Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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In this article, we investigate the diachronic developments that gave rise to final auxiliaries – a hallmark of head-final syntax – in Asia Minor Greek, a cluster of Greek varieties originally spoken in the area historically known as Asia Minor (present-day Anatolia, Turkey) within the recent developments of the generative framework, i.e., the minimalist program. We propose that the original source for the final auxiliaries in Asia Minor Greek is to be found in Hellenistic Greek conditionals, whereas it can be traced back to Medieval Greek pluperfects. The role of contact with Anatolian Turkish is limited to rendering the available – albeit pragmatically marked – Verb-Auxiliary as the only available order. Importantly, this bottom-up change did not switch Asia Minor Greek from harmonic head-initial to harmonic head-final, but, rather, made it a mixed-directionality language. In minimalist terms, we propose that attrition, one of the ways that language contact manifests itself, targets SEM-uninterpretable features; from this point onwards contact may or may not ensue depending on the feature (mis)match between the two languages.


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