9.1457, Sum: Optative Mood in Greek Language (fwd) from LINGUIST

Mari Broman Olsen molsen at umiacs.umd.edu
Tue Oct 20 11:10:40 EDT 1998

Date:  Mon, 19 Oct 1998 14:22:58 +0100
From:  Nicla Rossini <n.rossini at server.humnet.unipi.it>
Subject:  About Optative Mood in Greek Language

Dear Linguists,
as promised, I'm sending you a summary of my research.
If you remember, I was making a study about Optative in Greek language...
These are the results of my job:

- Optative, in Greek Language, falls completely in Hellenistic Age, but
signs of
  weakness are manifest in Classic Age authors ( especially in Tragedian

- To explain its fall, we should examine all Mood's System.

- I chose the Prototypic approach to describe every Mood: I found ,for
  a "core-definition" and all its slided meanings. F.E.:


        CORE DEFINITION                  SLIDED MEANINGS

         WISH/ PRAYER                POTENTIAL MOOD ( as wish/expectation )

We have also to assume that one's wish cold be feasible or not.
According to this new factor, we should supplement our scheme as below

       CORE DEFINITION                    SLIDED MEANINGS

                      BY OTHERS     >      KIND IMPERATIVE


           NOT FEASIBLE             >      IPOTETICAL PERIOD

According to this kind of approach, I assumed that:

- Optative's core definition is the expression of wish or prayer and the
whole of other meanings are  arised from it.

- Optative's slided meanings are :
                                    KIND IMPERATIVE
                                    USE IN FINAL CLAUSE
                                    USE IN COMPLETIVE CLAUSE INSTEAD OF
                                    INDICATIVE OR CONJUNCTIVE

- The Optative System looks in growth, and we could explain its fall only
if we
assume a partial domain superposition .

- The superposition of Indicative and Opative ( or Conjunctive and Opative
) is clear, but i don't think it's decisive.

- At last, I ascribe Optative' s fall to Infinitive's growth.

- Here are the Infinitive periferical meanings: EXCLAMATION

- The latter meaning, according to my opinion, mines Optative's CORE
DEFINITION, and make it slowly disappear.

- This problem returns to our attention in Italian Language, when we talk
about Conjunctive death.

These are my conclusions. Obviously, this treatment of the question is made
I apologise for my English, and my inexact vocabulary.
I will consider any kind of suggestion.

Nicla Rossini
Universit di Pisa
E-MAIL: n.rossini at server.humnet.unipi.it

LINGUIST List: Vol-9-1457

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