Brian D Joseph

Brian D Joseph
The Ohio State University | OSU · Dept of Linguistics AND Dept of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures

Ph.D. (Harvard), 1978

About

289
Publications
48,755
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2,313
Citations
Citations since 2016
59 Research Items
942 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Introduction
Brian D Joseph currently works at the Dept of Linguistics AND Dept of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, The Ohio State University. His primary research focus is historical linguistics, studying the ways in which languages change over time. His main language focus is Greek, from its earliest manifestations in Mycenaean times (c. 1400 BC) to contemporary Modern Greek, thus covering a time span of some 3500 years. He also specializes in Albanian, and in Indo-European linguistics more generally.

Publications

Publications (289)
Article
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The fate of two languages in the Balkans under conditions of language contact is discussed here. These languages, representing different branches of the Romance family, are the Ibero-Romance language Judezmo from the eastern branch and the South Danubian language Aromanian from the western branch. Both have been subject to intense contact with othe...
Article
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The notion of ‘grammaticalization’ — the embedding of once non- (or less-) grammatical phenomena into the grammar of a language — has enjoyed broad acceptance over the past 30 years as a new paradigm for describing and accounting for linguistic change. Despite its appeal, my contention is that there are some issues with ‘grammaticalization’ as it i...
Article
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In a 2013 lecture at Princeton University, distinguished historian Professor Basil Gounaris suggested that in the 19th‒20th centuries there was a “troubled relationship” between Greece and the Balkans, and a process of “estrangement” associated with “the transformation of the Greek-orthodox society itself into a Modern Greek nation”. This is all ve...
Article
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The ideology of decline is a part of the history of the study and characterization of the Greek language from the Hellenistic period and the Roman Atticist movement right up to the emergence of katharevousa in the 19th century and the resulting modern diglossia. It is also clear, however, that there is an overwhelming presence of Ancient Greek voca...
Article
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The topic of historical morphology, examining the ways in which morphological entities and the morphological component of a grammar can change over time, subsumes a number of interrelated issues. This chapter addresses several issues: change in the morphological component; stable aspects of the morphology; origin of morphology; triggering a change...
Article
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The Balkans occupies a special place in contact linguistics as one of the most important regions for understanding the mechanisms and results of language contact. Balkan Albanian, Balkan Greek, Balkan Romance, Balkan Romani, and Balkan Turkish offer cross‐ language similarities that have led to the recognition of a key construct for language contac...
Chapter
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The behaviour of compounds in language contact situations is examined here through the consideration of case studies involving the influence of Greek on English, of Western European languages, especially English, on Russian, of Western European languages, especially French, on Greek, and of French on English. It is shown that in the borrowing of co...
Article
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We explore here what happens in conversation when listeners encounter variation as well as change in semantics. Working within a general Gricean framework, and in ways somewhat akin to the “Cheap Talk” model of Crawford and Sobel (1982) and the “Rational Speech Act” model of Goodman and Frank (2016), we develop here a transactional view of communic...
Chapter
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Bridging Linguistics and Economics - edited by Cécile B. Vigouroux March 2020
Chapter
In the transition fromPostclassical Greek into Medieval and Modern Greek, the Greek language underwent a major morphosyntactic change involving the replacement of infinitives by fully finite να (na)-clauses, marked for person and number of the subject. I argue here that under the definition of grammaticalization in Haspelmath (2004: 26) - ‘a diachr...
Article
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We explore here several kinds of language mixing to be found in the Greek-Albanian bilingual speech community of the village of Palasa in southern Albania. Palasa is of particular interest for Greek dialect studies because it offers a window in the present day into highly localized dynamics of language contact. Among the mixing observed in Palasa i...
Conference Paper
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We report here on some findings from fieldwork over several years in Palasa, a village near Himara in which the Greek speakers show the effects of long-standing contact with Albanian. We focus on the ethnolinguistic situation, differential borrowing depending on lexical domain, regional ethnobotany, and code-switching in a folk tale.
Article
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I explore here how aware speakers are of the history of their language as they use it and how aware of typology they are. I advocate for a speaker-oriented viewpoint and argue ultimately that speakers know little to nothing about language history and less about typology, and yet they behave in ways that essentially create typology and history. I of...
Chapter
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Various Balkan languages have a string of material called here the “verbal complex”, in which a verb occurs with various markers for tense, modality, negation, and argument structure. We examine here this verbal complex with regard to its status as a syntactic element or a morphological element. First, we carefully outline the theoretical basis for...
Chapter
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The languages of the Balkan sprachbund are surveyed here with regard to their constructions that show non-nominative subjects, typically in impersonal constructions. The issue of origins is considered, specifically as to whether these constructions represent inheritances from some earlier stage of the relevant languages or instead reflect the effec...
Chapter
The easy answer here is that just about everything discussed in the previous chapters as constituting morphology is subject to change, especially so once one realizes that regular sound change can alter the shape of morphs without concern for the effect of such a change in pronunciation on the morphological system. Thus, for example, once‐distinct...
Chapter
Historical linguistics is concerned with language change in general and with specific changes in languages, and in particular with describing them, with cataloging them, and, ultimately, with explaining them. To set the stage for the discussion to follow and by way of framing the various issues to be considered, this chapter discusses five key ques...
Chapter
Basic Facts about Sprachbunds, in the Balkans and Elsewhere It is almost impossible to talk about the Balkans from a linguistic standpoint and not utter the term ‘sprachbund’ or one of the variously used English counterparts, such as ‘linguistic area’, ‘linguistic union’, ‘convergence area’ or ‘linguistic league’. Indeed, among linguists, one of th...
Article
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Desde su introducción como herramienta metodológica disponible para la Lingüística histórica, el Método Comparativo ha demostrado ser uno de los métodos usados más potentes y duraderos, a pesar de su aparente simplicidad. En este artículo, se exploran las bases para el Método Comparativo y, con el fin de demostrar su utilidad y poder explicativo, s...
Article
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Argument structure (AS) and meaning are closely related, but the nature of the relationship is disputed. It is not entirely deterministic, as not all aspects of AS and meaning necessarily match up. Most discussion has focused on theory-internal issues and/or synchronic analysis of argument alternations. We, however, take a diachronic perspective, a...
Chapter
There are plenty of natural borders and boundaries in the world. Islands and peninsulas, for instance, are naturally bordered, and thus bounded, by the water surrounding them, and valleys by the hills and mountains that help to define them, while rivers create natural breaks in the landscape that require traversing, and so on. But there are just as...
Article
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With examples drawn from a variety of languages but especially those found in the Balkans, this article discusses language contact from a variety of perspectives. The author first places contact between speakers of different languages in its sociolinguistic context, then briefly traces the history of the study of language contact, followed by a dis...
Article
Calvert Watkins, a towering figure in historical and Indo-European linguistics and president of the LSA in 1988, died unexpectedly in Los Angeles on March 20, 2013, a week after his eightieth birthday. At the time of his death he was Distinguished Professor in Residence of the Department of Classics and the Program in Indo-European Studies at UCLA....
Article
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Agreement minimally involves interaction between morphology and syntax, as a target’s features vary according to the morphological form of a controller in a given syntactic context. However, semantics can also play a role, and the term “semantic agreement” has been used to describe various constructions where morphosyntactic feature values of the a...
Article
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I discuss here various ways in which one might devise a counting heuristic for grammaticalization with an eye to testing the quantificational claims that have been made against specific implementations of such a heuristic. More specifically, I address the question of grammaticalization as a phenomenon of individuals versus a phenomenon of speech co...
Article
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The first issue of Diachronica contained an evaluation of the comparative method as applied to “exotic” languages (Boretzky 1984). thirty years later, it is worth taking stock of what our discipline has accomplished and identifying future priorities and pressing issues that have (re-)emerged. The following represents the considered judgement of se...
Article
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Kristian Sandfeld explicitly excluded Judezmo from consideration in the second footnote to his classic (1930 [1926]) work Linguistique balkanique, which laid the groundwork for Balkan linguistics as a discipline offering an empirical basis for Trubetzkoy's theory of the Sprachbund. To this day, Judezmo still receives relatively little attention fro...
Article
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Our 2013-14 Center for Hellenic Studies project began as the first steps toward an updating of Albert Thumb’s classic work, Handbuch der neugriechischen Volkssprache, originally published in 1895 (2nd edition, 1910) in German and then translated into English by Samuel Angus and published in 1912 under the title Handbook of the Modern Greek Vernacul...
Article
Multiple sources abound in language, at all levels of linguistic analysis (phonology, syntax, semantics, etc.), and in a range of historical pursuits, including etymology and variationist investigations. From a methodological standpoint, moreover, recognizing multiple sources is often good historical linguistic practice (contrary to inclinations to...
Chapter
A solution is proposed here for the problem raised by the occurrence of similar grammatical developments in two related languages where appealing to common inheritance is not possible. That is, it can happen that related languages undergo similar changes at widely separated stages of their development, so that the chronology precludes standard meth...
Article
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This article addresses various issues in the diachrony of gender marking, such as the origin and typology of gender systems, pathways of change and the question of directionality in relation to the Agreement Hierarchy, and the semantic basis of changes in gender systems in relation to the Individuation Hierarchy. It also offers an overview of recen...
Article
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This paper discusses the aspectual particle po in Albanian. The etymology and use of the particle is discussed in relation to its Indo-European background, its Balkan context and its position within the grammatical system of Albanian.
Article
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Meisel (hereafter, M) has offered a well-argued and tightly structured piece, discussing in a clear and compelling way a crucial topic in the understanding of language change. I applaud him for both the content and the presentation.(Online publication April 01 2011)
Article
As a longtime member, since 1976, of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), and having a firm belief in the value of the LSA, I of course find it disconcerting to hear that any member is dissatisfied with the Society. Thus I was distressed to read the letter by Sean Fulop that was recently published in this journal (Fulop 2010), since not only do...
Chapter
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The Languages and Their Convergent Character: Introducing the “Sprachbund”The Convergent Features Themselves: BalkanismsCauses of Convergence in the BalkansAssessing the Sprachbund: Localized versus Broadly Realized ConvergenceNotesReferences
Article
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Several dialectal variants of the inflectional ending for person, number, tense, and voice in the Modern Greek past imperfective nonactive paradigm are presented here by way of showing the relevance of dialect material for linguistic theory. In this case, the endings underwent reshapings based on other related endings (e.g., 3PL based on 1/2PL), pr...
Article
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The inclusion of Greek in Bernard Comrie's edited volume The World's Major Languages (Croom Helm, 1987; second edition, Routledge, 2008) prompts the question of why Greek was so designated. Two arguments supporting the editor's choice are presented here by way of assessing the place and status of Greek among languages of the world, off ering some t...
Article
In my annual report for 2005, published in Language 82.2 (June 2006), I noted that the end of 2005 meant that I was well past 'the halfway mark of my editorship' and that I was therefore 'on the downhill slope . . . of my service' (p. 466). The final part of that slope began in spirit for me just after the January 2008 LSA annual meeting, some six...
Article
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While Noah Webster may have produced the earliest compendium on American English, the divergence from British English dates from much earlier. Long before the publication of Webster's Dictionary in 1806, pronunciation in America and in Britain had begun to differ ([1][1], [2][2]). The Dictionary
Article
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While Greek is rich in compounds, one familiar type from Indo-European, namely dvandva compounds meaning 'X and Y', is essentially nonexistent in Ancient Greek. However, such compounds start occurring in post-Classical Greek and are fairly productive by early Modern Greek. The innovative dvandvas involve nouns, a type well attested elsewhere in Ind...
Chapter
Scope and Motivation for Two Types of MorphologizationMorphologization and Grammaticalization DistinguishedHow to TellAn Extended Case Study: The Medieval and Modern Greek FutureUnidirectionality and MorphologizationMore on the Scope of MorphologizationMorphologization/Grammaticalization and Reconstruction: A CautionConclusion Notes
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Projects (4)
Project
Description and analysis of the MGDA. Codifying all Greek-speaking settlements. Charting the main isoglosses. Writing a Dictionary of the MGDA. Next step is preparing the Dialect Atlas of MGDA.