New Dissertation on Koine Word Order

In November Allison Kirk (Leiden University) completed a doctoral thesis with the title, Word order and information structure in New Testament Greek.

I have added her dissertation to the bibliography here at With the entry I included a slightly shortened version of the abstract that appears in the entry for the dissertation at the Leiden Repository. Here’s the shortened abstract:

The dissertation examines word order variation in the Koine Greek of the New Testament in declarative clauses, questions and relative clauses. Kirk examines the way word order corresponds to information structure. She argues that although New Testament Greek shows a variety of possible permutations of the sentence elements subject (S), verb (V) and object (O), in declarative clauses, questions and relative clauses; the word order is not free. Rather, it is partly governed by phrase structure and partly by information structural considerations such as Topic and Focus. The basic word order is described as VSO with an SVO alternative. Marked clauses, such as SOV, OVS, OSV, and some SVO clauses, involve topicalization or focus movement of the arguments.

You can download the entire text from the Leiden Repository.

2 Replies to “New Dissertation on Koine Word Order”

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by the last part of your comment. This dissertation is certainly not unusual in applying insights from modern Linguistics to Ancient Greek. It is a welcome contribution to the discussion, though.

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