III.4 Speaking in turns: Conversation Analysis

4.1 Introduction

4.1.1 Tragic and comic conversation

§1. Characters in tragedy and comedy talk in turns. Aeschylus’ Persian queen and the ghost of Darius converse about the army’s defeat through a series of questions and answers. Sophocles’ Oedipus gets angrier at Teiresias with every line he utters. Medea and Jason in Euripides’ play express their feelings both in long argumentative speeches and in more rapid dialogues. In Aristophanes, characters regularly interrupt each other with short comments. Characters advance the plot in their spoken interactions by asking questions, giving orders, expressing opinions, and so on. [1]
§2. This turn-taking is one of tragedies’ and comedies’ formal aspects that distinguishes the genres from most other Greek texts: dramatic texts directly reflect the voices of different speakers who were physically co-present in a theatre, communicating with each other in real time. The dialogic nature of plays influences the use of particles, as argued in this chapter. It is fruitful, therefore, to approach particle use in these texts through a framework that deals with the functioning of dialogic interaction: Conversation Analysis (CA).
§3. Naturally the dialogues of Greek drama are stylized and formalized versions of real spoken conversation, but since they are ultimately based on spoken language, we may reasonably assume that these texts contain remnants of the rules of real conversation. CA can teach us something about these rules. The difference between our material and that of most CA research—written texts rather than recorded spontaneous conversation—means that our goals are accordingly different: we do not aim to understand conversation in general by looking at ancient drama texts. Rather, insights from CA, based on real conversation, can clarify the language used in these plays.
§4. Recent scholarship has begun to apply CA methods to the study of ancient Greek literature: Minchin 2007 on Homer, and Van Emde Boas 2010 and Schuren 2015, both on Euripides, make use of the framework. [2] Minchin mainly focuses on how linguistic forms are linked to certain social actions, such as rebuking, declining an invitation, and asking a (specific kind of) question. She also discusses aspects of turn-taking in Homer. Van Emde Boas uses CA alongside several other modern linguistic approaches in his analysis of Euripides Electra. He argues that the characters’ linguistic patterns play an important role in their characterization. Furthermore, he discusses how approaches such as CA can help in the case of textual problems, particularly concerning speaker-line attribution. Schuren applies a broad pragmatic framework, including insights from CA as well as speech-act theory, as well as narratology, in her monograph on Euripidean stichomythia. She focuses in particular on turn-taking, social deixis, and storytelling. These three scholars observe, by adopting a CA perspective, phenomena that would otherwise go unnoticed or remain unexplained. At the same time, they strengthen our awareness of the general similarities between our own everyday conversation and the language use in ancient literature: the same communicative principles are often at work. As Van Emde Boas (p. 8) rightly points out, “for dramatic dialogue to be comprehensible to an audience, it still must use the same linguistic resources that are familiar to them from their own daily conversations.” [3]
§5. Earlier remarks on the structure of conversations in ancient Greek drama can be found in Hancock 1917 on stichomythia in different genres, Gelzer 1960 on the Aristophanic agon, Ireland 1974 on Aeschylean stichomythia, Bain 1977 on asides, Mastronarde 1979 on tragic dialogue, and Dover 1987 on language and character in Aristophanes, among others. However, CA raises, and provides answers for, a number of important questions which these scholars have not addressed, and which still require systematic analysis. Indeed Mastronarde 1979 assumes that real conversation is simply a “chaos” without any regularity. [4] Yet CA has shown that conversation in fact exhibits a great deal of systematic organization, a view supported in the Greek by the recurrence of certain forms in certain turn positions and sequential positions. The framework thus has the potential to offer important explanations about these recurrences.
§6. This chapter uses the CA approach to show that conversational structures and practices influence language production in tragic and comic dialogues, and thus also the selection and use of particles. I begin by introducing CA, its terminology and its various aspects. Textual analysis follows, mainly focused on the dialogic parts of the plays, [5] the communicative environment that CA has the most to say about.

4.1.2 Conversation Analysis (CA)

§7. CA focuses on talk-in-interaction, that is, on language used for performing social actions. [6] The approach originated in sociology, with Sacks’ lectures on conversation (1964-1968), [7] Schegloff’s work on conversational openings (1967; 1968), and, most well-known, the seminal article by Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974 on the systematics of turn-taking in conversation. Further explorations along these lines followed. [8] Conversation analysts aim to describe and understand the system, rules, and practices of talk-in-interaction. They emphasize that we can better understand utterances if we pay attention to what they are doing rather than to what they are about. [9] Here CA builds on Austin’s 1962 claim that words do things: utterances do not merely describe the world, but perform actions. [10]
§8. The basic unit of conversation is the “turn,” also called “turn of speaking,” or “turn-at-talk.” Conversation, like other forms of coordinated, joint activities, requires some kind of turn-taking to manage the contributions of the different participants. [11] Examples of such joint activities, noted by Sidnell 2010:36, are ballroom dancing, road work, and open heart surgery. Clark 1996:59 also gives analogous examples of other non-verbal joint actions, such as playing music or paddling a canoe; as well as of different activities involving talk as part of them, such as a business transaction. In the case of conversation, participants take turns-at-talk. These turns are themselves composed of one or more turn-constructional units (TCUs), the smallest units that may constitute a turn. [12]
§9. The word “turn,” as I use it here, refers to the linguistic realization of actions, that is, to a string of words uttered by one speaker, rather than to the action(s) performed by these words. [13] In my use “turn” is equivalent to “utterance”; these two terms only differ in the perspective they offer. [14] “Utterance” neutrally refers to everything that is said by one speaker until she stops talking; “turn” refers to the positioning of a stretch of talk by one speaker with respect to other stretches of talk by other speakers. [15] Consider the following example:
          Θεράπων.   Δικαιόπολι.
959bis [16]    Δι. τίς [17] ἐστι; τί με βωστρεῖς;
959ter            Θε. ὅ τι;
960                      ἐκέλευε Λάμαχός σε ταυτησὶ δραχμῆς
                            εἰς τοὺς Χοᾶς αὑτῷ μεταδοῦναι τῶν κιχλῶν,
                            τριῶν δραχμῶν δ’ ἐκέλευε Κωπᾷδ’ ἔγχελυν.
Aristophanes Acharnians 959-962
Slave. Dicaeopolis!
Di. Who’s that? Why are you yelling for me?
Sl. Why? Lamachus orders you, for this drachma here, to give him some of your thrushes for the Pitcher feast, and he orders a Copaic eel for three drachmas.
The first turn (or, more neutrally, utterance) by the slave is only one word long: its function is to address Dicaeopolis and catch his attention. [18] Dicaeopolis reacts immediately, starting a turn in the middle of the verse. [19] This turn performs two related requests for information: who the speaker is (or what is going on; see note 17), and why he addressed Dicaeopolis. To respond to these requests, the slave needs a longer turn (slightly more than three lines), built out of several parts or TCUs. With the first TCU, ὅ τι; “(you ask me) why?”, he projects a relatively long answer. [20] Subsequently, he reports Lamachus’ two orders, in this way indirectly ordering Dicaeopolis to provide the requested items. We can interpret the projection and the two reports as three separate actions. Regardless of the number of actions performed by a turn, however, I speak of one turn when it is continuously uttered by one speaker. [21]
§10. An important part of a turn is its start: the start frequently gives indications as to how a turn fits into a sequence or a series of sequences. [22] Turn-initial items also often project what kind of turn the speaker has just started: they foreshadow a certain syntax and/or a certain action. [23] As Sidnell 2010:143 puts it, “the initial components of a turn can strongly project the type of turn underway.” The role of Greek particles in a conversational structure is therefore most visible when they occur in turn-initial position. For this reason my discussion in this chapter focuses mainly on turn-initial particles.
§11. I define turn-initial particles as the first particle occurring in its earliest possible position in the first discourse act of a turn. [24] For second-position particles (in the classical sense), I will still speak of turn-initial position when they are found directly after the first constituent of a turn. Thus, for instance, the “postponed” δέ in Aeschylus Persians 719 (see (t8) with note 68) is considered turn-initial, but for example particles occurring in the discourse act after the one constituted by a vocative are not. [25] If a turn starts with a swearing expression in Aristophanes, a particle following that is not considered turn-initial, because swearing expressions can constitute separate discourse acts, just as vocatives and interjections do; for example, καὶ μήν after νὴ τὸν Δία in Aristophanes Frogs 285 is therefore not considered turn-initial. However, since establishing the start and end of discourse acts involves interpretation, the determination of a particle’s turn-initial position can be subjective. The chapter focuses on the clearest instances of turn-initial particles. [26]
§12. Most turns without turn-initial particles are explicitly connected to their co-text and context by other turn-initial expressions. I call these expressions “contextualization cues,” a term coined by Cook-Gumperz and Gumperz, [27] and I include the following forms apart from particles. First, a turn is immediately situated if it starts with a reference to the speaker or addressee(s), which can be realized by first- or second-person verb forms, vocatives, and pronouns. Second, subordinating conjunctions and demonstrative pronouns and adverbs also make it clear at the outset how a new turn is responding to the preceding one. Third, lexical repetitions of an element from the preceding turn clarify the response’s focus. Fourth, primary interjections and (only in comedy) swearing expressions indicate a reaction to a previous turn or nonverbal action. [28] Fifth, turn-initial question words and negations usually project part of the nature of the new turn. We will see below that turns without turn-initial particles or any of these other turn-initial contextualization cues tend to be found in particular contexts, and that the conversational structure is crucial for situating these turns. [29]
§13. One area of research in CA is how turn-taking is organized, that is, when exactly speakers start and end their turns. Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974 show that usually one party talks at a time; pauses and overlaps in talk tend to be brief. Participants in an interaction monitor when there is a “transition relevance place” (TRP) in a turn of speaking, and pay attention to these TRPs in their conversational behavior. [30] Speakers make sure, for example, to leave no pause at a TRP if they want to hold the floor. Listeners tend to start a new turn exactly at the moment of a TRP, such as when a syntactic unit is complete. In English this means, for example, that tag questions are relatively frequently overlapped by the first part of a new turn. In the formalized speech of Greek drama, the end of a verse line is typically a TRP.
§14. CA has also developed the study of what it calls “sequence organization.” Sequences are “courses of action implemented through talk.” [31] For example, a sequence may consist of one speaker asking a question or requesting a certain action, and another speaker’s response. The organization of sequences involves “the ways in which turns-at-talk are ordered and combined to make actions take place in conversation.” [32] Research on sequence organization looks at how speakers make their turns coherent with prior turns. [33] This research thus focuses on the specific actions performed by turns, and the structuring of those actions, rather than the moments at which turns may start or end.
§15. Crucially, sequences are built around “adjacency pairs.” An adjacency pair is a unit of two turns by different speakers that are placed next to each other, are relatively ordered, and are of the same pair type. [34] That is, the order of the two turns matters, and the actions they perform belong together. The first turn, called the “first pair part,” makes only certain responses relevant; this second turn is termed “second pair part.” Some examples of adjacency pairs are greeting-greeting, question-answer, assessment-(dis)agreement, offer-acceptance/rejection. If the expected second pair part is absent, this is an “official absence” for the participants. Speakers often indicate in their response that they notice this absence, as in this example from Aristophanes:
120     (Δη.) ὢ λόγια. δός μοι, δὸς τὸ ποτήριον ταχύ.
              Νι. ἰδού. τί φησ’ ὁ χρησμός;
121bis   Δη. ἑτέραν ἔγχεον.
              Νι. ἐν τοῖς λογίοις ἔνεστιν “ἑτέραν ἔγχεον;”
Aristophanes Knights 120-122
(first slave reads oracles, second slave pours wine)
Fi. What prophecies! Give me the cup, give it here quickly!
Se. Here. What’s the oracle say?
Fi. Pour me a refill!
Se. The prophecies say “pour me a refill”?
The second slave’s question in 121 is the first part of an adjacency pair; an answer to it is the expected second pair part. The first slave does not answer the question, however, but instead orders his friend to pour him another glass of wine. But since, in general, answers are normatively expected [35] after questions, the second slave takes the order as an answer—the oracle says, “pour me a refill”—or pretends to do so for the sake of the joke.
§16. Although a sequence in principle consists of a single adjacency pair, the pair can also be expanded by other pairs placed before, after, or in between it. These other pairs are called pre-, insert, and post-expansions:
Figure 1: An adjacency pair with possible expansions, from Schegloff 2007:26
  ← Pre-expansion
A: First pair part  
  ← Insert expansion
B: Second pair part  
  ← Post-expansion
Which turns are considered the base pair and whether other turns are seen as expansions on it depends on one’s interpretation of the whole sequence. In the case of our ancient plays, we can of course rely only on indications in the texts, as we do not have access to nonverbal cues such as pauses, intonation, or gestures. In addition, the expansions themselves may be subject to further expansions, which can lead to highly complex sequences.
§17. Pre-expansions, as Sidnell 2010:103 puts it, “are recognizably preliminary to some other action whose production they project.” For example, a question about availability typically precedes an invitation sequence. An insertion sequence delays the second pair part to deal with issues that need to be resolved before the second pair part can be produced. Such insert expansion may occur, for example, because a participant has misunderstood the first pair part. [36] Finally, a post-sequence expands on the base sequence after the second pair part. Post-expansions can be “sequence-closing thirds,” with which the speaker intends to close a sequence. [37] Common forms of sequence-closing thirds in English are oh, okay, and assessments, as in the following excerpt. It starts with person A asking his friends B and C, who are a couple, a question.
A: So how are you people? FPP: question
B: We’re fine. SPP: answer
C: No complaints. SPP: answer
A: Good. post-expansion: assessment
So listen, are you, uh, this thing is still off? new FPP: question
Example of a post-expansion from Schegloff 2007:125 (simplified, and explanations added)
Schegloff 2007:124-125 points out that the assessment “good” by speaker A function as a sequence-closing third. After uttering this post-expansion, speaker A launches a new sequence with “so listen…”.
§18. Adjacency pairs are also structured according to what is known as a “preference organization.” Usually a certain type of second pair part is interactionally preferred over some other type, namely the kind of response that “promotes the accomplishment of the activity underway.” [38] For example, an acceptance is a “preferred response” to an invitation, a rejection a “dispreferred” one. Note that this is a structural, interactional preference that speakers orient to and that deals with normative expectations; it is independent from the speaker’s actual, psychological preference. (A speaker may, after all, be relieved if her invitation is rejected.) As part of preference organization, dispreferred responses are marked, both in form and in delivery. They often contain explanations about why they are produced, for example why an offer is declined or a request refused. As Levinson 2006:48 writes, “[r]esponses that are in the expected direction are immediate and brief, responses that are in the opposite direction are typically delayed, marked with hesitations and particles like well, [39] and accompanied by explanations.”
§19. Finally, CA scholars stress that turns perform actions. The term “action,” used in CA, is different from the term “(discourse) act” used in Discourse Analysis. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive; rather, the terms reflect different perspectives on the same idea, that language is used for doing things.
§20. A discourse “act,” on the one hand, is viewed in relation to the surrounding whole: an act is a small step within a larger discourse. [40] Each act has a certain function contributing to the main goal of the discourse. Acts are often described as prosodic or orthographic units. [41] Much research on such acts looks at which segments of discourse can be said to form a small step, and where these segments start and end. [42] Thus, in (t3) above, the second turn by speaker A, “Good. So listen, are you, uh, this thing is still off?”, could be described as consisting of five acts, based on its prosodic realization as reflected in the punctuation of the transcription. In written language, act boundaries manifest themselves through certain linguistic indications; particles constitute one set of important signs in Greek. [43] The concept in CA which is closest to the discourse act is the turn-constructional unit (TCU). [44]
§21. “Action” in CA, on the other hand, focuses on what the speaker wants to accomplish in a social situation: actions are “things that people do in their talking in interaction.” [45] Sidnell and Enfield 2012:328 list “requesting, inviting, offering, complaining, excusing, agreeing, and disagreeing” as examples of what they consider actions. As Levinson 2013:104 points out, the assignment of a certain action to a turn tends to be revealed by the response of a next speaker. Accordingly, Levinson considers the primary action performed by a turn to be “what the response must deal with in order to count as an adequate next turn” (107). To put it in more general terms, an action needs to be something recognizable to the participants, an identifiable communicative doing, for which they hold the speaker accountable. [46] Note that “action” does not refer to the words and nonverbal signs used to accomplish communicative goals, but rather to the thing accomplished itself—the invitation, the summoning, the questioning, and so on. Thus CA scholars are more interested in understanding what a turn or part of a turn is doing in a social situation than they are in identifying the boundaries of an action’s realization in words.
§22. We can combine the two concepts to say that (discourse) acts perform (social) actions—short segments of talk, alone or in groups, perform questions, invitations, summonings, and so on. Actions can be realized in single acts—such as a vocative, which performs the action of addressing someone—as well as in multi-act moves—such as a series of acts performing an invitation. [47] In what follows I will use both terms in the way described above: “act” will refer to short stretches of discourse, which have an arguable start and end, and “action” to the social doings performed by talk.
§23. To sum up: this section has sketched the main concepts that CA scholars use to describe how people interact by means of turns-at-talk. We can now move on to the application of those concepts to the study of particle use in Greek drama.

4.1.3 Applying CA to particles in tragedy and comedy

§24. Greek particles often signal something on a conversational-structural level, in the process of performing other functions, such as signaling contrast between entities or marking discourse boundaries. CA therefore enriches our understanding of particles. Examining the role that particles play in the organization of turns, sequences, preference, and action helps us understand why and how particles are used in the contexts in which they are used.
§25. This chapter applies four concepts of CA: turn-taking organization (§§26-31), sequence organization (§§32-48), preference organization (§§49-56), and the actions performed by turns (§§57-70). The main focus is on question-answer pairs, because they appear frequently in the corpus and are clearly recognizable as pairs. That is to say, a question as a first pair part sets up strong expectations about the relevant second pair part: the norm is that this second part is an answer (see (t2)). These sections are followed by concluding remarks on what we can learn from CA about ancient Greek particle use (§§71-72), and an appendix with quantitative observations on turn-taking and on turn-initial expressions in the corpus (§§73-75).

4.2 Turn-taking

§26. This section looks at the interaction between turn-taking organization and particle use. Particles play a role in the turn-taking process by indicating the speaker’s lack of acknowledgement of a previous turn (τε), or by helping her hold the floor for a turn of multiple lines (μέν).
§27. The following passage from Euripides Hippolytus illustrates the use of turn-initial τε. In this scene Phaedra is suffering heavily from being in love with her stepson; her nurse, unaware that Phaedra is lovesick, tries to find out the cause of Phaedra’s illness. Finally Phaedra consents to the questioning, and starts to give hints about her trouble.
          Τρ. σιγῶιμ’ ἂν ἤδη· σὸς γὰρ οὑντεῦθεν λόγος.
          Φα. ὦ τλῆμον, οἷον, μῆτερ, ἠράσθης ἔρον.
          Τρ. ὃν ἔσχε ταύρου, τέκνον; ἢ τί φὴις τόδε;
          Φα. σύ τ’, ὦ τάλαιν’ ὅμαιμε, Διονύσου δάμαρ.
340    Τρ. τέκνον, τί πάσχεις; συγγόνους κακορροθεῖς;
          Φα. τρίτη δ’ [48] ἐγὼ δύστηνος ὡς ἀπόλλυμαι.
          Τρ. ἔκ τοι πέπληγμαι· ποῖ προβήσεται λόγος;
Euripides Hippolytus 336-342
Nu. I’m silent now. The word henceforth is yours.
Ph. Unhappy mother, what a love you felt!
Nu. For the Cretan bull? Or what is this you mean?
Ph. And you, poor sister, Dionysus’ bride.
Nu. What’s wrong with you, daughter? Why defame your kin?
Ph. And I the third, how wretchedly I perish!
Nu. I am astonished. Where will these words lead?
In 339, we find τε in the first act of Phaedra’s turn. The particle marks that she continues her own previous turn, in this case by adding another vocative. She thus does not answer the nurse’s question of 338. Indeed, Phaedra’s σύ does not refer to the nurse, her interlocutor present on stage. When τε occurs in turn-initial position, the speaker is ignoring (or pretending to ignore) the turn just uttered by the interlocutor—in other words, the speaker is continuing her own previous turn. [49] The particle is however infrequent in this position. [50]
§28. In multi-line turns, we can often identify certain expressions that help these speakers hold the floor beyond the TRPs [51] constituted by line-ends. The particle μέν is one of these floor-holding devices. Because this particle’s function is to project upcoming discourse acts, [52] it can effectively signal that the speaker wants to hold the floor for some time. [53] At the same time, μέν carries out its general projecting function, marking for example an upcoming change in addressee [54] or a juxtaposition of several items (with δέ following). [55]
§29. The following passage from Aeschylus Libation Bearers features this floor-holding use of μέν: the particle suggests that Electra’s turn will not be over after one line. [56]
160              (Χο.) ἴτω τις δορυσθενὴς ἀνὴρ
                            ἀναλυτὴρ δόμων †Σκυθιτά τ’ ἐν χεροῖν
                            παλίντον’ ἐν ἔργωι† βέλη ’πιπάλλων Ἄρης
                            σχέδιά τ’ αὐτόκωπα νωμῶν ξίφη.
164 [57]        Ηλ. ἔχει μὲν ἤδη γαπότους χοὰς πατήρ·
166                       νέου δὲ μύθου τοῦδε κοινωνήσατε.
                       Χο. λέγοις ἄν· ὀρχεῖται δὲ καρδία φόβωι.
                       Ηλ. ὁρῶ τομαῖον τόνδε βόστρυχον τάφωι.
Aeschylus Libation Bearers 160-168
(Ch.) Oh, if only there would come a man, mighty with the spear, to set the house free again, brandishing in his hands Scythian weapons in the work of war and wielding a sword, of one piece with its hilt, for close fighting!
El. Now my father has the drink-offerings—the earth has swallowed them; but here is something new about which I want to share a word with you.
Ch. Speak on; my heart is leaping with fear.
El. I see this cut lock of hair on the tomb.
During the preceding choral song (152-163), Electra has poured libations on Agamemnon’s grave. She makes it explicit (164) that this ritual has been performed, and that her father has received the libations. However, μέν implies that this was not all she wanted to say. Within the same turn, she switches to a new action (with the act νέου δὲ μύθου τοῦδε in 166): announcing an upcoming piece of news to the chorus. [58] Subsequently, a stichomythic exchange ensues until line 180.
§30. μέν is often found together with other floor-holding markers. In this example from Aristophanes, Peisetaerus manages to speak for more than six lines in a row (164bis-170)—remarkably long in this rapid conversation, and in comedy in general. [59] μέν alone is therefore not enough as a floor-holding device in this case, but is used together with syntactic and semantic incompleteness at the ends of lines:
          (Πε.) ἦ μέγ’ ἐνορῶ βούλευμ’ ἐν ὀρνίθων γένει,
                   καὶ δύναμιν ἣ γένοιτ’ ἄν, εἰ πίθοισθέ μοι.
              Επ. τί σοι πιθώμεσθ’;
164bis    Πε. ὅ τι πίθησθε; πρῶτα μὲν
165              μὴ περιπέτεσθε πανταχῇ κεχηνότες·
                    ὡς τοῦτ’ ἄτιμον τοὔργον ἐστίν. αὐτίκα
                    ἐκεῖ παρ’ ἡμῖν τοὺς πετομένους ἢν ἔρῃ,
                   “τίς ἐστιν οὗτος;” ὁ Τελέας ἐρεῖ ταδί·
                   “ἅνθρωπος ὄρνις ἀστάθμητος πετόμενος,
170              ἀτέκμαρτος, οὐδὲν οὐδέποτ’ ἐν ταὐτῷ μένων.”
              Επ. νὴ τὸν Διόνυσον εὖ γε μωμᾷ ταυταγί.
Aristophanes Birds 162-171
(Pe.) Oh what a grand scheme I see in the race of birds, and power that could be yours, if you take my advice!
Ho. What advice would you have us take?
Pe. What advice should you take? For a start, don’t fly around with in all directions with your beaks agape; that’s discreditable behavior. For example, back where we come from, if among the flighty crowd you ask, “Who’s that guy?” Teleas will reply, “The man’s a bird, unstable, flighty, unverifiable, never ever staying in the same spot.”
Ho. By Dionysus, that’s a fair criticism.
How does Peisetaerus make sure in 164bis-170 that his interlocutor, the Hoopoe, does not interrupt whenever he reaches line-ends, typical TRPs in drama? First, he repeats the Hoopoe’s question in indirect form (ὅ τι;), producing the expectation that he intends to answer it elaborately. [60] At the start of this answer, and notably at the very end of the line, we find πρῶτα μέν: a strong sign that (much) more will definitely follow. [61] Then, in 166, Peisetaerus again starts a new sentence just before line-end. [62] The next line similarly ends with an incomplete subordinate clause: ἔρῃ lacks its object, and the ἤν-clause as a whole lacks a main clause. [63] At the end of 168, it is semantics rather than syntax that is incomplete: the verse-final demonstrative ταδί cannot refer to anything preceding it, so it must refer to something that follows.
§31. This section has argued that paying attention to turn-taking organization improves our understanding of linguistic forms found in tragic and comic dialogues. In particular, the use of turn-initial τε and μέν has been illuminated. In the next section, we will look at the structuring of several turns in a row.

4.3 Sequence organization

§32. Sequence organization explains how each turn responds to the previous one and points forward to further talk. Particles help indicate how a speaker intends her current turn to fit in the ongoing sequence and series of sequences. This section discusses how the concepts of (series of) adjacency pairs and pair expansions help to understand particle use. The first subsection will discuss the role of particles in series of adjacency pairs, in first pair parts, and in second pair parts. The second subsection will present observations on particle use in pre-, insert, and post-expansions.

4.3.1 Adjacency pairs and adjacency-pair series

§33. Several adjacency pairs may follow each other in a series. [64] In such series, the particle μέν may signal that the speaker intends to perform several actions that are similar to the one marked by μέν. The particle may, in other words, not only project more within a single turn (§§28-30), but also on a larger scale. A question containing a turn-initial μέν, for example, can set up the expectation of more questions: [65]
          Τρ. ὁρᾶις; φρονεῖς μὲν εὖ, φρονοῦσα δ’ οὐ θέλεις
                 παῖδάς τ’ ὀνῆσαι καὶ σὸν ἐκσῶσαι βίον.
315    Φα. φιλῶ τέκν’· ἄλληι δ’ ἐν τύχηι χειμάζομαι.
          Τρ. ἁγνὰς μέν, ὦ παῖ, χεῖρας αἵματος φορεῖς;
          Φα. χεῖρες μὲν ἁγναί, φρὴν δ’ ἔχει μίασμά τι.
          Τρ. μῶν ἐξ ἐπακτοῦ πημονῆς ἐχθρῶν τινος;
Euripides Hippolytus 313-318
Nu. You see? You are in your right mind, but though you are sane, you are not willing to benefit your sons and to save your own life.
Ph. I love my children. It is another fate that buffets me.
Nu. Your hands, may I presume, are clean of blood?
Ph. My hands are clean. It is my heart that’s stained.
Nu. Not spells, I hope, launched by some enemy?
μέν in 316 does not function as a floor-holding device, because the nurse first needs an answer to her question. It is more likely signaling that the nurse is just asking the first of a series of questions, as indeed she proceeds to do. [66] The particle also hints at other possible troubles, left implicit for now, from which Phaedra might be suffering. [67] This suggestion of implicit alternatives in fact helps to create the sequential expectation: that the nurse may go on with asking about those other possibilities. In contrast, the expectations raised by the two other instances of μέν in this passage (313 and 317) are fulfilled within the same turn, through the addition of a complementary δέ-act.
§34. In a series of questions and answers, turn-initial δέ is often employed to signal a new question, that is, a new first pair part within the series. Several examples are found in (t8) from a dialogue between the ghost of the Persian king Darius and queen Atossa. The queen has just told her dead husband, in a turn of six lines, that the Persian kingdom has been ruined. The dialogue then goes on as follows:
715    Δα. τίνι τρόπωι; λοιμοῦ τις ἦλθε σκηπτὸς ἢ στάσις πόλει;
          Βα. οὐδαμῶς, ἀλλ’ ἀμφ’ Ἀθήνας πᾶς κατέφθαρται στρατός.
          Δα. τίς δ’ ἐμῶν ἐκεῖσε παίδων ἐστρατηλάτει, φράσον.
          Βα. θούριος Ξέρξης, κενώσας πᾶσαν ἠπείρου πλάκα.
          Δα. πεζὸς ἢ ναύτης δὲ πεῖραν τήνδ’ ἐμώρανεν τάλας;
720    Βα. ἀμφότερα· διπλοῦν μέτωπον ἦν δυοῖν στρατευμάτοιν.
          Δα. πῶς δὲ καὶ στρατὸς τοσόσδε πεζὸς ἤνυσεν περᾶν;
          Βα. μηχαναῖς ἔζευξεν Ἕλλης πορθμὸν ὥστ’ ἔχειν πόρον.
          Δα. καὶ τόδ’ ἐξέπραξεν ὥστε Βόσπορον κλῆισαι μέγαν;
          Βα. ὧδ’ ἔχει, γνώμης δέ πού τις δαιμόνων ξυνήψατο.
Aeschylus Persians 715-724
Da. How has it happened? Has our state been stricken by a virulent plague, or by civil strife?
Qu. Not at all; what has happened is that our entire army has been destroyed in the region of Athens.
Da. And tell me, which of my sons led the army there?
Qu. The bold Xerxes; he emptied the whole expanse of the continent.
Da. And did the wretched boy make this foolish attempt by land or by sea?
Qu. Both; it was a double front composed of two forces.
Da. And how did a land army of that size manage to get across the water?
Qu. He contrived means to yoke the strait of Helle, so as to create a pathway.
Da. He actually carried that out, so as to close up the mighty Bosporus?
Qu. It is true. Some divinity must have touched his wits.
Prompted by the general news of a disaster, Darius asks in 715 in which way Persia has been ruined. The queen’s answer in 716 starts without a turn-initial particle: we will see below that this is no coincidence. Since an answer forms the expected second pair part of a question-answer pair, it does not need an explicit signal clarifying how the turn is linked to the previous one. The queen’s other answers in this passage (718, 720, 722, 724) similarly lack any turn-initial particle.
§35. Darius’ second, third, and fourth questions (717, 719, 721) contain a turn-initial δέ. [68] In each case the particle marks the turn as the next first pair part, here a new question, in the same series of sequences. [69] Within this series of questions, each δέ question is somehow “new,” that is, there is a change of topic. Turn-initial δέ thus helps to locate a turn within the series of pairs—a frequent use of the particle in my corpus. [70]
§36. Notice that the question in 723 starts with καί: an indication that this question fits differently in the series from those marked with δέ. Here Darius does not simply accept the answer from the previous turn and go on to the next question, but lingers on the current topic, the news he has just received. That is, whereas δέ marks discourse discontinuity (such as a change of topic), καί indicates continuity. The fact that the καί turn is a question suggests that the speaker is surprised or indignant about the previous statement, or has doubts about it. [71] Darius here asks for confirmation of the answer given in 722: did Xerxes really yoke the Hellespont? [72] Because the queen has just provided this information, Darius’ request for repetition indicates his surprise. Hancock 1917:29 describes καί questions similarly: they “[leap] spontaneously from the lips as the significance of the other speaker’s words reaches the mind. Sometimes they merely serve to repeat the amazing fact just stated, sometimes they raise a fresh point arising from the other.” With a καί question, in other words, a speaker “zooms in” on a previous utterance, implying surprise, doubt, or even indignation about that utterance. [73] The particle δέ, by contrast, cannot give the signal that the speaker is further pursuing some element of the previous turn. [74]
§37. Sometimes the playwrights exploit the sequential signal conveyed by turn-initial δέ to indicate something more than just a next question in a series. For example, a δέ-turn after receiving dreadful news implies the speaker’s absence of (emotional) reaction to the news. An example from Euripides Bacchae is Agaue’s response upon hearing that she and her sisters have killed her son Pentheus:
          Αγ. τίς ἔκτανέν νιν; πῶς ἐμὰς ἦλθ’ ἐς χέρας;
          Κα. δύστην’ ἀλήθει’, ὡς ἐν οὐ καιρῶι πάρει.
          Αγ. λέγ’, ὡς τὸ μέλλον καρδία πήδημ’ ἔχει.
          Κα. σύ νιν κατέκτας καὶ κασίγνηται σέθεν.
1290  Αγ. ποῦ δ’ ὤλετ’; ἦ κατ’ οἶκον, ἢ ποίοις τόποις;
Euripides Bacchae 1286-1290
Ag. Who killed him? How did he come into my hands?
Ca. Unhappy truth, how untimely you have come!
Ag. Speak: my heart leaps at what is to come!
Ca. You killed him, you and your sisters.
Ag. Where did he perish? At home, or where?
The particle δέ in 1290 marks the turn as a new step in Agaue’s series of questions, rather than a reaction to the terrible news. Asking “where did he die” after “you killed your own son” is an unexpected and striking response. It shows that the speaker has not (yet) fully understood the disastrous message, or somehow wants to refrain from giving a reaction to it, such as an emotional assessment. [75] This use of δέ is a specific exploitation of its more general function to mark new or different discourse acts. [76]
§38. Similarly, turn-initial δέ may signal that a turn following a question is not an answer to that question; the speaker starts a new action in her δέ-turn instead. [77] Consider Chremylus’ turn after Blepsidemus’ question in the following dialogue from Aristophanes Wealth: [78]
           Βλ. ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ τὸ βλέμμ’ αὐτὸ κατὰ χώραν ἔχει,
                 ἀλλ’ ἐστὶν ἐπιδηλοῦν τι πεπανουργηκότος.
           Χρ. σὺ μὲν οἶδ’ ὃ κρώζεις· ὡς ἐμοῦ τι κεκλοφότος
370            ζητεῖς μεταλαβεῖν.
370bis Βλ. μεταλαβεῖν ζητῶ; τίνος;
           Χρ. τὸ δ’ ἐστὶν οὐ τοιοῦτον, ἀλλ’ ἑτέρως ἔχον.
Aristophanes Wealth 367-371
Bl. Why, even the look in his eye is shifty; yes, he’s obviously done something bad.
Ch. I know what you’re clucking about; you think I’ve stolen something and want a cut.
Bl. Me want a cut? Of what?
Ch. It’s not like that; it’s something else entirely.
Instead of answering the question, Chremylus adds more acts to his own previous turn, which was marked with μέν as projecting something more. The two turns roughly amount to: “you (σὺ μέν), I know what you think. But (δέ) the situation is not like that.” Because Chremylus treats Blepsidemus’ question as an irrelevant interruption, the position of δέ was not intended to be turn-initial. Therefore δέ does not mark the start of a new adjacency pair within a series here, but only the start of a new act, in this case an act that semantically contrasts with Chremylus’ previous acts. [79] In discourse-analytic terms, we can say that δέ always marks an act boundary, while intentionally turn-initial δέ even marks the boundary of a move, a larger unit that probably corresponds to at least an adjacency pair in dialogue. [80]
§39. Another particle that may signal the start of a new adjacency pair is ἀτάρ. It differs, however, from δέ in that it is almost never found in turn-initial position. Out of the total number of 86 instances of ἀτάρ, 83 occur later in a turn. [81] In this mid-turn position, the particle signals that the speaker moves on to a new sequence after she herself ended the previous one. ἀτάρ may for instance occur after an answer to a question, [82] or after an assessment of the previous turn. [83] An example from Euripides Hecuba is shown in (t11). In this scene a servant comes to Hecuba, bringing her the corpse of her son Polydorus. Hecuba does not know that he is dead, however, and thinks she sees the body of her daughter Polyxena.
          Θε. ὦ παντάλαινα κἄτι μᾶλλον ἢ λέγω,
                δέσποιν’, ὄλωλας κοὐκέτ’ εἶ, βλέπουσα φῶς,
                ἄπαις ἄνανδρος ἄπολις ἐξεφθαρμένη.
670    Εκ. οὐ καινὸν εἶπας, εἰδόσιν δ’ ὠνείδισας.
                 ἀτὰρ τί νεκρὸν τόνδε μοι Πολυξένης
                ἥκεις κομίζουσ’, ἧς ἀπηγγέλθη τάφος
                πάντων Ἀχαιῶν διὰ χερὸς σπουδὴν ἔχειν;
Euripides Hecuba 667-673
Se. Mistress, woman utterly undone beyond my power to describe, you are lost; though you see the light of day you are dead, without child, without husband, without city, utterly destroyed!
He. This is no news you bring: you say these hard words to one who knows them well. But why have you come bringing the body of Polyxena when it has been reported that her burial was being eagerly carried out by all the Achaeans?
Hecuba gives an assessment of the servant’s words, and then goes on to ask her a question—a first pair part that opens a new sequence. ἀτάρ signals that the upcoming words will not be part of the assessment anymore, but the start of a new action. With this ἀτάρ question Hecuba turns her attention towards the tableau she sees in front of her. This quick switch from her brief and dismissive assessment to her naive question underlines her ignorance about Polydorus’ fate.
§40. My analysis of ἀτάρ as marking a switch to a new sequence within a turn suggests that a widely accepted reading in Aristophanes Birds should be revised:
          Θε. ὁδὶ δὲ δὴ τίς ἐστιν ὄρνις; οὐκ ἐρεῖς;
          Ευ. Ἐπικεχοδὼς ἔγωγε Φασιανικός.
          Πε. ἀτὰρ σὺ τί θηρίον ποτ’ εἶ, πρὸς τῶν θεῶν;
70      Θε. ὄρνις ἔγωγε δοῦλος.
Aristophanes Birds 67-70
Sl. And this other one, what kind of bird is he? Speak up.
Eu. I’m a brownbottom, from the Phaesance.
Pe. Say, what kind of creature might you be, in heaven’s name?
Sl. Me, I’m a slavebird.
Almost all editions read ἀτάρ in 69 in turn-initial position, [84] but as we have seen this is an unlikely choice in view of the fact that ἀτάρ hardly ever occurs in this position. Moreover, manuscript R, the only one which transmits the form ἀτάρ instead of ἀλλά [85] —all editors rightly adopt the former as lectio difficilior—is also the only one which has no speaker change here. [86] It is therefore better to keep the speaker in 69 who also uttered 68 (whether this is Peisetaerus or Euelpides). [87] ἀτάρ would then mark, as it normally does, a turn-internal switch from a second pair part (in this case an answer) to a new first pair part (in this case a question).
§41. Going on to a different adjacency pair, that of the summons and answer, we find a construction in its first pair part that is never accompanied by a particle. This is οὗτος in its use as a summoning expression: [88]
225     Πε. οὗτος.
225bis Ευ. τί ἐστιν;
225ter  Πε. οὐ σιωπήσει;
Aristophanes Birds 225
Pe. Hey there.
Eu. Yes?
Pe. Be quiet!
With οὗτος Peisetaerus demands the attention of Euelpides, who gives a reaction to indicate that he is listening. While οὗτος in its summoning function does not always constitute a turn all by itself, and is sometimes followed by σύ in the same discourse act, [89] vocative οὗτος is never accompanied by a second-position particle. [90] It thus differs from the vocative pronoun σύ, which regularly precedes a δέ. [91] If a particle such as γε or δέ does follow οὗτος, then οὗτος is always used in its more common function as a nominative third-person demonstrative pronoun, rather than as a vocative expression. [92]
§42. Let us move on to a particular second pair part: the answer to a question. Numerous answers in the corpus share a distinctive trait: they lack any turn-initial particles or other turn-initial contextualization cues. [93] One of the countless instances is the messenger’s answer in this scene from Sophocles Antigone:
          ΕΞΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ ὦ δέσποθ’, ὡς ἔχων τε καὶ κεκτημένος,
                             τὰ μὲν πρὸ χειρῶν τάδε φέρεις, τὰ δ’ ἐν δόμοις
1280                     ἔοικας ἥκειν καὶ τάχ’ ὄψεσθαι κακά.
                       Κρ. τί δ’ ἔστιν αὖ κάκιον ἐκ κακῶν ἔτι;
                       Εξ. γυνὴ τέθνηκε, τοῦδε παμμήτωρ νεκροῦ
                             δύστηνος, ἄρτι νεοτόμοισι πλήγμασιν.
Sophocles Antigone 1278-1282
Me. My lord, you carry this sorrow in your arms with full rights of ownership, and it seems that soon you will enter and see other sorrows in the house.
Cr. What is there that is yet more evil, coming after evils?
Me. Your wife is dead, own mother of this dead man, unhappy one, through wounds newly inflicted!
After the messenger’s announcement of bad news, Creon asks for clarification of the disaster, to which the messenger gives a straightforward answer (1282). [94] Even without a turn-initial contextualization cue such as a particle, the connection between the two turns of the adjacency pair is clear because of the function of the second one as answer to the first. In other words, the build-up of a dialogue in adjacency pairs has an influence on the linguistic form of this second pair part, i.e. without turn-initial contextualization cues. [95]

4.3.2 Pair expansions

§43. As described in §§16-17 above, adjacency pairs may be expanded with pre-, insert, and/or post-expansions to form a complex sequence. Pre-expansions, which project specific adjacency pairs, regularly feature the particle oὖν:
1325  Οδ. τί γάρ σ’ ἔδρασεν, ὥστε καὶ βλάβην ἔχειν;
          Αγ. οὔ φησ’ ἐάσειν τόνδε τὸν νεκρὸν ταφῆς
                ἄμοιρον, ἀλλὰ πρὸς βίαν θάψειν ἐμοῦ.
          Οδ. ἔξεστιν οὖν εἰπόντι τἀληθῆ φίλῳ
                σοὶ μηδὲν ἧσσον ἢ πάρος ξυνηρετεῖν;
1330  Αγ. εἴπ’· ἦ γὰρ εἴην οὐκ ἂν εὖ φρονῶν, ἐπεὶ
                φίλον σ’ ἐγὼ μέγιστον Ἀργείων νέμω.
          Οδ. ἄκουέ νυν. τὸν ἄνδρα τόνδε πρὸς θεῶν
                μὴ τλῇς ἄθαπτον ὧδ’ ἀναλγήτως βαλεῖν·
Sophocles Ajax 1325-1333
Od. What did he do to you so as to injure you?
Ag. He says he will not leave this corpse unburied, but will bury it against my will.
Od. Then may a friend tell the truth to a friend and assist you no less than I have done till now?
Ag. Speak! Indeed I should be foolish not to let you, since I regard you as my greatest friend among the Argives.
Od. Listen, then! I beg you not to venture to cast this man out ruthlessly, unburied.
Agamemnon has been arguing with Teucer about the possible burial of Ajax, and Odysseus has just arrived to help settle the argument. After the sequence consisting of Odysseus’ question and Agamemnon’s answer in 1325-1327, Odysseus intends to give his friend advice. He does not give his suggestion directly, however, but first inquires about his right to speak (1328-1329). Since the conversation’s further development depends on Agamemnon’s answer to this inquiry, this question and its answer can be called a pre-expansion. [96] The particle οὖν in general marks an inferential link to the preceding discourse, [97] as well as the start of a new move, a discourse unit larger than one act. [98] In this case, the interrogative nature of the turn is already enough to signal the start of a new adjacency pair, as questions are always first pair parts. The presence of οὖν therefore projects an even bigger move than just a new sequence, that is, a new expanded sequence. οὖν implies that the speaker’s current action requires more words than the current turn, which can consequently be interpreted as a pre-expansion (or sometimes an insert expansion). [99]
§44. The first pair part of Odysseus’ base adjacency pair—i.e. his advice—contains enclitic νυν in turn-initial position (1332). This particle does not mark the start of a new move, as οὖν, but has a backward-oriented force only. νυν marks a logical connection between its host act and the preceding discourse: the previous utterances, in this case the pre-expansion, form the necessary background for uttering the current turn. [100] As Finglass 2011 ad loc. remarks, with νυν “Odysseus emphasises that he will hold Agamemnon to his word.” This “word” is what Agamemnon has just given in his response to Odysseus’ preliminary question. Pre-expansions and insert expansions by definition deal with matters on which the decision to utter or continue the base sequence depends; νυν is therefore particularly at home at the start of such subsequent base sequences. [101]
§45. A common way to start a pre-expansion is to ask the addressee about certain knowledge (compare the English “you know what just happened?” and similar pre-expansions). If he turns out already to know, the speaker will not start the base adjacency pair in the way she had planned it. [102] The associations of both “do you know” questions and the particle oὖν with pre-expansions lead to the regular occurrence of οἶσθ’ οὖν in such environments. [103] In the following passage from Aristophanes Knights, the playwright makes fun of the conventional sequential structure:
                   Αλ.  οἶσθ’ οὖν ὃ δρᾶσον;
1158bis      Δημ. εἰ δὲ μή, φράσεις γε σύ.
                   Αλ.  ἄφες ἀπὸ βαλβίδων ἐμέ τε καὶ τουτονί,
1160                   ἵνα σ’ εὖ ποιῶμεν ἐξ ἴσου.
1160bis      Δημ. δρᾶν ταῦτα χρή.
Aristophanes Knights 1158-1160
(Demos is annoyed by the competition between the sausage seller and Paphlagon)
Sa. Do you know what you should do?
De. If I don’t, you’ll tell me.
Sa. Start me and this guy from the same gate, so we have an equal shot at serving you.
De. That’s what we should do.
The character Demos immediately understands that the sausage seller’s “question” in 1158 is actually an announcement of a directive. [104] “Do you know what you should do?” is a rather petrified form of pre-expansion, since the speaker does not really expect the addressee to already know the upcoming advice. [105] Demos’ reaction humorously makes this discrepancy between the pre-expansion’s form and function explicit: he does not answer the question (note the turn-initial δέ), but dryly remarks that the sausage seller will tell him the advice anyway.
§46. Insert expansions are most easily discerned when a question or order (a first pair part) is followed by another question instead of the expected response (a second pair part). [106] The insert question does not necessarily contain a turn-initial particle, since its nature as a question [107] already makes it clear that it forms a new first pair part. [108] However, turn-initial δέ helps clarify the signal that an insert expansion has started, especially in the construction τί δέ. We have already seen (§38) that a turn-initial δέ after a question makes it clear that the turn is not a straightforward answer to that question. With τί δέ in such a context, a speaker indicates that she cannot yet answer because some preliminary issue first needs to be clarified. [109] Here is an example. [110]
           Σω. ἄγε δή, κάτειπέ μοι σὺ τὸν σαυτοῦ τρόπον,
                  ἵν’ αὐτὸν εἰδὼς ὅστις ἐστὶ μηχανὰς
480            ἤδη ’πὶ τούτοις πρός σε καινὰς προσφέρω.
           Στ.  τί δέ; τειχομαχεῖν μοι διανοεῖ, πρὸς τῶν θεῶν;
           Σω. οὔκ, ἀλλὰ βραχέα σου πυθέσθαι βούλομαι,
                  εἰ μνημονικὸς εἶ.
483bis Στ. δύο τρόπω, νὴ τὸν Δία.
Aristophanes Clouds 478-483
So. Now then, describe for me your own characteristics; when I know what they are, on that basis I can apply to you the latest plans of attack.
St. How’s that? Are you thinking of besieging me? Good heavens!
So. No, I just want to ask you a few questions. For instance, do you have a good memory?
St. Yes and no, by Zeus (...)
At 478-480, Socrates produces a request for information: a first pair part making relevant the provision of that information by Strepsiades. Instead of giving the expected answer, Strepsiades responds by asking a question of his own, thereby beginning an insert sequence. The particle δέ in 481 marks the turn as a new step and not the expected response. The construction τί δέ as a whole suggests that it is a request for certain additional information, the lack of which motivates the refusal to answer the question.
§47. Since an insert expansion often starts with a question, also a question particle such as ἦ may begin insert expansions, as in (t18).
          Αθ. εἶἑν· τί γὰρ δὴ παῖς ὁ τοῦ Λαερτίου;
                 ποῦ σοι τύχης ἕστηκεν; ἦ πέφευγέ σε;
           Αι. τοὐπίτριπτον κίναδος ἐξήρου μ’ ὅπου;
          Αθ. ἔγωγ’· Ὀδυσσέα τὸν σὸν ἐνστάτην λέγω.
105     Αι. ἥδιστος, ὦ δέσποινα, δεσμώτης ἔσω
                 θακεῖ· θανεῖν γὰρ αὐτὸν οὔ τί πω θέλω.
Sophocles Ajax 101-106
At. So! But what of the son of Laertes, what is his situation? Did he escape you?
Aj. Did you ask me where the cunning fox was?
At. I did; I mean your rival, Odysseus.
Aj. Mistress, he sits inside, the most welcome of prisoners! I do not want him to die yet.
Ajax does not answer Athena’s question in 103, but instead asks for clarification. According to Garvie 1998 ad loc., this is a “predictable” reaction the hero would have “to the name of his enemy.” Finglass 2011 ad loc. similarly remarks that “Ajax’s counter-question indicates his contempt for Odysseus.” Ajax has clearly understood to whom Athena is referring, but does not agree on her manner of referring to him: because of his hatred for Odysseus, Ajax avoids direct mentioning of Odysseus’ name or father. [111] The particle ἦ marks the turn as a request for clarification, and simultaneously reflects Ajax’ emotional involvement. [112] If such a question is found after another question, where an answer is expected, the ἦ turn can be interpreted as starting an insert expansion. [113]
§48. Post-expansions, finally, seem generally to lack a turn-initial particle. Such turns are often sequence-closing thirds, in the form of assessments of the second pair part just received, such as an answer to a question. [114] As argued in section 4.5 below, there is a connection between such evaluating turns and their starts without a particle or other linguistic contextualization cue. Post-sequences can also be opened with a question that is prompted by a preceding answer. [115]

4.4 Preference organization

§49. Earlier I noted that most first pair parts have a preferred and a dispreferred response. The latter is usually marked in some way, whereas preferred responses tend to be more straightforward in form. [116] In tragic and comic dialogue, certain turn-initial particles and particle combinations fit the context of preferred responses, others that of dispreferred ones.

4.4.1 Preferred responses

§50. A common case of preferred response is an information-providing answer to an information-seeking question. It has been argued in §42 above that such answers often lack turn-initial particles or other linguistic contextualization cues. Since an answer is the normatively expected response to a question, no specific signal is needed to mark the upcoming turn as such. Similarly, preferred responses to requests and offers, i.e. turns expressing compliance and acceptance, may also start without a particle. Such responses often signal their connection to the speech situation by starting with a verb in the first person, which indicates that the speaker is obeying the request or accepting the offer. [117]
§51. In some cases preferred responses do contain turn-initial particles. Descriptions of compliance after a command can be preceded by the particle combination καὶ δή, as in (t19), in which the chorus of suppliants expresses their obedience to Pelasgus, the king of Argos, who has asked them to leave their boughs on the altar: [118]
Βα. κλάδους μὲν αὐτοῦ λεῖπε, σημεῖον πόνου.
Χο. καὶ δή σφε λείπω χειρία λόγοις σέθεν.
Aeschylus Suppliant Women 506-507
Ki. Leave the branches here as a symbol of your distress.
Ch. Look, I am leaving them, obedient to your words.
καὶ δή in the chorus’ turn can be connected to their (immediate) obedience, which they explicitly describe with the first-person present form λείπω. [119] The particle καί indicates a link to the preceding co-text or context, and a zooming in on something specific, whereas δή in drama is regularly associated with referring to perceivable elements. [120] Together the particles work as a cluster, marking a specific event or place as clearly and immediately perceivable. [121] If a speaker starts to carry out a requested action, καὶ δή is thus a fitting signal to draw attention to this obedience. Wecklein 1902 ad loc. adds that καὶ δή is like ἰδού. This latter expression, sometimes similar to English okay, is another explicit indication of a preferred response to a directive, besides explicitly describing that the request is being carried out. [122]
§52. The position of καὶ δή in the turn and sequence makes a difference in its function. In modern languages, too, certain words work differently depending on their placement in a conversation—English oh, for example, does one thing when uttered at the start of an answer (a second pair part), another in an expansion after an answer (a first pair part). [123] Likewise, the function of the polyfunctional discourse marker okay depends partly on its position in a turn. [124] The particular function of καὶ δή connected to expressing compliance thus applies only when the combination appears in turn-initial position in a second pair part. [125]

4.4.2 Dispreferred responses

§53. If a speaker cannot or does not want to provide an answer to a question, grant a request, or otherwise utter a preferred response to a certain first pair part, the response tends to be formally marked. Dispreferred responses are less straightforward in form in English conversation, as pointed out in §18 above. Speakers of dispreferred responses tend to start speaking after a pause, use turn-initial discourse markers, be indirect in their formulation, and give accounts for why they do not answer, grant, accept, or obey.
§54. In the stylized discourse of tragic and comic dialogues, we cannot identify pauses between turns, but we do find dispreferred responses with justifying accounts. An example is the servant’s reply to Peisetaerus’ request in (t20).
           (Πε.) οἶσθ’ οὖν ὃ δρᾶσον, ὦ τροχίλε; τὸν δεσπότην
                    ἡμῖν κάλεσον.
81bis      Θε. ἀλλ’ ἀρτίως νὴ τὸν Δία
                    εὕδει καταφαγὼν μύρτα καὶ σέρφους τινάς.
Aristophanes Birds 80-82
(Pe.) So, roadrunner, you know what you should do? Call your master for us.
Se. Oh no: he’s just started his nap, after a lunch of myrtle berries and gnats.
The hoopoe’s servant feels compelled to explain why he does not want to comply with Peisetaerus’ request: he does not want to wake up his master. The turn-initial ἀλλά signals a correction or switch concerning the explicit or implicit content of the previous turn. [126] In this case, the imperative κάλεσον implies that the servant would carry out the calling, or that there would be no obstacles to do so. The turn starting with ἀλλά corrects such implications, thereby conveying that the servant does not obey. [127]
§55. μέν can signal a dispreferred response in answers to questions, by suggesting that the answer is not straightforward. Consider the start of Ismene’s answer to Antigone’s question:
           Αν. ἔχεις τι κεἰσήκουσας; ἤ σε λανθάνει
10             πρὸς τοὺς φίλους στείχοντα τῶν ἐχθρῶν κακά;
           Ισ. ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐδεὶς μῦθος, Ἀντιγόνη, φίλων
                 οὔθ’ ἡδὺς οὔτ’ ἀλγεινὸς ἵκετ’ ἐξ ὅτου
                 δυοῖν ἀδελφοῖν ἐστερήθημεν δύο,
                 μιᾷ θανόντοιν ἡμέρᾳ διπλῇ χερί·
15             ἐπεὶ δὲ φροῦδός ἐστιν Ἀργείων στρατὸς
                 ἐν νυκτὶ τῇ νῦν, οὐδὲν οἶδ’ ὑπέρτερον,
Sophocles Antigone 9-18
An. Have you any knowledge? Have you heard anything? Or have you failed to notice the evils from our enemies as they come against our friends?
Is. To me, Antigone, no word about our friends has come, either agreeable or painful, since we two were robbed of two brothers, who perished on one day each at the other’s hand. Since the Argive army left during this night, I know nothing further (...)
Ismene could simply have answered “no, I don’t know,” but instead she elaborates on what she does know. As Jebb 1888 and Griffith 1999 ad loc. point out, the emphatic position of ἐμοί and the presence of μέν imply a contrast between Ismene herself and unspecified others. While this implication may be present, μέν at the same time conveys that its own discourse act is not all that the speaker wants to say. [128] In this way the particle indicates that the answer, or at least its first act, is insufficient, incomplete, or different from expected. We may compare this use of μέν to English turn-initial well in answers. [129]
§56. Different linguistic forms, then, tend to introduce preferred and dispreferred responses. Preferred responses to questions, directives, and offers often start without any contextualization cue. A directive may elicit a turn-initial καὶ δή or ἰδού from its addressee, who thereby draws attention to his visible compliance. Dispreferred responses to various first pair parts may start with ἀλλά; those reacting to a question sometimes contain turn-initial μέν.

4.5 The actions performed by turns

§57. According to CA, it is possible to identify linguistic constructions that regularly perform particular actions. [130] We can also correlate certain actions with the presence or absence of certain particles.

4.5.1 τοι

§58. The particle τοι, for example, works to further a speaker’s persuasive ends. [131] The particle’s function is to signal an appeal to the addressee, who is strongly encouraged to take note of, and believe, the statement being uttered. [132] For this function the particle’s position in a turn does not make a difference. Bäumlein 1861:239 and Denniston 1950:539 note that τοι is mainly used in assertions, and give as paraphrases German “sag’ ich dir,” “darfst du glauben,” and English “you know,” “I tell you.” [133] τοι has a frequency of about 0.1% of all words in the four dramatists: less than, for example, δή or oὖν (roughly 0.2% on average), but more than for example δῆτα (roughly 0.05% on average). [134] The quite specific pragmatic meaning of τοι makes it a relatively marked, and therefore infrequent form of expression. [135]
§59. Appealing an addressee is particularly appropriate to turns that are meant to persuade. In (t22) the slave Andromache tries to persuade Hermione, the wife of her master Neoptolemus, that Andromache herself is not the cause of Hermione’s childlessness, as Hermione had angrily claimed. Rather, Andromache argues, Neoptolemus does not like Hermione because of her arrogance and temper.
          (Αν.) σὺ δ’ ἤν τι κνισθῆις, ἡ Λάκαινα μὲν πόλις
210             μέγ’ ἐστί, τὴν δὲ Σκῦρον οὐδαμοῦ τίθης,
                   πλουτεῖς δ’ ἐν οὐ πλουτοῦσι, Μενέλεως δέ σοι
                   μείζων Ἀχιλλέως. ταῦτά τοί σ’ ἔχθει πόσις.
Euripides Andromache 209-212
(An.) But if you get angry, you argue that Sparta is a great city and Scyros is of no account, that you are a rich woman living in the midst of the poor, and that Menelaus is a greater man than Achilles. It is for this that your husband hates you.
Although Andromache knows that she does not have much chance to persuade this angry woman, she nevertheless urges Hermione, with τοι, to believe her statement in 212. [136] “It is because of this that your husband hates you” is one of the most important points in Andromache’s argument: if it is really Hermione’s own fault that Neoptolemus dislikes her, then she has no reason to hate his concubine. The use of the particle, then, can be connected to the action that the turn is intended to perform.
§60. Aristophanes also uses τοι in this addressee-appealing way in assertions with persuasive purposes:
          Λυ. ἆρ’ οὐ παρεῖναι τὰς γυναῖκας δῆτ’ ἐχρῆν;
55      Κα. οὐ γὰρ μὰ Δί’, ἀλλὰ πετομένας ἥκειν πάλαι.
          Λυ. ἀλλ’, ὦ μέλ’, ὄψει τοι σφόδρ’ αὐτὰς Ἀττικάς,
                ἅπαντα δρώσας τοῦ δέοντος ὕστερον.
                ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ Παράλων οὐδεμία γυνὴ πάρα,
                οὐδ’ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος. (…)
Aristophanes Lysistrata 54-59
Ly. So shouldn’t the women have arrived by now?
Ca. By now? My god, they should have taken wing and flown here ages ago!
Ly. Well, my friend, you’ll find they’re typically Athenian: everything they do, they do too late. There isn’t even a single woman here from the Paralia, nor from Salamis.
The use of τοι in Lysistrata’s utterance of 3,5 lines (56-59) is similar to the tragic examples: the speaker encourages the addressee, her neighbor Calonice, to accept her statement. [137] In this case the speaker’s persuasive purposes do not reach beyond the single statement, as they may do in a long tragic monologue.
§61. In a few cases in tragedy and comedy τοι is used as as a general intensifier and attention-getting device, unrelated to making a statement credible. An example from Aristophanes Wealth may clarify the difference. [138] In this other, less frequent use τοι is also connected to the action performed by the host turn: the interpretation is appropriate when τοι is used outside of assertions, or when the speaker describes her own action of calling someone. In (t24) the god Hermes has just secretly knocked on the door; Cario opens it and does not immediately see him. Then Hermes makes himself visible:
             Κα. τίς ἔσθ’ ὁ κόπτων τὴν θύραν; τουτὶ τί ἦν;
                    οὐδείς, ἔοικεν· ἀλλὰ δῆτα τὸ θύριον
                    φθεγγόμενον ἄλλως κλαυσιᾷ;
1099bis  Ερ. σέ τοι λέγω,
1100             ὦ Καρίων, ἀνάμεινον.
1100bis  Κα. οὗτος, εἰπέ μοι,
                      σὺ τὴν θύραν ἔκοπτες οὑτωσὶ σφόδρα;
Aristophanes Wealth 1097-1101
Ca. Who’s that banging on the door? What’s going on? No one around, apparently. This door will have plenty to cry about if it’s making noise for nothing.
He. You there, Cario, hold on!
Ca. Hey, was that you banging on the door so loud?
Hermes’ utterance at 1099bis-1100 is a multi-act move that aims to attract Cario’s attention. That is, the move, including the discourse act σέ τοι λέγω, does not state anything that the addressee is encouraged to “believe.” σέ τοι λέγω approximates the attention-getting use of οὗτος, found in 1100bis. [139] In a move such as the one by Hermes the force of τοι needs to be interpreted as weaker than in assertions. It does still appeal to the addressee: not to believe anything, but simply to pay attention.

4.5.2 Turn-initial γε

§62. Another particle that is connected to the actions performed by its host turn is γε. It is often found at the beginning of answers to questions. The questioner has implied, by the very action of asking, that he is not yet fully aware of the answer; therefore the answerer may feel the need to highlight the most important part of her answer with γε. Consider the following example from Euripides Medea:
          Μη. γυναῖκ’ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν δεσπότιν δόμων ἔχει.
695    Αι. οὔ που τετόλμηκ’ ἔργον αἴσχιστον τόδε;
          Μη. σάφ’ ἴσθ’· ἄτιμοι δ’ ἐσμὲν οἱ πρὸ τοῦ φίλοι.
          Αι. πότερον ἐρασθεὶς ἢ σὸν ἐχθαίρων λέχος;
          Μη. μέγαν γ’ ἔρωτα· πιστὸς οὐκ ἔφυ φίλοις.
Euripides Medea 694-698
Me. He has put another woman over me as mistress of the house.
Ae. Surely he has not dared to do such a shameful deed?
Me. He has indeed. Once he loved me, but now I am cast off.
Ae. Was it some passion, or did he grow tired of your bed?
Me. A great passion. He has been unfaithful to his family.
The first discourse act of Medea’s answer in 698, μέγαν γ’ ἔρωτα, picks up the construction with ἐρασθείς from the previous turn. [140] As Mastronarde 2002 ad loc. notes, γε is common in such resonating answers. [141] With the particle, Medea emphasizes μέγαν ἔρωτα, thereby inviting the addressee (Aegeus) to infer a contrast between this element and others she does not explicitly state (such as a better reason her husband might have had to leave her). [142] In this case, the emphasis thus created leads to a sarcastic nuance: later in the dialogue Medea shows her conviction that Jason’s great “passion” did not concern the other woman, but the royal power he would receive through his new marriage. [143] The function of γε to emphasize one element by invoking implied others makes it suitable for the start of answering turns.
§63. Turn-initial γε is also regularly found in turns performing a stancetaking. This common action in talk-in-interaction involves a speaker evaluating something, and thereby positioning herself and (dis)aligning with others. [144] Stancetaking is pragmatically close to answering: after all, when asked a question, a speaker gets the opportunity to express her own view on something. [145] In the following Aristophanic passage, Dionysus assesses Heracles’ suggestion of a route to the Underworld:
          Ηρ. ἀλλ’ ἔστιν ἀτραπὸς ξύντομος τετριμμένη,
                 ἡ διὰ θυείας.
124bis Δι. ἆρα κώνειον λέγεις;
125     Ηρ. μάλιστά γε.
125bis Δι. ψυχράν γε καὶ δυσχείμερον·
                 εὐθὺς γὰρ ἀποπήγνυσι τἀντικνήμια.
Aristophanes Frogs 123-126
He. Well, there’s a shortcut that’s well-beaten—in a mortar.
Di. You mean hemlock?
He. Exactly.
Di. That’s a chill and wintry way! It quickly freezes your shins solid.
By using γε, Dionysus commits himself emphatically to the assessment ψυχράν, “cold” (note the exclamation mark in Henderson’s translation). This stancetaking turn functions as a second pair part, indirectly rejecting Heracles’ suggestion in 123-124 after the insert expansion in 124bis-125. γε at the same time implies a contrast between its host act and an implicit alternative, such as, in this case, a positive adjective that would convey acceptance of the suggested route. [146] The function of γε, then, is not only appropriate to answers, but also to assessments.
§64. It is not surprising that we often find γε in the context of stancetaking: this communicative action makes explicit a subjective—and sometimes particularly emotional—view of the speaker. [147] γε is comparable to the prosodic prominence rendered by an exclamation mark: a verbal equivalent, we can say, of banging one’s fist on the table, or of stamping one’s feet. [148] It is noteworthy in this respect that turn-initial γε is very rare in questions. [149] Such “stamping” of one’s words is appropriate when expressing an opinion or giving an answer that is deemed highly relevant, but less so when asking a question, where the speaker tends to primarily ask the addressee for a certain response.

4.5.3 Utterance starts without particles

§65. Turn-initial interjections are also related to stancetaking: they indicate an emotional reaction to the previous turn. [150] Interjections usually form a separate discourse act on their own, without any accompanying particles. [151] An example is οἴμοι τάλας by Oedipus:
740    (Οι.)  τὸν δὲ Λάιον φύσιν
                  τίν’ εἷρπε φράζε, τίνα δ’ ἀκμὴν ἥβης ἔχων.
             Ιο. μέλας, χνοάζων ἄρτι λευκανθὲς κάρα.
                  μορφῆς δὲ τῆς σῆς οὐκ ἀπεστάτει πολύ.
             Οι. οἴμοι τάλας· ἔοικ’ ἐμαυτὸν εἰς ἀρὰς
745             δεινὰς προβάλλων ἀρτίως οὐκ εἰδέναι.
Sophocles Oedipus King 740-745
(Oe.) but tell me about Laius, what he looked like and what stage in manhood he had reached.
Io. He was dark, but just beginning to have grizzled hair, and his appearance was not far from yours.
Oe. Ah me! It seems that all unknowing I have exposed myself to a dread curse.
The turn starting in 744 is a post-expansion after a question-answer pair: a natural position for expressing a stance about the received answer. With the interjection, Oedipus directly expresses his emotional reaction to Iocaste’s answer. As opposed to a stancetaking response containing an adjective or adverb assessing the evaluated object (possibly followed by γε), an interjection indicates more focus on its speaker. [152]
§66. Stancetaking turns can also start without any particles or other linguistic contextualization cues. In these cases the speaker expresses an opinion without highlighting one specific part of it (as with γε) and without making her emotions explicit (as with an interjection). An example is the last turn by Medea in the following passage: [153]
Μη. ὄμνυ πέδον Γῆς πατέρα θ’ [154] Ἥλιον πατρὸς
       τοὐμοῦ θεῶν τε συντιθεὶς ἅπαν γένος.
Αι. τί χρῆμα δράσειν ἢ τί μὴ δράσειν; λέγε.
(lines 749-751 left out)
Αι. ὄμνυμι Γαῖαν φῶς τε λαμπρὸν Ἡλίου
       θεούς τε πάντας ἐμμενεῖν ἅ σου κλύω.
Μη. ἀρκεῖ· τί δ’ ὅρκωι τῶιδε μὴ ’μμένων πάθοις;
Euripides Medea 746-754
 Swear by the plain of Earth, by Helios, my grandfather, and by the whole race of gods all together.
 To do what or to refrain from what? You must say.
(Medea answers)
I swear by Earth, by the holy light of Helios, and by all the gods that I will do as I have heard from your lips.
That is good. But what punishment do you call down on yourself if you do not abide by your oath?
Medea’s request for the oath and Aegeus’ compliance (after an insert expansion in which he asks for more details) are followed by Medea’s assessment of Aegeus’ oath in a sequence-closing third: [155] ἀρκεῖ, “it is good.” Because the assessment is sequentially dependent on what preceded it, its linguistic form does not need to tie the turn explicitly to its co-text and context right at the beginning.
§67. We also find several borderline cases of stancetaking turns that contain a contextualization cue as their second or third word, but still within the first discourse act. Since these cues often form a syntactic construction with the turn’s very first word, their turns appear very similar to ones that are immediately contextualized. That is to say, whereas I employ a narrow definition of “turn-initial position” in this chapter, [156] I am aware that the linguistic reality is more flexible. Consider the following example:
480     Χρ. τί δῆτά σοι τίμημ’ ἐπιγράψω τῇ δίκῃ,
                  ἐὰν ἁλῷς;
481bis Πε. ὅ τι σοι δοκεῖ.
481ter Χρ. καλῶς λέγεις.
Aristophanes Wealth 480-481
Chr. And what penalty shall I impose if you lose your case?
Poverty. Whatever you like.
Chr. Excellent.
Chremylus’ assessment καλῶς λέγεις of Poverty’s answer (a sequence-closing third) is contextualized by referring explicitly to the addressee. The verb phrase as a whole can probably be felt as a turn-initial contextualization cue, even though the second-person verb form is not the turn’s very first word. [157]
§68. Turns without turn-initial contextualization cues may take on a particularly important or formal character. A turn’s gnomic nature, content of special significance for the speaker, or uncommon words or constructions may help create this impression. [158] The five quotes from tragedy in Aristophanes Frogs without turn-initial contextualization cues probably have a formal ring to them as well. [159] Consider the following example from Aeschylus Agamemnon: [160]
          (Αγ.) ἐπεὶ δ’ ἀκούειν σοῦ κατέστραμμαι τάδε,
                   εἶμ’ ἐς δόμων μέλαθρα πορφύρας πατῶν.
              Κλ. ἔστιν θάλασσα, τίς δέ νιν κατασβέσει;
                   τρέφουσα πολλῆς πορφύρας ἰσάργυρον
960             κηκῖδα παγκαίνιστον, εἱμάτων βαφάς·
                   οἶκος δ’ ὑπάρχει τῶνδε σὺν θεοῖς, ἄναξ,
                   ἔχειν, πένεσθαι δ’ οὐκ ἐπίσταται δόμος.
Aeschylus Agamemnon 956-962
(Ag.) Now, since I have been subjugated into obeying you in this, I will go, treading on purple, to the halls of my house.
Cl. There is a sea—who will ever dry it up?—which breeds an ever-renewed ooze of abundant purple, worth its weight in silver, to dye clothing with. So with the gods’ help, my lord, we can remedy this loss; our house does not know what poverty is.
Clytaemnestra reacts to Agamemnon’s worries about spoiling the purple fabrics (expressed in lines 948-949): the sea will never cease to abundantly supply purple, and the royal family is rich enough. It is not immediately clear, however, that this turn responds to Agamemnon’s earlier words, since other remarks by him came in between, and the relation between the turns is not made explicit. Instead, Clytaemnestra “begins in a tone of magnificent emphasis,” as Fraenkel 1950 ad loc. notes. He does not specify which features of her utterance convey this tone; I argue that the start without contextualization cues plays a role. Besides conveying a sense of formality, ἔστιν here also alludes to the use of this word at move beginnings in Homer. [161]
§69. The pragmatic analysis of linguistically uncontextualized utterance starts can throw light on textual problems involving the addition or removal of a turn-initial particle. In the following passage from Aristophanes Lysistrata, several editors add a turn-initial δέ, while others retain the reading of the manuscripts, which show that the turn starts without a contextualization cue. [162] The desperate Athenian Cinesias tries to convince his wife Myrrhine in this scene to end her sex strike, which was contrived by the women in order to force the men to make peace. Cinesias introduces his most important point in lines 898-899.
            Κι.  ὀλίγον μέλει σοι τῆς κρόκης φορουμένης
                   ὑπὸ τῶν ἀλεκτρυόνων;
897bis Μυ. ἔμοιγε νὴ Δία.
            Κι.  τὰ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης <δ’> ἱέρ’ ἀνοργίαστά σοι
                   χρόνον τοσοῦτόν ἐστιν. οὐ βαδιεῖ πάλιν;
900      Μυ. μὰ Δί’ οὐκ ἔγωγ’, ἢν μὴ διαλλαχθῆτέ γε
                   καὶ τοῦ πολέμου παύσησθε.
Aristophanes Lysistrata 896-901
Ci. It doesn’t bother you that the hens are pulling your woolens apart?
My. Not a bit.
Ci. And what a long time it’s been since you’ve celebrated Aphrodite’s holy mysteries. Won’t you come home?
My. I certainly will not, not until you men agree to a settlement and stop the war.
While a turn-initial δέ would be appropriate here—it often introduces new questions in a series (see §§34-35 above), and it is very frequent in turn-initial position in Aristophanes (see Table 1 in the appendix below)—certain linguistic features better support the reading of the manuscripts. The turn contains the unusual word ἀνοργίαστα, “uncelebrated,” in its first occurrence in extant Greek literature. [163] The utterance would have a more humorous effect if a husband’s complaint about “Aphrodite’s holy rites” is presented as something formal, as the remark would exploit the incongruity of speaking in a “high” style in a “low” context. To add δέ to this line would spoil an opportunity for a joke. [164]
§70. In general, this section on connections between particle use and the actions performed by turns has shown that turns starting with γε are pragmatically similar to those without any turn-initial contextualization cue: both are mainly used for answering and stancetaking. Indeed, γε does not directly mark a relation between its turn and the previous discourse—its scope does not exceed its host act [165] —but highlights a specific element by implicitly contrasting it to a different element. The actions of answering and stancetaking both tend to be uttered in non-initial positions in a conversational sequence: the preceding discourse sets up the relevance of an answer or (usually) a stancetaking; therefore their relationship to the previous turns does not need to be made explicit.

4.6 Conclusions

§71. This chapter has argued that CA illuminates particle use in tragedy and comedy. Despite their stylized language, the plays still reflect many practices of everyday spoken conversation. Just as in conversation, in Greek drama speakers often use special signals to hold the floor (§§28-30). Furthermore, turns relate to each other either by initiating (first pair parts) or by reacting (second pair parts); the pairs of turns thus formed can be structured in a series, and expanded with preliminary, intervening, or appending material (§§32-48). Again, just as in conversation, responses that fit the goal of the preceding turn best (preferred responses) tend to start with different constructions than responses that were not called for (dispreferred responses; §§49-56). Finally, speakers habitually perform certain actions such as answering and stancetaking by using certain linguistic constructions (§§57-70). Most important, it has been shown that the use of particles is sensitive to the interactional aspects that are clarified by CA. That is to say, particles reveal how turns relate to each other and to the structure of an ongoing interaction.
§72. By taking into account the interactional context surrounding every turn, a CA approach helps us understand why different particles are appropriate in different communicative contexts. For example, one of the known functions of τε is to mark two elements as closely connected; paying attention to the structure of a conversation makes us understand why this particle is highly infrequent in turn-initial position, and why it does occur there in rare cases (§27). The particle μέν may project an upcoming move of multiple discourse acts; speakers exploit this projecting function within turns (§§28-30) as well as within series of similar turns (§33). δέ generally indicates a new step in the discourse; CA makes it clear why this kind of signal is relevant in a series of questions, in response to news, or when a speaker ignores a previous turn (§§34-38). Similarly, we understand better how καί’s zooming-in force can interact with its turn-initial position (§36). ἀτάρ has a specialized function in drama, confined to non-initial position in turns (§§39-40). ἦ, οὖν, and καὶ δή all have their own pragmatic functions; CA allows us to clarify how these functions interact with certain positions within a sequence or within a turn (§43, §47, and §§51-52). τοι and turn-initial γε have been shown to be connected to the communicative actions that their turns perform (§§58-70).

Appendix: Quantitative observations on turn-initial expressions

§73. The following is an overview of all turn-initial expressions in the twelve plays of my corpus. [166] The table documents the frequency of several particles at the start of turns, and the differences in distribution among the authors. It also indicates what other linguistic forms tend to be found in turn-initial position, along with their frequencies.
Table 1: Overview of turn-initial forms in three plays per author
Turn-initial forms Aeschylus Sophocles Euripides Aristophanes
ἀλλά and combinations [167] 28 (4.9%) 52 (5.1%) 13 (1.6%) 98 (4.9%)
γε and combinations 7 (1.2%) 34 (3.4%) 21 (2.5%) 52 (2.6%)
γάρ and combinations 24 (4.2%) 49 (4.8%) 21 (2.5%) 52 (2.6%)
δέ and combinations 32 (5.6%) 59 (5.8%) 53 (6.4%) 148 (7.4%)
δῆτα and combinations 3 (0.5%) 26 (2.6%) 14 (1.7%) 47 (2.4%)
καί and combinations 41 (7.2%) 55 (5.4%) 28 (3.4%) 120 (6.0%)
μέν and combinations 30 (5.3%) 29 (2.9%) 20 (2.4%) 40 (2.0%)
other particles and particle combinations 67 (11.8%) 108 (10.7%) 51 (6.2%) 224 (11.2%)
Number of starts with particles 232 (40.7%) 412 (40.7%) 221 (26.8%) 781 (39.2%)
finite verb in 1st/2nd person, imperative 67 (11.8%) 102 (10.1%) 138 (16.7%) 261 (13.1%)
question word 53 (9.3%) 106 (10.5%) 83 (10.1%) 216 (10.8%)
negation 38 (6.7%) 94 (9.3%) 68 (8.2%) 153 (7.7%)
vocative 36 (6.3%) 66 (6.5%) 81 (9.8%) 82 (4.1%)
pronoun (demonstrative/personal/relative) 30 (5.3%) 93 (9.2%) 50 (6.1%) 169 (8.5%)
interjection(s) 64 (11.2%) 74 (7.3%) 68 (8.2%) 91 (4.6%)
lexical repetition from preceding turn 10 (1.8%) 19 (1.9%) 20 (2.4%) 68 (3.4%)
swearing expression, e.g. νὴ/μὰ Δία - - - 116 (5.8%)
other connection, e.g. conjunction/adverb 17 (3.0%) 55 (5.4%) 31 (3.8%) 121 (6.1%)
Number of starts with particles and/or other contextualization cues [168] 466 (81.8%) 839 (82.9%) 658 (79.7%) 1716 (86.1%)
starts without contextualization cue 104 (18.2%) 173 (17.1%) 168 (20.3%) 278 (13.9%)
- of which answers to questions 46 (44.2%) 87 (50.3%) 67 (39.9%) 144 (51.8%)
Total number of turns (and average per play) 570 (av. 190) 1012 (av. 337) 826 (av. 275) 1994 (av. 665)
In all four authors turns tend to be explicitly contextualized at their start in some way. Most often speakers do this by referring to the speaker or addressee with a verb form, vocative, or pronoun, by projecting the nature of the upcoming turn with a question word or negation, or by indicating an emotional reaction with an interjection. As for turn-initial particles, δέ and καί are the most frequent ones, not surprising in view of their overall high frequency. [169] For ἀλλά, γε, γάρ, δῆτα, and μέν, the frequencies vary quite widely across the authors. As also observed in III.2 on discourse patterns, Aeschylus tends to avoid γε and δῆτα. He is, however, relatively fond of turn-initial μέν. [170] Euripides is the exception in his avoidance of turn-initial ἀλλά. [171] Furthermore, in his plays overall fewer turns start with a particle, and we find a higher frequency of non-contextualized starts. A more detailed comparison of these turn starts in Euripides versus the other authors might reveal whether he uses them in different ways. [172] As for turn-initial interjections: they are typical of tragedy, while comic characters more often start speaking with a swearing expression. [173] The uses of and differences across these turn-initial expressions other than particles can, I expect, be fruitfully explored in a CA approach as well.
§74. Concerning the total number of turns per play, comedies feature more turns than tragedies, and the plays of Aeschylus contain the fewest turns. The following diagram shows that this holds true for all individual plays. In my corpus, there are many more turns in each play of Aristophanes than in any individual tragedy. These quantitative differences reflect different conversational styles.
Figure 2: Number of turns in the three plays per author
The three comedies are on average longer than the tragedies, [174] but comic turns also tend to be shorter than tragic turns. The average turn lengths are 6.7 lines per turn in Aeschylus; 4.3 lines per turn in Sophocles; 5.2 lines per turn in Euripides; and only 2.3 lines per turn in Aristophanes. [175] Comic speakers more often “interrupt” each other: a conversational style leading to Slings’ remark (2002:101) that most Aristophanic speakers are characterized by “aggressiveness.”
§75. In tragedy, the plays of Aeschylus have the fewest speaking turns: only 190 on average. This is primarily because the long lyric sections make up a large part of Aeschylean plays. These three tragedies also contain fewer and shorter stichomythic passages than those by Sophocles and Euripides. The higher relative frequency of turn-initial interjections in Aeschylus is due to the extremely high number in Persians, where lamenting—with which many interjections tend to be associated—is one of the main communicative actions of the play. Furthermore, in this sample Sophocles Oedipus King, with 441 turns, appears as the tragedy of dialogue and of stichomythia par excellence: it has many more turns of speaking than any of the other eight tragedies. We can connect the high number of turns to the play’s plot: Oedipus’ quest for information is enacted in his many stichomythic exchanges with other characters. [176] Not surprisingly, this play also has a higher frequency of turn-initial question words than the other tragedies (51, whereas the other tragedies have no more than 34 per play). [177]


[ back ] 1. The importance of dialogue is not the same in every play, however. The plot of Aeschylus Persians, notably, is carried less by dialogue, and more by song, narration, and lamentation.
[ back ] 2. Schuren builds on a limited number of CA references, apparently ignoring any works published after 1996.
Beck 2005 in Homeric Conversation also mentions the approach of CA (but only briefly; esp. 20-21). She is mainly concerned with aesthetic and poetic effects of Homeric conversation types: these are different issues from those normally discussed in CA.
[ back ] 3. See also Schuren 2015:5 on the necessary similarity between Euripidean stichomythia and real conversation: “stichomythia is a dramatic representation of conversation just as tragedy in general represents lived experience, and similarity between the two spheres is a necessary prerequisite for dramatic effect on the audience.” On the usefulness of analyzing fictional discourse in general from a CA perspective, see e.g. McHoul 1987 and, more generally linguistic, Dynel 2011. Dynel argues (p. 56) that “[f]ictional discourse is not strange and should not be treated as if it were.” For a CA study comparing spontaneous speech and dramatic dialogue (in performance), see Hafez 1991 on Egyptian Arabic.
[ back ] 4. Mastronarde 1979:1 writes of “the naturalistic disorder of spontaneous conversation, with its repetitions, dead-ends, misunderstandings, and unheralded transitions”; at page 5: “the disordered brokenness of real conversation.” 52: “It is characteristic of real, informal conversation that more than one person may speak at once, that a speaker may fall silent in mid-sentence, and that speaker B may begin to speak in the middle of A’s utterance. Theater-dialogue, in most traditions, dispenses with much of the chaos of real conversation in the interests of clarity.” 73: “the chaotic informality of real conversation”.
[ back ] 5. Long monologues and especially choral songs form a very different discourse situation from rapid dialogues: see III.2 on discourse patterns for linguistic differences across these three situations in tragedy and comedy.
[ back ] 6. See also I.3 on approaches to particles and discourse markers.
[ back ] 7. Posthumously published as Sacks 1995.
[ back ] 8. CA has grown into a widely practiced research field; helpful recent introductions can be found in Schegloff 2007 and Sidnell 2010, and in shorter form in Gardner 2005 and Heritage 2010.
[ back ] 9. See e.g. Schegloff 2007:1; Sidnell 2010:60-61.
[ back ] 10. The joint-action approach to language described by Clark 1996 is similar to CA, although the scholar does not directly work within a CA framework. On 341-342 he underlines the importance of action over topic. Interactional Linguistics also resembles CA (see e.g. Selting and Couper-Kuhlen 2001); this is a research field combining linguistics, Conversation Analysis, and anthropology.
[ back ] 11. See e.g. Schegloff 2007:1.
[ back ] 12. On TCUs, see e.g. Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974:702; Schegloff 1987:77; 2006:79; 2007:3-7; Sidnell 2010:41-42, 113.
[ back ] 13. The possible confusion concerning “turn” as referring to actions, or as referring to the linguistic realizations of actions, arises mainly from the different use of “turn” and “turn beginning.” A “turn beginning” is not just the beginning of any “turn,” but a specific action. See e.g. Schegloff 1987:74 and 1996:74-75 for formulations indicating that “turn beginning” refers to an action. See e.g. Levinson 2013:126; Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974:702-703; Schegloff 1987:77; 2007:4 for uses of the term “turn” as referring to the linguistic realization of an action. In order to avoid confusion, I will not use the term “turn beginning” at all, but speak instead of “turn-initial position,” or “utterance starts,” both referring to the linguistic realization of actions. I thank Geoffrey Raymond for clarifying this point with me (personal communication).
[ back ] 14. See e.g. the terminology of Kent 2012:719: she writes that a certain “utterance performs a number of actions.” Like a “turn,” an “utterance” is not an action, it performs actions.
[ back ] 15. A choral song, then, is technically one utterance and one turn, unless it is interrupted by speech of another character; however, the conversational regularities of turn-taking, sequence organization, and preference organization are less relevant in this communicative environment than in the iambic parts of the plays. Therefore I do not discuss choral songs in this chapter. See III.2 for several discussions of particle use in choral songs.
[ back ] 16. “Bis” and “ter” are designations drawn from the TLG, where bis indicates the second turn of speaking within the same line, ter the third, and so on.
[ back ] 17. Van Leeuwen 1901 and Olson 2002 read τί, a conjecture by Elmsley; they claim that a hiatus is allowed after τί. Although this choice changes the meaning of the question, it is not relevant for my illustration here.
[ back ] 18. Similar one-word vocative turns with similar reactions in Aristophanes may be found in Acharnians 410, 1048, 1085; Frogs 40, 464, 1220; Women at the Thesmophoria 193. See also below, §41, on οὖτος as a vocative construction.
[ back ] 19. This short sequence of two turns may be described as a summons-answer pair. See below, §15, on adjacency pairs, and §41 for another example from Aristophanes.
[ back ] 20. See §30 below for more discussion of the function of such echo questions at the beginning of answers. See note 23 below for the notion of (pragmatic) projection.
[ back ] 21. See Aristophanes Acharnians 607bis-617: the addressees of Dicaeopolis (members of the Acharnian chorus) reportedly shake their heads during the course of uttering these lines; yet since the Acharnians do not give a verbal reaction, the lines still count together as one turn.
[ back ] 22. On (the importance of) the start of turns, see e.g. Schegloff 1987; 1996; Sidnell 2010:140-152.
[ back ] 23. On projection, see Auer 2002:passim; Schegloff 2007:e.g. 30, 44-47, 127-128; Sidnell 2007:235 (projectability “allows participants to anticipate the probable course, extent, and nature of the talk in progress”); 2010:e.g. 143; 232-233; Pekarek Doehler 2011a; and II.2 §§49-50.
[ back ] 24. On discourse acts, see below, §20, and especially II.2.
[ back ] 25. An exception is Aristophanes Frogs 300, where the vocative is used in a “quotative” way: the speaker comments on his own use of this vocative with the following particle τοίνυν; it is therefore part of the first discourse act of this turn, it could not have occurred earlier in the turn, and it is considered turn-initial.
[ back ] 26. E.g. γε in μὴ σοί γέ in Sophocles Ajax 533 is not counted as turn-initial, because its theoretical first possible position would be directly after μή.
[ back ] 27. See Cook-Gumperz and Gumperz 1976, and the discussion by Auer 1992. Auer defines (p. 24) contextualization cues as “all the form-related means by which participants contextualize language.” His discussion includes non-verbal and paralinguistic cues. I use the term here only for linguistic expressions. See this chapter’s appendix for the numerical frequencies of the different turn-initial contextualization cues in the twelve plays of my corpus.
[ back ] 28. On the difference between primary and secondary interjections, see e.g. Norrick 2009a. Aristophanic swearing expressions can be considered secondary interjections. On the use of primary interjections in Greek drama, see Nordgren 2012 and 2015.
[ back ] 29. See §42, §48, and §§62-66.
[ back ] 30. On TRPs, see also Clayman 2013.
[ back ] 31. Schegloff 2007:3.
[ back ] 32. Schegloff 2007:i.
[ back ] 33. See e.g. Schegloff 2007:xiv.
[ back ] 34. On adjacency pairs, see e.g. Schegloff 2007:13-14; Sidnell 2010:63-66. The concept is also explained by Van Emde Boas 2010:13-14.
[ back ] 35. On normative constraints in CA, at least for English, see e.g. Schegloff 2007:67n5, 203; Hayashi 2013:passim.
[ back ] 36. On insert expansions, see e.g. Schegloff 2007:97-114.
[ back ] 37. On sequence-closing thirds, see e.g. Schegloff 2007:118-142.
[ back ] 38. On preference organization, see e.g. Pomerantz 1984; Schegloff 2007:58-81; Sidnell 2010:77 (from which the quote is taken).
[ back ] 39. This is not meant to imply that marking a dispreferred response is the only function of English well. See I.3 for a discussion of a number of well instances. See below, §55, as well as II.2 §§59-60 for a use of turn-initial μέν comparable to that of turn-initial well.
[ back ] 40. On acts, see II.2, especially §§9-20, with further literature.
[ back ] 41. E.g. by Hannay and Kroon 2005; see II.2 (especially §20) and IV.3 (especially §§71-72) for discussion.
[ back ] 42. See e.g. the discourse segmentation in acts of passages from Herodotus and Thucydides, as proposed in IV.5.
[ back ] 43. See II.2 passim and IV.3 §§57-64.
[ back ] 44. See above, §8.
[ back ] 45. Schegloff 2006:73. On actions in CA, see also e.g. Schegloff 2007:xiv; Sidnell 2010:61.
[ back ] 46. Accountability of actions means that they are observable and reportable by other people, who can put responsibility on the speaker for her actions. See Garfinkel 1967:1, 33-34; and more recently Auer 2002:4; Firth 2009:68.
[ back ] 47. On moves, see II.3 passim; IV.3 §§92-146; IV.5 passim.
[ back ] 48. For discussion of turn-initial δέ, see §§34-38 below.
[ back ] 49. The other instances of turn-initial τε in this function are found in Aeschylus Libation Bearers 494; Persians 1020; Euripides Bacchae 497; Aristophanes Birds 599, 1591; Frogs 809, 956; Lysistrata 35. Similar instances outside my core corpus are found in Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus 221; Euripides Hecuba 428. This reading is further supported by the fact that in historiography τε may convey continuation as well, by expressing a tight link with the previous conjunct, or by marking the similarity of parallel entries in lists. See IV.2 §§78-84.
[ back ] 50. There are only thirteen instances out of 4,402 turns in the corpus (see this chapter’s appendix for quantitative observations on turn-initial expressions). The low frequency of τε in turn-initial position is also noted by Hancock 1917:26. Apart from the turn-initial τε quoted in (t4) and the eight parallels mentioned in the previous note, three cases involve a construction with several particles starting with τε; these constructions have a turn-internal function, and thus are irrelevant for turn-taking organization: τε δὴ καί in Aeschylus Persians 735, τε… καί in Euripides Bacchae 935, and τε… τε in Aristophanes Lysistrata 1036ter. Similar examples from outside my core corpus are τε... καί in Sophocles Philoctetes 119; τε... τε in Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus 1514. For the projecting function of τε in such constructions, see IV.2 §§80-84. The last instance, in Aristophanes Frogs 1402, is in a quotation from tragedy. It is unknown whether this line was at the start of a turn in the original play (Euripides Meleager), since we only have fragments of it. The presence of τε as well as the narrative content of the line suggest that it is unlikely to have been turn-initial.
[ back ] 51. See §13 above for the term TRP.
[ back ] 52. For discussion of this function of μέν, see II.2 §§46-62.
[ back ] 53. Compare the use of “projector constructions” in spoken French, e.g. “je veux dire” (roughly “I mean”), as floor-holding devices, discussed by Pekarek Doehler 2011a.
When the expectation of floor-holding raised by μέν is not fulfilled, the presence of μέν suggests that there is something more that remains unsaid. Examples include Aeschylus Eumenides 418, Suppliant Women 338; Sophocles Ajax 80; Euripides Medea 703. See II.2 §60 for discussion of this function of μέν.
[ back ] 54. E.g. Sophocles Antigone 444 (σὺ μέν; σὺ δ᾽ follows).
[ back ] 55. E.g. Sophocles Antigone 561 (τὴν μέν; τὴν δ᾽ follows), 1100 (μέν with imperative; δέ with imperative follows); Philoctetes 123 (σὺ μέν; ἐγὼ δέ follows).
[ back ] 56. Other examples of μέν (not necessarily turn-initial) as a floor-holding device include Aeschylus Agamemnon 264; Sophocles Ajax 121, Antigone 223, 444, 561, 1100; Oedipus King 927; Philoctetes 123, 453, 981bis; Euripides Bacchae 775, 787; Hippolytus 695, 1257; Aristophanes Acharnians 608; Birds 76; Wasps 650.
[ back ] 57. Blass 1906, Garvie 1986, Groeneboom 1949, Murray 1955, Page 1972, and West 1990 all follow Hermann in moving line 165 (an invocation of Hermes) to after 123.
[ back ] 58. The two particles in this case do not signal a propositional juxtaposition, but a succession of two different discourse acts. Garvie 1986 ad loc. calls μὲν... δέ a “transitional formula.” This implies that μέν announces the transition. On μέν at discourse transitions in Homer and Pindar, see II.2 §§52-55. On μέν at transitional points in historiography, see IV.3 §§125-146; IV.5 §32, §56, §58, and §96.
[ back ] 59. See §74 in the appendix to this chapter below.
[ back ] 60. Other turn-initial indirect repeats of a preceding question are found in e.g. Aristophanes Acharnians 595, 959ter (cited in (t1) above); Wealth 462ter, 465bis; Women at the Thesmophoria 203ter. All of these except Acharnians 595 occur at the end of a line, an especially strategic position for a floor-holding device, since this tends to be a TRP.
[ back ] 61. See Dunbar 1995 ad loc.: this part of Peisetaerus’ proposal “is marked as preliminary.” Note πρῶτον μέν in Lysistrata 574bis for a similar start to a long answer.
[ back ] 62. All editors read the full stop before αὐτίκα in line 166.
[ back ] 63. See Auer 2000:184-188, 2002, and 2009 on how syntax projects more to come in modern spoken languages. Other instances of incomplete syntax at line-end that help the speaker hold the floor include Sophocles Antigone 45 (noun lacking after adjectives); Oedipus at Colonus 396 (complement of verb lacking); Women of Trachis 739 (noun lacking after adjective); Euripides Andromache 885 (complement of genitive lacking); Bacchae 788 (main verb lacking); Hippolytus 1257 (main verb lacking; μέν also helps here), 1258 (main verb lacking), 1259 (main verb lacking); Aristophanes Lysistrata 894 (main verb lacking); Women at the Thesmophoria 64 (main verb lacking).
[ back ] 64. See e.g. Schegloff 2007:207-213 on sequence series in general, and Heritage and Sorjonen 1994 for an application of the concept.
[ back ] 65. See also Page 1938, citing Verrall 1881, on μέν (not turn-initial) in Euripides Medea 1129 marking the messenger’s question as preliminary.
[ back ] 66. Other μέν-instances in tragedy indicating that the turn is preliminary to another pragmatically similar turn include Aeschylus Agamemnon 1203; Eumenides 589, Libation Bearers 111; Suppliant Women 917; Sophocles Oedipus King 1234; Euripides Bacchae 493, 831, 1264.
[ back ] 67. See II.2 §§59-60 for discussion of μέν in drama projecting an upcoming δέ act even when this projection is not fulfilled.
[ back ] 68. Broadhead 1960 and Italie 1953 ad loc. refer to Denniston 1950:187-188 on the “postponement” of δέ in 719. Since it is sensible here to take the words preceding δέ as one unit (all commentators read them this way) we can still consider δέ turn-initial, that is, as occurring in the first discourse act of the turn. See §11 above.
[ back ] 69. On δέ’s general function of marking new steps in a discourse, see II.2 §§31-36 on Homer, and IV.2 §46 on Herodotus and Thucydides. Note that Sommerstein translates the three questions with turn-initial δέ in this passage as beginning with and. See Heritage and Sorjonen 1994 on English questions starting with and in medical institutional settings. They show that and-prefaced questions are typically new questions within a list: they are part of a larger agenda-based activity. Those without turn-initial and, by contrast, tend to be prompted by new information just provided.
[ back ] 70. Other examples of turn-initial δέ in following questions include Aeschylus Agamemnon 274, 278, 935; Eumenides 593; Sophocles Electra 392; Oedipus King 89, 108, 112, 128, 528, 579, 938, 954, 991, 1025, 1027, 1031; Oedipus at Colonus 68, 302, 391, 401, 412, 471; Philoctetes 102, 112; Euripides Andromache 439, 915; Bacchae 465, 467, 469, 471, 473, 481, 485, 832, 1290 (see below, (t9)), 1292, 1294, 1298; Hecuba 767, 773, 777, 1015, 1017; Hippolytus 95, 280, 282; Medea 668; Aristophanes Assemblywomen 254; Birds 67, 1203; Knights 204, 206; Lysistrata 835, 997; Peace 186, 187. In the “interrogation” scene in Euripides Bacchae 460-491, Pentheus also uses δέ-turns to return to his list of questions after some other action, such as an assessment of a previous reply.
[ back ] 71. Note actually in Sommerstein’s translation. See Broadhead 1960, Groeneboom 1930, Italie 1953, and Roussel 1960 ad loc., and the translation of Hall 1996. They all explicitly or implicitly interpret the question in this way.
[ back ] 72. Because of its act-initial position, καί in 723 can have either small scope over τόδ᾽ only, or act scope over τόδ’ ἐξέπραξεν. The “zooming-in” effect of the question fits both scope interpretations, as τόδ᾽ by itself refers to the action described in the previous utterance. In 721, by contrast, the position of καί later in the act suggests a small scope over στρατὸς τοσόσδε only, while turn-initial δέ presents the entire question as a next step in a series. See I.1 §20 on the relevance of position and scope to particle interpretation.
[ back ] 73. Other examples of surprised, doubtful, or indignant questions with turn-initial καί include Aeschylus Agamemnon 280; Libation Bearers 179, 776; Eumenides 898; Persians 438; Suppliant Women 509; Sophocles Oedipus King 976, 1019, 1023; Oedipus at Colonus 73, 414; Euripides Andromache 917; Aristophanes Birds 829, 963bis, 1437bis. On connections between particles and emotional states of mind in drama, see III.5.
[ back ] 74. See IV.2 §§14-46 and §§93-146 for elaborate discussion of different functions of both δέ and καί, and their differences.
[ back ] 75. Darius’ δέ question in Aeschylus Persians 717, cited in (t8) above, is also a response that does not emotionally react to news brought in the preceding turn. Another example is Creon’s δέ question in Sophocles Antigone 401, after the guard has told him that Antigone is the criminal he is looking for. Contrast these turns to the ones starting with an interjection, conveying the speaker’s emotional reaction: see §65 below for discussion.
[ back ] 76. On this general function of δέ, see e.g. Bäumlein 1861:89; Bakker 1993; 1997:62-68. See also II.2 §§31-36 on Homeric δέ, III.2 §§24-32 on the distribution of δέ in drama, and IV.2 §§14-46 on δέ in historiography.
[ back ] 77. This description does not contrast with Denniston’s remark that Sophocles “not infrequently uses δέ in answers, to introduce a protest or objection” (1950 [1934]:166): as his examples show, he does not mean “answers” in a strict sense (i.e. after questions), and his point is exactly that the δέ-turn always introduces some new point.
[ back ] 78. Similar turns starting with δέ after a question that do not function as an answer include Aeschylus Libation Bearers 123; Sophocles Oedipus King 379 (Brunck proposes a conjecture γε instead of δέ here; see Bollack 1990 ad loc. for discussion), 1030, 1056, 1144; Oedipus at Colonus 1488; Women of Trachis 403; Euripides Bacchae 830; Heracles 1253; Hippolytus 341 (see (t4) above); Aristophanes Assemblywomen 520bis, 636bis; Birds 1205; Frogs 275, 936; Knights 1198bis. The turn-initial discourse acts πῶς δ᾽ οὐ in Aeschylus Libation Bearers 123 and σὺ δ᾽ οὐ in Frogs 275 do function as an answer, but only indirectly, i.e. by requiring inference; in form they are new questions. Sophocles Oedipus King 1030 is translated with “Yes, and...” by Lloyd-Jones 1997, but the turn-initial δέ rather suggests that the preceding question is ignored or treated as irrelevant (see the turn in Oedipus King 379).
[ back ] 79. In Euripides Hippolytus 341, cited in (t4) above, we find a similar turn-initial δέ after an interrupting question. Also here, the speaker (Phaedra) does not reply to the question, but adds a new act to her own previous turn. This turn-initial δέ differs from the turn-initial τε in line 339, however, in that τε marks the new vocative as closely linked to the vocative in 337, whereas δέ marks a new step: Phaedra now turns to her own fate. See Wecklein 1885 ad line 341, who remarks that δέ is more appropriate than τε here because of the switch to a new thought, whereas 339 continued the thought of 337.
[ back ] 80. See II.3 §§2-5 and IV.3 §§92-106 for elaborate discussion of the term move.
[ back ] 81. There are 39 cases of this particle in extant tragedy (excluding fragments) and 47 cases in Aristophanes. The three instances occurring immediately after a speaker change are Euripides Medea 80; Aristophanes Birds 69, 648. There are however variant readings: see below, §40, for discussion.
[ back ] 82. Examples of ἀτάρ preceded by answers to questions include Sophocles Oedipus King 1052; Euripides Andromache 883; Trojan Women 63; Aristophanes Assemblywomen 376, 551; Clouds 187, 801; Wealth 1111.
[ back ] 83. Examples of ἀτάρ preceded by assessments include Aeschylus Persians 333; Bacchae 516; Euripides Hecuba 671 (see (t11) below); Hippolytus 1398; Aristophanes Acharnians 448; Assemblywomen 248, 358, 394; Birds 144, 916; Clouds 382, 677, 693; Wasps 28, 652, 815; Wealth 749; Women at the Thesmophoria 87.
[ back ] 84. Bothe 1829 and Schröder 1927 give 68 to Peisetaerus, and 69 (with ἀτάρ) to Euelpides; Dunbar 1995, Kakridis 1974, Kock 18943, Mastromarco and Totaro 2006, Sommerstein 1987, Wilson 2007, and Zanetto (in Zanetto and Del Corno 1987) give 68 to Euelpides and 69 (with ἀτάρ) to Peisetaerus. Only Van Leeuwen 1902 has no speaker change at this point, yet he changes the text in other aspects: he gives 68 to Peisetaerus, moves 66, spoken by the slave-bird, to after 68, with 66bis spoken by Euelpides, and lets Euelpides continue his turn in 69 with ἀτάρ.
[ back ] 85. ἀλλά does regularly mark a switch to a new adjacency pair in turn-initial position, e.g, Aristophanes Birds 54; Frogs 123, 646; Wasps 173bis, 428.
[ back ] 86. This is noted only by Dunbar 1995 and Zanetto 1987 in their apparatus.
[ back ] 87. Also for the seemingly turn-initial ἀτάρ in Birds 648, Dunbar 1995 and Zanetto 1987 report that the same manuscript R has no speaker change here. But if we follow that reading, who else would then speak this line as well as the previous word? Schröder 1927 seems to hint at a compromise interpretation: his paraphrase “Doch, was ich sagen wollte” implies that Peisetaerus wants to give the impression of continuing with his own turn, even though there has actually been a short interrupting turn.
The ἀτάρ in Euripides Medea 80 has a variant reading αὐτάρ in some manuscripts; however, that particle does not occur elsewhere in tragedy. Perhaps the ἀτάρ-instance in line 80 has been influenced by the one in 83, which is (as usual) not the start of a new turn.
Bonifazi 2012:212n84 writes that ἀτάρ in Homer is found in contexts where “the flow of discourse is interrupted by the introduction of a comment, or an exclamation, or a self-correction.”
[ back ] 88. See Dickey 1996: esp. 154-155 on οὗτος in Aristophanes as “an attention-getting vocative”; she notes that it is rare in tragedy and prose.
[ back ] 89. E.g. in Sophocles Oedipus King 532, 1121; Euripides Hecuba 1280; Aristophanes Acharnians 564.
[ back ] 90. Other cases of οὗτος as a summoning expression (without particles) include Sophocles Ajax 1047; Women of Trachis 402; Aristophanes Birds 49; Clouds 732; Frogs 198; Lysistrata 878; Peace 268; Wasps 1, 854. An explicit second pair part does not always follow.
[ back ] 91. E.g. in Aeschylus Agamemnon 617, 1061; Eumenides 89; Persians 478; Sophocles Ajax 684, 845; Antigone 446, 1087; Electra 891, 1472; Oedipus King 980; Women of Trachis 1157; Euripides Alcestis 1112; Children of Heracles 565; Hippolytus 1431; Aristophanes Acharnians 191, 262, 1033, 1119; Birds 457, 926; Knights 118, 891, 1065; Wasps 6, 1154bis.
[ back ] 92. E.g. οὖτος δέ in Sophocles Oedipus King 954, and οὗτος γ᾽ in Aristophanes Birds 75. See II.2 §§73-79 on σὺ δέ and similar constructions in Pindar.
[ back ] 93. See Ireland 1974:517n10, on stichomythia in Aeschylus: “in many cases the natural answer to a question does not require the introduction of a connecting particle (…).” On contextualization cues, see §12 above. The particle γε is, however, regularly used in turn-initial position in answers; see §62 below for discussion.
[ back ] 94. This second pair part is a preferred response: see §18 above for the term and §§50-52 below for discussion of particle use in preferred responses.
[ back ] 95. Other answers without turn-initial particles or other turn-initial contextualizing cues include Aeschylus Persians 794; Agamemnon 269, 279, 544, 936, 1208; Libation Bearers 119, 121, 180, 215, 769, 886; Eumenides 210, 432, 602, 892; Sophocles Ajax 801, 874, 1134; Antigone 513, 575, 1100; Electra 927, 929, 943; Oedipus King 87, 100, 103, 114, 122, 130, 292, 362, 561, 578, 623, 656, 703, 729, 742, 752, 756, 766, 934, 936, 939, 955, 961, 990, 992, 1022, 1032, 1044, 1125, 1173bis, 1176bis; Oedipus at Colonus 39, 42, 67, 69, 1508; Philoctetes 54bis, 113, 162; Euripides Alcestis 513, 519, 521, 531, 533, 535, 712; Andromache 884; Bacchae 466, 470, 472, 478, 482, 486, 833, 1267, 1274, 1276, 1278; Children of Heracles 664, 669, 695, 713; Hecuba 768, 770, 772, 776, 778, 780, 1016; Heracles 1129, 1139; Hippolytus 93, 348, 723, 800, 802; Medea 667, 669, 671, 675, 677, 702, 706, 1125; Suppliant Women 132, 138, 759; Aristophanes Assemblywomen 376bis, 383bis, 468, 1135bis; Birds 90ter, 99, 104, 226, 409, 411bis, 416, 965bis, 1030bis, 1537bis, 1583bis; Clouds 483bis (see (t17) below); Frogs 131, 133ter, 139, 142bis, 169bis, 207, 286bis, 618bis, 919, 1021, 1129bis, 1220ter, 1405, 1415bis; Lysistrata 162bis, 496ter, 744bis, 748bis; Wealth 392ter, 393bis, 402.
[ back ] 96. See the following remarks ad loc. by several commentators. Stanford 1963: “Odysseus, before he tries to persuade Agamemnon to permit the burial of Ajax, makes sure that Agamemnon is in a friendly mood towards him.” Garvie 1998: “Odysseus cleverly begins by establishing that Agamemnon is prepared to treat him as a friend and to observe the traditional code of friendship. By agreeing to do so Agamemnon dooms himself to lose the ensuing argument.” Finglass 2011: “(...) Odysseus, rather than immediately attacking Agamemnon’s case, politely requests permission to speak (...).”
[ back ] 97. On οὖν marking an inferential link, see Stephens 1837:11-12, 101-102; Dindorf 1873:260 on οὖν in Aeschylus; Navarre 1908:299 and Denniston 1950 [1934]:416 on οὖν in questions in fifth-century Greek. See Bäumlein 1861:182; Wähdel 1869:6 on οὖν in questions in Aristophanes; Hoffmann 1884:6 on ὦν in Herodotus; these three authors all argue that the particle indicates a general “Zusammenhang” (coherence) with the preceding.
[ back ] 98. On οὖν marking the start of a new substantial unit, see Hoogeveen and Schütz 1782:510-511; Des Places 1929:56-65 on οὖν in Plato; Sicking 1986:134 on οὖν in classical Greek; Van Ophuijsen 1993:84 on οὖν in Plato; Slings 1997:101; Wiesner 1999:316; Revuelta Puigdollers 2009:95-96; Wakker 2009:67, 80 on οὖν in Lysias. For the concept of move, see §22 above, II.3 §§2-5, and IV.3 §§92-106.
[ back ] 99. Other examples of οὖν in pre-expansions include Aeschylus Libation Bearers 766; Sophocles Oedipus King 562, 564, 568, 655, 1517; Women of Trachis 1191; Euripides Bacchae 819, 1271, 1275; Cyclops 131; Hecuba 998, 1008 (in this case the addressee Polymestor immediately infers what Hecuba’s base first pair part was intended to be; compare the English example of “sequence truncation” in Levinson 2013:111); Helen 315, 1233; Hippolytus 91; Ion 1029; Iphigeneia at Aulis 725; Aristophanes Birds 80; Frogs 1010bis; Knights 1158 (see (t16) with discussion in §45 below). Of these pre-expansions, those in Euripides Helen 315, 1233, Ion 1029, and Aristophanes Birds 80 lack a verbal response to the pre-expansion’s first pair part: the speaker immediately goes on with the base first pair part. Examples of οὖν in insert expansions include Sophocles Women of Trachis 1247; Aristophanes Frogs 642, 1141; Lysistrata 122ter, 861bis. In Aristophanes Frogs 1139 we find οὔκουν in an insert expansion.
[ back ] 100. On the function of the enclitic particle νυν, see e.g. Hoogeveen 1769:II.804-806. See Swift 2010:362 on νυν in Euripides Alcestis 1097: the particle indicates, she writes, that the speaker “does not regard what he is saying to be in conflict with Admetus’ statement [i.e. the preceding turn].”
[ back ] 101. Other examples of turn-initial νυν after a pre-expansion include Aeschylus Libation Bearers 770 (with οὖν in the pre-expansion); Euripides Bacchae 821 (with οὖν in the pre-expansion); Cyclops 440; Iphigeneia at Aulis 872; Phoenician Women 907, 911; Aristophanes Frogs 129; Knights 1011. Several of these instances are cited by Lobeck 1866 ad Sophocles Ajax 1332. An example of turn-initial νυν after an insert expansion is found in Aristophanes Lysistrata 864 (with οὖν in the insert expansion). Aristophanes Frogs 1013 (with οὖν in the pre-expansion) and Lysistrata 124 (with οὖν in the insert expansion) contain the similar particle τοίνυν in turn-initial position.
[ back ] 102. See Mastronarde 1979:43: many stichomythic question-answer scenes in tragedy unfold gradually, often with “a formulaic οἶσθα-question or equivalent expression.” See Schuren 2015:187-188, 200 on οἶσθα questions in Euripides combined with different deictic pronouns.
[ back ] 103. Pre-expansions with οἶσθ’ (...) οὖν include Sophocles Oedipus King 655, 1517; Women of Trachis 1191; Euripides Cyclops 131; Hecuba 998, 1008 (see note 99 above); Helen 315, 1233; Hippolytus 91; Ion 1029; Iphigeneia at Aulis 725; Aristophanes Birds 80. Several of these instances are cited by Van Leeuwen 1900 ad Aristophanes Knights 1158.
[ back ] 104. Van Leeuwen 1900 ad loc. notes that similar sequences are found in Sophocles Oedipus King 1517 (with οὖν); Aristophanes Peace 1061 (with ἀλλά instead of οὖν; also noted by Ribbeck 1867 ad the Knights passage).
[ back ] 105. In terms of Searle 1975, we would call this an “indirect speech act”: though the turn has the form of a question, pragmatically the turn functions as an announcement of the upcoming main action. Describing the same phenomenon, Schegloff 2007:73-78, 151 and Levinson 2013:112 speak of certain actions, such as questions, being a “vehicle” for many other actions.
[ back ] 106. Concerning tragedy, Mastronarde 1979:37 in such cases speaks of a “counter-question” that causes an answer to be delayed, for example by seeking clarification.
[ back ] 107. We can infer this nature from the presence of question words, from general semantic cues, or sometimes from the question’s response; originally it must have been signaled prosodically as well.
[ back ] 108. Examples of questions without a turn-initial particle starting an insert expansion may be found in Aeschylus Agamemnon 268; Libation Bearers 120, 767; Sophocles Ajax 532, 1322; Antigone 316, 317; Oedipus King 360, 1129; Euripides Hippolytus 100; Medea 1368; Aristophanes Birds 180, 1212bis, 1213bis; Frogs 40quat.
[ back ] 109. Rijksbaron 2007:244-257 discusses τί δέ in Plato. He focuses on its function as a marker of topic shift and on issues of punctuation, rather than on the organization of the conversational sequences. Nevertheless, he does remark that τί δέ “signals that during a conversation the speaker is making a new move” (256).
[ back ] 110. Other insert expansions with turn-initial τί δέ include Sophocles Antigone 318; Oedipus King 1056, 1144; Euripides Ion 284; Iphigeneia among the Taurians 496; Aristophanes Assemblywomen 525; Birds 358 (after a request instead of a question), 1205; Lysistrata 514 (not really turn-initial, but at the start of a quoted turn by another speaker).
[ back ] 111. Later in the play (line 380), however, Ajax does utter τέκνον Λαρτίου once (the commentators do not remark on his use of this referring expression). See Stivers, Enfield, and Levinson 2007 on the social importance of different forms of person reference. They note e.g. that “reference is not just, indeed not primarily, about giving and receiving information but about navigating social relationships.” (19) See Haviland 2007:250-251 in the same volume for discussion of an actual example of hostile person reference.
[ back ] 112. On ἦ in questions marking a request for clarification, see e.g. Bäumlein 1861:122; Humbert 1960:407; Bakker, Van Emde Boas, Huitink, and Rijksbaron forthcoming. On ἦ and emotional involvement, see II.3 §§38-39, and III.2 §§87-89. ἦ’s capacity to start a question-answer pair can be related to its function of marking a new narrative move in Homer; see II.3 §§33-43.
[ back ] 113. In fact, however, asking for clarification with ἦ is more common after answers or otherwise news-bringing turns than after questions. The only other ἦ questions in my corpus that can be interpreted as starting an insert expansion are found in Aeschylus Agamemnon 942 (ἦ καί: also zooming in on the preceding turn) and Sophocles Antigone 44 (ἦ γάρ).
[ back ] 114. Examples of post-expansions without a turn-initial particle that function as assessments after a question-answer pair include Aeschylus Agamemnon 270; Eumenides 900; Euripides Hippolytus 278; Aristophanes Birds 79bis.
[ back ] 115. Examples of post-expansions without a turn-initial particle that function as new questions after a complete adjacency pair are e.g. Sophocles Ajax 532; Oedipus King 1047, 1124, 1126; Oedipus at Colonus 388; Euripides Hippolytus 803; Aristophanes Birds 70bis. Of these, the instance in Ajax is after a request-refusal pair, all others after a question-answer pair.
[ back ] 116. For an exception see Medea’s rejection of Jason’s offer of money in Euripides Medea 616-617. As Buffing 2011 notes, her response is very strong and straightforward. The response’s unusual character strengthens the characterization of Medea as angry, and behaving impolitely as a result. On this passage see also Goldstein 2012:10-11, who points out that Medea’s answer is strengthened, “in response to the strength of Jason’s directive” (sc. to accept the money).
[ back ] 117. Examples of preferred responses to directives and offers with a turn-initial first-person verb, but without turn-initial particles, include Sophocles Ajax 116 (response to an encouragement/statement of permission); Oedipus King 700 (response to a request), 861 (response to a request/order); Euripides Alcestis 376 (response to an offer); Hippolytus 250 (response to a request); Medea 184 (response to a request), 267 (response to a request), 752 (response to a request, after an insert expansion), 1019 (response to a piece of advice); Aristophanes Birds 176 (response to a request), 1276 (response to an offer); Women at the Thesmophoria 27ter (response to a request), 28bis (response to a request).
[ back ] 118. Other instances of turn-initial καὶ δή with a first-person verb expressing compliance to a directive include Sophocles Electra 317, 1436; Philoctetes 818; Aristophanes Birds 175bis, 550; Wealth 227, 414; Women at the Thesmophoria 214bis.
[ back ] 119. See Wecklein 1902 and Friis Johansen and Whittle 1980 ad loc.
[ back ] 120. On these functions of καί, see III.2 §§34-37, and IV.2 §§102-105. On δή referring to something perceivable, see III.2 §§75-78, and e.g. Döderlein 1858:362-363; Bäumlein 1861:98-99; Humbert 1960:404; Sicking 1986:133; Van Ophuijsen 1993:141; Bakker 1997:75. Possibly Stephens 1837:65, Paley 1881:21, and Thiemann 1881:530-532 hint at this force as well. See also II.3 §§53-64 on δή in Homer, and III.2 §§73-79 on δή in drama.
[ back ] 121. On this function of καὶ δή, see Bäumlein 1861:98-102; Cooper 2002:2940; Denniston 1950 [1934]:250. These scholars also note the occurrence of (turn-initial) καὶ δή in responses to commands: Bäumlein at 102; Cooper at 2940; Denniston at 251. See also Van Erp Taalman Kip 2009 on καὶ δή in drama in utterances referring to expected character entrances, and IV.2 §§100-101 for a cluster reading of καὶ δή in Herodotus and Aristophanes. On the notion of cluster, see I.1 §19.
[ back ] 122. Turn-initial ἰδού in obedient turns after directives is found in Sophocles Ajax 346; Philoctetes 776; Aristophanes Acharnians 583; Assemblywomen 132; Clouds 82; Frogs 200bis, 201bis; Lysistrata 924; Women at the Thesmophoria 25, 255.
[ back ] 123. See Heritage 1984, 1998, 2002; see I.3 §§29-32 for discussion.
[ back ] 124. For several uses of okay as a discourse marker, see Gaines 2011, with further literature.
[ back ] 125. The use of καὶ μάλα to indicate an affirmative response to a yes-no question in Xenophon is similar; see Jiménez Delgado 2013.
[ back ] 126. See Drummen 2009 on turn-initial ἀλλά in tragedy and comedy.
[ back ] 127. Other instances of turn-initial ἀλλά in dispreferred responses are found in Aeschylus Agamemnon 1248 (after a request); Sophocles Ajax 1141 (after an order); Oedipus King 1020 (after a question); Oedipus at Colonus 1418 (after a request); Aristophanes Birds 153bis (after a piece of advice), 1450bis (after a suggestion); Frogs 134 (after a suggestion and an insert expansion), 481bis (after a request); Lysistrata 504bis (after a request), 713 (after a request for information), 758 (after a request), 947bis (after a request).
[ back ] 128. See my discussion of μέν as a floor-holding device in §§28-30 above.
[ back ] 129. See also II.2 §60 for discussion of μέν at the start of answers. On English well, see e.g. Jucker 1993; Aijmer 2013, with further literature. Other examples of turn-initial μέν in non-straightforward answers are found in Aeschylus Agamemnon 1203; Persians 337, 353; Sophocles Ajax 80 (see (t25) in II.2 with discussion), 121; Oedipus King 527, 1051, 1234; Euripides Bacchae 493, 831, 1264; Aristophanes Birds 124, 358bis; Frogs 866, 1063; Lysistrata 142bis, 574bis.
[ back ] 130. See e.g. Heritage 2010:passim; Sidnell 2010:61-62, 75; Enfield 2013:94-100.
[ back ] 131. τοι does not contribute to the positive or negative tonality of an utterance: it implies neither hostility nor friendliness, and may be used in both kinds of contexts. The instance in (t22) is an example of a hostile context, just as Sophocles Electra 582. Examples of τοι used in a friendly context include Sophocles Electra 871; Aristophanes Lysistrata 16.
[ back ] 132. See IV.4 §§34-39 for similar observations on τοι in Herodotus.
[ back ] 133. On the interpretation of τοι as an affirmative particle, i.e. as working to underscore the strength of an assertion to the addressee, see Stephens 1837:49-50; Bäumlein 1861:236-239; Denniston 1950 [1934]:537-542. On alternative views, see Hoogeveen 1769:566, who interprets τοι as conclusive, and Hartung 1833:338-370, who interprets τοι as restrictive. As Denniston 1950 [1934]:542 notes, τοι may be used in gnomic contexts as well as in specific statements (as in (t22)).
[ back ] 134. See I.5.
[ back ] 135. See IV.4 §177 on the lower frequency of particles that contribute a more specific meaning than those that add something more general; the particles discussed there are δῆθεν (highly specific function, very infrequent) versus δή (more general functions, more frequent) in Herodotus.
[ back ] 136. Other examples of τοι in tragic monologues that can be connected to the speaker’s persuasive intentions include Aeschylus Agamemnon 877, 903; Sophocles Ajax 520; Electra 582, 916, 984; Philoctetes 480; Oedipus at Colonus 1187; Euripides Children of Heracles 533; Hippolytus 467. Examples in shorter speeches include Aeschylus Prometheus Bound 39 (1-line utterance); Sophocles Electra 871 (4-line utterance); Oedipus at Colonus 1407 (15-line utterance). The instance in Euripides Bacchae 1118 occurs in a messenger speech, which as a whole does not have a primarily persuasive goal, but it is part of a quotation from Pentheus, who is cited as trying to persuade his mother Agaue not to kill him.
[ back ] 137. See also IV.5 §§75-76, §84, §86, and §93 on τοι in discourse acts with persuasive purposes in historiography. Other examples of τοι in Aristophanes where the hearer is invited to accept the τοι statement include Assemblywomen 604; Birds 308, 600, 1225, 1437, 1438bis, 1642; Clouds 365, 878; Frogs 73bis, 509, 1039, 1046, 1047bis (Henderson aptly translates νὴ τὸν Δία τοῦτό γέ τοι δή as “That’s the truth, all right!”); Lysistrata 16, 46, 626; Peace 628 (see III.2 §83); Wasps 934.
[ back ] 138. Other examples of τοι in this use are Aeschylus Libation Bearers 456 (σέ τοι λέγω); Sophocles Ajax 1228 (σέ τοι); Electra 1445 (σέ τοι); Oedipus at Colonus 1578 (σέ τοι κικλήσκω); Euripides Iphigeneia at Aulis 855 (σέ τοι λέγω); Aristophanes Birds 274 (σέ τοι), 356ter (ἐγώ τοί σοι λέγω), 406 (σέ τοι καλῶ); Peace 934 (εὖ τοι λέγεις); Wealth 1099 (σέ τοι λέγω). As the immediate co-text makes clear, τοι cannot be interpreted as a second-person pronoun in these cases either, as it often is in Homer and in Herodotus, because the second person is either already referred to by another pronoun, or is the subject of the verb. I have not found any instances of this use of τοι in drama.
[ back ] 139. On the use of this expression in drama, see §41 above.
[ back ] 140. Elliott 1969, Flacelière 1970, and Mastronarde 2002 ad loc. all make note of this echo.
[ back ] 141. See III.3 §§76-79 on γε and resonance.
[ back ] 142. On this function of γε, see e.g. Hartung 1832:371, Kühner 1835:398, Stephens 1837:92, and Bäumlein 1861:54. Other examples of turn-initial γε in answers are found in Aeschylus Persians 800; Sophocles Ajax 104, 876, 1347, 1365; Antigone 404, 728, 1103; Electra 319; Oedipus King 365, 563, 628bis, 994, 1001, 1011, 1046, 1171, 1175bis; Oedipus at Colonus 387; Women of Trachis 1214; Euripides Andromache 254, 912, 914, 916, 918; Bacchae 835, 966bis; Hecuba 766; Hippolytus 96, 98, 1053; Medea 698, 1369, 1398bis; Aristophanes Birds 56bis, 75, 178bis, 1360; Frogs 5bis, 26, 125, 313bis; Lysistrata 29, 148bis, 862, 882, 897bis, 1162, 1167. Sometimes resonance is involved in the answer (see III.3 §§76-79), or an agitated emotion (see III.5 §§45-47 and §56).
[ back ] 143. Elliott 1969 and Mossman 2011 ad loc. argue for such an interpretation. The sarcastic reading is strengthened by our knowledge that Medea is very angry with Jason about this; see III.5 §§56-58 for γε in contexts of anger.
[ back ] 144. See also III.5 §§59-63 on γε in contexts of stancetaking in Aristophanes. We adopt the model on stancetaking by Du Bois 2007; see also Du Bois and Kärkkäinen 2012. On stance and particle use, see IV.4.4-9. Often only one of the three dimensions evaluating, positioning, and alignment is made explicit; however, as Du Bois 2007:164 argues, the other two are always implied. Strictly speaking, every utterance is a subjective judgment by the speaker: she considers the current utterance the most relevant thing to say at the current moment, whether it is a question, an answer, an assessment, or something else. In the words of Du Bois and Kärkkäinen 2012:438, “every utterance in interaction contributes to the enactment of stance, even if this stance is only evoked and not explicitly spelled out (…).” However, I here speak of “stancetaking” only when an evaluation, positioning, or alignment is made explicit. On assessments (generally the evaluation part of stancetaking) in a CA perspective, see e.g. Pomerantz 1984; Schegloff 2007:59-60, 71, 73-74, 123-126.
[ back ] 145. In fact, most turns containing a turn-initial γε can arguably be classified as either answers to questions (or less frequently to requests) or stancetakings. It seems somewhat suspicious to me that some of the turn-initial γε instances that cannot clearly be so categorized are actually conjectures. Examples are Aeschylus Libation Bearers 493; Euripides Bacchae 1297; Hippolytus 1404.
[ back ] 146. On γε implying a contrast to an implicit alternative, see e.g. Bäumlein 1861:54; Hartung 1832:371; Kühner 1835:398; Stephens 1837:92; and III.3 §§77-79 and III.5 §47.
[ back ] 147. On the connection between stancetaking and emotion, see Du Bois and Kärkkäinen 2012. On the connection between γε and anger, and between γε and stancetaking—sometimes combined—, see III.5 §§51-63. Other examples of turn-initial γε in turns performing stancetaking are found in Aeschylus Agamemnon 938, 1213; Persians 286, 1023; Sophocles Ajax 78, 534, 589, 983; Antigone 241, 573; Oedipus King 1035, 1159; Philoctetes 755; Euripides Andromache 909; Bacchae 800, 824; Hippolytus 1080; Medea 588; Aristophanes Assemblywomen 213; Birds 158, 1208, 1268, 1692; Frogs 125bis, 228, 491, 1149, 1261, 1430, 1451; Knights 470; Lysistrata 81bis, 148bis, 205, 498quat, 499bis, 521, 777, 988bis, 992, 1228.
[ back ] 148. Of course the addition of γε may also have a metrical advantage, as in Sophocles Oedipus King 1035 (a stancetaking) and Euripides Medea 698 (an answer), where γ᾽ provides the necessary lengthening of the previous syllable. Nevertheless, its pragmatic function must be contextually appropriate at the same time; otherwise the poet could have used another way of lengthening. In the two instances cited, for example, δ᾽ or τ᾽ in the same position would have produced the same metrical advantage, but would have been pragmatically impossible, or at least extremely odd. (See §27 above on turn-initial τε and §35, §§37-38 on turn-initial δέ.)
[ back ] 149. Possible examples of turn-initial γε in questions are found in Aristophanes Birds 1446 (γ᾽ ἆρα), 1542 (γ᾽ ἆρ’); Frogs 138bis (in a later position, εἶτα πῶς γε περαιωθήσομαι;); 515 (πῶς γε λέγεις). All of these have textual variants, however, and are disputed by editors. I therefore do not agree with Lowe 1973:50 that γε at the beginning of a question is generally unproblematic. Dover 1993 ad Frogs 138bis and 515 argues that these γε instances were probably added to the manuscripts in later transmission. Denniston 1950 [1934] mentions that the examples he cites (124-125) are “for the most part textually doubtful” as well.
[ back ] 150. Though the category of interjections is ill-defined, just as that of particles, and the functions of these two catergories occasionally overlap, an important difference is that interjections can form an utterance on their own, whereas particles generally do not. See Nordgren 2012:11, 16-17; 2015. On interjections in drama, see also III.5 §15.
[ back ] 151. As with vocatives (see note 25), there are exceptions, in which the interjection is used as a quote, rather than directly expressing an emotion: Aeschylus Persians 1032, 1071, 1072.
[ back ] 152. See Nordgren 2012:17 on Greek interjections being speaker-oriented. Other examples of turn-initial interjections are found in e.g. Aeschylus Persians 725 (see (t8) above), 731; Agamemnon 1214; Libation Bearers 691, 875, 928, 1007; Sophocles Ajax 332, 336, 737, 791, 800, 1266; Antigone 82, 1105, 1294, 1306, 1317; Oedipus King 316, 754, 1308; Euripides Bacchae 805, 1259, 1350; Hippolytus 353, 806, 1064; Medea 277, 330, 1310, 1393, 1399; Aristophanes Birds 62, 86, 272bis, 1501; Frogs 307, 653, 657, 1214; Lysistrata 198, 449, 462, 845, 1078.
[ back ] 153. Other examples of stancetaking without turn-initial contextualization cues include Sophocles Ajax 1120, 1137; Antigone 88, 576; Oedipus King 616; Euripides Alcestis 706; Bacchae 193, 197, 838; Medea 364, 520, 684; Aristophanes Acharnians 479; Birds 95bis; Frogs 606bis, 652, 1411.
[ back ] 154. For the use of τε in this passage, see III.2 §43.
[ back ] 155. See (t3) with discussion in §17 above.
[ back ] 156. See §§11-12 above.
[ back ] 157. Other examples of stancetaking turns with a contextualization cue as their second or third word, but within the first discourse act, include Sophocles Ajax 94; Antigone 561, 571, 1059; Oedipus King 545, 859, 1160; Women of Trachis 1238; Euripides Bacchae 193; Hippolytus 278; Medea 522, 741, 1127; Aristophanes Birds 79; Frogs 169ter.
[ back ] 158. Perhaps the “independent” form of these utterances was sometimes chosen by the poets to make them more amenable to being taken out of their context for purposes of quotation. Wright 2013 argues that some lines in tragedy may well have been designed by the playwright to be easily quoted outside their original context. The absence of a particle or other contextualization cue at the start, I suggest, may be one feature contributing to such a movable character.
[ back ] 159. Aristophanes Frogs 1152, 1182, 1211, 1225, 1471.
[ back ] 160. Other examples of turns without turn-initial contextualization cues that sound gnomic, extra important, or formal include Sophocles Ajax 383, 1163 (starting with ἔσται), 1352; Antigone 561, 576; Oedipus King 1069; Euripides Bacchae 193, 1348; Hecuba 1000 (starting with ἔστ’); Heracles 93; Medea 520, 700, 1231, 1367; Aristophanes Birds 903, 1213, 1581 (see Dunbar 1995 ad loc.), 1626; Lysistrata 501. Several such turns without a turn-initial contextualization cue are also found in lyric parts. These are not discussed here, because lyric songs generally have a different style than iambic dialogues.
[ back ] 161. See II.3 §49 with note 155 on move beginnings with ἔστι or ἦν, with further literature.
[ back ] 162. Van Leeuwen 1903, Sommerstein 1990 and Wilson 2007 add δέ to 898; Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff 1927, Coulon 1958 (in Coulon and Van Daele), and Henderson 1987 defend the reading without a particle.
[ back ] 163. One form of the verb ὀργιάζω is found in Euripides Bacchae 416, but this play was performed in 405 BCE, several years after Aristophanes Lysistrata (411 BCE).
[ back ] 164. On other instances of humor in Aristophanes deriving from the pragmatic level of communication, see Kloss 2001. Other examples of textual problems involving turn-initial particles include Aeschylus Persians 480 (δέ or γε), Libation Bearers 494 (γε or τε); Sophocles Ajax 82 (γε or γάρ), 879 (δῆτα or δή); Euripides Bacchae 1297 (γε or no particle); Aristophanes Birds 273 (γε or no particle), 1693 (no particle or ἀλλά); Frogs 515 (no particle or γε; see note 149 above); Lysistrata 945 (γε or no particle). I intend to discuss these cases elsewhere.
[ back ] 165. Denniston 1952:111 on Greek prose style speaks of γε as a particle that may “soften” asyndeton: “though not strictly connective, [γε and some other particles] seem to have been regarded by the Greeks as to some extent mitigating the lack of connexion.”
[ back ] 166. Aeschylus Persians, Agamemnon, Libation Bearers; Sophocles Ajax, Antigone, Oedipus King; Euripides Bacchae, Hippolytus, Medea; Aristophanes Birds, Frogs, Lysistrata.
[ back ] 167. For the term “combination,” see I.1 §19. It includes both “clusters,” in which more than one particle pragmatically work together, and combinations in which several particles simply happen to be adjacent, but have their own separate functions.
[ back ] 168. These numbers are lower than the sum of all starts with particles and those with other contextualization cues, because turns may start with both a particle and another contextualization cue. If so, they are only counted once for this subtotal. Question words, especially, are frequently combined with a turn-initial particle in second position: e.g. Aeschylus Persians 1016 (τί δ᾽); Sophocles Oedipus King 1177 (πῶς δῆτ᾽); Euripides Medea 689 (τί γάρ); Aristophanes Frogs 1162 (πῶς δή).
[ back ] 169. See our frequency overview in I.5. See also Hancock 1917 on the frequency of different turn-initial particles in tragic stichomythia: he notes (26) that τε is infrequent, καί frequent, and δέ even more so. Asyndeton is even more frequent (28): “Particles are largely used because they save phrases, asyndeton because it saves both phrases and particles.”
[ back ] 170. See III.5 §§34-37 for some specific uses of μέν in Aeschylus Agamemnon.
[ back ] 171. See also Drummen 2009 on turn-initial ἀλλά in these four authors, with similar numbers.
[ back ] 172. The difference may of course also be due to chance.
[ back ] 173. On swearing expressions in Aristophanes, see e.g. Dillon 1995. These “oaths,” he argues (137), “usually indicate only the speaker’s emotional state”.
[ back ] 174. The plays consist of the following number of lines: Aeschylus Persians: 1077; Agamemnon: 1673; Libation Bearers: 1076; Sophocles Ajax: 1420; Antigone: 1353; Oedipus King: 1530; Euripides Bacchae: 1392; Hippolytus: 1466; Medea: 1419; Aristophanes Birds: 1765; Frogs: 1533, Lysistrata: 1321. On average, Aeschylus writes 1275, Sophocles 1434, Euripides 1426, and Aristophanes 1540 lines per play.
[ back ] 175. In this respect, comedy can be said to be closer to spoken conversation, where turns tend to be short. See e.g. Schegloff 2007:3-4, who explains that turns may consist of only one turn-constructional unit, that is, one grammatical unit with a certain intonational packaging, and Sidnell 2010:41-43, 139 on turn-constructional units and transition-relevance places.
[ back ] 176. See also Hancock 1917:17 on Euripides Medea: “we should expect from the nature of the plot and the character of the heroine a great deal of vigorous stichomythia. In fact, however, most of the bitterness is vented in longer speeches and there is comparatively little line-dialogue.”
[ back ] 177. The absolute numbers of turn-initial question words are: Aeschylus Persians: 12; Agamemnon: 24; Libation Bearers: 17; Sophocles Ajax: 32; Antigone: 24; Oedipus King: 51; Euripides Bacchae: 34; Hippolytus: 25; Medea: 24; Aristophanes Birds: 84; Frogs: 77, Lysistrata: 55.