A defence of the focus hypothesis concerning Late Medieval Greek object clitic pronouns
A case study of light verbs in the Chronicle of Morea
In this article, I strengthen the contested view that the distribution of Late Medieval Greek object clitic pronouns is not only regulated by a syntactic rule but also by a pragmatic principle, i.e. that fronted focalised information attracts object clitic pronouns into preverbal position. For this purpose, I appeal to the modern concept of “light verbs”, as the direct objects of these semantically weak, unspecific verbs can be assumed to constitute focalised information. By means of a case study of the fourteenth century Chronicle of Morea, I demonstrate that almost all the fronted direct objects of the light verbs ποιώ (‘to do’) and δίδω (‘to give’) are indeed associated with preverbal object clitic pronouns. As such, the so-called “focus-hypothesis” can be verified in an objective way.
Keywords: object clitic pronouns, Late Medieval Greek, topic/focus, light verbs
Published online: 17 May 2013