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The use of the dual number in Homeric Greek


Viti, Carlotta (2011). The use of the dual number in Homeric Greek. In: Krisch, T; Lindner, T. Indogermanistik und Linguistik im Dialog. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 595-604.

Abstract

In Homeric Greek the dual number is not used regularly, and the principles underlying its alternation with the plural are not clear. We argue that the use of the dual abides by two main functions. Syntactically, the dual tends to appear in the first mention of a noun phrase, which is resumed by the plural in the following occurrences. Semantically, the dual is preferred for nominals denoting human and prominent participants. The plausibility of this distribution is corroborated by cross-linguistic parallels, since many languages use the dual or other minor numbers under the same circumstances as Homeric Greek.

In Homeric Greek the dual number is not used regularly, and the principles underlying its alternation with the plural are not clear. We argue that the use of the dual abides by two main functions. Syntactically, the dual tends to appear in the first mention of a noun phrase, which is resumed by the plural in the following occurrences. Semantically, the dual is preferred for nominals denoting human and prominent participants. The plausibility of this distribution is corroborated by cross-linguistic parallels, since many languages use the dual or other minor numbers under the same circumstances as Homeric Greek.

Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Greek and Latin Philology
Dewey Decimal Classification:470 Latin & Italic languages
480 Classical & modern Greek languages
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:27 Feb 2012 08:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:30
Publisher:Reichert
Series Name:Akten der Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft
Number:XIII
ISBN:978-3-89500-681-4
Additional Information:Akten der XIII. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 21. bis 27. September 2008 in Salzburg
Related URLs:http://www.reichertverlag.de/pages/print02681.htm
http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&CON_LNG=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=006426606

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