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Augmentation vs. Diminution in Greek Dialectal Variation: An Optimal System
Dimitra Melissaropoulou
125-137 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The present paper investigates the process of augmentative suffixation in Standard Modern Greek and its dialectal variation and compares it with its counterpart, i.e. diminution, in order to examine whether there is differentiation cross-dialectally in the process of augmentation and evaluation as a whole at the suffixal morphological level, and the theoretical implications of this divergence in the morphological system of the examined dialects. The parameters that are taken into account are: the range of suffixes in use, their distributional characteristics and gender assignment, and the probability of alternation. Data show that in dialectal variation, contrary to Standard Modern Greek, the two components of evaluative morphology are in symmetry—i.e., diminution and augmentation share the same or symmetrical characteristics. The observed dialectal divergence is interpreted as a step of dialectal evaluative morphology towards optimization (cf. Kiparsky 1982) in the sense that it leads to a morphological system, with less morphological complexity, fewer grammatical rules, and more strict distribution.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 6th Décembrettes: Morphology in Bordeaux
edited by Fabio Montermini, Gilles Boyé, and Jesse Tseng
Table of contents
Printed edition: $190.00