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Help scanning this line

Postby brometheus » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:15 pm

bīnae aurēs, dūplicī aptantur dentālia dorsō
(Georgics 1.172)

How is this supposed to be a legitimate line of hexameter? I cannot figure out what magic I am expected to do to get it to work.

The key to this mystery must lie in dūplicī, which, as it is (with long, short, long syllables), can't fit into the meter. The only thing I can think of--which seems like it's asking a lot--is to read it as dŭplicī with short first vowel:

bīn' au|rēs, dŭpli|c' aptan|tur den|tālia | dorsō

I had been doing almost exclusively Greek until just recently, and can't remember where exactly Latin stands on eliding final long vowels (Vergil avoids it at G. 1.4, albeit at a caesura) or the syllabicity of /pl/ clusters, viz. whether they necessarily make the preceding syllable long. And altering the length of the first syllable of dūplicī seems questionable in and of itself. But I don't know how else to make this line work! Unless this line is just anomalous. Any ideas?
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Timothée » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:18 pm

You’re almost there. Remember muta cum liquida.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby mwh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:24 pm

It is an unusually awkward line, as sometimes happens with description of res technicae, but it scans conventionally enough, as you’ve worked it out. Each of the two elisions is normal for Latin verse (unlike Greek, which is less artificial): long final vowels elide just like short final vowels (it’s G.1.4 that’s exceptional). And there’s nothing out of the ordinary about duplici: the u is short (cf. duo), and the syllable is free to remain short (a.k.a. light) before the plosive-liquid combo, functioning as a single consonant.

The most remarkable thing is the lack of caesura. Perhaps the fact that there would be normal 3rd-foot caesura if it weren’t for the elision of duplici is tantamount to a caesura (could it be more a matter of prodelision of (a)ptantur than of elision of duplic(i)?—the phonology is hard to establish). Or perhaps to have aptantur overrun the caesura is a calculated effect, expressive of the spanning described in the text. Or some synthesis of the two.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Timothée » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:40 pm

I don’t think it’s phonetically exactly the same, but don’t pl run slightly together e.g. in English please? By this comparison Latin phonotactics may be fractionally easier to understand.

mwh wrote:[C]ould it be more a matter of prodelision of (a)ptantur than of elision of duplic(i)?—the phonology is hard to establish

We have aphaeresis/prodelision with es and est, evidenced inscriptionally not only in Latin but even in Oscan. Elsewhere I don’t buy that. Here for instance I’d—schematically put forth—expect shortening of -ī > -ĭ in duplicī in front of the vowel of aptantur and thereafter elision.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby mwh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Sure, it’s not at all difficult to understand. But whereas pl in English please and e.g. uplift is consistently different, in Latin—at any rate in Latin verse, which has its own phonotactic rules—pl can always go either way. In this line there’s absolutely nothing remarkable about duplici, which I'm guessing would always scan like this in hexameter (but not in iambics); the scansion is metrically determined. The other things, the two elisions of long final vowels (individually unexceptional—in verse) and the question of the caesura, are much more notable. I'm inclined to think the effect is deliberate, reflective of the closely fitted arrangement being described. This is Vergil, after all, who never writes clumsily.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby jeidsath » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:45 pm

mwh wrote:The most remarkable thing is the lack of caesura. Perhaps the fact that there would be normal 3rd-foot caesura if it weren’t for the elision of duplici is tantamount to a caesura (could it be more a matter of prodelision of (a)ptantur than of elision of duplic(i)?—the phonology is hard to establish). Or perhaps to have aptantur overrun the caesura is a calculated effect, expressive of the spanning described in the text. Or some synthesis of the two.


The Quasi-caesura in Vergil by P. Sandford

On examining the lines [of Vergil] which have no caesura in the third foot, we shall find that there is an elision before the third foot in about 70 per cent. of them, and that the rest admit explanation on special grounds.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Hylander » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:30 pm

I believe lines with a second foot caesura and a fourth foot caesura aren't uncommon--not as common as a third foot caesura, of course.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Hylander » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:35 pm

See Allen & Greenough sec. 615c:

c. The hexameter has regularly one principal cæsura—sometimes two— almost always accompanied by a pause in the sense.

The principal cæsura is usually after the thesis (less commonly in the arsis) of the third foot, dividing the verse into two parts in sense and rhythm. See examples in d.
It may also be after the thesis(less commonly in the arsis) of the fourth foot. In this case there is often another cæsura in the second foot, so that the verse is divided into three parts:—
pártĕ fĕ|rō´x || ār|dē´nsqueŏcŭ|lī´s || et | síbĭlă | cóllă.—Aen. 5.277.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0001:part=3:section=4&highlight=
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby mwh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:07 am

The two verses are hardly comparable. In parte ferox ardensque oculis et sibila colla the elided -que scarcely compromises the regular 3rd-foot caesura, which in our verse aptantur completely overruns. (A&G conflate metrical with syntactical articulation, whereas the two are often in conflict. There's also the matter of the accentual patterning, which A&G consistently ruin by leveling.)

PS Not that I should make duplici aptantur out to be all that exceptional, with aptantur in this position after a putatively elided long vowel. It’s well paralleled, e.g. Aen.5.399 haud equidem pretio inductus pulchroque iuvenco | venissem. But I repeat that “the phonology is hard to establish,” and I’m suspicious of the uncompromising inconsistency of the dogma that Timo subscribes to (one behavior with est, a contrary one with everything else). I would really like to know what actually went on at the junction of duplici and aptantur, or of pretio and inductus—full elision, or something more? Citing antiquated elementary textbooks cuts no ice.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Timothée » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:52 am

I fail to see my mentioning citing antiquated elementary textbooks, but perhaps mwh can point it out to me. Or better provide us with his own Index librorum prohibitorum for future use. I read Leumann’s grammar—admittedly old—and beside that try to form an understanding of Latin phonotactics, which may not be that great. It’s therefore clear that mwh considers L’s grammar “antiquated elementary textbook”. This is unfortunate even though I hardly consider L infallible.

Could you please offer us unquestionable examples of prodelision in Latin in cases beyond es and est? I’m really interested. I can give examples of long+short becoming short in word boundary: magnŏpere, (Aen. 1,332) iactemur doceas; ignari hominumque locorumque, (Aen. 1,68) Ilium in Italiam portans uictosque Penates. (L 122—123) Then examples with hiatus preserved after monosyllables: me dĭ ament (Catullus), sĭ abest (Lucretius), tĕ amice (Vergil). In cretics this is considered Homeric imitation: milia militŭ(m) octo (Ennius), sub Iliŏ alto (Vergil). (L 105)

Only because duplici aptantur happens to be positione long isn’t enough to say it has prodelision. Perhaps something else occurred than simple elision, where elements of both vowels were somehow preserved whilst the result being a short vowel (what does Cicero mean with uōcālīs coniungere in orat. 150/152?)—but I don’t (with my antiquated elementary textbooks and with my probably antiquated intellect) understand what it could have been. I see spoken language as the core and the model of poetry, even though in highly stylised form.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Victor » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:41 pm

Hylander wrote:I believe lines with a second foot caesura and a fourth foot caesura aren't uncommon--not as common as a third foot caesura, of course.

Yes, I'm not accustomed to hearing lines without a strong caesura in the third foot but with one in the second and fourth described as lacking a caesura - in the sense of lacking something that should be there.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Hylander » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:33 pm

Timo, mwh's remark about antiquated elementary textbooks was directed at me for citing Allen & Greenough.

A few more examples of lines without 3rd foot caesuras from the first three Eclogues. I found just four lines out of 267. Not a statistically significant sample, to be sure, but it seems to bear out the assertion that these lines are rare. However, except for the Greek name in 3.44, I don't see anything exceptional about the context that would explain why Vergil uses this pattern occasionally.

1.40 quid facerem? neque seruitio me exire licebat -- strong 2d-foot caesura

2.9 nunc uiridis etiam occultant spineta lacertos

3.10 tum credo cum me arbustum uidere Miconis -- elision of long vowel. Can this be put down to the crudeness of the character? But the exchange of verses that follows (like the Cyclops' song in 2) is anything but crude.

3.44 et nobis idem Alcimedon duo pocula dedit -- Greek proper name in a position of prominence in the center of the verse?

Of course, as mwh noted, we can't ascribe these lines to ineptitude. Vergil deliberately structured these lines without a third-foot caesura, and if he hadn't wanted to, he could have avoided this metrical shape.

In G. 1.172, I wonder whether alliteration of d played a role in shaping the verse. I doubt V. would want three words beginning with d in a row -- his alliteration is typically more subtle than that, I think. But putting the first in the first half of the verse, and in "arsis", is a more subtle effect, more pleasing to the ear. There is also a strong caesura with a syntactic pause in the second foot, which helps to smooth over the absence of a third-foot caesura, like Ecl. 1.40.
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby mwh » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:26 am

Timo, I did not mean to offend you, and am very sorry that I did. I apologize sincerely. As Hylander saw, my final sentence was not aimed at you at all. It was not even aimed at Hylander, but rather at A&G’s section on meter, which I trust we can agree is antiquated and bad. I regret writing the sentence (I was tired and out of sorts), and wish I could cancel it (but not, if I dare say, the rest of the post). I should certainly have written more clearly, or not at all. I admire Leumann, and of course I accept the examples of elision and correption that you cite. And of course I cannot offer “unquestionable examples of prodelision in Latin in cases beyond es and est.” If I could we wouldn’t be having this discussion. So far as I'm aware there are no such unquestionable examples in Latin.

What I said was (one of two suggestions) “Perhaps the fact that there would be normal 3rd-foot caesura if it weren’t for the elision of duplici is tantamount to a caesura,” and I believe that’s a defensible idea (cf. jeidsath’s post), so I thought it legitimate to wonder (no more than that, put only as a tentative question, and only in parenthesis) whether in such a case the liaison may have involved something other than simple elision of the long vowel. You yourself now say “Perhaps something else occurred than simple elision,” so we’re really not that far apart, though you're clearly sceptical. The most telling of the examples of elision that you cite may be ignari in Vergil’s hypermetric iactemur doceas; ignari hominumque locorumque, but I'm not sure that that (and of course there are others) can be regarded as probative for our G.1.172, for there we have a syntactically reinforced 3rd-foot caesura preceding, and the word-accent and the “ictus” coincide, as they signally do not with aptantur (but then they usually don't in the 4th foot).

Of Hylander’s four examples from the Eclogues, the closest is 3.10 tum credo cum me arbustum uidere Miconis, where however it’s the monosyllabic me that comes at the potential caesura thwarted by arbustum. But there are several others in the piece jeidsath unearthed, from which I stole Aen.5.399 haud equidem pretio inductus pulchroque iuvenco. Complete erasure of the long -o and of 3rd-foot caesura? Maybe, but I remain dubious.

I'd have replied and apologized earlier, but I've been offline today, only to find your distressing but quite understandable reaction when I sign in. And now I'm going to bed.

As ever,
Michael
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby Timothée » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:24 pm

Michael, I was dismal yesterday but I’ve never been a rancorous person. I am from my part alacritous to return to the question at hand.

As far as I can see, this problem revolves around three words and how and on what grounds they operate: hiatus, elision, and sandhi. Also the register makes a difference. Poetry must be distinguished from prose, but rhetoric bridges this gap to some extent so that it is all one continuum. The phonetic or morpho-phonological “tools” that are used must originate in the vernacular language.

However, this must not be understood too strictly. In some of its characteristics, poetry has over a long period of time developed its distinct elevated style (there are some reconstructions to e.g. Proto-Indo-European), and in case of Latin it adopted much via extensive literary borrowing from Greek. Poetry preserved and continually took material from the spoken language different from literary Latin prose which is most often learnt even today. The ancient grammarians and rhetoricians (e.g. Cicero, Quintilian) mention here and there something, but what they say is quite impressionistic and often conflicting. This isn’t surprising as differences of opinion must have existed as well as morpho-phonological development.

Now to return to those three words, there’s the famous and oft-repeated rule uocalis ante uocalem corripitur. This is generally considered word-medially, but the question arises how big or possibly how small the difference was with sandhi, especially in fluent, continuous speech and poetry, of course. In principle I see no opposition that this rule could not have worked in sandhi, too, to some extent. Then again, there’s surely no reason to expect quite as wide-ranging a sandhi in Latin as for instance (quite emblematically) in Sanskrit (which in Sanskrit is always written).

Allen discusses the problem of “vowel junction” in the 4th chapter of Vox Latina, and now that I read it again, it seems quite well-balanced even if it doesn’t claim to solve everything. In the end Allen is inclined to assume synizesis and glide-formation of -ī and -ū (Allen discusses dactylic hexameter). I’d say that if true, the correption might indeed work also on hiatus in word-boundaries. In general, reduction at the end of the word isn’t very uncommon in languages. As an example of synizesis Allen mentions ōdī et amō [oːdi̯etamoː].

This isn’t quite obviously enough, as it works only where the preceding syllable is heavy and only with -ī and -ū. But Allen is reasonably solid in mentioning that words ending in -ō, -ē, and -ā are often common adverbs and conjunctions (e.g. ergō, certē, contrā) and total elision might be expected here. Even this, however, doesn’t solve duplicī aptantur. I don’t know if all possible statistical analyses have already been made on Latin hexameter. Conjecturally at least I’d say that this is somewhat rare occurrence, an “extension” to the principle put forth by Allen. This poses furthermore the question, why such a consummate master as Vergil yielded to such a line (there must be a reason for it). But Michael noted the conjectural rarity of this and already posed the question why Vergil created the line straightaway.

I am given to understand that Luciano Canepari has something to say about Latin sandhi, but I haven’t seen his work and don’t know how much he has to add (La pronuncia neutra, internazionale del latino classico / Manuale di pronuncia italiana 2004).

Finally: why does prodelision occur (potentially) only with es and est? I have no decisive answer and can only offer general assumptions. This would seem to be quite an old phenomenon, and many Indo-European languages have reduction in the copula (in French and Persian the 3rd singular it’s often only [ε] or [e]). I’m not saying, though, that it’s inherited from Proto-Indo-European. The Oscan example víu teremnatust (via terminatast) would suggest that it’s as old as Italic or at least spread areally amongst the closely related languages. I don’t know if it originated when es(t) followed a word ending in -s or in more general contexts (it could be unnecessary to try to trace prodelision in cases like uocitatust 166 BCE [Allen 123]). Couldn’t so unstressed yet so common a word have exceptionally lost its vowel from the beginning of the word?
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Re: Help scanning this line

Postby mwh » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:19 am

Timo, Thank you. I don’t have much to add to this, with which I’m essentially in agreement. Verse variously stylizes and regularizes the spoken language, but there are areas where it’s hard to know just what form the stylization took. Vowel-juncture between words is more problematic than meets the eye. In verse we can observe metrical outcomes (and derive rules from them), but not much else. For Catullus' odi et amo, some would posit simple elision, others a yod glide.

A case like duplici aptantur is still more problematic, and I suggest it’s not just a matter of the junction of word-final –ī and word-initial vowel (or short a-). The metrical circumstances may also be a factor—the words’ position in the line, in the context of the articulation of the Vergilian hexameter. G.1.172 runs binae aures, duplici aptantur dentalia dorso. A bit further along comes 1.300 frigoribus parto agricolae plerumque fruuntur. This matches 1.172 inasmuch as parto, like duplici, would give a regular 3rd-foot caesura if not elided, and that is followed by a single word extending over the same metrical space as aptantur, up to the “bucolic diaeresis.” With elision of parto, the caesura would be thwarted and the hearer would not know what to make of “part” (partem?, parte?, partum?, …) until fruuntur at the end of the line might at least provide a clue.

So I reject the hypothesis of simple elision in this case. (I'm reluctant to generalize.) That doesn’t mean it's a case of prodelision (parto||’gricolae), though I fancy that will come closer to the reality. I’ll not venture to say just how the juncture was actualized here, or how consistently from reciter to reciter. But I do think metrical considerations and intelligibility are likely to have played a part.

As to est, it may possibly be worth bringing in Greek too, where prodelision is thought (rightly or not) occasionally to have extended beyond (ε)στιν.

I too have not read Canepari, and would sooner kill myself. I have little interest in phonetics as such. It’s too long since I read Allen, whose Accent & Rhythm was very important in the development of my thinking. His Vox Graeca and Vox Latina are of course indispensable. (In the first class I took with him he demonstrated the aspiration of English “p” by holding up a sheet of paper in front of his face and forcefully saying what I heard as “pee.”)
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