[B-Greek] prepositions and cases - Silvia Luraghi 2003

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Apr 8 18:33:57 EDT 2010

On Apr 8, 2010, at 5:42 PM, Elizabeth Kline wrote:
> On the meaning of prepositions and cases: the expression of semantic roles ... By Silvia Luraghi
> On the Meaning of Prepositions and Cases: The expression of semantic roles in Ancient Greek 
> Luraghi, Silvia
> Studies in Language Companion Series 67
> I've managed to wade through the first 75 pages of this in the last 24hours. 
> Not sure about the basic assumptions. I wonder what sort of problems one will introduce into their "framework" by assuming that the semantic roles for cases and prepositions have *all* been derived metaphorically from spacial relationships. When did this happen? A thousand years before the Iliad?

I don't know that it's possible to demonstrate that proposition conclusively, but I believe it is true. What convinces me is that a primary sense of local relationship is patently evident within the range of usage of all the genuine prepositions in ancient Greek, the more so in the earlier literary evidence. The metaphorical extensions of the spatial senses are also, I think, generally discernible without any great indulgence in pure speculation.

> I am also continuing to read Hoyle's paper[1] on Scenarios. Both authors claim to be working within the cognitive school of linguistics, both cite Fillmore, Lakoff, etc. Reading them at the same time is an eye opener. You would conclude from a superficial reading of Silvia Luraghi that she had anything what ever to do with frame semantics.

Is there a negative or a qualifying adverb ("hardly"?) missing there somewhere?

> I was able with a two dictionaries (D.Crystal and R.Trask) to make it through her chapter on theoretical foundations. It was a trying experience, undertaken after a long day and a large dinner. About 11pm I finished that chapter with a reasonable level of comprehension. 
> Anyway, most of her examples are form Homer, Herodotus with few from Plato, Aristotle, Xeno. etc. Not much here for b-greek discussion. 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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