Publication details

Modern Greek and SAE linguistic area



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Exploring Universals of Tense and Aspect. Proceedings of the Colloquium at Masaryk University Brno, 22-24 June 2016
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Modern Greek; Standard Average European; micro-orientation approach; have-perfect; relative clauses
Description Since the 1990s increased attention, followed by a considerable number of areal linguistic studies, has been devoted to the areal-typological classification of European languages. It has been proposed to treat the European languages as a kind of a linguistic unit, the so-called Standard Average European (SAE) Sprachbund, on the basis of common features in their morphosyntactic structures. Modern Greek is one of the languages containing allegedly seven of the twelve SAE Sprachbund features proposed by Haspelmath. This is why Modern Greek (together with other Balkan languages) has been classified as "more SAE", thus approaching the nucleus of the Sprachbund formed by French and German. In this paper, two SAE features of Modern Greek (have-perfect and relative clauses with relative pronouns) are discussed to illustrate the difficulties faced when trying to define a "standard" variant within a language.