The Greek forms in -ontas : a study in “converbiality”, temporality, aspectuality and finiteness

Part of : Γλωσσολογία ; Vol.17, 2006, pages 43-67

Section Title:
Άρθρα = Articles
This article argues that the forms in -ontas, labeled participates or gerunds in the literature are in reality verbal adverbs or converbs. This hypothesis is tested on the basis of the crosslinguistic criteria proposed in Ηaspelmath & Κonig (eds., 1995). Special emphasis is placed on finiteness, which creates problems for these forms if defined in terms of agreement and tense/aspect specification. Ιt is shown that the forms are specified for both aspect and relative tense, but it is argued that this does not prevent them from being non-finite; on a scale of finiteness they would in fact be placed at a rather low point both within Greek and cross-linguisticalΙy and this not only allows them to be categorized as converbs, given that they meet aΙl the other criteria, but places them among the prototypical exponents of the category.
Subject (LC):
Περιέχει σημειώσεις και βιβλιογραφία, Warmest thanks are due to my colleagues Dimitra Theophanopoulou-Kontou, Despina Chila-Markopoulοu and Pepy Bella fρr their very helpful comments at various Stages of this research.