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Prosody Questions

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Prosody Questions

Postby Lex » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:48 pm

Do elided vowels still count with respect to scansion? For instance:

(D)πολλὰς δ' | (S)ἰφθί | (S)μους ψῡ | (S)χὰς Ἄι | (D)δι προΐ | (S)αψεν

I use (D) to indicate that the foot is a dactyl, and (S) a spondee, since using macrons, breves and bars on the line above might not line up properly depending on the reader's font. I assumed the first foot, with δὲ elided to δ', is a dactyl, and read the first iota in ἰφθίμους as long by position. I also read the last syllable in Ἄιδι and the α in προΐαψεν as long by position. How badly did I screw this up?

Also, how important do you think it is to learn prosody when learning Epic? I'd love to skip this part of the lessons, but am afraid it might get me into trouble.
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby annis » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:32 am

Lex wrote:Do elided vowels still count with respect to scansion?


Nope.

(D)πολλὰς δ' | (S)ἰφθί | (S)μους ψῡ | (S)χὰς Ἄι | (D)δι προΐ | (S)αψεν

... I assumed the first foot, with δὲ elided to δ', is a dactyl, and read the first iota in ἰφθίμους as long by position.


There are two problems with scanning the first foot that way. First, the 1st declension accusative plural ending -ας has a long alpha. Second, scansion works by the line, rather than word, so πολλὰσδ’ιπφίμους — the -σδ- combination will cause the previous syllable to scan long no mater what the natural length of the vowel.

Also, how important do you think it is to learn prosody when learning Epic? I'd love to skip this part of the lessons, but am afraid it might get me into trouble.


Homer did make a lot of effort to do this, so I would encourage you to learn it. The Epic hexameter isn't too bad with a little practice. In terms of helping, it is sometimes useful to be able to identify the caesura of the line, since a number of funky syntactic things happen across or next to that boundary.
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby Lex » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:51 pm

How about something like this?

(S)πολλὰς | (S)δ' ἰφθί | (S)μους ψῡ | (S)χὰς Ἄι | (D)δι προΐ | (S)αψεν
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby annis » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:59 pm

Lex wrote:(S)πολλὰς | (S)δ' ἰφθί | (S)μους ψῡ | (S)χὰς Ἄι | (D)δι προΐ | (S)αψεν


There should probably be a diaeresis in Hades, Ἄϊδι, making the fourth foot a dactyl. But otherwise fine.
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby Lex » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:06 pm

In this line:

χρῡσέῳ ἀνὰ σκήπτρῳ, καὶ ἐλίσσετο πάντας Ἀχαιούς,

Pharr says that χρῡσέῳ is an example of synizesis, and that χρῡσέῳ ἀνὰ is an example of rule 1173:

"When a word ends in a long vowel or diphthong and the next word begins with a vowel, the long final vowel or diphthong is regularly shortened."

So, does this all together mean that the έῳ in χρῡσέῳ is pronounced monosyllabically by synizesis, and then shortened?

Also, καὶ ἐλίσσετο is also given as an example of 1173. Would that make the line scan like so?:

(D)χρῡσέῳ ἀ | (S)νὰ σκή | (D)πτρῳ, καὶ ἐλ | (D)ίσσετο | (D)πάντας Ἀ | (S)χαιούς,
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby annis » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:36 pm

Lex wrote:So, does this all together mean that the έῳ in χρῡσέῳ is pronounced monosyllabically by synizesis, and then shortened?


Yep.

Also, καὶ ἐλίσσετο is also given as an example of 1173. Would that make the line scan like so?:

(D)χρῡσέῳ ἀ | (S)νὰ σκή | (D)πτρῳ, καὶ ἐλ | (D)ίσσετο | (D)πάντας Ἀ | (S)χαιούς,


Yep again.
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby Lex » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:50 pm

I actually got it right the first time?! Whoot!!!
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby mingshey » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:14 pm

I thought in the first foot "έῳ ἀ" was counted as one long syllable by synizesis.
(S)χρῡσέῳ ἀ | (S)νὰ σκή | (D)πτρῳ, καὶ ἐλ | (D)ίσσετο | (D)πάντας Ἀ | (S)χαιούς,

So when I encountered this line I didn't seek an explanation like rule 1173.
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby Lex » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:24 pm

I was a bit surprised when I realized that metrical rules like synizesis and epic correption could be "stacked", so to speak. This begs the question, are there any rules for how this stacking is done?
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Re: Prosody Questions

Postby annis » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:23 pm

Lex wrote:I was a bit surprised when I realized that metrical rules like synizesis and epic correption could be "stacked", so to speak. This begs the question, are there any rules for how this stacking is done?


Let loose the the hounds of generativism!

Actually, I see synizesis as more of a change inflicted on a word to wedge it into the meter, since it can happen within a word, too (θεός often comes in for this, or acc.pl. pronouns, ἡμέας, σφέας, κτλ.). By far the most common uses are in -εο-, -εω- and -εα-, vowel combinations that'll contract in most dialects after Homer anyway. After that change the next set of metrical rules having to deal with word boundaries can be applied.
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