To v or not to v? Theme vowels, verbalizers, and the structure of the Ancient Greek verb
Laura Grestenberger
November 2022

This paper offers a Distributed Morphology analysis of verbal theme vowels and primary verbal stem-forming morphology in Ancient Greek (AG). While verbal stem-forming morphemes are standardly analyzed as realizing Aspect in AG, I propose that both the inherited simple thematic and the athematic verbal stem-forming morphology of AG patterns as verbalizing morphology (v) according to a variety of diagnostics proposed in the literature, in particular idiosyncratic selectional properties of roots and the ability to form denominal and deadjectival verbs. Complex thematic suffixes moreover have the same distribution as simple thematic suffixes. These three classes of verbs (simple thematic, complex thematic, athematic) differ from synchronically denominal and deadjectival verbs, whose nominal stem-forming morphemes later became verbalizers in Modern Greek. This paper thus provides clear diagnostics for distinguishing between synchronically denominal, root-derived, and verbal-stem derived verbs in AG and morphologically similar languages. It also provides further evidence that verbal theme vowels occupy the same structural position and have broadly the same Aktionsart properties as other types of verbalizing morphology, contributing to the debate on the functional/semantic content of theme vowels in general.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007072
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa 47(1),
keywords: ancient greek, modern greek, theme vowels, verbalizing morphology, lexical aspect, denominal verbs, deadjectival verbs, reanalysis, morphology
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