Il continuum ‘Nome – Verbo – Nome’ e la sua evoluzione

dal proto-indeuropeo al greco e al latino


Emanuele Banfi 


Words like Greek πίστις, ἡ / pistis, hē ‘faith’, Latin fors, fortis ‘destiny’ and Latin egressus, -us ‘getting out’ depend, respectively, on ancient Indo-European Infinitives and Supines. These forms, linked with some ancient and semantically fluid morphological forms swinging between N(oun) and V(erb), represent an evident Continuum N > V > N which, in the historical phases of both Greek and Latin languages, partially evolved either as N or as V. This Continuum is a good example of what can be defined as a ‘Lexical Cycle’ and, as far as regards it’s effect on lexical structures, it is interesting to observe that many Modern Greek words testify again it’s action: this is the case, for instance, of Modern Greek words like το έχι / to ékhi ‘the possession’ and το φιλί / to filí ‘the kiss’ which are, among other words and because of a process of Grammaticalization,  the result of V > N: το έχι / to ékhi ‘the possesion’ derives in fact from an ancient Greek Present Infinitive (< τὸ ἔχειν ‘to have, to possess’) and το φιλί / to filí ‘the kiss’ derives again from an ancient Greek Present Infinitive (< τὸ φιλεῖν ‘to love’). The aim of this paper is to analyze some cases of Greek and Latin words depending on a Continuum N > V > N considered in comparison with some analogous and similar cases attested in other, both ancient and modern, Indo-European languages.


Keywords: Continuum Noun-Verb-Noun • Lexical Cycle • Grammaticalization

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