Correlatives in New Testament Greek

The correlative construction, characterized by a pre-posed relative clause (RC) adjoined to a matrix clause, finds itself in all branches of the oldest Indo-European languages: Hittite, Vedic Sanskrit and Latin. Correlatives remain as a relativization strategy in Modern Hindi:

        (1)     jo laRkii khaRii hai vo lambii hai
                REL girl standing is DEM tall is
                ‘The girl who is standing is tall’
                (lit, ‘Which girl is standing, this one is tall)

Although correlatives also have a long history in Greek, they have not received proper attention in the historical or theoretical literature. In this talk, I discuss correlatives from the (relatively late) Koiné period, using the Greek New Testament (after 45 AD) as a corpus. I will show that the structure of the RC in correlative sentences is similar to that of the NT Greek wh-question, involving an articulated Left Periphery. Evidence comes from particle and verb placement, as well as case phenomena.

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