Volume 31, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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One Pontic Greek variety, Romeyka of Of, Turkey, today preserves a robust infinitive usage. Comparing the current infinitival distribution in Romeyka with previous stages of Greek, I argue that: (a) the Romeyka infinitive has roots in Ancient Greek due to preservation of the construction prin “before” with infinitive, which remains extremely productive, but which did not survive in other varieties into early medieval times and is only found as a learned construction in ‘high’ registers of the Medieval Greek record; (b) neither the survival of the plain and personal infinitive, nor the emergence of the inflected one can be due to contact with Turkish; (c) the Romeyka infinitive, part of a conservative medieval variety with Hellenistic features, once cut off from other medieval varieties (as early as the 11th c. ce and as late as the 16th c. ce), was reanalyzed as a negative polarity item. Such reanalysis feeds into the discussion that NPIs belong to various syntactic categories, such as nominal NPIs, NPI adverbs, NPI verbs, NPI focus particles, minimizers and now an infinitive, too.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Hellenistic Greek; infinitive; negative polarity item; Pontic Greek; Romeyka
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