skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


GK Syntactic Change

GK Syntactic Change: Syntactic change in Greek through an acquisition perspective

Conveners: Dr Ioanna Sitaridou ( and Prof Ianthi Tsimpli (

The theme of the seminar will be language change and language acquisition in the history of Greek. We will look at some important syntactic changes in Greek —in different diatopic and diachronic varieties— from the perspective of language acquisition. In doing so, we shall be sketching a new explanatory paradigm whereby theoretical machinery is kept to a minimum (e.g., no special contact mechanisms) thanks to a very careful examination of socio-linguistics and available empirical data thus achieving a better understanding of the richness of the input which is key to understanding both variation and change.
Participants will be expected to give critical presentations on the research article(s) under discussion, but also more broadly.
Module requirements: For Linguistics MPhil students, knowledge of Greek is desirable but not essential. For ELAC students some knowledge of linguistics (for instance, at least a couple of undergraduate linguistics papers.) and good knowledge of Greek are essential.
 There will normally be a maximum capacity of 14 for this module.

General Reading on the Evolution of Greek
1.    Costas, Procope S. 1936. An outline of the history of the Greek language with particular emphasis on the Koine and subsequent periods. Chicago: Ukrainian Academy of Sciences of America. [Reprinted 1979, Chicago: Ares.]
2.    Horrocks, Geoffrey. 1997. Greek: A history of the language and its speakers. London: Long-man.
3.    Jannaris, Antonius N. 1897. An historical Greek grammar chiefly of the Attic dialect as written and spoken from classical antiquity down to the present time: Founded upon the ancient texts, inscriptions, papyri and present popular Greek. London: Macmillan. [Reprinted 1968/1987, Hildesheim: G. Olms.]
4.    Meillet, Antoine. 1913. Aperçu d'une histoire de la langue grecque. Paris: Librairie Hachette et Cie. [Reprinted, Avec bibliographic mise a jour et complétée par Oliver Masson, 1965, Paris: C. Klincksieck.]
5.    Moleas, Wendy. 1989. The development of the Greek language. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press.
6.    Palmer, Leonard R. 1980. The Greek language. London: Faber and Faber.
7.    Semenov, Anatol F 1936. The Greek language in its evolution: An introduction to its scientific study. London: G. Allen & Unwin.

[back to ELAC Modules]