Variation and Morphosyntactic Change in Greek: From Clitics to Affixes

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Methodology -- 3. Data Analysis -- 4. Linguistic Parameters -- 5. Non-linguistic Parameters -- 6. Previous Proposals -- 7. A Diachronic Perspective -- 8. Theoretical Implications. Summary: "The development of weak object pronouns in the history of the Greek language has confounded researchers for decades. This book presents the results of a variationist analysis of the last phase of the change during which these elements exhibited both clitic-like and affix-like behaviour.

The methodology employs both traditional and innovative ways of analyzing textual evidence, while the statistical tools that are used provide the first accurate description of the pattern of variation during the period of Later Medieval and Early Modern Greek. An alternative approach launched from a diachronic perspective is proposed and its implications for our understanding of the nature of language change, the status of clitics in morphology, and the role of generalizations in linguistic explanation are discussed.

The analysis reveals a number of linguistic parameters that affect the behaviour of the weak object pronouns, and it demonstrates that non-linguistic parameters such as the style of the text and its geographical provenance also influence the pattern of variation.

From Clitics to Affixes

Based on these empirical results several previous proposals are evaluated and shown to fall short of a full explanation. As with the other variants, while the Cypriot structure, enclisis, was the preferred option, the standard-like strategy of proclisis without a triggering element in C or below, i. This is, however, clearly not the case with focus raising; by contrast, the Cypriot syntactic focusing strategy appears to be used in lieu of focus raising even in production which is or attempts to be standard-like [as is also indicated by examples such as 7 , 11 , and 12 above].

As the numerical data from the study in Tsiplakou et al. The case can then be made that Cypriot Greek speakers treat clefts as part of the grammar of the standard variety, while Standard Greek focus movement slips under the radar, as it were. If this is the case, the findings can be taken to suggest a transfer effect from Cypriot Greek in the acquisition of the standard variety, which needs to be accounted for cf. Tsiplakou, a , b. The questionnaire also contained nine fillers. Examples of questionnaire items are provided below:.

The 12 controls, all highly educated monolingual speakers of Standard Greek, all found the questionnaire items ungrammatical. Participants were asked to rate the sentences as grammatical or ungrammatical in Standard Greek and were moreover asked to suggest corrections in case they thought the sentences were ungrammatical.

Variation and Morphosyntactic Change in Greek

Data were discarded in case the corrections were irrelevant to the focus of the study. A total of 96 subjects participated in the study, 61 females and 35 males. All identified themselves as native speakers of Cypriot Greek. All participants were born and raised in Cyprus, they had Greek Cypriot parents, and there were no bilingual speakers in the sample. The high education level of participants may in fact be advantage, if not a desideratum , in this case as highly educated speakers can be reasonably assumed to be highly proficient speakers of Standard Greek, so their judgments reflect accurately the acquisition of the phenomenon in question at end state.

Regarding geographical provenance, 60 participants were of urban origin, while 36 were of rural origin; 11 the expectation was that the urban-rural distinction would be more relevant than precise geographical provenance for the purposes of this discussion. A logistic regression was performed to ascertain the effects of gender, age group, education, area of origin and the urban-rural distinction on the likelihood that participants accept cleft structures in otherwise Standard Greek sentences see Table 1.

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The model explained As can be seen from Figure 1 , males accepted clefts were 2. Quite interestingly, there was no statistically significant difference between subjects of tertiary and secondary education Figure 3. Also quite interestingly, there was no statistically significant difference between subjects of urban and rural origin Figure 4.

The data were further analyzed on the basis of cleft type. Results were as follows Figure 5 :. A closer look at the quantitative data reveals some interesting details as regards the distribution of variation in acquisition: women and the younger age group accept focus clefts in Standard Greek less than do men and the older age group, the differences between groups being statistically significant. In other words, women and younger speakers display higher rates of convergence toward the standard than do men and the older age group.

On the whole, the imperfect acquisition of the Standard Greek focusing strategy evidenced by the data and the concomitant transfer of Cypriot Greek clefting into the target variety may at first blush appear to be puzzling. Moreover, it may be reasonably assumed that the acquisition of focus movement is not underdetermined by input, as structures with syntactic focusing are quite run-of-the-mill in the standard variety. The perseverance of clefting in standard-like production is probably less hard to account for: excluding clefting would involve focusing on negative evidence White, , i.

yuzu-washoku.com/components/2020-11-01/4238.php It is tempting to suggest that this is what underpins the imperfect acquisition of syntactic focusing in Standard Greek by Cypriot Greek speakers, as evidenced by the questionnaire data, as it would seem that an aspect of the syntax of the target variety which relates to the syntax—discourse interface has strong effects on syntactic acquisition Montrul, ; Sorace, ; White, ; Tsiplakou, a. Relevant research in SLA has shown that, as regards formal grammatical properties and operations in the narrow syntax, near-native competence can be reached despite the fact that these are often underdetermined by input Tsimpli et al.

A further complication is that in Standard Greek focused constituents in situ may be interpreted either as presentational or contrastive foci, while moved focused constituents are interpreted as contrastive foci. The acquisition of the relevant structural configurations thus involves aspects of the syntax—discourse interface and is therefore predicted to be complex, underdetermined by input, and perfect attainment is predicted to be hard to reach Tsimpli and Sorace, ; Sorace, Standard Greek syntactic focus structures indeed appear to be a problematic case for acquisition, as evidenced by the persistence of transfer of focus clefts in otherwise standard -like production by speakers of Cypriot Greek and the level of non-native competence suggested by the data presented in this article.

In previous work it was argued that the grammatical systems of Standard and Cypriot Greek are far from converging, and this despite leveling of local subvarieties and the emergence of a pancypriot koine which displays grammatical hybridity; in this article the suggestion was taken up that grammatical hybridity is achieved through standard-like morphological choices while the syntax of the base variety remains intact and this suggestion was explored further by examining syntactic focusing in acrolectal, standard-like production.

It was shown that speakers do not achieve native-like attainment as regards Standard Greek focus movement at end state, as evidenced by the prevalence of Cypriot clefts in acrolectal, standard-like production and related acceptability judgments. An attempt was made to show that imperfect acquisition of this core area of Greek syntax may be captured by the Interface Hypothesis and the difficulties for acquisition posed by phenomena at the syntax—discourse interface. Exploring and accounting for different levels of attainment in a second, related variety along such theoretical lines in turn yields a richer understanding of gradient bilectalism.

All subjects gave written informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication. The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Agouraki, Y.

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Bibliographic Information

Joseph, and M. Janse Patras: University of Patras , 1— Arvaniti, A. Linguistic practices in Cyprus and the emergence of Cypriot Standard Greek.

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Chatzikyriakidis, S. A dynamic account of clitic positioning in Cypriot Greek.

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Condoravdi, C. Clitics and clause structure. Greek Ling. Contosopoulos, N. Fotiou, C. Grohmann and P. Grohmann, K. Tsangalides Thessaloniki: Monochromia , — Rinke and T. Kupisch Amsterdam: John Benjamins , — Di Sciullo Amsterdam: John Benjamins , — Janse, B. Joseph, and A.

From Clitics to Affixes

These excerpts are usually two or three pages long, and come from various places of the then Greek-speaking world. Given that level of education is also found to play a role in the literature —male speakers that have completed secondary education only produced forms that were less close to the standard according to Tsiplakou et al. Traditionally, it has been supposed that these enclitics act as arguments, while it is argued here that they act as agreement markers as well. The Consensus Principle presupposes some degree of uniformity in terms of judgments among native speakers of the same language. What has happened in Modern Persian is rightward drift; similar to Romance languages Vincent, , pp.

Ralli Patras: University of Patras , 83— Acquiring clitic placement in bilectal settings: Interactions between social factors. Gryllia, S. Clefts in Cypriot Greek. Hadjioannou, X. Language policy and language planning in Cyprus. Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All.

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