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ID 32789
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The Diachronic Change of the Linguistic Categorization : Based on an Analysis of the Semantic Criterion ±[SUPERIOR CONTACT] in Greek <ARTICLES>
creator
Tachibana, Takashi
NDC
Other minor languages
abstract
In Ancient Greek (AG) and Standard Modern Greek (SMG), the semantic criterion ±[SUPERIOR CONTACT] is relevant to the linguistic categorization in that both periods have distinct forms to materialize it (i.e. the prepositions έπί vs. ύπέρ in AG and the complex prepositions πάνω σε vs. πάνω από in SMG respectively). Naturally, this can not imply that every diachronic stage of Greek was sensitive to this criterion. For instance, it is not certain whether Medieval Greek was equipped with the same categorization based on the criterion as in AG and SMG. In order to ascertain it, we analyze in this paper the texts in Medieval Vernacular Greek dated back to the 12th - 16th centuries.
  
Careful examination of numerous representative texts in this period reveals that examples abound which realize the semantic feature +[SUPERIOR CONTACT]. The syntactic pattern which represents this feature is basically the same as that of Modem Greek (i.e. spatial adverb + the preposition εις, or its new form σε ). On the other hand, it is rather rare to find the cases which depict the situation of -[SUPERIOR CONTACT]. A small number of examples, however, can be observed which include semantic contexts that would be categorized as -[SUPERIOR CONTACT] — expressed by πάνω από — in SMG. Such contexts are classified into three types:
  
1) 'for a located object to fly over a reference object'
  
2) 'to build a located object ("bridge") over a reference object ("river")'
  
3) 'to wear a located object ("clothes") over a reference object ("clothes")'

In our corpus, these contexts are expressed by means of the following syntactic patterns:
  
απάνω + εις + accusative noun
  
απανωθεόν / απανώθεον + accusative noun
  
απανωθίο + accusative noun
  
επάνω + accusative pronoun
  
άνωθεν + genitive noun

It is noteworthy that none of these includes the preposition από, which is necessarily used for -[SUPERIOR CONTACT] in SMG. In addition, the fact that some of them (απάνω + εις + accusative, άνωθεν + genitive) can be used also to express +[SUPERIOR CONTACT] seems to suggest that the semantic criterion ±[SUPERIOR CONTACT] was not so important as in AG or SMG. This can be supported by another observation: examples with spatial adverb + από found in the corpus basically indicate the motion of a located object downwards from a reference object, in which case the preposition από still preserves its basic meaning ' from' . Within our corpus, the cases including από, (or its equivalent εκ) which describes the situation of -[SUPERIOR CONTACT] cannot be found before the 16th century.
  
The results attained by the examination above seem to enable us to infer that the semantic criterion ±[SUPERIOR CONTACT] is not necessarily a relevant feature during the medieval period, although it contributed to the linguistic categorization both in Ancient and Modem Greek.
  
From the viewpoint of general linguistics, this small study illustrates that the linguistic categorization in two historical periods of a language, however stable it seems, does not always have positive implication on a linguistic categorization in an intermediate period between them.
journal title
ΠΡΟΠΥΛΑΙΑ
issue
Issue 9
start page
1
end page
15
date of issued
1997-12-31
publisher
日本ギリシア語ギリシア文学会
issn
0915-7425
ncid
language
jpn
nii type
Journal Article
HU type
Journal Articles
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
rights
Copyright (c) 1997 日本ギリシア語ギリシア文学会
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