Skip to Content

Colloquium: Mark Janse - "Definitely an Object? Differential Object Marking and Agglutinative Inflections in Asia Minor Greek"

Friday, November 8, 2013
12:00 AM
3254 LSA

Cappadocian (Asia Minor Greek) is a Greek-Turkish mixed language characterized by heavy borrowing (Thomason & Kaufman 1988) and spoken in Central Anatolia until the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s. It was believed to have died out in the 1960s until Mark Janse and Dimitris Papazachariou discovered speakers of Mišótika, the only dialect that seems to have survived in three closed communities in Central and Northern Greece. In this talk I will concentrate on two cases of grammatical interference in Cappa-docian and other Asia Minor Greek Dialects.

1. Differential Object Marking (DOM) is a very remarkable feature of Cappadocian and other Asia Minor Greek dialects, particularly Pharasiot. In certain inflections classes, definite objects are unmarked whereas indefinite objects are marked with the suffix  s that also marks the nominative. DOM is not found in other Greek dialects, but it is attested in Turkish where, however, definite objects are marked as opposed to subjects and indefinite objects. In this paper I will show how Cappadocian and Pharasiot differ from Turkish in having used Greek “matter” to replicate a Turkish “pattern” (Matras 2009). I will briefly discuss similar constructions in both languages and the case of Differential Subject Marking in Pontic, another Asia Minor Greek language.

2. Agglutinative inflections are amongst the most remarkable interference features of Cappadocian. After a brief survey of agglutinative inflections in nominal paradigms, I will discuss the inflection of the Cappadocian medio-passive imperfect which is entirely built around the third-person singular reanalyzed as a stem on the analogy of Turkish verbal inflectional paradigms. I will discuss the phenomenon in terms of Watkins’ Law, since remodelling of verbal paradimgs on the basis of the third-person singular reanalyzed as a stem is found in other, unrelated languages and language families. I conclude this section by discussing the remarkable case of double (Greek-Turkish) personal endings in Southeast Cappadocian and in the dialect of Silli.