Purpose and Result Clauses: ἵνα-hína and ὥστε-hōʹste in the Greek Documentary Papyri of the Roman Period

in Postclassical Greek


Documentary papyri are among the most important and copious sources for the study of the ancient everyday Greek language. They are very useful for reconstructing the development of different phenomena ofPostclassical Greek. They show a number of deviations from Classical Greek, including the disappearance of categories known from the literary language. In the present paper, purpose and result clauses are analyzed, focusing on the syntax of the conjunctions ἵνα-hina and ὥστε-hōʹste in the Greek documentary papyri of the Roman period (1st - 4th cent. AD). This topic is significant not only for investigating linguistic variation provided by documents written in a colloquial register, but also for gaining an improved understanding of language change. In order to stress the importance of the data provided by the papyri, some selected examples from the Roman and the Byzantine periods will be presented, collected from the examination of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri and with the help of various papyrological databases. The constructions found in the documentary texts will be compared with the same constructions found in other earlier, contemporary and later texts (such as New Testament, literary authors of the Koine), in order to distinguish between a common Greek development and a development that is found in the documentary papyri only. Furthermore, the evidence from the later stages of Greek will be aduced.

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