auctor wrote:To wit, I believe that the first piece of information in a Greek sentence IS more emphasised than what follows, be that sentence prose or verse
Again I have to ask you why
you believe this.
There is a world of difference between the first and last elements of a sentence and the first and last elements of a verse. They may overlap, but hardly do so always.
(despite your dismissal of Dennison's scholarship elsewhere on these forums) . The last piece of information supplied is also somewhat emphasised (the listener has been waiting for it),
It is true that in Latin, and to a lesser degree English, the final position of a clause may be considered emphatic, but I have yet to see any demonstration that this is true in Greek. And the business about the listener having to wait for information seems like a just-so story to me, I'm afraid.
My current understanding of Greek word order comes from several readings of Helma Dik's Word Order in Ancient Greek: A Pragmatic Account of Word Order Variation in Herodotus
has a lengthy and informative review), and to a lesser extent Dover's work Greek Word Order
(which I have to say I don't really grok yet). I hate to send you to the library again, but Dik's work should not be missed.
You're going to have to show me examples of a persistent pattern of clause-final emphasis in Greek before I'm prepared to accept the idea.
I am also a little concerned that we appear to have no knowledge of the ancients being aware of these statistical data. If verse were written in the fashion that you suggest, presumably taking O'Neill's lead, wouldn't we have some reference to these data somewhere? Could such a valuable piece of info. have become lost?
Why not? We have almost no information at all about how poets were trained. And even so, I'm not sure why you ask this. We have the tables, and we can go recount if we want â€” the tables make it clear that something was passed down through the poets for 100s of years that resulted in the consistent localization we see.
In conclusion, I agree absolutely that prosody dictates word position in quantative verse; but I cannot accept that 'emphasis' should be ignored--
á½ƒ Î¼á½´ Î³á½³Î½Î¿Î¹Ï„Î¿! While I'd be happier to see the word "emphasis" tossed about a great deal less, I'm certainly not saying the idea should ignored. I am saying (1) we should be suspicious when our 19th century commentaries offer "it's at the head of the verse" as the main justification for the supposed emphasis of a word, and (2) any discussion of word order in verse must balance an understanding of prose order on the one hand and on the other the constraints of the meter â€” including the transparent effects of localization, whatever its origins.