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Chapter Summary

To date, the first and only comprehensive grammar of the Greek article was Thomas Fanshaw Middleton's The Doctrine of the Greek Article, published in 1828. Nearly two centuries later, it is plain to see that one's understanding of the article's function has advanced significantly. Historically, grammarians equated the function of the Greek article with the English definite article as a one-to-one correspondence. The view was reinforced by arguments that associated the Greek article with the historical demonstrative pronoun. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the reasoning proceeded from a simple and straightforward premise: just as the English definite article is a reduced form of the demonstrative pronoun, so too the Greek article is descended from the demonstrative pronoun. Thus, both articles are analogous in function. Recent scholarship has been forced to acknowledge that any view that maintains such a one-to-one correspondence is unsustainable.

Keywords: English definite article; historical demonstrative pronoun; The Doctrine of the Greek Article



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