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Two ways of encoding location in Greek: Locative applicatives and prepositions

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Daskalaki, Evangelia 
Mavrogiorgos, Marios 


Cross-linguistically, oblique theta roles such as location can be encoded by both adpositions and applicative morphemes. In this paper we argue that Standard Modern Greek (SMG), a language that encodes location primarily with prepositions, has a set of morphologically complex predicates that consist of an intransitive verbal root and a locative prefix, and behave like locative applicative constructions. We argue that this prefix is a low applicative head, licensing the addition of a locative DP argument to the intransitive verbal root. Specifically, this applicative head: (i) case-and theta-licenses the added argument, but being void of phi-features, it blocks its cliticization; (ii) is distinct from a homophonous free standing P semantically and syntactically; (iii) is undergoing grammaticalization, as evidenced by the emergence of a novel configuration, in which the locative predicates combine with locative PPs that retrieve semantic and syntactic information of the locative prefix. Our findings show that applicatives may come in various flavors, that a language may use both analytic and synthetic devices to encode location which are not derivationally related, and that lexical/inherent case does not necessarily reduce to a PP structure.



47 Language, Communication and Culture, 4704 Linguistics

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Glossa: a journal of general linguistics

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Ubiquity Press