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A little Alciphron

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A little Alciphron

Postby annis » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:50 pm

One of the things I've been adding to Scholiastae is marked up texts for some of the letters of Alciphron. I just finished a new set, Letters 2.6 and 2.7 a dialog between an old man and young woman.

The first sentence of the woman's reply really struck me. It's a good example of just how little Ancient Greek syntax works according to principles recognizable in English, or indeed any Western European language:

ὠδίνουσά με ἀρτίως ἥκειν ὡς ἑαυτὴν ἡ τοῦ γείτονος μετέπεμψε γυνή·


It is so majestic I drew a dependency graph, which I posted on my blog.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
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Re: A little Alciphron

Postby cb » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:02 pm

hi will, do you know of any good resources on alciphron’s style?

when i was reading this it felt more like a latin sentence (in quite a natural latin order) than a grk one - bizarre.

με ἀρτίως ἥκειν is what i’d expect in latin with the pronoun in typical wackernagel second position and at the head of its infinitive phrase (rule 2 in my earlier post on latin word order viewtopic.php?t=8738 ).

then for the goal phrase (ὡς ἑαυτήν) to come after the object of the verb (i.e. the infinitive phrase) is also quite natural in latin (devine and stephens, latin word order, pgs 58-62, e.g. CIRCITER MERIDIEM EXERCITVM IN CASTRA REDVXIT (Caesar BG 1.50), FRVMENTVMQVE IN HIBERNA COMPORTAVISSENT (Caesar BG 5.26)).

but then again dover’s chapter on logical determinants (in his book on grk word order) explains best to me why γυνή naturally falls at the end - words that are dispensable because predictable drift towards the end, and here (for me at least), with ἡ τοῦ γείτονος, it's already pretty clear about who is being referred to, and so γυνή could have been left out, and so it’s not strange to see it at the end.

the style in these letters is also v light on particles which feels more like latin.

anyway, just random thoughts, but if you have any good resources on alciphron’s style i’d appreciate it, thanks! cheers, chad :)
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Re: A little Alciphron

Postby annis » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:34 am

cb wrote:hi will, do you know of any good resources on alciphron’s style?


I'm afraid not. I only know that he was considered respectably Atticist.

when i was reading this it felt more like a latin sentence (in quite a natural latin order) than a grk one - bizarre.


He does seem prone to rhetorical tricks that call attention to themselves. 1.3 has notable asyndeton and very obvious chiasmi at the start.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
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Re: A little Alciphron

Postby cb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:24 pm

OK thanks will, cheers, chad :)
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