Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Stephen A. Marlett


In this thesis I consider the unique set of facts presented by relative clauses in Koine Greek. I give a thorough overview of relativization in Koine including idiomatic usages of the relative pronoun. In particular, I examine the phenomena of internally-headed relative clauses, attraction and inverse attraction.

I give a basic overview of the Greek language, discussing both the historical context as well as the facts of Koine syntax and morphology that are pertinent to the understanding of this thesis.

I provide a basic typology of Koine relative clauses discussing relativization strategy, examples where a relative pronoun is used for purposes other than to introduce a relative clause, and relative clause types. I argue that Koine does not have prenominal relative clauses, a position that runs contrary to some of the existing literature.

After providing an overview of internally-headed relative clauses and suggesting several categories, I deal with the peculiar facts presented by them and argue that these facts are best analyzed by adopting a downward movement analysis.

To accomplish this I begin by considering recent analyses that have been posited for other languages exhibiting internal heads. These are demonstrated to be inadequate for the case marking facts presented by Koine internal heads. I consider three alternative analyses of the Koine data and conclude that the downward movement analysis is superior.

Next, I discuss the two types of attraction. I posit that the facts presented by regular attraction--where the relative pronoun assumes the case of its antecedent--can be accounted for by a minor extension of the Wh-Case Convention. In the case of inverse attraction--where the head noun is apparently attracted to the case of the relative pronoun--I show that by utilizing the downward movement hypothesis proposed for internally-headed relative clauses we are able to provide a formal analysis of this phenomenon.

Finally, I provide a comprehensive set of appendices in which I categorize every example of a relative clause in the New Testament, as well as the different uses of the Koine relative pronoun.

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