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Incorporating authentic politeness strategies into compositi

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Incorporating authentic politeness strategies into compositi

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:19 am

What were the socially recognised politeness strategies that were used in Greek (Hellenic or Hellenistic) texts?

Were honorifics, particles, tenses, word order, adverbs and/or choice of vocabulary used as politeness strategies? Does anybody have advice on how I could include them idiomatically into my compositions?

Our friend Marcos seems to rely on honorifics, so perhaps that is a starting point.
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Re: Incorporating authentic politeness strategies into compo

Postby anphph » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:30 am

I think you want something like Eleanor Dickey's Greek forms of address: from Herodotus to Lucian. Also her curriculum seems to have a number of other articles on the subject.
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Re: Incorporating authentic politeness strategies into compo

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:20 am

anphph wrote:I think you want something like Eleanor Dickey's Greek forms of address: from Herodotus to Lucian. Also her curriculum seems to have a number of other articles on the subject.

Referring first to the reviews of that book and then to sociolinguistics in general.

The one thing that will be patently lacking in any attempt to be polite (or rude / abusive) in addressing (for example) Markos is any form of social system to require one form of address or another. Should I, for example always defer to the obligation of a φιλία relationship, because it was originally his invitation that brought me here? Even if we were to identify (or define) relative status, the dynamic of teasing and manipulating of complex relationships couldn't be effected very easily, as there is not much at stake. Without knowing for example, Isaac's approximate (or relative) age, gender, family background or profession it is even more difficult to even attempt to use appropriate forms of address in conversation like tos and fros.

Isaac's introduction of master - slave - angel scenario was an excellent opportunity to try ideas about politeness strategy (including abuse and railing). The introduction of an interlocutrice (a female slave or the master's wife) would be good there too, giving an opportunity to explore the gender dimension, alongside the master-slave social status relationship and the age factors in the relationship between the slave and the owner's son and between the owner and his son.

Retelling the story from various points of view and embellishing the dialogues with some at least well-meaning attempts at politeness (or abuse) strategies is a step in the right direction, because it encourages personal exploration of another feature of the language. Of course, there are undoubtedly as many (naive, anachronistic) guesses at socially appropriate language as Isaac has grammatical errors.

I don't think that giving oneself a free pass by saying that composition is about grpetting the grammar correct, or that there is a generic Greek that we can compose in, without needing to at least consider literary function (genre) or other higher-order considerations, when we compose.

Over-extensions of the patterns of tense usage, such as Isaac's use of the periphrastic imperfect, suggest that composition has to be more than mastering accidence and basic syntax, but should also use those well-form features of the language in appropriate ways.
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Re: Incorporating authentic politeness strategies into compo

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:56 am

How about these?

προσποιέω as used in Luke 24:28 at least appears to refer to a politeness strategy, though what was actually said is not recorded there. θρύπτω II.2.c (LSJ) as used in the contextualising statements mentioned from Plutarch may also be a form of politeness.
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