Friday, April 5, 2013

Switch Reference in Ancient Greek?

I'm going to be presenting at the student research symposium again. I think, though some of the data is a problem, that Ancient Greek has a switch reference marker. The data, very much a work in progress, is here:

What I find interesting is that so many things, such an elegant word, flank the particle de. I'm quite aware that Runge says that de is [+development], which is to say indicating new information, but I don't think that's the whole story. About 40% of the time, de has a nominative case something on one side or the other. 40%? This seems much higher than chance alone. Of course it could also be an artifact of being located near the front of a clause, which is where the subject tends to hang out.

Anyway, I've got to pour some work in on this, but my preliminary research will be presented in two (yow!) weeks. I'll put up the presentation slides here then.