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Syntactic Convergence: Modern Greek και and με Kostas Kazazis and Joseph Pentheroudakis In this paper we examine some facts about the syntactic behavior of με, ordinarily glossed as 'with', and και 'and' in subject noun phrases in Modern Greek.! We shall argue that in some instances με and και are semantically and in part also syntactically equivalent; that, in other words, in addition to ordinary conjoined noun phrases of the form NP1 και NP2, Modern Greek has a second type of conjoined phrases of the form NP1 με NP2 which share a number of the properties of the former type, while being demonstrably distinct from instances where με is used to mean 'with'. For notational ease, we indicate the ordinary use of με 'with' as ^Bwhh while indicating the use of με as a conjunction as με3η(1. This notational practice should not be understood as making any claims about the syntactic or semantic nature of the word με. In sentence (1) we have an example of a conjoined subject with και: (1) HΖντοϕπωκαιοΚλεινίαςχοϕÎ-ψανεωϕαίαστοπάϕτυ της Φημονόης. 'Z. and K. danced well at F.'s party.' Sentence (2) illustrates the use of p8with : (2) HΖντοϕπωχόϕεψεωϕαίαμετονΚλεινίαστοπάϕτυ της Φημονόης. 'Z. danced well with K. at F.'s party.' 1 Linguists' abbreviations in this article: NP = noun phrase V = verb sg = singular pi = plural * = hypothetical form 241 242 Kostas Kazazis and Joseph Pentheroudakis Sentence (1) has two sets of readings, namely, (a) that Z. and K. danced with each other and (b) that they did not necessarily dance with each other but instead may have danced with different partners. Logically, the set of readings under (b) includes reading (a); i.e., one of the combinations in (b) may be the one described in (a). In (a), however, the speaker is making a statement about Z. and K. 's dancing as a couple; in (b) the comment is about their individual dancing proficiency. We now turn to some of the syntactic properties of the phrase I16WiIh NP in sentences like (2). To begin with, notice that μενν;,1ι NP may appear in various positions in the sentence: (3) HΖντοϕπωμετονΚλεινίαχόϕεψεωϕαίαστοπάϕτυ της Φημονόης. 'It was with K. that Z. danced well at F.'s party.' Note that (3) is acceptable only if it has a contrastive reading (cf. the English gloss). The truth conditions of (2) and (3) remain identical, i.e., (3) is true only if Z. and K. danced with each other. Notice furthermore that in both (2) and (3) the verb χόϕεψε 'she danced' is in the singular, reflecting the fact that the subject is η Ζντοϕπω. There is, however, a class of sentences like (4), where the verb is in the plural even though the sentence has superficially the same structure as (3): (4) HΖντοϕπωμετονΚλεινίαχοϕÎ-ψανεωϕαίαστοπάϕτυ της Φημονόης. 'Z. and K. danced well at F.'s party.' The similarity is, however, only skin-deep; sentence (4) is true not only in the event that Z. and K. danced as a couple, but also if they danced with other partners, in which case its truth conditions become identical to those for sentence (1). This is reflected in the English gloss, where με is rendered as 'and'. It is our claim that NP1 με^ NP2 is semantically and syntactically equivalent to a conjoined NP (NP1 και NP2) and that the similarity between (3) and (4) is due to the fact that the phrase p8with NP may be moved and may end up in a position adjacent to NP1, as in (3). Notice, however, that in sentences like (4) the phrase με3Ικ) NP may not be moved: (5) *HΖντοϕπωχοϕÎ-ψανεμετονΚλεινίαστοπάϕτυ της Φημονόης. Modem Greek Syntax 243 That the verb in (4) is in the plural further supports our claim that NP1 με NP2 is treated as a conjoined noun phrase. Additional evidence for this is provided by the existence of sentences such as (6): (6) HΖντοϕπωμετονΚλεινίαδηλαδή,πουξÎ-ϕουνεταγκό, σάμπως σηκώθηκαν να χοϕÎ-ψουν στο πάϕτυ της Φημονόης; 'As if Z. and K., who do know how to tango, danced at F.'s party (of course they didn't)!' In sentence (6) the head of the relative clause που ξÎ-ϕουνε ταγκό 'who know how to tango' is the phrase η Ζντοϕπω με τον Κλεινία. Thus (6) is semantically identical to a sentence with an ordinary conjoined subject: (7) HΖντοϕπωκαιοΚλεινίαςδηλαδή,πουξÎ-ϕουνεταγκό, σάμπως σηκώθηκαν να χοϕÎ-ψουν στο πάϕτυ της Φημονόης; (same meaning as (6), above). Notice, however, that the prepositional phrase p8with NP may not occu 'r between a head noun phrase and the relative clause: (8) * H Ζντοϕπω με τον Κλεινία δηλαδή, που ξÎ-ϕει ταγκό, . . . (where the...

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ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 241-246
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
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