The rise of ‘subordination features’ in the history of Greek and their decline
This study is a contribution based on Greek material to a field of inquiry that deals with the diachronic development of formal syntactic devices and their interrelationship with the dichotomy between main and subordinate clauses in Indo-European (Kiparsky 1995, Lühr 2008). First, we focus on some devices signaling indirect speech that emerged in Pre-Classical and Classical Greek, such as the development of a system of complementizers (<i>hóti</i> ‘that.COMP’, <i>hōs</i> ‘that.COMP’) and some characteristic usages of moods (the optative of indirect speech). In Post-Classical Greek, this system of traits that had been employed to code indirect speech collapsed, as evidenced by the disappearance of <i>hōs</i> ‘that.COMP’ and the optative of indirect speech as well as the high frequency of pleonastic <i>hóti</i> ‘that.COMP’. Later in the history of Greek a new subordination system arises. We interpret these developments in the light of contemporary syntactic theory (Emonds 2004, 2012), and try to formulate a hypothesis regarding the cycle-like regularities and recurrent patterns that are followed by (clusters of) traits, that is, the “Indirect Speech Traits Cycle”.