The syntax of interjections: Evidence from New Testament Greek

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Alexander Andrason
Mónica Durán Mañas


The present article studies the syntax of interjections in New Testament Greek (NTG). By analyzing the compliance of NTG interjections with the six features associated with the interjective prototype in linguistic typology, the authors conclude the following: NTG interjections exhibit a semi-canonical and semi-extra-systematic profile. Interjections comply with three features (lack of integration in the clause grammar, incompatibility with syntactic operations, and a sentence-/clause-/phrase-peripheral (or external) position). The compliance with one feature (phonological separation) is partial. Two features tend to be violated (holophrasticity and lack of constructional combinatority). The syntactic profile of NTG interjections is highly similar to the profile exhibited by interjections in Classical Greek (5th-4th BCE), which demonstrates that the interjective syntax has remained fairly unaltered, at least, over five centuries.

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