Dummy pronoun insertion after conditional ‘if’ in Greco-Corsican

Authors


School of Languages
University of Melbourne
VIC 3010
Australia
Email: j.hajek@unimelb.edu.au
opoudjis@optushome.com.au

Abstract

In the final generation of the Greek dialect spoken until recently in Corsica, a dummy subject pronoun emerged after conditional ‘if’. This pronoun, which displays no person or number agreement with its verb, is quite uncharacteristic of Greek, and instead appears to have grammaticalised with the conditional into a single form. We conclude that this is a calque from a similar construction used in the local Corsican variety of Italo-Romance and elsewhere, counting as one of the few attested instances of syntactic borrowing from Romance into Greek. There is some ambivalence as to whether to treat this as a borrowed syntactic structure or as a lexical calque, although the available data point to the former as more likely.

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