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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Morphosyntax of Verbs in Modern Greek Add Dissertation
Author: Alexandra Galani Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of York, Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Completed in: 2005
Linguistic Subfield(s): Morphology;
Subject Language(s): Greek, Modern
Director(s): George Tsoulas

Abstract: The thesis examines the verbal morphosyntax in Modern Greek. The main claim
is that verbs in Greek consist of a root, the theme vowel, which mainly
represents aspectual features, the morpheme in which voice is realised and
the unit representing agreement and tense. The main hypothesis is that
conjugational classes categorise Greek verbs and are organised on the basis
of abstract features. The thesis is written within the framework of
Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993) and hence pays particular
attention to the interplay of syntax, morphology and phonology in

More specifically, it is claimed that that each morphological unit
represents a set of features (morphological or syntacticosemantic), primary
and secondary ones. Consequently, a one–to–one relation between meaning and
form does not hold. The overt or covert spell–out of each morpheme mainly
depends on the marked or unmarked value of aspect (± perf).

Special attention is paid to the classification of verbs which depends on
the abstract, morphological properties of the theme vowels. The role of
conjugational classes is to categorise the pieces of inflection in the
repository of grammar as well as to predict the morphological spell-out of
the form selecting each theme vowel.

The analysis of the verbal morphology in Greek provides support for the
claim that word formation cannot be solely seen as a syntactic or
morphological process, as traditional claims in the literature suggest
(Chomsky (1970); Anderson (1992), respectively). Instead, it requires the
interaction of syntax, morphology as well as phonology. It is claimed that
syntax sets the structures which are further manipulated by morphology.
Phonology can also impose the insertion of morphemes via the application of
phonological rules triggered by the necessity to satisfy well-formedness
conditions. The augment’s insertion in simple and compound verbal forms
provides evidence for this position.

The existence of morphological features in the system does not only account
for the ways vocabulary items are organised in the repository but also for
what triggers the application of processes in the morphological component
which result at the formation of stems.

It is made clear that stems are not stored or formed under the application
of strict morphological processes (e.g. readjustment rules) in the lexicon.
Instead, I propose that the formation of stem can be only seen as the
result of the creation of a local environment in the morphological
component between the root and the aspectual projection subject to
vocabulary insertion. On the other hand, suppletive stems are derived in
the vocabulary via readjustment rules and then enter the enumeration.

Finally, it is proposed that allomorphic cases which are not phonologically
conditioned, are accounted for in terms of the vocabulary’s organisation.
There is no need to assume that they are the product of phonological,
syntactic or morpholexical rules. A consequence is that allomorphy is no
longer considered to be a non-productive process.