A typology of Greek clitics with special reference to their diachronic
Anthi Revithiadou, Vassilios Spyropoulos
June 2006

In this paper, we present a dialectal typology of pronominal object clitics in Greek and claim that clitic positioning can be subject not only to syntactic restrictions but also to prosodic ones. More specifically, on the basis of a cross-linguistic survey, we provide a range of templates, that is, prosodic patterns clitics participate in with other constituents of the clause. Furthermore, we show that there is a hierarchy among these templates that ranks them according to their relative wellformedness. The most optimal templates are found in 2P dialects, confirming once again a claim put forward in previous works ((Boškoviۭæ 1995, 2001, Franks 1998, 2000, Revithiadou 2006) according to which the exact position of a clitic in these systems relies crucially on phonology. This particular claim acquires greater significance when dialects that are in a transition from a 2P to a non-2P system are taken into consideration. These dialects provide valuable evidence for the vital role prosodic factors play in language change. In light of these cross-dialectal findings, we construct a viable hypothesis regarding the diachronic development of non-2P clitics (Standard Greek) from 2P ones (Medieval Greek) and investigate the reasons that prevented this change from taking place in 2 dialects.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000496
(please use that when you cite this article)
keywords: clitics, greek dialects, diachrony, phonology, syntax
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