Re: CHAT Graeca sine flexione (was: Greek plosives)
|From:||Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>|
|Date:||Friday, February 3, 2006, 14:22|
On 2/3/06, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
> On 2/3/06, Philip Newton <philip.newton@...> wrote:
> > > The *real* problem is - what shall we do with the Genitive???
> > Well, taking the lead from Romance, replace it with preposition +
> > flexion-less form. I propose "apo" (from, away from).
> > So "the teacher's book" would become "to biblio apo to daskalo".
> Or ek/eks?
Or that. Another preposition that got dropped in modern Greek, btw :)
> We need to think about what prepositions will replace
> various uses of the plain dative as well. "eis" could work
> for some of them.
...and again, this is the way modern Greek has gone. It's completely
lost the dative case except in fossilised phrases, replacing it with
"se" + accusative. And as far as I know, MG "se" is a descendant of AG
Well, it's not always "se" + accusative -- it's sometimes the
genitive. Nearly always, for personal pronouns (e.g. "mou edose ena
vivlio" «he gave (to) me a book»), and occasionally for nouns as well,
e.g. "dos to vivlio tis Marias" «give Maria the book», sounding
exactly the same as «give Maria's book».
This may be a feature of the Balkan sprachbund; apparently, some other
languages there also use genitive for dative. (However, this is
colloquial-only/regional-only in Greek, as far as I know, at least for
nouns: only pronouns regularly take the genitive form to indicate
dative, though "se" + accusative is also available, e.g. for
It's amusing how many "let's simplify things by doing X" suggestions
end up being things that the Greeks ended up actually doing :)
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>