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Open Access A Semantics for the Particle αν in and outside Conditionals in Classical Greek

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A Semantics for the Particle αν in and outside Conditionals in Classical Greek

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In this paper, we provide a uni ied semantics for the Classical Greek particle αν in its uses both in and outside of conditional sentences. Speci ically, working within the framework provided by formal semantic treatments of conditionals in Stalnaker (1968); Lewis (1973); Kratzer (1981) and subsequent work, we propose that αν is a universal quanti ier over situations—parts of possible worlds. We also detail the interactions between αν and the tense and mood features in a clause, arguing, for example, that the semantics of αν in combination with a 'fake' past tense morphology (Iatridou 2000), which reflects the presence of an exclusion feature in C, gives rise to a counterfactual implicature. Additionally, we address the issue of the surface distribution of αν in the antecedents of some types of conditionals and the consequents of others and argue that, despite its surface distribution, αν is always merged into the consequent of a conditional but sometimes undergoes displacement such that it appears to be located within the antecedent. Our proposal not only illuminates a complex phenomenon in Classical Greek, but also contributes to the understanding of the morpho-semantics of mood, conditionals, and counterfactuality in natural language.


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