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The Clause Start in Ancient Greek: Focus and the Second Position

By Bruce L. Fraser


The paper undertakes an examination of the start of the Greek clause, adopting a prosodic approach with two inter-related stages. Firstly, the functions of initial elements are analyzed in terms of their prosodic prominence, rather than of any 'pre-set' communicational role. Secondly, clitic words following the initial group are analyzed as placed, not in a single 'second position', but on either side of an intonation break, depending on their function: while pronouns are intonationally and syntactically part of the basic clause, particles emphasize the initial group. Even their connective functions are interpreted as dependent on this emphatic role

Topics: historical linguistics, Ancient Greek literature, clause structure, syntax, prosody and intonation, enclitic particles, focus and topic, complementation, clause linking, focalisation and emphasis
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Apollo
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