Parametric changes in the history of the Greek article

Cristina Guardiano

in Grammatical Change

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199582624
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731068 | DOI:
Parametric changes in the history of the Greek article

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This chapter accounts for two changes that distinguish Modern Greek from Ancient (Classical and New Testament) Greek: the requirement in Modern Greek that proper names occur with a definite article, and the rise of an indefinite article. It argues that these two changes are related. In Ancient Greek, nominal expressions could receive a singular count interpretation with a null expletive D head. The rise of overt indefinite articles indicates that the feature count had come to be grammaticalized (that is, required spellout). Once this requirement was in place, a null expletive in D became generally unavailable, requiring that the overt determiner in D select a proper name.

Keywords: Modern Greek; Ancient Greek; proper names; definite articles; indefinite articles; nominal expressions

Chapter.  6610 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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