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A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

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A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:29 pm

A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax
{Χο.} καὶ τίς τόδ' ἐξίκοιτ' ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;

Denniston-Page (D-P) have a note on this, indicating that τόδ' belongs to τάχος and τίς belongs with ἀγγέλων. I have seen multiple examples of this sort of interleaving in Sophocles. D-P call τόδ' ... τάχος an adverbial accusative[1] “with this speed” and Raeburn-Thomas agree citing Smyth 1606-1608.

τίς ... ἀγγέλων is cited by Guy Cooper (v3. p.2091, 2:47.28.0.B) who notes that the Tragedians “ ... prefer to modify the indefinite [and interrogative?] pronoun with genitives rather than adjectives.”

[1] Denniston-Page line 280, p.94 thier translate: “What messenger could arrive with this speed?”
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:04 pm

I wonder if this use is related to the rather frequent Homeric usage of disjoining the article and the noun. This often puts some emphasis on the noun.

Smyth §1102 gives as an example αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσι γέρων ὁδὸν ἡγεμόνευεν but he, the old man, was leading the way for them ω 225.

So in A. Ag. 280 I suppose this syntax serves to put some emphasis on τάχος.

καὶ τίς τόδ' ἐξίκοιτ' ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;
And what messenger could come here with such speed? (Loeb translation, italics mine)
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:07 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:I wonder if this use is related to the rather frequent Homeric usage of disjoining the article and the noun. This often puts some emphasis on the noun.

Smyth §1102 gives as an example αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσι γέρων ὁδὸν ἡγεμόνευεν but he, the old man, was leading the way for them ω 225.

So in A. Ag. 280 I suppose this syntax serves to put some emphasis on τάχος.

καὶ τίς τόδ' ἐξίκοιτ' ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;
And what messenger could come here with such speed? (Loeb translation, italics mine)


Paul,

I don't find any consensus in the stuff I have read about hyperbaton concerning salience (a.k.a emphasis). Some scholars consider a clause initial position left of the main verb the place for increased salience. But this assumes that verb arguments (subject, object, indirect object, etc.) would normally follow the main verb which I don't consider a viable approach to Attic Tragedy because I haven't detected any pattern of verb placement in Tragedy that could be called "normal" and there seems to be a lot of lines where the verb is postponed until late in the clause/sentence.

Clause final is not a typical position for an adverbial (τάχος), is it? Adverbials are often early and prior to the verb. However, in Tragedy words are ordered for reasons that have nothing to do with salience. On hyperbaton and salience I will plead ignorance, I read some monographs recommend to me by Mike Aubrey but didn't come away with any definite notions about salience marking.
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:56 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:I wonder if this use is related to the rather frequent Homeric usage of disjoining the article and the noun. This often puts some emphasis on the noun.

Smyth §1102 gives as an example αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσι γέρων ὁδὸν ἡγεμόνευεν but he, the old man, was leading the way for them ω 225.

So in A. Ag. 280 I suppose this syntax serves to put some emphasis on τάχος.

καὶ τίς τόδ' ἐξίκοιτ' ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;
And what messenger could come here with such speed? (Loeb translation, italics mine)


Paul,

I took another look at this. Thinking about semantics, τάχος seems to be the most salient aspect of the question. Clause final position in my view can be used for focal constituent marking. In regard to this question, I would place more emphasis on the position and semantic prominence of τάχος than on the separation between τόδ and τάχος. Note that your English translation places the focal constituent "such speed" at the end.
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:05 pm

Again, I simply don't know Aeschylus well enough to know for sure, nor have I read any specific literature on the subject. So I can't be certain of the precise meaning of the word order just here. This is what I think on the basis of what I know about linguistics in general. In poetry, because of metric constraints among other things, the relative importance of word order must be less than in prose; the author is allowed to take some liberties, and probably the nuances communicated by the word order are to be interpreted less strongly than in prose. Also, the author is allowed to make constructions impossible in prose for some special effect. But I don't think there's such a thing as truly free word order, in any language or any genre; I very much suspect word order always affects the meaning of the sentence, through salience or otherwise, though in some languages and genres its relative importance may be diminished.
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Again, I simply don't know Aeschylus well enough to know for sure, nor have I read any specific literature on the subject. So I can't be certain of the precise meaning of the word order just here. This is what I think on the basis of what I know about linguistics in general. In poetry, because of metric constraints among other things, the relative importance of word order must be less than in prose; the author is allowed to take some liberties, and probably the nuances communicated by the word order are to be interpreted less strongly than in prose. Also, the author is allowed to make constructions impossible in prose for some special effect. But I don't think there's such a thing as truly free word order, in any language or any genre; I very much suspect word order always affects the meaning of the sentence, through salience or otherwise, though in some languages and genres its relative importance may be diminished.



I agree. Totally free word order in Ancient Greek is a myth prominent among native speakers of English who are accustom to the SVO pattern. There are several things that draw attention to τάχος in:
A. Ag. 280 καὶ τίς τόδ' ἐξίκοιτ' ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;

τόδ' highlights τάχος
clause final postion highlights τάχος
τάχος is central issue in the question [1]
τόδ' is separated from τάχος

all of these work together to make τάχος salient. The problem often encountered in linguistic analysis is one form of constituent marking is stressed while the others are ignored.

[1] the question isn't really about who relayed this message, it is more about how could this message get here so soon. It is a question about speed.
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:39 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:I took another look at this. Thinking about semantics, τάχος seems to be the most salient aspect of the question. Clause final position in my view can be used for focal constituent marking. In regard to this question, I would place more emphasis on the position and semantic prominence of τάχος than on the separation between τόδ and τάχος. Note that your English translation places the focal constituent "such speed" at the end.

I believe the separation is important in that the article at this position before the verb makes you anticipate the prominent word τάχος, which comes at the end, which is probably also a focal position like you say.

Compare in Homer, where it is not uncommon that when the article is separated from the noun, the noun comes at same time both clause final and at the beginning of the verse, an emphatic position. Iliad 4.501ff. (example stolen from Chantraine). αἰχμὴ is given some emphasis here ("Le substantif peut etre mis en valeur par un rejet").

τόν ῤ' Ὀδυσεὺς ἑτάροιο χολωσάμενος βάλε δουρὶ
κόρσην· ἣ δ' ἑτέροιο διὰ κροτάφοιο πέρησεν
αἰχμὴ χαλκείη·
Last edited by Paul Derouda on Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A.Ag 280 interleaved syntax

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:43 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:[1] the question isn't really about who relayed this message, it is more about how could this message get here so soon. It is a question about speed.

I agree. The tone of the speaker is skeptical and perhaps even hostile here.
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