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Hyperbation

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Hyperbation

Postby pster » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:59 pm

Sm. 3028 gives us a discussion of hyperation. I don't really understand the spirit of it because I thought Greek word order was pretty wide open. If anybody has any useful general thoughts, I'd love to hear them. More specifically, I don't understand the first example at 3028d.

http://perseus.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/phi ... monographs

Where is the nominative? I must be blind. :?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Hyperbation

Postby spiphany » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:22 am

Greek word order is pretty free (I think there are some tendencies as to the placement of the verb, subject, etc, but I'm not qualified to make any kind of statement there). However, there are groups of words that want to stay together because they're closely related; i.e., a prepositional phrase, or a noun and its modifiers. Thus hyperbaton is a violation of this inherent grouping:
Smyth wrote:the separation of words naturally belonging together

i.e., the separation of the adverb and its modifier in πολὺ γὰρ τῶν ἵππων ἔτρεχον θᾶττον or the noun and its modifier ὑφ' ἑνὸς τοιαῦτα πέπονθεν ἡ Ἑλλὰς ἀνθρώπου.

I read 3028d as meaning: "Similar or contrasted words are often brought into juxtaposition. When one of the words is a nominative, it precedes the words in an oblique case." You're right, he then proceeds to give an example in which there is no nominative (the juxtaposition of ὑμετέρων ὑμῖν), then one in which there is (ἑκὼν ἀέκοντα).
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Hyperbation

Postby Sinister Petrus » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:09 pm

spiphany wrote:Greek word order is pretty free (I think there are some tendencies as to the placement of the verb, subject, etc, but I'm not qualified to make any kind of statement there).


Yeah, it is fairly free, but I noticed that Herodotus seems to favor this sort of thing (please excuse the hacked up English example):

The army assembled its supplies, [the army] having received the command from the king saying, "Tomorrow Persia is our target."

And that's about the conceptual order ol' boy H was doing it in. The first bit might be "the army supplies assembled" in the Greek, but then there would be some aorist participle modifying "the army" immediately after the main verb. I don't know how much hyperbaton that is, but the participle is definitely away from its antecedent.

Then later in the sentence "the king saying" is more of a typical word order.

Anyway, I noticed that sort of pattern in Herodotus. He seems to prefer to clump stuff conceptually, then run in participles modifying after that—or sometimes before, which always felt a bit trickier to me. If the participle is separated from what it modifies, so be it.
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Re: Hyperbation

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Sinister Petrus wrote:
spiphany wrote:Greek word order is pretty free (I think there are some tendencies as to the placement of the verb, subject, etc, but I'm not qualified to make any kind of statement there).


Yeah, it is fairly free, but I noticed that Herodotus seems to favor this sort of thing (please excuse the hacked up English example):

The army assembled its supplies, [the army] having received the command from the king saying, "Tomorrow Persia is our target."

And that's about the conceptual order ol' boy H was doing it in. The first bit might be "the army supplies assembled" in the Greek, but then there would be some aorist participle modifying "the army" immediately after the main verb. I don't know how much hyperbaton that is, but the participle is definitely away from its antecedent.

Then later in the sentence "the king saying" is more of a typical word order.

Anyway, I noticed that sort of pattern in Herodotus. He seems to prefer to clump stuff conceptually, then run in participles modifying after that—or sometimes before, which always felt a bit trickier to me. If the participle is separated from what it modifies, so be it.


For a linguistic account of Word Order in Ancient Greek:
Helma Dik, Word Order in Ancient Greek: A Pragmatic Account of Word Order Variation in Herodotus.
Helma Dik, Word order in Greek tragic dialogue

The framework she employs might be a little off putting for non-linguists.

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Re: Hyperbation

Postby spiphany » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:04 pm

Sinister Petrus wrote:The army assembled its supplies, [the army] having received the command from the king saying, "Tomorrow Persia is our target."

And that's about the conceptual order ol' boy H was doing it in. The first bit might be "the army supplies assembled" in the Greek, but then there would be some aorist participle modifying "the army" immediately after the main verb. I don't know how much hyperbaton that is, but the participle is definitely away from its antecedent.


I'm not sure whether I would necessarily consider this hyperbaton or not (at least the way Smyth defines it), just word order that's unnatural in English. Hyperbaton seems to involve violating phrase and/or clause boundaries (i.e., parts of prepositional phrases should stay together, attributive adjectives stay with their nouns, direct objects appear in the same clause as the verb which governs them, etc). In Greek participles tend to be a little more independent than they are in English; they do a lot of work that in English we require a finite verb for. Here the participle is basically acting as part of a subordinate clause ("after/because the army had received the command...") -- that is, a unit which is syntactically separate from the main clause, so it can be separated from its antecedent without serious consequences. At least that's how I would tend to view it.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Hyperbation

Postby annis » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:36 pm

spiphany wrote:I'm not sure whether I would necessarily consider this hyperbaton or not (at least the way Smyth defines it), just word order that's unnatural in English. Hyperbaton seems to involve violating phrase and/or clause boundaries (i.e., parts of prepositional phrases should stay together, attributive adjectives stay with their nouns, direct objects appear in the same clause as the verb which governs them, etc).


Exactly. Hyperbaton is when phrases that belong together grammatically are distracted from each other. Practically speaking, in ancient Greek this really only takes the form of noun phrases where genitives or adjectives occur at some distance from the noun they modify. Pindar has some doozies:

Κλεοδαμος ὄφρ’ ἰδοῖσ’ υἱὸν εἴπῃς ὅτι οἱ νέαν
κόλποις παρ’ εὐδόξοις Πίσας
ἐστρεφάνως κυδίμων ἀέθλων πτεροῖσι χαίταν. (Ol. 14.22-24 "youthful hair")

or, less astonishingly,

παῖδα, θρασσεῖαι τόν ποτε Γηρυόνα φρῖξαν κύνες (Isth. 1.13 - "fierce dogs")

Edit: oooOOOoooh: Hyperbaton in the Greek Literary Sentence
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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