DO GREEKS INTERRUPT A LOT BECAUSE OF GREEK GRAMMAR? The Johnson column in the Economist (November 5) discussed the theory advanced by Athanasia Chalari, a Greek economist, that Greeks interrupt a lot because of grammar. This is her theory: “Greeks are very loud and they interrupt each other very often. The reason for that is the Greek grammar and syntax. When Greeks talk they begin their sentences with verbs and the form of the verb includes a lot of information so you already know what they are talking about after the first word and can interrupt more easily.”
Johnson is skeptical, arguing that many languages put the verb first, as Greek does, and are highly inflected so that the verb gives a lot of information. Johnson gives the example that in Welsh the verb comes first and the language is heavily inflected, “but the Welsh are not known as pushy conversationalists”.