Expressions of Agency in Ancient Greek by Coulter H. George

By Coulter H. George

Historic Greek expressed the brokers of passive verbs by means of a number of skill, and this paintings explores the language's improvement of prepositions which marked the brokers of passive verbs. After an preliminary examine the pragmatics of agent buildings, it turns to this vital query: lower than what stipulations is the agent expressed through a building except hupo with the genitive? The booklet strains the advance of those expressions from Homer via classical prose and drama, being attentive to the semantic, syntactic, and metrical stipulations that favoured using one preposition over one other. It concludes with a examine of the decline of hupo as an agent marker within the first millennium advert. even though the focal point is on advancements in Greek, translation of the examples may still render it available to linguists learning adjustments in prepositional structures commonly.

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5 pages total. 36. 13. 42 2 AGENT CONSTRUCTIONS IN HOMER The analysis of PACs in Homer will be quite different from that of those found in later authors. To begin with, there are very few PACs in the Homeric corpus, as seen in the table on p. 40. 1 Additionally, the metrical, formulaic nature of the oral poetry skews the data: the apparent frequency of some PACs might simply result from their metrical utility or occurrence in a formula. Nevertheless, some agent markers can be singled out which seem to have been perceived as characteristic of Homer, to judge from their use in the late epic poets who imitated Homer’s language.

2 To some extent these may be contrasted with the thirty-four examples of l”gousi. Consider the first seven of this latter group: they all occur in the first five chapters, when Herodotus is recounting the different versions of how animosity arose between the Greeks and Persians. 1. 2 give their account. 3, Herodotus ends the passage with example (51) above. The next cluster of uses of l”gousi is similar in the emphasis placed on who is saying what. 20: it is specifically cited as an addition of the Milesians to an account of the Delphians in the earlier chapter.

As passive constructions downgrade the importance of the agent, one would expect Greek to use the active when the agent was new information. In order to test this expectation, we must find out what circumstances favored the use of the active or passive. To do this, it is best to eliminate as many other variables as possible. 3 (example (51)), in which various nationalities are depicted as saying something. When does Herodotus write l”gousi, when l”getai Ëp»? In Book 1, there are thirty-four instances of l”gousi, fourteen of l”getai without an agent expression, and only four of l”getai with an agent (three times with Ëp», once with pr»v+G ).

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