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Weaving together the diverse threads of category change : intersubjective ἀμέλει ‘of course’ and imperative particles in Ancient Greek

  • La Roi, Ezra
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DOI: 10.1075/dia.20031.lar
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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This paper investigates category changes among imperative particles in Ancient Greek. Using diachronic evidence from the category change of the imperative alpha mu epsilon lambda epsilon iota (amelei 'don't worry' > 'of course') and similar imperative particles, alpha gamma epsilon (age), iota theta iota (ithi), phi epsilon rho epsilon (fere), epsilon iota pi epsilon mu omicron iota (eipe moi) and iota delta omicron upsilon. (idou), this paper investigates the diachronic interdependence of intersubjectification, grammaticalization and language change in general. It does this in four ways. First, I show that intersubjectification can take place without subjectification (pace Traugott 2003: 134). Second, I detail the intersubjectification of alpha mu epsilon lambda epsilon iota. with changes in the cognitive domain (no practical > no epistemic worries), the pragmatic domain (responsively resolving > independently assuming resolved worries) and contextual conditions (creating intersubjective alignment > assuming it). Third, I tease apart the various diachronic origins of changes which have affected alpha mu epsilon lambda epsilon iota. Finally, using contrastive evidence from parallel category changes of Ancient Greek imperative particles, I argue that whereas the imperative particles can be variously affected by structural grammaticalization changes, they all display signs of context change (as shown by illocutionary extensions to occurrence with declarative and interrogative illocutions). Thus, the diverse threads of category change can be woven together by tracing the contexts of change as well as the diachronic processes shaping them.

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