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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 "eis". 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 emphasis.) It's amusing how many "let's simplify things by doing X" suggestions end up being things that the Greeks ended up actually doing :) Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>