[B-Greek] POS Origins

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Sun Jul 17 15:38:17 EDT 2005


Word classes are a complex matter cross-linguistically, even if one  
takes a synchronic point of view (single point in time).

It has been argued that some languages don't even make a distinction  
between nouns and verbs. Categories such as adverbs are notoriously  
difficult to talk about cross-linguistically.

I'd suggest looking up "word classes" in a good dictionary of  
linguistics to get a flavour for some of the issues (there's an entry  
online at http://www.eva.mpg.de/~haspelmt/2001wcl.pdf )

There's also Vogel and Comrie's "Approaches to the Typology of Word  
Classes" which you might find in an academic library.

Also, try Google Scholar. Look for things like "Typology of Word  
Classes".

But I don't think you a going to get general answers to your  
question. For a *particular* language you can potentially find out  
things like a common history between demonstratives, articles and  
pronouns or the development of auxiliaries and periphrasis, or the  
relationship between case inflection and prepositions.

Hope this helps.

James

On 17/07/2005, at 10:26 AM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:

> I'd like to find a book that explains the origins of
> nouns (and how they differ from other POS; their
> distinctives, how the adjective branched off from
> this), adverbs (and how they differ from other
> verbals), finites, participles, prepositions, etc.
> Preference is for a book on each POS (nouns, verbs,
> adjectives, adverbs, etc) that examines the earliest
> writings (ATR does exactly this with the Sanskrit),
> but I'd like more information/history.
>
> Eddie Mishoe
>
> --- Wayne Leman <wayne_leman at sil.org> wrote:
>
>
>> Eddie, could you explain a little more what you are
>> thinking of when you
>> speak about "origins of of the various parts of
>> speech"? Are you addressing
>> the question of how languages have come to have POS?
>> Or are you asking how
>> the labels for POS in Greek grammars developed?
>>
>> Wayne
>> -----
>> Wayne Leman
>> Better Bibles Blog:
>> http://englishbibles.blogspot.com
>>
>>
>>> I am looking for a detailed, thorough (research)
>>>
>> book
>>
>>> on the origins of the various Parts of Speech. As
>>>
>> you
>>
>>> know, ATR does a brief background of each POS in
>>>
>> his
>>
>>> Big Grammar, but I'm looking for something more
>>> concentrated and in depth. Any help would be
>>>
>> greatly
>>
>>> appreciated.
>>>
>>>
>>> Eddie Mishoe
>>>
>>
>> ---
>> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
>> B-Greek mailing list
>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
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>>
>>
>
>
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