Expressions of Agency in Ancient Greek

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November 2005



Ancient Greek expressed the agents of passive verbs by a variety of means, and this work explores the language's development of prepositions which marked the agents of passive verbs. After an initial look at the pragmatics of agent constructions, it turns to this central question: under what conditions is the agent expressed by a construction other than hupo with the genitive? The book traces the development of these expressions from Homer through classical prose and drama, paying attention to the semantic, syntactic, and metrical conditions that favoured the use of one preposition over another. It concludes with a study of the decline of hupo as an agent marker in the first millennium AD. Although the focus is on developments in Greek, translation of the examples should render it accessible to linguists studying changes in prepositional systems generally.


1. Passive verbs and agent constructions; 2. Agent constructions in Homer; 3. Agent constructions with perfect passive verbs; 4. Agent constructions with prepositons other than ???: prose; 5. Agent constructions with prepositions other than ???: tragedy and comedy; The decline of ??? in agent constructions; Summary.


Coulter H. George is currently a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He has previously taught at Rice University.


'This is the first book-length study of the development of prepositions to mark the agents of passive verbs in Greek. The reader is shown a series of exciting snapshots of the history of Greek from Homer down to Modern Greek through the window of this one aspect of grammatical development. ... keen linguists will find it an inspiring example of what good science should look like.' Journal of Classics Teaching
EAN: 9780521847896
ISBN: 0521847893
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Classical Studies'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2005
Seitenanzahl: 298 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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