, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 45–57 | Cite as

Greek dialectal evidence for the role of the paradigm in inflectional change

Original Paper


Several dialectal variants of the inflectional ending for person, number, tense, and voice in the Modern Greek past imperfective nonactive paradigm are presented here by way of showing the relevance of dialect material for linguistic theory. In this case, the endings underwent reshapings based on other related endings (e.g., 3PL based on 1/2PL), providing a basis for understanding the nature of interactions among different “cells” within a paradigm and the constructs that can be employed to model them. As a result, both rules of referral and O–O correspondence relations are shown to have to take sub-word similarities into consideration, and various constraints on such interactions are considered and rejected in favor of a liberal view that allows for any cell to relate to any other cell. Finally, a distinction is motivated, based on cell-to-cell influences, between adventitious and significant syncretism of form.


Dialect Inflectional ending Modern Greek O–O correspondence Paradigm Rule of referral Syncretism 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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