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Academic Paper

Title: Greek Textual Influence on Gothic Complex Verbs with Pleonastic Prepositions
Author: Lauren Goetting
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Linguistic Field: Text/Corpus Linguistics; Translation
Subject Language: Gothic
Abstract: The present paper investigates the origin and semantics of complex verbs with pleonastic prepositions in the Gothic Bible in comparison with the Greek and Latin sources from which the Gothic was translated. In these constructions, the same directional information is specified by a preverb and its semantically and formally related preposition in a PP-modifier. It is shown that Gothic preverb-preposition redundancy is largely the result of mechanical translation from the Greek source, with the strong possibility of Latin influence in some cases. While there are co-occurrences of formally related preverbs and prepositions in Gothic independent of Greek and Latin textual influence, directionality is usually only fully specified by the preposition, and so these instances are not truly pleonastic. The considerable influence of Greek on redundant preverb-preposition constructions in Gothic ultimately serves as a caution against taking Gothic morphosyntax at face value.


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 19, Issue 4.

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