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Consider the Lilies: Prolepsis and the Development of Complementation

By Bruce L. Fraser


In the paper, an examination is made of prolepsis in ancient Greek, concentrating on its grammatical and prosodic structure. The feature is analyzed not as a stylistic curiosity, but as a syntactically anacoluthic construction, which demonstrates a transitional phase in the development of finite subordination, when an expansion in the transitivity of reporting verbs was taking place. The proleptic element is interpreted as a 'building block' in the inter-clausal link, functioning syntactically in both clauses. The study is structural rather than historical, but a developmental sequence is inferred from the features of proleptic and other accusative constructions observed in Homeric and classical texts

Topics: historical linguistics, Ancient Greek literature, complementation, prolepsis, clause structure, prosody, anacoluthon
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH
Year: 2003
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Provided by: Apollo
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