Weaving together the diverse threads of category change
Intersubjective ἀμέλει ‘of course’ and imperative particles in Ancient Greek
This paper investigates category changes among imperative particles in Ancient Greek. Using diachronic evidence from the category change of the imperative ἀμέλει (amélei ‘don’t worry’ > ‘of course’) and similar imperative particles, ἄγε (áge), ἴθι (íthi), φέρε (fére), εἰπέ μοι (eipé moi) and ἰδού (idoú), this paper investigates the diachronic interdependence of intersubjectification, grammaticalization and language change in general. It does this in four ways. First, I show that intersubjectification can take place without subjectification (pace Traugott 2003: 134). Second, I detail the intersubjectification of ἀμέλει with changes in the cognitive domain (no practical > no epistemic worries), the pragmatic domain (responsively resolving > independently assuming resolved worries) and contextual conditions (creating intersubjective alignment > assuming it). Third, I tease apart the various diachronic origins of changes which have affected ἀμέλει. Finally, using contrastive evidence from parallel category changes of Ancient Greek imperative particles, I argue that whereas the imperative particles can be variously affected by structural grammaticalization changes, they all display signs of context change (as shown by illocutionary extensions to occurrence with declarative and interrogative illocutions). Thus, the diverse threads of category change can be woven together by tracing the contexts of change as well as the diachronic processes shaping them.
Keywords: category change, grammaticalization, intersubjectification, imperatives, Ancient Greek, morphosyntactic change, context, language change
- 1.1Category change of Ancient Greek imperatives
- 1.2Grammaticalization, intersubjectification and category change
- 1.3Organization of the paper
- 2.Previous views on ἀμέλει
- 3.The intersubjectification of ἀμέλει: Semantic and contextual change
- 4.Morphosyntactic changes: Grammaticalization, intersubjectification and language change
- 5.The interdependence of intersubjectification, grammaticalization and category change
- 6.Contrastive evidence from the category change of Ancient Greek imperative particles
Published online: 23 September 2021
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