Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

Purchase Access
Subject: Language and Linguistics

General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis
Associate Editors: Vit Bubenik, Emilio Crespo, Chris Golston, Alexandra Lianeri, Silvia Luraghi, Stephanos Matthaios

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (EAGLL) is a unique work that brings together the latest research from across a range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of Ancient Greek. It is an indispensable research tool for scholars and students of Greek, of linguistics, and of other Indo-European languages, as well as of Biblical literature.

Subscriptions: brill.com


(2,402 words)

Author(s): Anna Bonifazi
Abstract ‘Topic’ expresses a relation concerning the informational status of discourse fragments (within and beyond single sentences) with respect to other discourse fragments, the latter encoding other statuses such as ‘focus’ or ‘comment’. Although the term intuitively seems simple, the concept actually proves difficult to pin down. Descriptions of topic functions and topic constituents greatly vary across different languages. The different readings regarding Ancient Greek texts include the dis…
Date: 2013-11-01


(2,312 words)

Author(s): Ioannis Fykias | Christina Katsikadeli
Abstract A great number of Greek place names are arguably of ʻPre-Greekʼ origin. In contrast to those cases, there are toponyms of genuine Greek origin. The term ‘Pre-Greek’ may refer to one or more peoples (of Indo-European or non-Indo-European origin) in the geographical region of continental Greece and the Aegean islands before or during the settlement of Greeks in this area. When a toponym cannot be readily analyzed and interpreted solely on the basis of the lexical and grammatical means of the language in which it is attested, it is supposed to belon…
Date: 2013-11-01

Tragedy, Diction of

(2,219 words)

Author(s): Sara Kaczko
Abstract Tragedy was an elevated genre deeply rooted in Athens. Therefore the tragic language is essentially Attic-based, but at the same time distanced from “normal” Attic and rich in high-styled poetic features of the prestigious literary traditions, chiefly Homeric epic and choral lyrics. The high register of tragedy informs its every section, i.e. dialogues (in iambic trimeters) and choral parts (in lyric meters), although the tendency to heighten the tragic diction is at the maximum in choru…
Date: 2013-11-01

Transition from the Local Alphabets to the Ionic Script

(2,383 words)

Author(s): Angelos P. Matthaiou
Abstract This entry examines the transition from the local alphabets of archaic Greece to the Ionic script. Greek city-, tribal and federal states down to the end of the 5th c. BCE, in some cases even down to the first quarter of the 4th c., used their own local (epichoric) scripts. These scripts were substituted gradually by the East Ionic script from the beginning of the last quarter of the 5th c. till the ‘70s of the 4th c. Phonological developments such as changes in the pronunciation of cert…
Date: 2014-01-22


(2,881 words)

Author(s): Luz Conti
Abstract This entry analyzes the semantic and morpho-syntactic features of transitive states of affairs in Ancient Greek and focuses on the semantic factors that allow the morpho-syntactic and structural properties of prototypical transitive constructions. 1. Introduction In its traditional use, transitivity is understood as the ability of many verbs to take a direct object expressing the Patient (Patient and Theme) or the Result of the event described by the predication. This direct object is specified more often than the other objects. The direct object …
Date: 2014-01-22

Translation in Non-Western Traditions: Concepts and Models

(6,358 words)

Author(s): Lorna Hardwick
Abstract This article examines the implications of the category ‘non-western’ for the practices and concepts involved in the translation of Greek texts. As a category, ‘non-western’ is problematic in important respects: it suggests polarity against ‘western’, and it raises questions about hierarchies of power and ways of looking at the world as well as about mapping of the histories of translation itself. Using examples from a variety of contexts – Russian, Indian, Chinese, Latin-American, Caribb…
Date: 2014-01-22

Translation of Greek Texts in Late Antiquity

(3,640 words)

Author(s): Alberto Rigolio
Abstract The early stages and the development of Christian literatures are closely associated with translation activity into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic and Ethiopic. The translations were produced from Greek and, more rarely, from other languages, such as from Hebrew in the case of the Old Testament. The New Testament was one of the earliest texts to be translated and was soon followed by hagiography, patristics and historiography. The selection of texts often responded to the inte…
Date: 2014-01-22

Tropes (trópoi), Ancient Theories of

(3,316 words)

Author(s): Anna Novokhatko
Abstract The article contains a brief history of the ancient understanding of tropes in language. On a stylistic level, tropes were understood, in relation to figures of thought, primarily as deviations from the standard use of a word. On a cognitive level, they were understood as a shift in its meaning. The distinction between tropes and figures of thought was, however, never fully elaborated.   1. Introduction Tropes (Gk. nom. pl. trópoi ‘turnings; ways/manners of doing something’, a noun form related to the verb trépein ‘to turn’) are defined in ancient handbooks of grammar…
Date: 2013-11-01


(492 words)

Author(s): David Goldstein
Abstract Truncation is the shortening of a word or stem by removing part of it and leaving the rest intact, e.g., Pete < Peter or Pat < Patricia. Truncation is the shortening of a word or stem by removing part of it and leaving the rest intact. Simple cases from English include (personal names) Michael > Mike [maik], Christopher > Chris, Peter > Pete, Ronald > Ron, etc. There is some variation in the usage of the term; Joseph (2001:352), for instance, uses it to describe the reduction of phrases like ‘Watergate affair’ to simply ‘Watergate’. See Zwicky and Pullum (1987), Spencer (1991) for gene…
Date: 2013-11-01


(3,106 words)

Author(s): Nikos Liosis
Abstract Tsakonian is an endangered divergent Modern Greek dialect which does not have its origins in the Hellenistic Koine but in the ancient Laconian dialect. Its unique archaic character has been noticed from very early on, on the basis of phonetic and core vocabulary data, but current research shows that the Doric elements of Tsakonian are not confined to these levels and are valuable for understanding and reconstructing Laconian. Tsakonian (Tsak.) is an outlying, highly divergent Modern Greek dialect that is spoken today in a small mountainous area on the south-eas…
Date: 2013-11-01