UDC 82


Fomenko Larisa Nikolayevna
Academy of Marketing and Social Informational Technology
candidate of philological science, associate professor of department of service technology and business communication

This paper examines the evolution of the Indo-European system of articles on the example of Greek and English language. A feature of the study becomes badly learned modern Greek language, which grammar was written in the first half of the 20th century, and it became officially recognized in the second half of it.

Keywords: article system, definite article, indefinite article, prefixes system, zero article

Category: 10.00.00 Philology

Article reference:
Use certain features of the Indo-European system of articles on the example of Greek and English language // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2016. № 1 [Electronic journal]. URL: https://web.snauka.ru/en/issues/2016/01/63055

View this article in Russian

Currently more important becomes the studying of  Indo-European languages such as modern (new) Greek. The prefix new – suggests that the language is still not fully understood. The grammar was written in 1941, and the official it was recognized only in 1976. Therefore, on the one hand, it wouldn’t be very difficult, because there are not so many opponents, but, on the other hand, it is difficult because there is not so much material for in-depth analysis of this topic.

A further difficulty is that Russian speakers are holders of ezarticlelink language, and to explain the use of articles in modern Greek language, we have  to base on the grammar of Indo-European languages, particularly English.
To consider each case of the use of definite and indefinite articles, as well as a detailed review of the prepositions in each of the two languages is very hard work, so we restrict the main use cases of the use of articles and prepositions in the Greek language.

There are many characteristic features of the language encountered by foreign-language speaking. One of such problem is the article. It is especially difficult to explain the phenomenon of  Russian speaking because they are carriers of ezarticles language. Those of us who studied English grammar may have had experience of research the correct use of the definite article in all cases.

If you compare the history Greek language with English, you can see the following: the period of development of the English language to which belongs and the language of modern England, begins only in the late fifteenth century. With the development of printing and mass book distribution became the consolidation of regulatory bookish language, phonetics and spoken language continues to change, gradually moving away from the vocabulary standards.

The same can be observed in the Greek language, unlike the language of the book (katharevousa), which met all the norms of the standard language, the national language dimotiki gradually simplified and in 1976 became the official language of Greece.

Article is a certain special kind of unit that will be accompanying the noun in communicative situations. Articles are special words that are used before nouns, as well as other substantialbye words and whole phrases, clarifying their meaning in speech.

The definite article in some situational conditions can act as a synonym for demonstrative pronouns this and that, and indefinite – in the value of the numeral one and the indefinite pronouns any and some. For example: Will you give me this pen, Willy? (stick that I show you, you do not choose) – Will you give me the pen, please? (just a pen from the table, you know what). Some woman called in your absence, she didn’t give her name. (woman stranger) – A woman called while you were out, she left a message (just a woman, without additional values).
Another feature of the article that distinguishes it from pointers, is that in the absence of the latter, the use of the definite article with the noun is obligatory, the cases without the article is more or less subject to clear rules.

Considering all the basic properties of the articles, linguists seriously thought about the segmental status of the definite article in the system of morphology. The task of  linguistics is to decide whether the article belongs to the auxiliary element of a special grammatical forms, whose functions are components of a certain morphological category, or they are separate words, i.e. lexically combined in the index words.

To identify communicative functions of the definite article is necessary to analyze their semantic structures used with nouns. Indefinite and zero articles on their distinctive features are opposed to a particular article. The definite article indicates a specific correlation is used with a noun called the object (based on the use of the noun in specifically-called sense), and undefined and null is the lack of specific correlation between them (on the use of the noun in common name sense).

The communicative function of the English articles, therefore, is to clarify the meaning as used in the speech nouns in terms of their correlation with known objects. The articles provide an adequate idea of the expression and understanding of meaning in the communication process [1, 87].

The indefinite article is used before nouns, countable in the singular. He shows that he designed the noun refers to the object that is represented in a separate unit on the background of the class.

Zero article is used before nouns in plural and uncountable (not have category numbers). He shows that he designed the noun refers to an object that is not represented in a separate unit on the background of the class.

The semantics of an indefinite article is incompatible with the semantics of plurals, so its use is permissible only with nouns in the singular.

The function of the definite article in the speech, as already mentioned, is to point specific relatedness decorated them with a noun called the object. This means that in a given speech situation, the noun will be assigned a buddy with one and only the given object (if it is used in the singular), on the one and only with another group of objects (if it is used plural) [4, 98].

The status of the combination of article and noun should be defined as basically analytical. Design with article localized segmental properties between the free syntactic combination of words and combination of a grammatical affix with a notional basis in the morphological composition of the word inseparable.

So, we came to the conclusion that the definite article is a special type of grammatical auxiliary.

As for the definite article in the Greek language, we can refer to the preserved texts of the ancient period, and all relevant rules concerning the definite article, discover in the grammar of ancient Greek language. To tell the truth, for absolute approval of the respective rules it needs deeper analysis [1,56].

A noun can be the object of the preposition; an abstract noun can appear in the predicate. Obviously, there are many different examples that will contradict the rules. In addition, standard grammar sometimes gives such expressions, that we cannot explain the appearance of this article in a particular case. For example, Smith V. H. said, “the Generic article is often omitted, especially with abstract nouns…, without appreciable difference in meaning.” Perhaps there isn’t any difference between the word ελπίς and η ελπίς, but, first of all, without careful study, we cannot assert it, and secondly, to say that it means to put an equal sign in each case. Approval of Smith we cannot find in the Gildersleve’s works that are considered to be deeper investigated.

He writes that very often the opinion of grammatical scientists about the article is wrong. What a significant difference we do not perceive, shows a fairly easy turning of article form in ezarticles and rare combination ezarticlelink article abstract nouns with the infinitive. For example, consider two sayings of Plato, ο’υσίαν λέγεις κα’τ’μ’ι ο η ι ε’ίναι κα’ ’ομοιότητα κα’ι ’ανομοιότητα and τ’let’s μεθ’ ‘υγιείας κα’ι το`σωφρονε υ`ιν. Perhaps much of a difference we cannot notice between the nouns with the definite article and without it, but it does not mean that the omission of the definite article before the word ‘υγιείας; and his presence with σωφρονε`ιν arbitrary.

As  Gildersleeve said, the definite article in the latter case is used to give the infinitive “case”prefix [3,24].

We see that, even beyond the dry grammar, it is impossible to accurately answer all questions relating to the article. It is observed in other languages with articles. Deep analysis on the subject was made in England, where linguists came to more or less agreed solution by examining the semantic, syntactic, and historical categories.


«`» – dull accent in ancient Greek;

«“» – light-weight accent in ancient Greek;

«΄» - acute accent in the ancient Greek;

«» – the aspiration should be above the letter.

  1. Block M.Y. /A course in theoretical English Grammar/ M, 2003
  2. David Sansone /Towards a new doctrine of an article in Greek/  Chikago, 2003
  3. L.B.  Gildersleeve / Syntax of Classical Greek/New York, 1900
  4. Quirk R., Greenbaum S. /A University Grammar of English/, M, 2002

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