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): Greek, Ancient (grc)
Dissertation Director:
Paola Beninca
Dissertation Abstract:

Relative Clauses in Ancient Greek: A syntactic analysis based on the Attic
dialect of Plato

The dissertation analyzes the most relevant aspects of the syntax of
relative clauses in Ancient Greek. The research is based on a corpus of
twelve texts, aptly selected and chosen among the dialogues written by the
Athenian philosopher Plato (V-IV B.C.). The attention is therefore focused
on the so-called ‘classic’ period of the Attic dialect. The main aim is to
provide both a description and an explanation of several aspects of the
syntax of relative clauses in a more systematic and updated manner than
usually found in traditional grammars, especially for what concerns the
linguistic theoretic framework, which is described in Chapter I.

Chapter II deals with the strategies of relativization attested in Greek:
beside the most widespread strategy with relative pronoun, a nominalized
strategy with participle and a mixed strategy, with both a relative pronoun
and an internal head, are recognizable. Main properties and restrictions
are identified for each strategy.

In Chapter III, I examine the different relative pronouns that can
introduce a relative clause: not only the most common ὅς ἤ ὅ, but also
ὅστις ἥτις ὅτι and ὅσος ὅσα ὅσον. It will be shown that the relative
clauses that they introduce belong to different syntactic and semantic
types, already identified in literature (for example, kind-defining
relatives, maximalizing relatives and so on).

Chapter IV and V are dedicated each to a basic class of relative clauses:
restrictive relatives and appositive relatives; both of them are
recognizable in Ancient Greek. For each class, the most relevant semantic
and syntactic characteristics are taken into account: namely, the position
of the relative clause with respect to the head noun, the phenomena of
extraposition, the phenomena related to the morphological case of the
relative pronoun and the head noun. From this analysis, some interesting
and not so well known aspects show up: among them, the existence of
relative clauses very similar to the internal headed relatives identified
in typology, the different interpretation suitable for the two phenomena of
case attraction (direct and inverse) and, lastly, the existence of a class
of appositive relative clauses whose properties match with the properties
of the so called ‘non integrated’ appositive relatives.

Finally, the subject of Chapter VI is the syntax of a third class of
relative constructions: free relative clauses without an overt head noun.
The chapter is mainly focalized on the matching effects between the case of
the (covert) head noun and the case of the overt relative pronoun.

Page Updated: 11-Jun-2013