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Case variation in Greek papyri: retracing dative case syncretism in the language of the Greek documentary papyri and ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE)

(2015)
Author
Promoter
Anastasia Maravela and Trevor Evans
Organization
Abstract
The Greek documentary papyri and ostraca offer valuable source material for the research of variation and change in the Greek language. Papyri are often used to illustrate the merger of the dative case with the genitive and accusative cases in post-Classical Greek. The last comprehensive study of the topic was compiled in 1930 by Jean-Luc Humbert. Since then, the corpus of published documentary papyri from Egypt has grown enormously, and Greek papyri have become digitally searchable through the Papyrological Navigator, but the syntax and semantics of the papyri from the Roman and Byzantine periods remain largely unexplored. This thesis is based on a series of articles on case variation in Greek papyri. The first article (co-authored with Mark Depauw, Leuven) introduces a new method for the study of language variation and change in the papyri. Based on the results from the new database, it is shown that the use of the genitive case instead of the dative is attested from earlier on than previously thought (article 2), but also that the dative is sometimes used instead of the genitive case (article 3). There might be various reasons for case variation, such as scribal mistakes or the misunderstanding of the Greek case system by second language learners. The papyri provide the empirical evidence to test theories on the syntactic and semantic basis of case merger (article 4). It has been assumed that the replacement of the dative by the accusative case was influenced by an increase in prepositional phrases. However, these prepositions are used in special meanings and do not replace the dative case in the papyri (article 6). Furthermore, I show that language change can be observed from fixed expressions, such as juridical formulas (article 5) and epistolary phrases (article 7, co-authored with Delphine Nachtergaele, Ghent).
Keywords
Greek papyrology, Greek linguistics, Dative, Variation and Change, Case syncretism

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Citation

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MLA
Stolk, Joanne Vera. “Case Variation in Greek Papyri: Retracing Dative Case Syncretism in the Language of the Greek Documentary Papyri and Ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE).” 2015 : n. pag. Print.
APA
Stolk, J. V. (2015). Case variation in Greek papyri: retracing dative case syncretism in the language of the Greek documentary papyri and ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE). University of Oslo. Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, Oslo, Norway.
Chicago author-date
Stolk, Joanne Vera. 2015. “Case Variation in Greek Papyri: Retracing Dative Case Syncretism in the Language of the Greek Documentary Papyri and Ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE)”. Oslo, Norway: University of Oslo. Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Stolk, Joanne Vera. 2015. “Case Variation in Greek Papyri: Retracing Dative Case Syncretism in the Language of the Greek Documentary Papyri and Ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE)”. Oslo, Norway: University of Oslo. Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas.
Vancouver
1.
Stolk JV. Case variation in Greek papyri: retracing dative case syncretism in the language of the Greek documentary papyri and ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE). [Oslo, Norway]: University of Oslo. Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas; 2015.
IEEE
[1]
J. V. Stolk, “Case variation in Greek papyri: retracing dative case syncretism in the language of the Greek documentary papyri and ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE),” University of Oslo. Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, Oslo, Norway, 2015.
@phdthesis{8103789,
  abstract     = {The Greek documentary papyri and ostraca offer valuable source material for the research of variation and change in the Greek language. Papyri are often used to illustrate the merger of the dative case with the genitive and accusative cases in post-Classical Greek. The last comprehensive study of the topic was compiled in 1930 by Jean-Luc Humbert. Since then, the corpus of published documentary papyri from Egypt has grown enormously, and Greek papyri have become digitally searchable through the Papyrological Navigator, but the syntax and semantics of the papyri from the Roman and Byzantine periods remain largely unexplored.
This thesis is based on a series of articles on case variation in Greek papyri. The first article (co-authored with Mark Depauw, Leuven) introduces a new method for the study of language variation and change in the papyri. Based on the results from the new database, it is shown that the use of the genitive case instead of the dative is attested from earlier on than previously thought (article 2), but also that the dative is sometimes used instead of the genitive case (article 3). There might be various reasons for case variation, such as scribal mistakes or the misunderstanding of the Greek case system by second language learners. The papyri provide the empirical evidence to test theories on the syntactic and semantic basis of case merger (article 4). It has been assumed that the replacement of the dative by the accusative case was influenced by an increase in prepositional phrases. However, these prepositions are used in special meanings and do not replace the dative case in the papyri (article 6). Furthermore, I show that language change can be observed from fixed expressions, such as juridical formulas (article 5) and epistolary phrases (article 7, co-authored with Delphine Nachtergaele, Ghent).},
  author       = {Stolk, Joanne Vera},
  keywords     = {Greek papyrology,Greek linguistics,Dative,Variation and Change,Case syncretism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {X, 266},
  publisher    = {University of Oslo. Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas},
  title        = {Case variation in Greek papyri: retracing dative case syncretism in the language of the Greek documentary papyri and ostraca from Egypt (300 BCE–800 CE)},
  year         = {2015},
}