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This is the most comprehensive history of the Greek prepositional system ever published. It is set within a broad typological context and examines interrelated syntactic, morphological, and semantic change over three millennia. By including, for the first time, Medieval and Modern Greek, Dr Bortone is able to show how the changes in meaning of Greek prepositions follow a clear and recurring pattern of immense theoretical interest. The author opens the book by discussing the relevant background issues concerning the function, meaning, and genesis of adpositions and cases. He then traces the development of prepositions and case markers in ancient Greek (Homeric and classical, with insights from Linear B and reconstructed Indo-European); Hellenistic Greek, which he examines mainly on the basis of Biblical Greek; Medieval Greek, the least studied but most revealing phase; and Modern Greek, in which he also considers the influence of the learned tradition and neighbouring languages. Written in an accessible and non-specialist style, this book will interest classical philologists, as well as historical linguists and theoretical linguists.
Pietro Bortone is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics & Mediterranean Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago. He studied Classical, Medieval, and Modern Greek at King's College London, and Linguistic Theory and Comparative Philology at Oxford, and was Research Fellow in Hellenic Studies at Princeton.