|Title||A caveat for contact linguistics: lessons from Cappadocian Greek|
With this paper, I aim to put prominently into the research agenda of contact linguistics the caveat that structural or typological similarity between two languages that have come in contact with one another in their history may not always be the result of that contact. As a case-in-point, I revisit the oft-cited development of ‘agglutinative’ noun inflection in Cappadocian Greek, which is known to have undergone a series of contact-induced changes under the influence of Turkish between the 12th and 20th centuries CE (Dawkins 1916; Janse 2009). The development in question involves the use of two native Greek inflectional endings, -ju and -ja, that are characteristic of the i-neuter inflectional class (IC), which prototypically contains inanimate nouns such as zonar ‘belt’, to realise the GEN.SG/PL and the NOM/ACC.PL of nouns that do not historically belong to the i-neuter IC. As shown in (1), Cappadocian ɣamos ‘wedding’ no longer inflects like its Standard Modern Greek (SModGr) cognate, which belongs to the os-masculine IC, but like zonar ‘belt’, a noun belonging to the i-neuter IC in both Cappadocian and SModGr.
PL NOM/ACC ɣam-i/ɣam-us
b. Cappadocian ‘wedding’
PL NOM/ACC ɣamos-ja
c. Cappadocian ‘belt’
PL NOM/ACC zonar-ja
d. Turkish ‘wedding’
PL NOM/ACC düğün-ler
On the contrary, my morphological analysis shows that, when examined in the context of Cappadocian noun inflection as a whole, noun paradigms such as that of ɣamos in (1b) cannot be shown to be actually agglutinative on a synchronic level in light of the following two facts:
(i) morphemic units such as ɣamos- are best analysed as bound stems; and,
In addition, the synchronic analysis yields two important findings: first, the case/number combinations making up the Cappadocian nominal paradigm are realised by the same set of endings in the inflection of both ɣamos and zonar; second, the inflected forms of both nouns are structured upon the same type of non-allomorphic stem. This constitutes uncontroversial evidence that ɣamos and zonar belong to the same IC, namely i-neuter. The paradigms of nouns such as ɣamos therefore evidence a series of historical IC shifts to the i-neuter class, not a typological shift from fusion to agglutination. In the latter part of my paper, I will develop a diachronic analysis of these IC shifts based on the prototypical semantic content and the phonological shape of noun ICs in Greek.
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Janse, M. (2001). Morphological borrowing in Asia Minor Greek. In Y. Aggouraki, A. Arvaniti, J. Davy, D. Goutsos, M. Karyolaimou, A. Panagiotou, A. Papapavlou, P. Pavlou and A. Roussou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Greek Linguistics. Nicosia 17–19 September 1999. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 473–479.
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|Conference||36th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Accepted author manuscript|