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Title: The linguistic relationships between Greek and the Anatolian languages
Author: Bianconi, Michele
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 0881
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates the issue of prehistoric and historical language contact between speakers of Greek and speakers of the Anatolian languages. It is the first systematic attempt to understand to what extent Greek and the languages belonging to the Anatolian branch of Indo-European (Hittite and Luwian in primis) influenced each other between the second and the first millennium before our era, and in particular how much of early Greek language can be traced back to Anatolian models. This has been carried out through a case-to-case analysis of real or presumptive contact phenomena in the domains of phonology, morphosyntax, and lexicon (ch. 2-5). The introduction (1) offers an outline of the linguistic landscape of the Graeco-Anatolian area, together with some reflections on language phylogeny and contact. The final chapter (5) focuses on the dialect of Pamphylia, which is used as a control sample to check the ways in which a variety of Greek historically in contact with Anatolian dialects could be affected by language contact. I have offered a stratigraphy of possible contacts between Greek and the Anatolian languages, by disentangling linguistic borrowings from independent innovations, areal features from Indo-European archaisms. I have argued that several of the presumptive similarities between Greek and one or the other Anatolian language are either attributable to reasons different from contact, or need to be rejected because the alleged similarity was based on wrong premises or insufficient grounds. Any scenario envisaging diffused bilingualism is very difficult to uphold before the classical era. A certain degree of cultural contact is however undeniable. Since our evidence is very often partial and since absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, one should raise a firm caveat against any type of hyper-sceptical approach.
Supervisor: Willi, Andreas Sponsor: Ertegun Scholarship in the Humanities
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Comparative linguistics