Friday, March 27, 2015

Word order in Greek

Within the framework of Functional Grammar, she [Helma Dik, Word Order in Ancient Greek, 1995; Word Order in Greek Tragic Dialogue, 2007] argues that the order of content words (i.e., Dover’s mobiles) in Classical Greek clauses can be accounted for by the following pattern:

(8) (Setting) — Topic — Focus — Verb — Remainder

According to (8) Classical Greek word order is pragmatically determined and fixed. The Setting slot refers to optional adverbials at the beginning of the clause (Dik 2007:36–37). Next follows the core of the clause: the first position is occupied by topic and the second position by focus; the verb is in the third position, unless it is itself topic or focus, and is followed by pragmatically unmarked constituents in an unspecified order.—Giovanni, “Word Order” in Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, page 535

<idle musing>
Good stuff. I'm working my way through Simon Dik's The Theory of Functional Grammar, Part 1 right now. Wonderful! Maybe I should have done some linguistics in grad school—as if I didn't have enough to do : )

And, yes, I'm strange; why else would I label a post like this as "Just for fun"!
</idle musing>

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