[B-Greek] Final Word Emphasis

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Apr 5 17:00:19 EDT 2006


I really don't want to get into a protracted discussion of this  
topic, but only to say that I continue to hold that in rhetorically  
polished Greek the emphasis MAY appear at the END of the clause AS  
WELL AS AT THE BEGINNING. I just want to say a little bit more about  
poetry, inasmuch as Chet has forced me to dig out of the cobwebs my  
1964 dissertation, "From Epic to Lyric: A Study in the History of  
Traditional Word-Order in greek and Latin Poetry" (although submitted  
in 1964, it wasn't published until 1990 when it appeared in Garland's  
"Harvard Dissertations in the Classics" series).

On Apr 5, 2006, at 7:19 AM, Chet Creider wrote:

> The most recent discussion dealt mainly with the issue of initial  
> versus
> immediate preverbal
> positions, and although final position was mentioned, it was not
> central.  About final position, Stephen Levinsohn in _Discourse
> Featuresof New Testament Greek_ devotes quite a
> bit of space to the question in the third chapter, "Constituent  
> order in
> the comment".
> However I don't find very many of his examples convincing.  One  
> possible
> example is
> Gal 2:20:
> ZW DE OUKETI EGW
> ZWi DE EN EMOI CRISTOS
>
> In general, however, good examples seem hard to find.

One example I'd point to is the highly rhetorical 1 Cor 1:22-24:

EPEIDH KAI IOUDAIOI SHMEIA AITOUSIN KAI hELLHNES SOFIAN ZHTOUSIN, 23  
hHMEIS DE KHRUSSOMEN CRISTON ESTAURWMENON, IOUDAIOIS MEN SKANDALON,  
EQNESIN DE MWRIAN, 24 AUTOIS DE TOIS KLHTOIS, IOUDAIOIS TE KAI  
hELLHSIN, CRISTON QEOU DUNAMIN KAI QEOU SOFIAN.

For my part, I think that there is emphasis upon ESTAUROUMENON, upon  
SKANDALON and upon MWRIAN, and finally upon QEOU DUNAMIN KAI QEOU  
SOFIAN.

I think similar emphasis can be seen in 1 Cor 13, especially at the  
close:

13 NUNI DE MENEI PISTIS, ELPIS, AGAPH, TA TRIA TAUTA: MEIZWN DE  
TOUTWN hH AGAPH.

I personally think that the subjects of MENEI and MEIZWN are the  
emphatic elements in these clauses.

> With reference to Carl's point that emphasis is clearly to be found in
> poetry, I would like
> to suggest that there is indeed a great abundance of examples, but
> principally involving
> enjambement -- the deliberate carrying forward of the end of a  
> discourse
> (or major clausal or
> phrasal) unit into the beginning of the next line -- where it is
> strikingly emphasized.
> Many commentators on Homer have remarked at the skilled way in which
> Homer will start out
> a speech with "end-stopped" lines and then, displaying the  
> excitement of
> the speaker, spill
> over into run-on lines.  Here are a couple of famous examples:
>
> (1) Agamemnon's speech to Calchas in Iliad, Book 1, verses 106-20 with
> the enjambement taking
> place in verseses 111-115.
>
> (2) Achilles' speech in Iliad, Book 9, verses 334-43
>
> And this compelling single example of Phoenix speaking to Achilles
> (9.437-9_:
>
> PWS AN EPEIT' APO SEIO, FILON TEKOS, AUQI LIPOIMHN
> OIOS; ...
> ("How then, dear child, should I be left here away from you,
> alone? ...")
>
> But these are highly 'artful' examples involving a deliberate mismatch
> of verse and grammar
> which moreover put the emphasis at the _beginning_ of a line.  I  
> haven't
> noticed any
> striking use of clause final position for emphasis in poetry other  
> than
> this.

Homer is indeed the starting point, and the Homeric poems were the  
starting point of my dissertation, which was concerned in particular  
with pattterns of separation of noun and epithet in the Greek and  
Latin hexameter traditions and then in the Latin lyric poetry of  
Catullus and Horace. The principle emerging in Homer is that regular  
caesurae -- metrical pauses -- are points demarcating the disposition  
of words that are separated from each other but clearly linked,  
usually by inflection.

How to judge Iliad 3.222 where the speech of Odysseus is  
characterized as

	KAI EPEA NIFADESSIN EOIKOTA CEIMERIHiSIN/
	"words to snowflakes like wintry"

Does the position of the epithet CEIMERIHiSIN have any impact. Milman  
Parry would have denied it, but more recent critics tend to view such  
epithets as marks of the poet's art.

In Greek verse Callimachus is perhaps the greatest master of artful  
positioning that involves exploitation of initial AND final positions  
in the line. A couple of my favorites include the line-opening cited  
in the GNT, "KRHTES AEI YEUSTAI":

	KRHTES AEI YEUSTAI; KAI GAR TAFON, W ANA, SEIO
	KRHTES ETEKTHNANTO; SU D' OU QANES, ESSI GAR AIEI. (Hymn 1.8-9)
	"Cretans are always liars, for a tomb, Lord, yours
	Creatans constructed; but you didn't die, for you are always."

	Note the position of KRHTES at the beginning of both lines, the  
emphatic final AIEI that picks up the endless being of Zeus and  
contrasts it with the endless lying of the Cretans at the beginning  
of the couplet.

At least as fascinating to me is the word-play in lines 87-88 of the  
Hymn to Zeus (Hymn 1):

	hESPERIOS KEINOS GE TELEI TA KEN HRI NOHSHi;
	hESPERIOS TA MEGISTA, TA MEIONA D', EUTE NOHSHi.

	"At sunset He fulfils whatever he has early conceived --
	at sunset the greatest (projects), but the lesser (ones), when he  
has conceived (them)."

But to get back to Homer and instances of delayed words in  
enjambement, I think the second line of the Iliad is pretty force  
with its OULOMENHN:

	MHNIN AEIDE, QEA, PHLHIADEW ACILHOS
	OULOMENHN, hH MURI' ACAIOIS ALGE' EQHKE ...

	"The wrath sing, Goddess, of Peleus' son Achilles,
	baneful, that countless woes to Achaeans brought ... "

Or the first clause of the Odyssey, where one may ask whether the  
emphatic word is ANDRA or POLUTROPON:

	ANDRA MOI ENNEPE, MOUSA, POLUTROPON, ...
	"The man to me recount, Muse, many-wiled, ...

And where is the center of gravity in the lines concluding the  
opening sequence of the Iliad:

	MHNIN AEIDE, QEA ...
	EX hOU DH TA PRWTA DIASTHTHN ERiSANTE
	ATREIDHS TE (w)ANAX ANDRWN KAI DIOS ACILLEUS.

	"The wrath sing, Goddess, ...
	from when indeed at first stood opposed quarreling
	Atreides lord of men and godly Achilles."

>> On Apr 4, 2006, at 6:55 PM, Bert de Haan and Carl Conrad wrote:
>>
>>> / I (think I) remember reading a discussion on B-Greek several years
>> />/ ago that
>> />/ involved one of the participants advocating that in addition to
>> />/ there being
>> />/ emphasis on words that are placed toward the left of the  
>> sentence,
>> />/ placing a
>> />/ word last in the sentence can also be used to draw attention  
>> to it.
>> />/ I've tried to find it in the archives but failed.
>> />/ Do any of you remember this discussion?
>> />/ Even if you don't, maybe you don't mind giving your thoughts  
>> on it.
>> />/ Thank you.
>> /
>> I think that the topic has arisen repeatedly over the past several
>> years. Iver Larsen has expounded a doctrine that emphasis in Koine
>> Greek clauses is achieved fundamentally by fronting the emphasized
>> element, but he has, I think, conceded that there are some
>> differences from one author to the other. For my part I have argued
>> that the final position before a major pause in discourse is also a
>> position of emphasis; that is certainly the case in Latin and I
>> believe it is clearly the case in Greek poetry as well and then in
>> prose that is formulated with deliberate rhetorical articulation.
>>
>
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/




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