Stavrou Melita

2310 997144
301 o.b.
Office Hours: 

Curriculum Vitae

Contact details

Date of Birth: 18.6.1952

Address (work): Department of Linguistics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24

Telephone (work): +30 2310 997144

Fax: +30 2310 997419


Research domains

  • theoretical linguistics
  • syntactic theory
  • syntax-lexical semantics interface
  • morphology-syntax interactions
  • comparative syntax
  • morphosyntax of Greek

Topics of research

  • DP-structure
  • distribution of demonstratives
  • distribution and interpretation of adjectives
  • possessive clitics/possessor doubling
  • the genitive case in the DP
  • definiteness spread
  • appositive phenomena
  • nominalization
  • syntactic compounding of adjective - noun
  • partitive and pseudopartitive constructions
  • nominal ellipsis
  • agreement DP-internally
  • ethnic adjectives (adjectives of provenance)
  • parallelisms between the nominal and the clausal domain
  • comparatives
  • metalinguistic comparison

Biographical Information



Postgraduate student (MPhil, PhD) at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Undergraduate student at the Faculty of Arts, University of Thessaloniki, School of Philology, Dpt of Linguistics.


Ph.D. in General Linguistics. SOAS, University of London.
Title of thesis: Aspects of the structure of the Noun Phrase in Modern Greek.

BA in Linguistics. University of Thessaloniki, Greece.


Grant from the Onassis Beneficiary Foundation. Extended for another six months in 1982.

Current position

Professor of Linguistics at the School of Philology of the University of Thessaloniki.

Previous academic appointments

May 1997-March 2005
Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Thessaloniki.

September 1991-May 1997
Assistant Professor at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Thessaloniki.

Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Crete at Rethymnon.

October 1984-1989
Elected teaching staff (on a contract basis according to presidential decree 407) at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Crete at Rethymnon.

Research positions

Education for foreigner students and returned refugees. Academic responsible Anna Anastasiadhi. Co-funded by the Ministry of Education and the EU.

Participant in the research project Prepositions in normal, early and disturbed language, directed by Prof Arhonto Terzi of the Technological Institute of Patras, financed by the Greek Ministry of Education.

Director of a research project submitted to and approved by the Greek Ministry of Development. The funding was awarded to Greek young scientists based outside Greece (financed by European Union and National funds). The scientist benefited from the award was Artemis Alexiadou. The topic of the research project was "The study of Greek Syntax from the point of view of the most recent developments of Generative Grammar".

1997- 2006
Teaching graduate classes in the intradepartmental project EPEAEK (I-II) launched by the Ministry of Education on the general topic "Teaching Greek as a foreign/second language". Director of this program is Prof Anna Anastasiadhes-Symeonidhes.

Researcher in the Greek team joining the European Community project for machine translation EUROTRA, with the specific task of writing grammars (implementation).

Invited speaker/conferences

Invited speaker at the 9th International Conference in Greek Linguistics, Chicago, 29-31 October. Title of talk: O Vocative!

Invited speaker at the DP Day, Brussels, 3 November. Organised by Liliane Haegeman et al. Title of talk: Remarks on the Vocative.

2008 (November-December)
Researcher in the project titled ‘Concise comparative Grammar of the Balkan Languages’, directed by Prof. Liliane Tasmowski and financed by the Royal Flemish Academy (KNAW) in Brussels.

Invited lecture at the Linguistics dpt of the University of Chicago. Title of talk: "Types of numerical nouns".

Invited to the workshop on Syntax-Lexicon and Event Structure organized in Jerusalem by E. Doron, M. Rappaport Hovav and I. Sichel for the 80th birthday of Annita Mittwoch. Title of talk: "Morphological Aspect and the Distribution of the Cognate Object Construction Across Languages".

Invited by Prof Liliane Tasmowski to the Balkan Workshop organized by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium, Brussels, 9-12 December. Title of talk: "Clitic doubling in Greek. An asymmetry between DPs and clauses."

Invitation from the English Dpt of the University of Trondheim (Dragvoll), Norway, to give a talk at the workshop on 'Balkan Languages and Linguistics into the 21st century', financed by the Globalization Program of the Faculty of Arts. Title of the talk: "Τhe role of grammatical aspect in the lexicalization of semantic properties".

Invited at the French department of the Aristotle University, subsection of translation. Title of talk: "On the idiosyncratic properties of so-called group adjectives in Greek and in other languages: implications for the syntax-morphology interface".

Invited speaker at the regular conference of Formal Approaches to South Slavic and Balkan Languages, Sofia University. Title of my talk: "Pseudo-adjective: Adjective or Noun? A case study on the morphology-syntax interaction".


Regular visits as an Erasmus teacher to the universities of Venice, Geneva, Potsdam.

January-May 2010 
Visiting Professor at the Unuversity of Georgetwon, Dpt of Linguistics and Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

February-May 2005 
Visiting scholar Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

April-May 1995
Visiting scholar at the University of Venice. Invitation by G. Cinque.

March 1994
Invited guest at the University of Salzburg. Invitation by Prof. G. Drachman.

August-September 1990
Visiting scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, England. Invitation by Prof. G. Horrocks.

Current Teaching

Generative syntax, Introduction to Syntax, Introduction to Minimalism, Issues of Greek Syntax, Introduction to Linguistics.

Graduate courses: Predication. Nominal Structure. Parallelisms between nominal and sentential structure. Adjectives in the noun phrase. Typological issues.

Courses taught
(Crete and Thessaloniki, including lectures at Erasmus visits)

Introduction to Linguistics, History of Linguistics, (Intro to)Syntactic Theory, Generative Syntax, Introduction to Minimalism, Issues on Greek Syntax, The syntax and interpretation of Adjectives, The Subject, Introduction to Semantics, Language teaching in the perspective of Universal Grammar. The structure of Modern Greek. Syntactic and Morphological Typology. DP-Syntax. The evolution of Transformational Grammar. Nominal modifiers. Comparative Syntax/Language Universals. Thematic Structure. The parallel structure of DPs and Clauses. Secondary Predication.

Ph.D supervision (current)

1. L3 acquisition (Greek-English-German)

  2.  The syntax and semantics of temporal clauses form a cross-linguistic perspective (Greek and other Balkan languages)

  3. Unaccusative verbs in aphasia in Greek



As co-editor

[1] (2005) Stavrou, M. & A. Terzi Advances in Greek Generative Syntax. John Benjamins.

[2] (2002) Alexiadou, A., S. Fischer & M. Stavrou Language Change from a Generative Perspective. Special edition in Potsdam Linguistics Papers.

[3] (2000) Stavrou, M. & M. Tzevelekou Automatic Translation and the Greek Language. Kastaniotis. Athens. Greece. (In Greek)

[4] (1999) Alexiadou, A., G. Horrocks & M. Stavrou Studies in Greek Syntax. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

As co-author

[5] (2007) Noun Phrase in the Generative Perspective. (With Artemis Alexiadou and Liliane Haegeman). Mouton de Gruyter.

B. Articles (selection)

In conference proceedings (selection)

[1] (1981) Partitive and Pseudopartitive Noun Phrases in Modern Greek. (In Greek). Studies in Greek Linguistics. Thessaloniki. 79-113 

[2] (1982) Some remarks on comparative complements in M. Greek. (In Greek). Studies in Greek Linguistics. Thessaloniki. 73-103 

[3] (1984) Clitic pronouns in pu- restrictive relatives. (In Greek). Studies on Greek Linguistics. Thessaloniki. 121-136 

[4] (1986) Free Relatives in Modern. Greek. (with I. Philippaki-Warburton) (In Greek). Studies in Greek Linguistics. Thessaloniki. 177-134

[5] (1989-90) Clitics and demonstratives within the DP. (With G. Horrocks). (In Greek). Studies in Greek Linguistics. Thessaloniki. 225-245

[6] (1998b) Revisiting Partitives and Pseudopartitives in Greek. (With Alexiadou, A.). In Studies in Greek Linguistics 19, 1-13.

[7] (1999a) Reflections on the genitive in the Greek DP. (With Alexiadou, A.). In the Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Greek Linguistics (1997). Athens. Ellinika Grammata.

[8] (2001) On nominal functional projections: noun morphology, movement and ellipsis. (with A. Alexiadou & L. Haegeman). Proceedings of IATL 8, 1-16. (Alex Grosu.ed). Tel Aviv.

[9] (2009) Definite Agreement in Complex Noun Phrases. In Papadopoulou, D., M. Stavrou & M. Theodoropoulou (eds) Studies in Greek Linguistics 30. Thessaloniki. (With I., M. Tsimpli)

In edited volumes

[1] (1985) On the structure of the Greek Noun Phrase. (Eurotra vol.I. Preparatory Phase. Luxembourg.

[2] (1998) On derived nominals in Greek. (With Alexiadou, A.). In B. Joseph, G. Horrocks, and I. Philippaki-Warburton (eds.) Themes in Greek Linguistics II. John Benjamins, 101-129.

[3] (1999a). Introduction. (with Alexiadou, Artemis & Geoffrey Horrocks). In A. Alexiadou, G. Horrocks and M. Stavrou (eds.) Studies in Greek Syntax. KluwerAcademic Publishers, 1-21.

[4] (1999b) The position and serialization of APs in the DP. In Alexiadou, A., G. Horrocks and M. Stavrou (eds) Studies in Greek Syntax. Kluwer Academic Publishers. (201-226).

[5] (2001) Adjective-Clitic Combinations in the Greek DP. (With Alexiadou, A.). In B. Gerlach & J. Grijzenhout (eds) Clitics in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax. John Benjamins. 63-84.

[6] (2003a) Semi-lexical nouns, classifiers and the interpretation(s) of the Pseudopartitive Construction. In Coene, M. & Yves D'Hulst (eds) From NP to DP. Volume I: The syntax and semantics of noun phrases. John Benjamins (Linguistik Aktuell 55 - Linguistics Today).

[7] (2003b) The complementarity of viewpoint aspect and resultative predication; a comparative study between Greek and English. (In Greek) (with G. Horrocks). In Theophanopoulou-Kontou, Laskaratou, Sifianou, Georgiafentis & Spyropoulos (eds), Modern trends in Greek Linguistics. Studies in honour of I. Philippaki-Warburton. Patakis. Athens. 284-298.

[8] (2004) Polydefinite constructions in Modern Greek and Aromanian. (With H.Campos). In Tomic-Miseska, O. (ed), Topics in Balkan Sprachbund Syntax and Semantics. Benjamins (Linguistik Aktuell - Linguistics Today). 137-174.

[9] (2006) Language evolution. An introduction to the translation of G.Horrocks Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers. (With Maria Tzevelekou). Estia Publications. Athens. (In Greek). (NR)

[10] (2009) Possessive Clitics in the DP: Doubling or Dislocation? In Kalluli, D. & L. Tasmowski(eds), Clitic doubling in the Languages of the Balkans. John Benjamins. (With G. Giusti).pp.389-434.

[11] (2010) Morphological Aspect and the Distribution of the Cognate Object Construction Across Languages. In Doron, E., Rappaport Hovav, M. & I. Sichel (eds) Syntax, Lexicon and Event Structure. Studies in Honor of Annita Mittwoch. Oxford University Press. (With G. Horrocks)

In journals/series

[1] (1987) Bounding Theory and Greek Syntax: Evidence for Wh-movement in NP. (With G. Horrocks). Journal of Linguistics 23. 79-108.

[2] (1990-91. Published 1994) Nominal Apposition and exemplification; an interpretive approach and delineation of the relevant phenomena. (In Greek). Glossologia 9-10 (1990-1991). 113-151.

[3] (1996) Adjectives in Modern Greek: an instance of predication, or an old issue revisited. Journal of Linguistics 32. 76-112.

[4] (1998a) Morphology-Syntax Interface: A-N Compounds vs A-N Constructs (With Angeliki Ralli). Yearbook of Morphology 1997. 243-265.

[5] (1998b) (A)symmetries in DPs and clauses: evidence from derived nominals. (With A. Alexiadou, A.). The Linguistic Review 15.2-3: 257-276.

[6] (1999) Nominalization and ellipsis in the Greek DP. (With Anastasia Giannakidou). The Linguistic Review 16. 295-331.

[7] (2000a) Lexeme-based separationist morphology: evidence from Greek deverbal abstracts. (With G. Horrocks). In Booj, G. & J. van Marle (eds) Yearbook of Morphology. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht/Boston/London. 19-42.

[8] (2000b) Deriving words and categories. GLOW Newsletter 44: 14-15. (with A. Alexiadou & E. Anagnostopoulou)

[9] (2003) Actions and their results in Greek and English: The complementarity of morphologically encoded (viewpoint) aspect and syntactic resultative predication (with Geoffrey Horrocks). Journal of Semantics 20. 297-327.

[10] (2007) Grammaticalized aspect and spatio-temporal culmination. (With G. Horrocks). Lingua 117:605-644.

(11) (2011) Ethnic Adjectives as pseudo-adjectives: a case study in syntax-morphology interaction and the structure of DP. Studia Linguistica. (With A. Alexiadou)

In Working Papers (selection)

[1] (1995) Epexegesis vs. Apposition. Scientific Bulletin of the School of Philology 5. Aristotle University. Thessaloniki. 216-250. 

[2] (1997) Crosslinguistic asymmetries in N-movement: a view from morphology. (With A. Alexiadou). ZAS Papers in Linguistics 8: 1-16.


(2007) The linguistic prejudices of Modern Greeks. In Hestia 161.1799. 586-596.

(2006) Language evolution. An introduction to the translation of G.Horrocks Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers. (With Maria Tzevelekou). Estia Publications. Athens. (In Greek)

Unpublished Manuscripts

--Alexiadou, Artemis & Melita Stavrou (1998). On the relation between 'strength' and morphological richness: crosslinguistic asymmetries in noun movement. Acta Linguistica Hungarica.

--Stavrou, Melita (1989) Nominal Apposition: more evidence for the DP analysis of the NP. Ms. (Planned to be included in a volume edited by J. Payne in the series Empirical Approaches to Language Typology. Mouton de Gruyter).

Forthcoming (2011) 

--Adnominal Adjectives in indefinite Noun Phrases. In Cardinaletti, A., Giusti, G., Munnaro, N., and C. Poletto (eds). Oxford University Press.

In preparation

--Towards a syntax of cardinal expressions in Greek. (With A. Terzi)

Translations (English>>Greek)

2006 G. Horrocks: Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers. Longman Linguistics Library. 1997. (With Μaria Tzevelekou). Estia Publications. Athens.

Linguistics. Dialects. Japanese Language. Hieroglyphic. Amerindian Languages. Five entries from the encyclopedia Britannica that were included in the Greek edition of Papyrus-Larousse-Britannica of the publishing house with the same name (Athens).

Work in Progress


[1] Syntaktikes istories: Otan o Chomsky sinantuse ton Platona (working title. In Greek)

[2] (Co-Edition) Language and Knowledge: Essays on language acquisition (with S. Varlokosta).


[1] Clitic climbing in the DP? A case study of the syntax-phonology interface. (With A. Revithiadou and V. Spyropoulos)

[2] Why Angelos ‘swam’ but Peter ‘had a swim’: aspectual asymmetries between English and Greek and the role of light verbs.

[3] O Vocative!

[4] Definiteness effects in Spanish and Greek appositive noun phrases. (With Hector Campos)

[5] Two layers for scope: evidence from Greek indefinites. (With A. Giannakidou and D. Papadopoulou)