Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis
Associate Editors: Vit Bubenik, Emilio Crespo, Chris Golston, Alexandra Lianeri, Silvia Luraghi, Stephanos Matthaios

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (EAGLL) is a unique work that brings together the latest research from across a range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of Ancient Greek. It is an indispensable research tool for scholars and students of Greek, of linguistics, and of other Indo-European languages, as well as of Biblical literature.

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(1,995 words)

Author(s): H. Paul Brown
Abstract A caesura is a position in a metrical pattern associated with regularly recurring word division: a word division occurring at a statistically significant position in a line of verse which usually coincides with a significant grammatical or information-structural juncture. In metrical schemata, a caesura is indicated by the symbol [⁞] placed between the two metrical positions to be divided. The term caesura (alternate cesura), Greek tomḗ (‘ a cut’), referring to a division within a line of verse seems to date back no earlier than the 2nd century CE (Basse…
Date: 2015-05-01

Caland System and Greek

(2,260 words)

Author(s): Harald Bichlmeier
Abstract The term ‘Caland system’ refers to a set of mainly nominal suffixes closely related in terms of their derivation. Within the system of the word formation suffixes inherited from PIE, they form a subsystem. The system comprises a (not yet definite) number of suffixes with which derivatives can be formed from a single root. The best examples showing a closer connection of these suffixes can be gained primarily from the Old Indo-Iranian languages and Greek. In these languages, the most comp…
Date: 2015-05-01


(804 words)

Author(s): Georgios Papanastassiou
Abstract ‘Calque’ or ‘loan translation’ is a compound, derivative, or phrase that is introduced into a language through translation of the constituents of a term in another language. Some calques are called ‘semantic loans’ , where a word already existing in the borrowing language acquires a new meaning under the influence of another language . ‘Calque’ or ‘loan translation’ is a compound, derivative, or phrase that is introduced into a language through translation of the constituents of a term in another language, e.g. French grate-ciel, Italian grattacielo, Mod. Gk. ουρανοξύ…
Date: 2013-11-01

Case (including Syncretism)

(5,114 words)

Author(s): Flavia Pompeo
Abstract ‘Case’ can be defined as a grammatical category encoding the syntactic functions and/or the semantic roles of a given noun within a clause or phrase. The term also refers to the specific values that constitute the category of ‘case’ as well as to their formal expression. In accordance with this definition, Ancient Greek is classified as a case language whose system comprises five cases (nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive and dative) encoded by specific case markers. This is a sim…
Date: 2013-11-01

Case (ptôsis), Ancient Theories of

(2,258 words)

Author(s): Philipp Brandenburg
Abstract The word ptôsis was the technical term for the grammatical cases in Greek linguistic treatises. Its literal translation is ‘falling down’, from the verb p íptein ‘to fall’. Similarly, its Lat. calque casus derives from the verb cadere ‘to fall’. The metaphor stuck and invited the question where the cases actually fall from. In the Peripatetic tradition it was maintained that the other cases fall from the nominative, hence the nominative was denied the status of a case. A reflex of this difference in status can be found in the Stoic distinction between the upright case ( pt ôsis orthḗ…
Date: 2013-11-01

Case Syncretism (Morphological Aspects of)

(2,686 words)

Author(s): Silvia Luraghi
Abstract The entry surveys the history and the development of Gk. nominal paradigms, from Myc. Gk. up to the Koine, with a focus on case syncretism, that is, the reduction of the case system. Case syncretism had the effect of reducing the number of cases. It can be better understood in terms of spread of stable and superstable markers, along with ongoing elimination of markers with low token frequency. Case syncretism was one of the outcomes of two major moments of merging of different dialects: (a) the end of the Myc. period, with movements of peoples in the Aeg…
Date: 2013-11-01

Causative Formation

(1,423 words)

Author(s): Leonid Kulikov
Abstract Causatives are verbs which refer to a causal relation between two events, i.e. verbs meaning ‘cause to V₀ ’, ‘make V₀ ’, where V₀  stands for the non-causative (anticausative) member of the opposition. Ancient Greek has no specific causative or anticausative morphemes. However, there are several morphological means to express causative meaning (for monographic studies of this category see Kuehne (1882) and Hildebrand (1889); see also for a short overview Popescu (1962)). i. The commonest formal type of causative opposition is associated with diathesis (activ…
Date: 2013-11-01