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Open Access ‘Finite’ infinitives in Ancient Greek

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‘Finite’ infinitives in Ancient Greek

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In this paper I argue that the unembedded Accusativus cum Infinitivo in Ancient Greek is a case of hearer-induced grammaticalization. AcI embedded under verba dicendi or δοκεῖν in deontic contexts are ambiguous: while the speaker intends the deontic reading as a side meaning of the embedding verb, it can also be attributed to the AcI. If the hearer opts for the latter analysis, a new function of the AcI emerges, which ultimately leads to its de-embedding. I show that this grammaticalization process is parallel to similar reanalyses in sound change. In a short outlook the analysis is extended to the emergence of absolute constructions.

Affiliations: 1: Göttingen University gkeydan@gwdg.de

10.1163/22125892-00501003
/content/journals/10.1163/22125892-00501003
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In this paper I argue that the unembedded Accusativus cum Infinitivo in Ancient Greek is a case of hearer-induced grammaticalization. AcI embedded under verba dicendi or δοκεῖν in deontic contexts are ambiguous: while the speaker intends the deontic reading as a side meaning of the embedding verb, it can also be attributed to the AcI. If the hearer opts for the latter analysis, a new function of the AcI emerges, which ultimately leads to its de-embedding. I show that this grammaticalization process is parallel to similar reanalyses in sound change. In a short outlook the analysis is extended to the emergence of absolute constructions.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22125892-00501003
2017-01-01
2018-06-23

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