Rhythm without Beat: Prosodically Motivated Grammarisation in Homer

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3. Metrics and Phonology of Grammatical Clauses

3.0 Introduction

The real compositional principle behind the verse-to-verse structure of both the Iliad and the Odyssey seems to be a progressive tendency that strings together a large and possibly infinite number of single-clause informational units. The progression results from continuation, itself due to transitional constituents with clear pragmatic value, but little semantic function. The grammatical clauses that this progressive tendency produces are not guided by the grammatical requirements of the sentence. There is little predicational hierarchy, and hence no complex predication. Coordination and subordination stem from discourse markers that are themselves characterised prosodically, that is as metrical chunks. This prosodic characterisation isolates discourse markers from grammatical clauses in a way that differs [1] from written classical Greek. In Homer, their prosodic isolation in the phonetic word reduces, or even frustrates, usage as sentential particle. With the exception of the particle-introduced metrical-colon clause, the syntactical function of conjunctions and particles in larger scale grammatisation is severely hampered by the prosodic characterisation, the isolation, of the phonetic-word chunk. The pragmatic transitional constituents are both syntactically, and prosodically, extra-clausal. [2]

The majority of the Homeric transitional constituents appears to fill a metrical colon. In chapter 2, however, it was shown that elision, turning prosodic isolation impossible, in a way “reorganises” the juxtaposition of transitional constituents and grammatical clauses: the transitional constituent was no longer prosodically isolated, but incorporated into a single phrasal domain together with (part of) the subsequent clause. It is tempting to discuss “reorganisation” in terms of a compositional process that takes an earlier state and a new state, both of which are identifiable in the Homeric epic. The earlier state and the new state are then thought of as mental stages in the process that created the change in the surface structure from [transitional constituent]+[clause] as two prosodically characterised domains, into [transitional constituent + clause] as a single phrasal domain. Elision turned out to be a means to leap from one mental stage to the other; it may not be the only means to do so. There may be other phonological phenomena that reduce or frustrate prosodic isolation “on the right branch boundary” (at the completion) of the transitional constituent, thus reducing the isolating effect of metrical colometry. Seen from that angle, “reorganisation” of phrasal domains is no more that a development from an earlier mental stage in which colometry is understood as the reflection of surface structure, to a new stage in which surface structure at times mutes the positions of frequent word end. As both “mental stages” are still recognisable in the Homeric epic, phonology must provide the conditions under which the leap from one state to another could be undertaken. In order to determine under which conditions the transitional phonetic word may constitute one phrasal domain together with what follows the phonetic-word boundary, we need to look at that boundary. If the transitional phonetic word is syntactically functional within a larger scale grammatical unit, I would expect it to be phonologically appositive [3] as well. Phonological clisis is evidenced by resyllabification and phonetic reorganisation. Meter does not change in the process, but phonology will mirror the rationalisation of phonetic reorganisation. The phonological realisation of the (transitional) phonetic word and the larger scale grammatical unit may resemble that of the minor and major phonological phrase. If so, the level of syntactical arrangement and grammatical governance will appear to be higher than the persistence of nonconfigurationality and apposition in Homer. Phrasal variability stems from, but does not reflect, the metrical repetition.

3.1 The Phrasal Domain

I aim to show that the metrical and phonological shape of the grammatical clause (and of transitional constituents) will show the result of reorganisation of phonetic words in a prosodic structure that mirrors that of the minor and major phonological phrase. The positioning of the minor phrase within the major phrase is itself a type of reorganisation of phrasal domains. First, however, I will explain how the phrasal domain is organised internally through coherence, and how it is demarcated at its beginning and end. In a metrical text like the Homeric epic there is a role to play here both for metrics and phonology.

3.1.1 Coherence and demarcation of the phrasal domain

The surface structure of metrical text shows that within the metrical unit of the verse, there is no orthographic syllabification, but “prosodic syllabification”:

(orthographical syllabification)
τὸν.δαὖ.τεπ.ρο.σέ.ει.πε.συ.βώ.τη. σόρ.χα.μο.σαν.δρῶν
(“prosodic syllabification”)

Odyssey 16.36

The syllable structures are such that they correspond to the weight of the metrical positions they occupy. Prosodic syllabification is confined to the metrical unit of the verse: prosodic syllabification phenomena like shortening, liaison, and elision demonstrate the συνάφεια “juncture” within the verse. This “juncture” is broken at the metrical boundary of the verse-end: shortening, liaison, and elision do not occur there. Sometimes, the ‘juncture’ is broken at word-end within the verse. The συνάφεια indicates a type of coherence within the metrical unit of the individual verse. It is this coherence that facilitates the division of the verse into vowel-centred sounds that do not correspond with morphological or orthographic syllabification: the vowel-centred sounds are characterised prosodically, not orthographically. The prosodic “cutting up” of the line, however, can hardly be called “syllabification” as its clusters of “syllables” do not correspond with morphological lexemes, that is, the understandable and separable units of meaning (words and affixes). The orthographical syllables, a further subdivision of lexemes in single units of articulatory prominence, [
4] do not signify quantity. [5] The units of quantity are phonemes, sounds that are formed regardless of morphology. It is better to leave the general terminology “syllable” behind and refer to the units of prosodic cutting up as “segments”. As phonology determines the exact shape of the segments, prosodic “syllabification” is best referred to as “phonological segmentation”. The segmentation itself is coherent within the verse, but cannot transgress the boundaries of the single line. As mentioned above, the phonemes of phonological segmentation are best referred to as segments. The terminology “syllable” is then only applicable to segments that are free from the influence of sandhi: liaison of consonants (or συνάφεια), and vowel coalescence (or συναλοιφή) through elision and shortening.

Within the line, phonological segmentation joins individual words together into a string of inseparable word groups by means of sandhi, much like the musical legato. Not every string is a whole verse, nor is every verse one whole string. The segmental approach of meter, with regard for the phrasal domain as the result of sandhi and for demarcation as the result of syllable-segments, suggests coherence and demarcation on a scale that is at times smaller or larger than the single verse. Coherence often disregards or nullifies the ‘ideal’ metrical colometry: phonological segmentation shows that positions of frequent word end may not automatically be considered as boundaries of the phrasal domain: sandhi often straddles these metrical boundaries. [6] Where phonological segmentation runs counter to orthographical syllabification, Devine and Stephens speak of resyllabification: either as onset to coda shift, the right to left movement of a consonant [7] (ἔ.να.ρα.βρο.τό.εν.τα –> ἔ.να.ραβ.ρο.τό.εν.τα), or as coda to onset resyllabification. Coda to onset resyllabification may be clearest seen in Homer by means of the movable nu, whose application regularly demonstrates the continuity of the phrasal domain over, for example, the third foot word division:

ἠὲ φίλων ἐν χερσίν ἐπεὶ πόλεμον τολύπευσε

Odyssey 14.368

or in the hands of friends after he had survived the war

As was shown in the modification to the analysis of Iliad 1.1–16 in 2.2.3, elision looks like the coda to onset type of resyllabification, but is in fact reduction of a syllable to onset. In other words, elision creates a segment-initial consonant [
8] . The elided vocalic sound is still present, though severely reduced: elision affects the pitch pattern in case of an elided accented syllable, and in case of elision of clitics with secondary accentuation:

εἴπ᾿ (< εἰπὲ) ὄνομ᾿ ὅττι σε κεῖθι κάλεον μήτηρ τε πατήρ τε

Odyssey 8.550

Speak the name that yonder your mother and father called you

          νῦν δ᾿ οὐδ᾿ ἑνὸς ἄξιοί εἰμεν

Iliad 8.234–235

But now we are not even equal to one | Hector

In case of an elided monosyllable, the remaining consonant turns into an orthographic onset, that is, the syllable-initial consonant(s):

τὸν δ᾿ ὁ (τὸν.δὁ) γέρων Πρίαμος πρῶτος ἴδεν ὀφθαλμοῖσι

Iliad 22.25

Old man Priam saw him first with his eyes

Hiatus, on the other hand, is a means of demarcating the phrasal domain. Following a heavy syllable containing a long word-final vowel or diphthong, hiatus can be avoided in the arsis by shortening: [

ἔχθιστος δέ μοί ἐσσι θεῶν οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσιν

Iliad 5.890

But for me you are most hated of the gods who hold the Olympus

ἡμεῖς δ᾿ εἰμὲν τοῖοι οἳ ἂν σέθεν ἀντιάσαιμεν

Iliad 7.231

But we are such men that we are able to oppose you

Apart from hiatus, demarcation of the phrasal domain is indicated by the simultaneous completion of both phonological segment and orthographical syllable. Demarcation of the domain is hence found at the appearance of phonetic word-final syllables, including not-shortened heavy phonetic word-final syllables containing a long vowel or a diphthong: [

σχέσθε φίλοι καί μ᾿ οἶον ἐάσατε κηδόμενοί περ

Iliad 22.416

Don’t, my friends, and please allow me alone, concerned though you are,

οὔ τι κατακτείνει πλάζει δ᾿ ἀπὸ πατρίδος αἴης

Odyssey 1.75

He does not kill him, but makes him wander far from his native land

τίς πόθεν εἲς ἀνδρῶν πόθι τοι πόλις ἠδὲ τοκῆες

Odyssey 19.105

Who are you? From where among men are you? Where are your city and parents?

Next to word-final light syllables on the arsis, another indication for demarcation is the syllable containing a short vowel on the foot’s first element:

ὁ ξεῖνος ἐμέθεν ἐθέλω δέ μιν ἐξερέεσθαι

(that) the stranger (may listen) to me; I wish to interrogate him

               τὼ δέ οἱ ὄσσε
δακρυόφιν πλῆσθεν θαλερὴ δέ οἱ ἔσχετο φωνή

Odyssey 4.704–705

Both her eyes | filled with tears, and her melodious voice broke down

The coherence and demarcation of the phrasal domain show that there is a second type of “prosodic unit”, next to the phonetic word: there is a phonological phrase that is larger than the metrical-colon appositive group, but not necessarily equal in size to the single hexametric verse. At the same time, this larger phrase seems to incorporate the, smaller size, phonetic words. The larger phrase resembles the major phonological phrase, the phonetic word the minor phonological phrase. If this comparison makes any sense for Homeric Greek, how do these two types of phonological phrases create one pattern of phrasal domains?

3.1.2 Reorganisation of the phrasal domain

Phonological phrases have been identified in Greek, though not specifically in Homer, by Devine and Stephens (1994). Their description of the minor phrase shares most of the characteristics of Homer’s intonation unit as identified by Bakker:

Devine and Stephens identify the minor phrase as a prosodic unit that forms the domain for grammatical development because of its characterisation as a domain. In Greek, the combination of clisis and metrical phrasing is evidence of the coherence of the phonological domain, and hence, as Devine and Stephens point out, of some coherence within a syntactical domain. They point at the positions of frequent word end, the occurrence of sandhi, and the minor phrase boost of the accent (as evidenced in the musical settings of the Delphic hymns) as proof of the prosodic coherence within the minor phonological phrase. In most respects, the minor phrase in Greek works, I would say, like the intonation-unit metrical phrase in Homer as presented as the unit of Homeric discourse by Bakker. In chapter 2, I showed that both prosodic and syntactical clisis turns enclitics into “bidirectionals” as intonation-unit transitional constituents turn into sentential prepositive phonetic words. That way, the minor-phrase intonation unit is drawn into a larger whole (Devine and Stephens speak of ‘prosodic unit’), reflecting a higher level of grammatisation, and demarcated by audibly stronger disruptions at normal rates of speech. These larger scale units resemble what Devine and Stephens describe as major phonological phrases:

It is probably a general rule that the larger the verse structure, the more likely it is to end with a major syntactical boundary. In particular, sentence end is common at the end of stichoi and even more so at the end of couplets and stanzas, and conversely less common in other positions than it would be with random distribution. […] It is not the syntactic unit (sentence, clause, etc.) but its implementing phonological unit, or more precisely prosodic unit, that is involved in the rule constraining mismatch of verse unit and syntactic unit. This rule, which is naturally liable to artistic manipulation by the poet, is related to the disruption caused by pause and its associated prosodic features when verse unit and linguistic unit are mismatched, as is quite clear at the paragraph-stanza level, particularly in sung verse. […] Presumably, listeners tend to discard prosodic clues to syntactic boundaries immediately after another prosodic boundary, since the likelihood of a prosodic boundary increases as the phonological distance from the preceding boundary grows. This may be one of the reasons why those bridges in Greek verse which contain false division of the stichos are less strictly observed at the beginning of the line. Major phrases are apparently important not only as phonological cues to syntactic, and consequently semantic, structure, but also as cues to processing units. Our brains seem to process the utterances we hear in clausal chunks […] Verbal memory seems to be replaced by semantic memory clause by clause. [13]

The demarcation of minor and major phonological phrases is hence a matter of both meter and apposition (for the minor phrase), and phonetics (for the audible phenomena demarcating the major phrase). In the remainder of this chapter, I will first analyse the metrical pattern of the grammatical clause and its intonation units. It is easy to identify and the easiest way to provide evidence for the prosodic determination of phrasal-domain reorganisation. The phonological pattern is a different story entirely; it provides the rationalisation of the possibilities and impossibilities of phrase termination, but phrase termination can not change the metrical surface structure. Phonology evidences the internal coherence of the phonological phrase and its demarcation. Phonetic clues for phrase termination are hence identifiable. Their identification requires a new approach of the audible pause that is partly my own contribution in this study. The description of Homeric syntax as a progressive tendency featuring grammatical clauses will finds its reflection in the patterning of audible pauses, discussed in detail in chapter 4. Before that, following the description of the grammatical clause’s metrical and phonological pattern, I will assess the clues from antiquity for the perception of Homeric discourse as a progressive tendency due to a series of grammatical clauses.

3.2 Meter and the Homeric Grammatical Clause

In this section I will examine the way grammatical clauses are located onto the hexameter or parts thereof. The notion, rejected in chapter 1, that grammatical requirements of the clause are preferably met within the boundaries of the individual hexameter suggests that the possibilities for location are restricted to the phrasal domain of the single line. I will show that this is not the case: the single line is not the phrasal domain of the grammatical clause. In other words, the compositional impulse of the metrical hexametric unity is limited. The remarks made so far concerning the Homeric grammatical clause provide the examination with a serviceable basis. It is possible to start the identification of the metrical pattern or patterns of the clause, as the grammatical clause shows a clearly marked beginning. The beginning of the grammatical clause is of course a much more convenient point to start than its completion. The extra-clausal intonation-unit constituent branches the boundary of the clause on the left, that is, its start. The combination of syntactical and prosodic framing (clisis) is a clear indication for clause-start. Branching on the right is not so easily determined in Homer’s adding and appositional style: on the right branch, there is only prosodic framing. Syntactical framing, if any, is on the left branch of the subsequent clause or transitional constituent. That makes the Homeric grammatical clause rather open-ended.

The metrical boundary most commonly considered as an audible pause is the verse end. Grammatically, the verse end is straddled easily. The verse end does not necessarily indicate the completion of a grammatical clause, though it coincides with the transition from one grammatical clause to the next many times. The verse end is often not itself the point of transition, but it is preceded or followed by extra-clausal constituents. A clause can easily be distributed over (parts of) more than one hexameter without being—grammatically—hampered at all.

3.3 The Metrical Pattern of the Homeric Grammatical Clause

3.3.1 The start of the clause

Grammatical clauses can be found to start after numerous positions within the verse and at the beginning of a verse. Listed below are examples of clauses starting after different metrical positions. I have chosen to make the clauses start after the different metrical positions: that makes it easier to account for the various ways a clause may start depending on the metrical realisation of the foot’s second element. The difference between clause start in –, , or is now presented more clearly. I have tried to present a complete list of the metrical possibilities for clause start, so extra categories have been added to account for the various metrical ways in which a clause can start. Clauses are cited till verse end, but may extend into the next line. This list will show the freedom and variety to both create an open-ended clause, and to start a new one, almost regardless of metrical position. [16] It also shows the metrical adaptations and licenses required (and used) to attain such freedom and variety. Many more examples can of course be added.

1 [+       καὶ 1 [βάλεν Αἴαντος δεινὸν σάκος ἑπταβόειον

Iliad 7.245

And he hit the large seven-layer shield of Ajax

1 [+ –      ἀλλ᾿ 1 [ἐῶμέν μιν πρῶτα παρεξελθεῖν πεδίοιο

Iliad 10.344

But let us allow him to pass by us out upon the plain

The start of a grammatical clause after position 1 by means of a heavy segment at position 2 is not common. When used, it is often in combination with an elided particle at position 1, in a formula, or with an elided particle in a formula, like τὸν δ᾿ αὖτε προσέειπε ‘and to him, in turn, said’. In this formula, the sandhi due to elision makes the grammatical clause start at the beginning of the verse: another indication that clause start with a heavy segment at position 2 is avoided. The example Iliad 10.344 is clear enough, but looks like a modification of a prototype starting from 1 [+ ]. Leaf [
17] suggests original ἀλλ᾿ ἐάωμεν πρῶτα, pointing at the irregular position of μιν, but retains the elision. It is difficult to determine whether or not reorganisation through elision postdates the modification of formulaic prototypes: both have the major-phrase hemistich as their domain. [18] It would be theoretically sound, I think, to correct to ἀλλὰ ἐῶμεν πρῶτα (as do Brandreth and Von Christ).

1½      ἀλλὰ [πολὺ πρῶτος νέμεαι τέρεν᾿ ἄνθεα ποίης

Odyssey 9.449

But as the first by far you feed on the soft flowers of the pasture

2      αἶψα δὲ 2 [Φαιήκεσσι φιληρέτμοισι μετηύδα

Odyssey 8.535

Immediately he spoke to the Phaecians who love to row

The start of a clause after position 2 can of course be preceded by a heavy syllable as in Iliad 10.203 ἀγχοῦ δ᾿ ἱστάμενος ἔπεα πρερόεντα προσηύδα ‘standing close to him he spoke the winged words’.

3 [+      πολλὸν δὲ 3 [τρόφι κῦμα κυλίνδεται ὑψόσε δ᾿ ἄχνη

Iliad 11.307

In multitudes the high waves come rolling, and high up the foam

3 [+ –      ἀλλ᾿ ἄγε δὴ 3 [στέωμεν καὶ ἀλεξώμεσθα μένοντες

Iliad 11.348

But, come, let us stand our ground and defend ourselves without withdrawing

Similar to clauses starting after 1 [+ heavy segment], clauses starting after 3 [+ heavy segment] may show signs of modification.

3½      ἀλλ᾿ ἄρα τόν γε [κύνες τε καὶ οἰωνοὶ κατέδαψαν

Odyssey 3.259

But surely the dogs and the birds have eaten him

4      ἔρδ᾿ ἀτὰρ οὔ τοι 4 [πάντες ἐπαινέομεν θεοὶ ἄλλοι

Iliad 16.443

Go ahead, but we, the other gods, do not all approve of it

Hilberg’s law is being observed. The phonetic-word boundary following enclitic τοι, is reversed by the prepositive character of οὔ τοι:

ἔρδ᾿ ἀτὰρ [οὔ [←τοι 4 ]→] πάντες ἐπαινέομεν θεοὶ ἄλλοι

The particle τοι becomes bidirectional [
19] (phonetic word [οὔ τοι πάντες]).

5 [+      μή σε βάλω ἀπὸ δὲ 5 [μελιηδέα θυμὸν ἔλωμαι

Iliad 17.17

Lest I hit you and take away your precious life

5 [+ –      αἰνότατε Κρονίδη 5 [ποῖον τὸν μῦθον ἔειπες

Iliad 16.440

Most remarkable son of Cronus, what is this word that you have spoken?

Contrary to what one may expect, the number of grammatical clauses starting with double short after position 5 (after the masculine third foot caesura) is small.

5½      ὣς ἐφάμην τοῖσιν δὲ [κατεκλάσθη φίλον ἦτορ

Odyssey 10.198

Thus I spoke, and for them their heart broke

6      ἡμετέρηι ματίηι ἐπεὶ 6 [οὐκέτι φαίνετο πομπή

Odyssey 10.79

Because of our recklessness, as no guidance showed itself anymore

Clause start after position 6 is rare. Not surprisingly, as it falls between two positions of frequent word end, not being a position of frequent phonetic-word end itself. In Odyssey 10.79 there is no phonetic-word end due to shortening. [
20] Phonetic word end at position 6 is not impossible, though. Since clause start with a heavy segment is regularly preceded by a postpositive, light syllable, clause start after position 6 is unlikely when position 6 is itself occupied by a heavy syllable. A heavy syllable on position 6 may be followed by elision of the particle, as in Odyssey 8.505:

ὣς ὁ μὲν ἑστήκει τοὶ δ᾿ 6 [ἄκριτα πόλλ᾿ ἀγόρευον

Odyssey 8.505

Thus it stood there; and they brought many things forward without critical judgment

The heavy syllable + elided particle is rare at this position throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey. With double-light at position 6, the same remarkably often applies: the phonetic word between positions 5 and 7 is kept intact.

7 [+      ἱστῶν τεχνῆσσαι πέρι γάρ 7 [σφισι δῶκεν Ἀθηνη

Odyssey 7.110

Skilled in weaving; for Athene gave them, more than others

οὕτω νῦν ἀπόπεμπε Διὸς δ᾿ 7 [ἐποπίζεο μῆνιν

Odyssey 5.146

Therefore, send him on his way now, and be on your guard against the wrath of Zeus

Reorganisation is clearly visible in Odyssey 7.110: original πέρι γὰρ σφίσι δῶκεν Ἀθηνη is likely. Odyssey 5.146 shows reorganisation in the elision of δ᾿.

Contrary to position 5, clause start after position 7 is fairly common, both in the Iliad and in the Odyssey. When preceded by a short particle or a pronoun, the transitional particle is phonetically lengthened at position 7:

ῥινοὶ ἀπέδρυφθεν τὸν δὲ 7 [μέγα κῦμα κάλυψεν

Odyssey 5.435

The skin is torn off, him, however, a great wave covered

This phenomenon is common to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Phonologically, position 7 is straddled due to (geminate -μμ-) onset-to-coda resyllabification: δὲμ.μέ.γα. [
21] Elision of the particle in Odyssey 5.146 is a clever echo of Iliad 1.5: Διὸς δ᾿ ἐτελείετο βουλή (including reference to a μῆνις). The elision is equally common:

ταρφέ᾿ ἀμειβομένω κοῦροι δ᾿ 7 [ἐπελήκεον ἄλλοι
ἑσταότες κατ᾿ ἀγῶνα πολὺς δ᾿ 7 [ὑπὸ κόμπος ὀρώρει

Odyssey 8.379–380

Constantly changing position with one another; the other boys clapped a rhythm | standing around the dancing floor, and a loud beat rose

7 [+ –      σμερδαλέη κεφαλή ἐν δὲ 7 [τρίστοιχοι ὀδόντες

Odyssey 12.91

A frigthening head, and in it teeth in three rows

7½      τῆι ῥα παραδραμέτην φευγων ὁ δ᾿ [ὄπισθε διώκων

Iliad 22.157

Past that place the two of them ran, (one) trying to escape, the other right on his tail

Clause start after an elided particle is common at this position, in this example allowing for a pronoun at position 7½. A combination like ὁ δ᾿ maintains the word end at position 7 and Hermann’s bridge: there is no room for another word end in the fourth foot, demarcating the extra-clausal constituent. When the transitional particle is given in full (not elided) at position 7½, a feminine fourth foot caesura is avoided by adding another postpositive particle or a pronoun:

κείσοντ᾿ ἐν προθύροισι νέωι δέ [τε πάντ᾿ ἐπέοικεν

Iliad 22.71

They will lie in the courtyard; for a young man all of this is appropriate

ἄστεος αἰθομένοιο θεῶν δέ [ μῆνις ἀνῆκε

Iliad 21.523

Of a burning city; the wrath of the gods has released it

8      ἣ θέμις ἐστίν ἄναξ ἀγορῆι σὺ δὲ 8 [μή τι χολωθῆις

Iliad 9.33

As is the privilege, my lord, in the assembly; as for you, control your anger

The bucolic dieresis can easily be used to start a new clause. There is a clear preference for starting the grammatical clause after position 8 over starting after 7½. It is noteworthy that clause starts after position 8 are not as often preceded by preparatory pragmatic constituents (like theme) as starts after other positions. The clause start can be preceded by the transitional constituent καί, as in Odyssey 14.404:

ὅς σ᾿ ἐπεὶ ἐς κλισίην ἄγαγον καὶ 8 [ξείνια δῶκα

Odyssey 14.404

Who, after I brought you inside my tent and gave you presents fitting for a stranger

Alternatively, the clause after position 8 starts with a verb form (including the participle), or with a proclitic connector:

χρυσὸν δ᾿ αὐτὸς ἔδυνε περὶ χροί 8 [γέντο δ᾿ ἱμάσθλην

Iliad 13.25

He dressed himself in golden armour around the skin, and grasped the whip

οἷον σ᾿ οὐδ᾿ ὀμόσας περ ἐπήγαγον 8 [οὐδέ σε πείθω

Odyssey 14.392

Such that I did not bring you any closer, not even by swearing an oath, and I do not convince you

The well-known continuation after position 8 αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα ‘but then’ is itself a transitional pragmatic constituent, to be compared with other pragmatic constituents that are intonation units fitting the metrical pattern after the bucolic dieresis. These observations strongly suggest that the bucolic dieresis can be realised as both a minor-phrase and a major-phrase boundary. Prepausal location of the word-final biceps on position 8 is suggested by punctuation [
22] at the bucolic dieresis, but is not markedly realised in phonetics:

ἄστεα δ᾿ ἀνθρώπων ἡγησομαι : 8 [οὐδέ τις ἡμέας

Odyssey 15.82

And I will lead you through the cities of men, and no one (will let) us

βούλομαι ἤδη νεῖσθαι ἐφ᾿ ἡμέτερ᾿ : 8 [οὐ γὰρ ὄπισθεν

Odyssey 15.88

I prefer to finally return to our property, for not in the future

In Odyssey 15.82, the realisation of phonetic-word end is frustrated by shortening, [
23] in 15.88 by elision. Realisation of phonetic-word end is equally frustrated by sandhi in formulaic expressions:

τὸν δ᾿ αὖ Τηλέμαχος πεπνυμένος 8 ἀντίον ηὔδα

Odyssey 24.510

To him in turn sensible Telemachus spoke

The realisation of sandhi over the metrical boundary frustrates phonetic word end. As such, the presence or absence of sandhi is a feature of phrase boundary. The bucolic dieresis must be demarcated by the minor-phrase boundary in order to be realised as a prosodic boundary. If there is no phonetic word end at the bucolic dieresis, there is no minor-phrase boundary:

ὄψεαι αἴ κ᾿ ἐθέληισθα πάτερ φίλε : 8 [τῶιδ᾿ ἐνὶ θυμῶι
οὔ τι καταισχύνοντα τεὸν γένος : 8 ([)ὡς ἀγορεύεις

Odyssey 24.511–512

You will see, if you want to, dear father: in this heart | I do not disgrace your lineage at all, as you claim

9 [+      ὁππότε κεν δὴ ταῦτα πενώμεθα καί 9 [τιν᾿ ὀίω

Odyssey 13.394

When we have are about to face these things, and I think that one

Though frequent as a position of word end, position 9 is not often used to demarcate the phonological phrase. It is phonologically straddled by enclitics (ἡ :9 μὲν ἔπειτα / οἱ :9 δὲ δὴ ἄλλοι / παῖδας :9 τ᾿ ἄλοχόν τε), or proclitics (αἴ κ᾿ :9 ἐλεήσηι / ὡς :9 ἐτέτυκτο / ὣς :9 τὸ πάρος περ).

9 [+ –      αἴ κέ μοι ὣς μεμαυῖα παρασταίης 9 [γλαυκῶπι

Odyssey 13.389

If you were to stand beside me with such enthusiasm, bleu-eyed

Odyssey 13.389 is not an example of clause start with a heavy segment after position 9; it is an example of position 9 as the demarcation of a phonological phrase. Clause start with a heavy segment after position 9 requires a spondaic verse with word end in the fifth foot. Split fifth-foot spondees are rare in Homer, let alone clause start with a heavy segment after position 9. If one reads formulaic ὄφρ᾿ ἐὺ εἰδῶ as ὄφρ᾿ εὖ εἰδῶ (Odyssey 1.174), one gets close, but the elision shows that in the dactylic hexameter the split spondee is reorganised to a metrical bridge in the fifth foot.

9½      εὖ δὴ ταῦτά γ᾿ ἔφησθα γέρον φίλε σοὶ δὲ [ἔοικε

Odyssey 3.357

You said these things really well, dear old man, and for you it is fitting

Just as after positions 7½ and (in some cases) 8, the start of a new clause after position 9½ is often preceded by a pragmatic constituent filling the metrical pattern of the minor phrase from the nearest phonetic-word end (in this case, at the bucolic dieresis φίλε :8 σοὶ). Compare the use of ὄφρα, or αὐτάρ in, for example, Odyssey 1.215:

μήτηρ μέν τ᾿ ἐμέ φησι τοῦ ἔμμεναι αὐτὰρ [ἐγώ γε

Odyssey 1.215

Sure, my mother says I am his, but I for one

10      αὐτὰρ ὁ θυμὸν ἄισθε καὶ ἤρυγεν ὡς ὅτε 10 [ταῦρος

Iliad 20.403

But he breathed his last breath and bellowed like when a bull

Clause start after position 10 is infrequent thought not impossible. The actual clause start may be after 9½ with position 10 being filled with a clitic pronoun or a particle like καί, τοι or δή. Proper clause start after position 10 can be found in, for example, Iliad 18.358–359 with σεῖο at the close of the hexameter:

ἀνστήσασ᾿ Ἀχιλῆα πόδας ταχύν ἦ ῥά νυ 10 [σεῖο
ἐξ αὐτῆς ἐγένοντο

Iliad 18.358–359

Now that you have urged swift Achilles into action; from you, as is clear now, | from yourself they are the offspring

Another example is Odyssey 7.69:

ὣς κείνη περὶ κῆρι τετίμηταί τε καὶ 10 [ἔστιν

Odyssey 7.69

So highly has she been honoured with all the heart, and was she honoured still

The prepositive character of καὶ is, as so often, further strengthened by shortening. The resulting single verb form ἔστιν remains elliptic and awkward: in his commentary, Hainsworth [
24] suggests Plato Symposium 195b μετὰ δὲ νέων ἀεὶ ξύνεστί τε καὶ ἐστι as a parallel. Extension through particles may, however, postpone the true clause start until the start of the subsequent hexameter:

ἄλλοτ᾿ ἐπαίξασκε κατὰ μόθον ἄλλοτε 10 δ᾿ αὖτε 12 [

Iliad 18.159

One moment he leapt forward into the turmoil, then again the next

οἱ δ᾿ ἤτοι τόσσον μὲν ἔχον τέλος οὔατα 10 δ᾿ οὔ πω 12 [

Iliad 18.378

They have already been completed so far, but not yet the handles

On the other hand, clause start after position 10 may even result in completion of that clause at position 12 in the same line:

Iliad 18.435

He lies in his palace, helpless, but other things now for me

(11      ξεῖνον δηθὰ θύρηισιν ἐφεστάμεν ἐγγύθι δὲ 11 [στάς

Odyssey 1.120

That the stranger stood at the door for so long; he took position close to him and)

Clause start after position 11 only seldom occurs in Homer, and the example quoted stands in brackets: it can only be accepted if the participle is seen as equivalent to a finite verb. Verse end may be in enclitic particles like τε, γε, περ, or in monosyllabic words like δῶ, κῆρ, φώς, βοῦς, χρῆ or Ζεύς, but verse end in a combination [transitional extra-clausals + monosyllabic] (for example: *ὁ δὲ Ζεύς || ) is not found. Iliad 1.128 τριπλῆι τετραπλῆι τ᾿ ἀποτίσομεν αἴ κέ ποθι Ζεύς ‘threefold, fourfold we will compensate you, if Zeus ever’ comes close, but of course the minor phrase contains at least [αἴ κέ ποθι Ζεύς]. The prosodic bridge that hampers monosyllabic ending of the hexameter renders phonetic-word end facilitating clause start from position 11 nearly impossible. Still, just as at position 9 there appears to be a possibility for a nearly straddled minor-phrase boundary:

ὣς εἰποῦσα θεὰ σκέδασ᾿ ἠέρα εἴσατο δὲ 11 χθών

Odyssey 13.352

Having spoken thus the goddess made the mist dissolve, and there appeared the landscape

12                                                                      12
     [μή τί μευ ἠύτε παιδὸς ἀφαυροῦ πειρήτιζε

Iliad 7.235

Do not try me as if I were a weak child

Clause-start after position 12 means: the start of a grammatical clause coincides with the start of a hexameter. As after other positions, clause start after position 12 may be anticipated by extra-clausal constituents in the preceding line:

αἰχμὴ ἱεμένη ῥῆξ᾿ ὀστέον :8 ἐγκέφαλος δέ 12
[ἔνδον ἅπας πεπάλακτο

Iliad 20.399–400

The speeding tip crushed the bone, and the brain | inside was splattered all-over

τῆλε δ᾿ ἀπὸ σχεδίης αὐτὸς πέσε :8 πηδάλιον δέ 12
[ἐκ χειρῶν προέηκε

Odyssey 5.315–316

Far away from the raft he himself fell, and the rudder | he let go from his hands

Both examples show bucolic anticipation, one of the “hooks” identified by Clark. [
26] The anticipation is not in terms of the clause, as suggested by Clark 1997: the grammatical clause is yet to start with the next verse. The anticipation is syntactical only from the point of view of the major phrase. Phonologically, the anticipation itself is a minor phrase, with a minor-phrase demarcation at verse end.

3.3.2 The completion of the clause

When identifying the completion of a grammatical clause, secure identification is the result of identification of the start of the subsequent clause, or of a pragmatic extra-clausal constituent. As the pragmatic constituent may be ‘reorganised’ within the major phrase, its identification as indicator of completion is not as relevant for the analysis of Homeric clause formation as its identification as clause start. [27] Regardless of the relevance of identification of completion of a grammatical clause, the identification itself is not identification of the grammatically complete clause. [28] Though clauses are grammatically complete at the end of the line, they may continue well into the next:

τάων ἥν κ᾿ ἐθέληισι φίλην ἀνάεδνον ἀγέσθω
πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἐπὶ μείλια δώσω
πολλὰ μάλ᾿ ὅσσ᾿ οὔ πώ τις ἑῆι ἐπέδωκε θυγατρί

Iliad 9.146–148

Of these let him lead without dowry the one he wants to be his | to the house of Peleus; in addition I will give presents | in multitudes, more than anyone has yet given to his own daughter

The verb form ἀγέσθω has a complete predicate frame in 146, but the frame is nonetheless extended into 147 by means of the satellite πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος. The true completion of the predicate frame is marked by an extra-clausal constituent with the pragmatic function theme: ἐγὼ δέ in 147. The description of πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος varies according to the theoretical point of view. If the verse end is acknowledged as a must-be observed metrical boundary, πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος is an example of run-over. [
29] Taking a start from the whole-verse utterance, πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος stands in adding internal [30] enjambment: the addition is not a grammatical requirement, and ‘belongs to the same clause as the leading line’. [31] As an addition, it occupies a metrical colon, and forms a minor phonological phrase. Standing between the verse end and the start of a new syntactical unit, πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος may be described as a phrase. In performance, πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος may well be a single intonation unit. Both from the syntactical and the prosodic point of view, πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος demonstrates the open-ended character of the grammatical clause.

Lines 146–148 contain another, similar example. The clause ἐπὶ μείλια δώσω is grammatically complete at the end of line 147, but continues into the next line until completed by the appearance of, and hence, at ὅσσα in line 148. The grammatical clause is ἐπὶ μείλια δώσω πολλὰ μάλα.

3.4 Phonology and the Homeric Grammatical Clause

The metrical shape of the Homeric grammatical clause is highly variable and rather free: the alternation and combination of grammatical clauses and extra-clausal constituents (with their specific shape) creates a metrical patchwork, despite the repetition of the dactylic hexameters. Grammatical clauses vary in size. Transitional constituents (both within the clause and extra-clausal) occupy constantly changing metrical cola between positions of frequent word end.

Phonology rationalises the perceptible metrical surface structure, and will hence not run counter to the requirements of this surface structure. Regardless of the metrical surface structure—or rather, without being hampered by it—the clitic character of the transitional constituents as intonation-unit minor phrases illustrates their “relation” to the adjacent grammatical clauses. As minor phrases, the transitional constituents contribute to syntactical organisation and to prosodic variety. It is not to be automatically assumed, however, that the grammatical clause coincides with a major phonological phrase, or merely with a part thereof. It may well be possible that the grammatical clause is one major phrase, but given the abundance of minor-phrase extra-clausal constituents, the grammatical and phonological unity of the grammatical clause will often have only mild audible disruptions on its left or right branch. It may be reasonably expected that the major phonological phrase encompasses several smaller intonation-unit minor phrases, some of them clauses or parts thereof, some extra-clausal constituents. The major phrase may hence encompass several intonation units that are themselves phonologically realised as minor-phrase unities. In order to find the much stronger audible disruptions that demarcate the boundaries of the major phonological phrase, we have to look for phonetic clues in the phonological and metrical patterning of grammatical clauses. Devine and Stephens have suggested such clues: intonation, additional duration (final lengthening), pause, intensity (stress) and pitch (tone). Section 3.4.1 deals with such concrete phoneticism. Then, in section 3.4.2, I will investigate the phonological rationalisation of metrical surface structure within the grammatical clause to identify the phonetic clues, however scarce, that we find in observations from antiquity.

3.4.1. Phonology and phonetics

The distinction between phonology and phonetics is likened to the distinction between metrics and rhythm by Devine and Stephens. [32] In their attempt to reconstruct the prosody of Ancient Greek speech they draw attention to the fact that twentieth century durational approaches to Greek meter have developed some awareness for the durational differences between segmentally longer and shorter types of heavy and light syllables. The introduction to their analysis of the duration and weight of the syllable (1994:43–53) takes into account that segmentation of the metrical utterance phonologically rationalises the metrical surface structure. Mora count of the segments does not run counter to the metrical pattern of light and heavy syllables, despite durational differences between the various heavy and the various light segments. Such differences are referred to as differences in submoraic duration. Devine and Stephens point out, however, that in the philological tradition there had been a tendency to assume that differences in submoraic duration arising from differences in segmental structure (subcategorical syllable duration) are relevant to the analysis of meter. They list a number of metrical phenomena to illustrate the metrical relevance to durational difference in the philological tradition. Differences in subcategorical and intrinsic syllable duration have been referred to, as Devine and Stephens summarise, to explain the possibilities of, and restrictions on, resolution, and to explain the occurrence of specific segmental structures at specific metrical positions. With Devine and Stephens I do not try to find metrical relevance to differences in subcategorical and intrinsic syllable duration. But although these differences are not relevant to metrical analysis, I do not dismiss them altogether: I will approach differences in submoraic duration as relevant to the analysis of phonological phrase. The approaches summarised in the overview by Devine and Stephens turn out to be relevant to phonological phrase structure: they all derive concrete phoneticism from their observations concerning varying segmental structures. Such concrete phoneticism is called for when we investigate the termination of both the clause and the phonological phrase. The phonetics of termination, however, cannot harm the metrical surface structure, and can only be derived from the phonological analysis of segmental structure.

Ancient sources throw light on the disparity between the phonological and syntactical phrases on the one hand, and the metrical phrases on the other. For the point I want to make in chapter 4—clauses and phrases differ from each other in the way they terminate—the observations from antiquity, however scarce, may serve as our point of departure to retrieve the phonetics of the prosodic unit.

3.4.2 Ancient terms

Terms from antiquity referring to prosodic phrasing and prosodic units are difficult to interpret. A serious problem is the application of the same or similar technical terms to both prosodic phrasing and syntactical unities. Terms like κῶλον, κόμμα, κομμάτιον, and περίοδος have been used as indicative of grammatical and syntactical unities for the past century of scholarship. A closer look at hexametric poetry in general shows that the equation of κῶλον to both the metrical colon and the grammatical clause, and that of περίοδος to both the verse and the sentence, is roughly correct with regard to Hellenistic and Roman poetry. Though grammatical clauses may reflect a certain correspondence with metrical phrasing, there is a severe disparity between the grammatical phrasing and the metrical cola of “inner metrics”. The correspondence between the two that characterises later hexametric development is not a persistent feature of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Caesura Additional lengthening The rhythmical word type Pause Metarrhythmisis

Anapaests may be studied as rhythmical word type too. In the anapaest-example Dionysius gives, he carefully chooses a line with a metrically “pure” appearance (holo-anapaestic), and with an anapaestic initial phonetic word:

βαρύ μοι κεφαλῆς ἐπίκρανον ἔχειν

Euripides Hippolytus 201

It is hard for me to wear a hear-net on my head

In fact, Dionysius always chooses his examples of the different ῥυθμοί according to these principles.

Dionysius’s choice for Odyssey 9.39 may well have been deliberate. The line of his choice brings out clearly the word-final long thesis due to the process of τὰ μέτρα μεταρρυθμίζεσθαι. One look at Homeric poetry shows that the word end that results from dactylic word type is not the preferred localisation for metrical boundary; not even at the verse end where dactylic word type never occurs. Metarrhythmisis creates word juncture at positions other than metron dieresis: in the example from the Odyssey, position 5 (με φέρων :), and 7 (ἄνεμος 🙂 are phonetic-word-final.

3.4.3 The major phrase and the grammatical clause

Can these few clues to the phonetics of termination shed any light on the relation between the major phonological phrase and Homer’s grammatical clause? Phrase-internal phonological cohesion stems from sandhi (vowel coalescence and liaison) as evidenced by metrical segmentation. Analysis of metrical segmentation shows that the Homeric grammatical clause is not automatically to be put on a par with the major phonological phrase. Phonological phrases do not always terminate where clauses terminate, just as repetitive metrical units and clauses do not automatically terminate at the same position. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they do not. The resulting patchwork-like pattern of metrical units, phonological phrases, and grammatical clauses will bring out possibilities for extended grammatisation, as I will show later in this study. At this point, our identification of the grammatical clause may benefit from analysis of the way major phrases terminate. Caution is needed: grammatical clauses can not be identified just looking at the pattern of major phrases. Both have to be studied in their own right, only to draw conclusions from the comparison of the separately identified patchworks of syntactical units and phonological phrases.

In order to provide an example of an ambiguous grammatical situation where phonology may come to our aid, I will turn to the request of Patroclus’s ghost to Achilles to wake up and bury his dead body:

θάπτέ με ὅττι τάχιστα πύλας Ἀίδαο περήσω

Iliad 23.71

Bury me soonest; let me pass the gates of Hades’s house

Metrical structure (and my translation) suggests two grammatical clauses in asyndeton. The metrical boundary dividing the two grammatical clauses is the trochaic third foot caesura (τάχιστα : πύλας). The metrical boundary dividing the two grammatical clauses is not a strong phonetic boundary: the phonological phrase develops well despite the third foot caesura. But then there is another (minor-phrase) phonetic boundary that is potentially much more disruptive: the dieresis after the first foot (θάπτέ με :2 ὅττι), realised after the postpositive of a metrical-colon phonetic word. As an audible disruption, this boundary softens both the asyndeton and the hiatus: θάπτέ με·2 ὅττι τάχιστα πύλας Ἀίδαο περήσω ‘bury me; that I may soonest pass the gates of Hades’s house’. Van Leeuwen, in his 1895 edition of the Iliad, already suggested this rhetorical punctuation; I think phonetics proves him right. Even in a line where grammatical structure seems to follow metrical colometry, phonological phrasing may point at another grammatical structure.

Phonological phrasing may be applied to point at another rhetorical structure. The word-final syllable of ἐξαύδα is a heavy syllable on the thesis. A heavy syllable on the thesis may indicate phrase boundary. As a phrase boundary, position 3 resembles the full stop in rhetorical punctuation. [52] A full stop after κεῦθε is not supported by phonetics. The phrase that started with μὴ κεῦθε continues over the metrical third foot boundary. [53] The verse-internal phonetic boundaries seem to be a lot stronger in Iliad 1.363, the line that served as a model for Iliad 18.74:

ἐξαύδα :3 μὴ κεῦθε νόωι :7 ἵνα εἴδομεν ἄμφω

Iliad 1.363

Speak up; do not hide it, that we may both know

Here, both imperative phrases are right-branch demarcated by a heavy element on the thesis. Line Iliad 1.363 consists of three complete grammatical clauses, as does Iliad 18.74. And, equally, Iliad 1.363 cannot be analysed as a phonological “threefolder”: [
54] the heavy syllable on position 7 is subject to gliding, [55] the phonological liaison bridging the word division, hence weakening the demarcative effect of the word-final heavy syllable on the thesis. Contrary to what is suggested by written punctuation, it is difficult to find an example of repetitive phonological phrasing within a Homeric line. Can it be found in Iliad 22.450?

δεῦτε δύω μοι ἕπεσθον ἴδωμ᾿ ὅτιν᾿ ἔργα τέτυκται

Iliad 22.450

Come here; two must follow me; let me see what deeds have been accomplished

Here we have a directive, with a second one following in asyndeton. The first directive is not an imperative, but an adverb. Mostly this adverb is used with an imperative or a subjunctive in one clause (Iliad 7.350, Iliad 14.128). Here, however, combining the adverb and the imperative does not make sense, so Leaf and West, I think rightly, separate them into two separate clauses: the adverb is then used as an imperative [
56] without an accompanying verb in the same clause (as in Iliad 13.481, Odyssey 8.307). What applies to a verb acting as an imperative, applies to an adverb acting as an imperative as well: if such an imperative forms a clause on its own and is followed by another clause in asyndeton, there is reason to consider the possibility of phonological phrases corresponding to each imperative. [57] Again, there is no repetitive pattern. Read δεῦτε· δύω μοι ἕπεσθον· ἴδωμ᾿ ὅτιν᾿ ἔργα τέτυκται and both imperatives are right-branch demarcated by word end that does not justify such harsh rhetorical punctuation. Alternatively, δεῦτε δύω·3 μοι ἕπεσθον ἴδωμ᾿ ὅτιν᾿ ἔργα τέτυκται creates an imperative phrase shaped as a metrical colon, but its phonological shape is not repeated within the line.

3.4.4 The phonology of verse end

A number of open-ended grammatical clauses do not end with verse end. [58] The clear metrical break at verse end may or may not result in a break in the domain of the phonological phrase. Therefore the phonological realisation of the verse end of the hexameter calls for attention. There is a possibility that the phonological realisation of verse end allows for continuity of the phrasal domain: the metrical structure of the hexameter is based on repetition, but the sequence of grammatical clauses shaped as (parts of) phonological phrases aims at variation. There is, of course, room for coincidence of metrics (stichos-end) and syntax at verse end. Consider verses where the start of the hexameter is the start of a new grammatical clause as well. If the new clause has not been prepared for by means of a pragmatic constituent at the close of the preceding line, the verse end may be expected to double as a phonetic disruption. An example is Iliad 11.591–592 where the verse end of 591 demarcates the boundary of the phonological phrase:

ἵστασθ᾿ ἀμφ᾿ Αἴαντα μέγαν Τελαμώνιον υἱόν
ὧς ἔφατ᾿ Εὐρύπυλος βεβλημένος οἱ δὲ παρ᾿ αὐτὸν

Iliad 11.591–592

Take position around the Great Ajax, Telamon’s son.’ | thus spoke Eurypylus, having been hit; and at his side they

The phonetic realisation of the metrical value of the preceding verse-final syllable -όν may have been to some extent metrically indifferent (“anceps”)—thought the deceleration of speech tempo towards verse end would probably have made its duration equal to that of a heavy syllable. [
59] When introduced by a pragmatic constituent in the preceding line (for example αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα), clause start from the start of the hexameter still leaves room for a metrically light element ending the preparatory constituent, and ending the hexameter. The resulting metrical pattern – would be similar to the pattern preceding clause start after position 3½, and resemble clause start after the trochaic third foot caesura (5½). Still, of course, the clause about to start after position 3½ or 5½ starts as an ascending clause, with a single light segment. Descending clause start following a single light element would be a rhythmical impossibility [60] within the hexametric major phrase sequence. Starting a descending clause with a marked heavy element within the line often requires, as I showed in chapter 2, phonological sandhi at the right side of a preceding constituent-final segment. The descending clause is always preceded by either double-light or a heavy element, never by a single light element. Major phrases straddling the verse end obey to the same rules. The phonology of “enjambed” verse end

Rhythmical “indeterminability” leaves room for continuity of the phrasal domain over the verse end, as the particular rhythmic character of the segment might be determined by sandhi. It also implies that phonological phenomena at verse end can be compared to those within the phrasal domain.

Let us take as an example the single light syllable on arsis at position 12. Within the phrasal domain, sandhi determines its rhythmic character, just as it does for the single light syllable on any other arsis. The word-final syllable [→ short vowel + consonant] may fill both positions of the double short, as the word-final syllable was pronounced as ambisyllabic. [63] Ancient grammarians heard a difference between ἔστι Νάξιος and ἔστιν ἄξιος, more or less like the audible difference between English ‘an aim’ and ‘a name’, given that the tempo of speech is relatively slow [64] and that the speaker pronounces in a clear and polished manner. If sandhi in ancient Greek implied that the final consonant of a word, before a vowel, was pronounced as an ambisyllabic consonant, a word-final syllable [→ short vowel + ambisyllabic consonant] remains metrically light within the hexameter in any position:

οὐ σέ γ᾿ ἔπειτα ἴδον κούρη Διός οὐδ᾿ ἐνόησα

Odyssey 13.318

I didn’t see you then, daughter of Zeus, nor did I notice your presence

ὦ γέρον οὔ τις κεῖνον ἀνὴρ ἀλαλήμενος ἐλθὼν

Odyssey 14.122

Old man, no man having arrived on his travels (and bringing news concerning) him

And as a word-final syllable [→ short vowel + consonant] before a consonant within the hexameter counts as heavy, so a verse-final syllable [→ short vowel + consonant] may count as heavy as well: τεῦχε κύνεσσιν = – – –. In such cases there is a true heavy syllable to satisfy the expectations of the verse-final metrical position. The strongest visible evidence of ambisyllabism in this occurrence lies in the movable nu at verse end. Moveable nu reflects the rhythmical indeterminability, rather than the avoidance of hiatus. [
65] Wernicke’s law extended

Metrical indifference that accepts a verse-final trochee as a verse-final spondee does not only give rise to the concept of phonological indeterminability, it also creates phonological difficulties. With the hexameter ending in a spondaic verse-final foot, as well as with word end, spondaic word end is the greatest phonological threat to clause continuation over the verse end. Within the hexameter, Hilberg’s law (no spondaic word end at position 4), the third foot word end, and Naeke’s law (no spondaic word end at position 8) together sufficiently guarantee the avoidance of spondaic word end. Homer, however, sometimes features spondaic word end within the line at positions 4 and 8. Wernicke’s law states that disregard of the spondaic bridge at positions 4 and 8 in the hexameter is allowed under certain circumstances: spondaic word end at position 8 features a word-final syllable [naturā-long vowel]. Wernicke’s law creates the possibility to use words before the bucolic dieresis that may otherwise only be used at verse end. In that respect, the verse end, with its nearly unavoidable spondaic word end, seems to enable, if not force, the composer to allow for spondaic word end within a grammatical clause that runs over into the next line. I find it odd that within the phrasal domain word end is easily allowed at one position, whereas at another, similar, position it can only be allowed under specific conditions. Word end at position 8 under Wernicke’s law seems highly restricted, but word end at position 12 appears to be possible in anything.

There seems to be, however, a restriction in the usage of spondaic word end at position 8 under Wernicke’s law, that does also appears at position 12. At position 8, word end under Wernicke’s law hardly ever results in a superheavy word-final syllable [naturā-long vowel + consonant] within the grammatical clause. In the Iliad, only few exceptions can be found, which occur especially in formulaic expressions:

τούτωι δ᾿ αὖ μέγα πένθος Ἀχαιῶν δηιωθέντων

Iliad 4.417

And for him likewise great sorrow if the Achaeans are slain

Save for the verse-final syllable [naturā-long vowel + ς] at position 12, examples of superheavy word-end syllables within the grammatical clause are equally hard to find (compare the types 14 and 17 in footnote 66):

αἴ κέν πως ἀρνῶν κνίσης αἰγῶν τε τελείων || βούλεται ἀντιάσας

Iliad 1.66–67

In the hope that perhaps in return for the savour of lambs and unblemished goats | he may be willing

In fact, the licence that Wernicke’s law represents, the condition for spondaic word end, is similar to the condition for spondaic word end at verse end within a run-over grammatical clause. In other words, the metrical repetition within a grammatical clause is maintained despite the apparent “prosodic neutrality” of the verse-final syllable: it is not “prosodically neutral”, but rhythmically indeterminate. The phonology of verse-end enjambment

In chapter 1, I listed the different types of verse-end enjambment identified by Higbie. Hers is the most elaborate classification of verse-end enjambment. Her classification categorises enjambment looking at the grammatical break caused by the verse end. As enjambment rises from the concept of verse-internal grammatical completeness, the acknowledgement of grammatical incompleteness at verse end determines the strength of the enjambment. Above, I have argued that grammatical completeness is preferably not sought after within metrical boundaries. The demarcation of the phonetic word, the minor phrase, and the major phrase tells us more about the level of syntactical development than do the recurring metrical boundaries. In chapter 2, I argued in favour of a new approach to clausal enjambment based on phonological phrasing. Now, with a complete set of different phrasal domains, Higbie’s classification of enjambment types can be reorganised in accordance with the phonetic realisation of the metrical verse end:

Type of enjambment in Higbie’s system: Phonetic realisation:
* Adding internal enjambment Phonetic-word boundary
(possibly) Minor-phrase boundary
* Adding external enjambment Minor-phrase boundary
(possibly) Major-phrase boundary
* Clausal internal enjambment Phonetic-word boundary
(possibly) Minor-phrase boundary
* Clausal external enjambment Minor-phrase boundary
(possibly) Major-phrase boundary
* Necessary enjambment Phonetic-word boundary
(possibly) Minor-phrase boundary
* Violent enjambment Phonetic-word boundary

Table 5: The phonetic realisation of enjambment-types.

Higbie’s classification disregards that a) the realisation of phonetic-word boundary is not automatically perceptible as a pause, b) the realisation of minor phrase boundaries is in accordance with grammatical organisation, [
69] and c) within the phonological phrase there is no “affective prosody”, [70] that is, no emphasis due to localisation. The first constituent of the Homeric hexameter following enjambment does not automatically receive emphasis, not even if it is, grammatically, a mot-en-rejet. Looking at Higbie’s classification, and from her point of view, I still find it advisable to change the label “violent”: it is the only label that does not refer to what the word(s) following the enjambment contribute to the grammatical (in)completeness of the line ending in enjambment at verse end.

Phonetically, violent enjambment resembles necessary, clausal internal, and adding internal enjambment. The only difference is that violent enjambment cannot coincide with a minor-phrase boundary. To the ear, necessary, clausal internal, and adding internal enjambment not coinciding with a minor-phrase boundary are exactly the same as violent enjambment.

3.5 The Phonology of Grammatisation

3.5.1 Grammatical coherence and phonological phrasing

The phonological phrase may easily straddle the verse end, or the third foot word juncture. At the same time, the grammatical clause in Homer may extend over these metrical boundaries with equal ease: the grammatical clause is rather open-ended, regularly at the expense of the verse end as a meaningful grammatical or syntactical boundary. Is it useful to describe Iliad 7.394–397 as a sequence of “skewed clauses”, as does Clark? [72]

καὶ δὲ τόδ᾿ ἠνώγεον εἰπεῖν ἔπος αἴ κ᾿ ἐθέλητε
παύσασθαι πολέμοιο δυσηχέος εἰς ὅ κε νεκροὺς
κείομεν ὕστερον αὖτε μαχησόμεθ᾿ εἰς ὅ κε δαίμων
ἄμμε διακρίνηι δώηι δ᾿ ἑτέροισί γε νίκην

Iliad 7.394–397

And they ordered to utter the following proposal as well: perhaps you are willing | to refrain from noisy warfare until the moment we will have given the bodies | to the fire; later we will do battle again until the moment a god | will separate us, and give victory to one of the two parties

Metrically, αἴ κ᾿ ἐθέλητε παύσασθαι πολέμοιο δυσηχέος, εἰς ὅ κε νεκροὺς κείομεν, and ὕστερον αὖτε μαχησόμεθ᾿ εἰς ὅ κε δαίμων ἄμμε διακρίνηι are “skewed”, but syntactically they are not. The syntactically coherent clauses may be demarcated as phonological major phrases: the verse end does not impede such analysis. The phonetic realisation of the verse-final element is not necessarily a phonological clue for audible termination. Some “subordination” of the metrical boundaries and subsequent “yielding” of metrical to phonological phrasing are the result of the mismatch of boundaries and cola with phonetic boundaries. I realise that this seems to be a circular argument, but it is not: it would be if, as Parry and his followers take for granted, the Homeric utterance is equal to the hexametric metrical phrase. Later hexametric Greek poetry shows that the equation of metrical and sense-phrase gradually developed into a poetic norm. Latin hexametric poetry accepted the norm, but realised that there were exceptions: in Latin prosody, however, such exceptions could not be imitated by means of a verse-final metrical foot, as there is no possibility for realisation of the verse-final syllable as rhythmically indeterminate. Furthermore, verse-final syllable [→ short vowel + consonant] in Latin is not metrically heavy. [
73] Straddling the hexameter’s verse end with a phonological phrase in Latin requires resyllabification: in other words, elision at the end of the hypermetric verse. [74]

3.5.2 Homeric clausal structure as a prose-like element

So far, the concept of the whole-clause formula has been under attack, but not banned as something that is irrelevant. It clearly is relevant, for example in a formulaic line like Odyssey 6.186:

τὸν δ᾿ αὖ Ναυσικάα λευκώλενος ἀντίον ηὔδα

Odyssey 6.186

To him, in turn, Nausicaa with her white arms spoke

Here, however, the elision points at phonological reorganisation. A better example would be Odyssey 10.(214–)215:

               (ἀλλ᾿ ἄρα τοί γε)
οὐρῆισιν μακρῆισι περισσαίνοντες ἀνέσταν

Odyssey 10.214–215

(but these same beasts) | rose to their feet while wagging their long tails

Here the extra-clausal constituent is separated from the phonologically coherent grammatical clause by the verse end as phonological-phrase boundary. But examples of transitional constituents (within the clause and extra-clausal) with the verse end as their right branch demarcation (type: αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα ||) are relatively rare. [
76] It is far more common that the single hexameter contains (parts of) both a grammatical clause and one or more (extra-clausal) transitional constituents. As shown above, the (extra-clausal) transitional constituents are themselves sentential-prepositive minor phrases. As such, they are part of the larger scale unit of the major phrase, while retaining their prosodic characterisation of isolated chunks. When elided on their final syllable, the transitional constituents are reorganised into the major phrase.

Extra-clausals are commonly quite short, though there are instances of combined noun-epithet formulas occupying a hexameter (Iliad 1.7 Ἀτρείδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς). The shorter extra-clausals appear occupying almost any metrical phrase between positions of frequent word end. Their appearance reflects, like a negative, the highly variable sizing of the intervening grammatical clauses, as the analysis of Iliad 1.1–16 in chapter 2 shows. The liberty to create grammatical clauses of any desired size is a characteristic of prose. Not just because of the variable size, but mainly due to the resulting obfuscation of incidental metrical phrases.

Homer, of course, is not prose: it is poetry. But it is unwise, as I have shown, to put hexametric meter on a par with hexametric phonological phrasing. The former is clearly visible. The well-known metrical bridges all show the importance of retaining the podic structure of the hexameter. Phonological phrasing, however, is not the product of the metrical hexameter. Not every verse contains two phonetically demarcated hemistichs, or four cola, nor is the verse automatically a phonological major phrase. The grammatically coherent phonological phrase is phonologically defined regardless of metrical phrasing. If the metrical phrasing corresponds with the phonological phrasing, the metrical cola that characterise poetry appear as phonological phrases. If the two do not correspond, meter has to give way to phonology. The result is a temporary subordination of meter. That is a true first step towards prosaic movement. Or should we say, considering the increasing rigidity in Greek hexametric composition, that what we see in Homer is actually its last trace?

3.5.3 The Homeric hexameter as prose-like rhythm

Is Homer prosaic then? And is there no such thing as “meaningful verse end enjambment”, only phonetic demarcation? Yes and no. The Iliad and the Odyssey seem to represent a transitional stage in the development of stichic hexametric poetry.

In metrical inscriptions, punctuation is based on a variety of principles. [78] Sometimes punctuation is found at the end of the metrical period: in our case, that would suggest a hexameter. Then again, punctuation is sometimes linguistically based. For this inscription (IG V 1.720), it is hard to decide which explanation is to be preferred. What is not so hard, is to see that the grammatical clause extends beyond the hexameter, and phonologically phrased by means of word end at position 7 and 12: the metrical phrase στῆσ᾿ Ἀνθίδα υἱὺς is followed by the run-over παιδί. Whatever punctuation marks, it is not an audible pause. Other examples, featuring visible verse end:

[Ϟυλοίδας μ᾿]ἀνέθηκε Ποτειδάϝωνι ϝάνακτι : αὐτοπόεια

IG IV 222

… dedicated me to Lord Poseidon | as the work of his own hands

[Ἱ]εροφῶν μ᾿ [ἀνέ]θη[κε Διὸς γλαυ]ϟώπιδι [ϟ]ούρηι : [π]ολ[ι]ούχω[ι δ]εκ[ά]τη[ν]

IG I2 418

… dedicated me to the gleaming-eyed daughter of Zeus, | mainstay of the city, as a tithe

Δειναγόρης μ᾿ ἀνέθηκεν ἑκηβόλωι Ἀπόλλωνι : δεκάτην

IG XII 5.42

Deinagoras dedicated me to Far-Darter Apollo | as a tithe

The inscriptions vary ‘among hexameter, prose, and hybrid forms’ [
79] . In all examples cited the verse end may function as a linguistically defendable minor phrase boundary. Such a minor phrase boundary, however, is impossible in IG I2 689:

[Δημοχάρη]ς ἀνέθηκε{ν} [Διὸς κρατερ]όφρονι παιδί : ἀπαρχήν

IG I2 689

… dedicated to the mighty-willed Child of Zeus | the first-fruits

This inscription contains a formula familiar from prose dedications. Here, the run-over word ἀπαρχήν belongs to the predicate frame of ἀνέθηκε. Is there any reason to assume affective prosody due to verse-end enjambment in this inscription? Compare an inscription on the Chest of Cypselus:

Τυνδαρίδα Ἑλέναν φέρετον Αἴθραν δ᾿ ἑλκε(ῖ)τον : Ἀθάναθεν

The sons of Tyndareus carry Helen and drag Aethra | away from Athens

Further consider the formation of grammatical clauses in IG I2 975:

Γνάθωνος τόδε σημα· θέτο δ᾿ αὐτὸν ἀδελφὴ : ἡλίθιον νοσηλεύσασα

IG I2 975

This is the tomb of Gnatho; his sister buried him | after nursing him in mental disease

The first line is not a hexameter: Γνάθωνος τόδε σημα is the start of a hexameter, and θέτο δ᾿ αὐτὸν ἀδελφὴ the completion, but in between there is an iamb missing. The metrical phrase between positions 5½ and 7 is not there. In Homer, this specific metrical phrase may be occupied by an extra-clausal constituent [
80] . If a Homeric example like Iliad 10.164 is compared with IG I2 975, the inscription seems to disregard the need for maintaining podic structure [81] within the metrical period:

σχέτλιός ἐσσι γεραιέ (5½) σὺ μὲν (7) πόνου οὔ ποτε λήγεις

Iliad 10.164

You are bold, old man, you, from labour you never refrain

The Homeric example, by contrast, shows the way in which maintaining podic structure can be used to single out the phonetic demarcation between the extra-clausal constituent and the subsequent grammatical clause. In Homer, localisation of extra-clausals proves to be an antidote to stichic metrical repetition. In the inscription, such appliance of an antidote is not required. At the same time, the metrical period is disregarded: θέτο δ᾿ αὐτὸν ἀδελφὴ fills the metrical phrase between positions 7 and 12, and ἡλίθιον νοσηλεύσασα cannot be analysed as a dactylic metarrhythmisis [
82] . The combination of prose-elements and dactylic verse-patterns appears to be old and persistent. Compare the “enjambed” dactylic (or anapaestic?) clausula to an otherwise prose inscription:

Ἀντίδο[τός μ᾿ ἐποίησεν αὐτὸ]ς καὶ παῖδες Πασιδίϟωι· : τὸ δὲ σᾶμ᾿ Εὔνο[ος] ἔστασε καλὸν κεχαρισμένον : ἔργον

IG XII 178

Antidotus and his sons [made me] for Pasidicus, | Eunomus erected the tomb, a fair and acceptable | work

As in some of the inscriptions, the freedom in clause-formation in Homer may disregard the metrical boundary that is the verse end. The resulting phonological phrasing turns the period-final metrical colon into a minor phrase. The rhythm is still dactylic, but the metrical phrasing of the period, the verse, yields to the phonological phrasing:

                    καὶ τό γ᾿ Ἀθήνη
πνοιῆι Ἀχιλλῆος πάλιν ἔτραπε

Iliad 20.438–439

And this Athene | made turn away from Achilles with a breath

This slightly resembles prose rhythm in that the phrase structure is more important than the metrical structure in the experience of the verse. Of course, such prose rhythms are not predominant: there remain many verses that have a less subordinated verse end, either as a minor or major phrase boundary. With the possibility of prose-like rhythms on the one hand, and the natural chunking of spoken language on the other, it is theoretically unsound to grant emphasis to words based on their metrical localisation. Affective prosody (as emphasis) must stem from the mismatch of grammatical / syntactical phrasing and the phonetic realisation of positions of frequent word end.

3.6 Further Indications for Phonetic Demarcation

In this chapter, I have discussed the way developing grammatisation in Homer is determined not so much by metrical phrasing, but by phonological phrasing. The prosodic demarcation of grammatisation, as expressed by phonetics, is not as easily found as the syntactical demarcation. Indicators for phonetic demarcation have been suggested by modern scholars (hiatus, additional lengthening), but our ancient sources comment much more on phonological phrasing than on phonetic demarcation. Comparison with the punctuation of inscriptions serves as proof that metrical phrasing underlies variable phonological phrasing, a provisional conclusion already drawn on the basis of the free formation of grammatical clauses in Homeric poetry.

3.7 Conclusion: Good Homeric Poetry Takes a Certain Likeness to Prose

In this chapter, I have argued that the Homeric epics benefit from a clausal grammar that is in accordance with phonological phrasing. In the process, the usefulness of the commonly used types of verse-end “enjambment” has been reduced.

So far, this study did not question the metrical phrasing of Homeric poetry, nor the fact that it is phrased according to phonological and syntactical units. What it did question is the identification of metrical units as either phonological or syntactical units. Both identifications are not automatically correct. On the one hand, there is the problem of syntactical units. I have argued that the syntactical unit is not necessarily equal to either the hemistich, or the dactylic hexameter. The syntactical unit can be constructed with the aid of smaller scale metrical phrases, with licenses that are reminiscent of clause composition in prose. On the other hand, there is the phonological phrase. This phrase is to be identified by its phonetically realised demarcation, a type of prosodic realisation that is not so readily identified. Of course, there is an identifiable stichic hexametric pattern underlying the Iliad and the Odyssey, but to the ear the stichic repetition may yield to phonological phrasing. Within the grammatically coherent clause, the verse end may be subordinated: the podic rhythm is maintained despite the period-final sixth foot. Intonation and maintenance of the podic structure contribute to clause constitution regardless of stichic metrical phrasing. The questions remains: how to identify phonetic disruption—audible pause?

The likeness to prose-composition stems from the way prosodically variable clauses and extra-clausals team up to form larger scale units of varying size. Within the grammatically coherent whole, the minor phrases of the extra-clausals and those of the clauses together build larger phonologically characterised “utterances”. The “utterances” themselves start from variable metrical positions, thus creating a patchwork of phonological phrases that reflects the sense of the perceptible units. I have shown the way the Homeric clause receives its sensible coherence from prosody. One could say, in fact, that sensible coherence is at times determined by prosody, both by metrical and phonological phrasing. On a larger scale, this holds true, I think—for the performance of Homeric poetry as well as for its composition. In the next chapter, my aim will be to identify the corresponding phonetic disruption, the “audible punctuation”. Sources from antiquity comment more on phonology than on phonetics, so I have to turn to modern linguistic theory for help. Starting from the observations by modern scholars, I will identify phonetic disruption as a combination of the phonetic realisation and metrical position of the segment as a syllable.


[ back ] 1. On the relation between phonological phrase formation and scope (of specifiers and modifiers) due to prosody cf. Devine & Stephens 1994:379–380.

[ back ] 2. Cf. the remarks on βάσις in Koster 1953:24, and the observations concerning Hellenistic hexameters in Van Raalte 1986:69–70.

[ back ] 3. Devine & Stephens 1994:304–307.

[ back ] 4. Devine & Stephens 1994:24–31.

[ back ] 5. Cf. Devine & Stephens 1994:36–41.

[ back ] 6. Devine & Stephens 1980; 1984; 1994:237–253; criticism in Mojena 1992.

[ back ] 7. Devine & Stephens 1994:243–248.

[ back ] 8. Devine & Stephens 1994: 256–269, and see further

[ back ] 9. Bakker 1988.

[ back ] 10. Cf. Devine & Stephens 1994:70–84.

[ back ] 11. Cf. the remarks on the metrical lengthening in Russo, Fernandez-Galiano & Heubeck 1992:79.

[ back ] 12. Devine & Stephens 1994:377.

[ back ] 13. Devine & Stephens 1994:410. Among the prosodic clues demarcating the major phrase Devine & Stephens list intonation, additional duration (final lengthening), pause, intensity (stress) and pitch (tone). Final lengthening and pause are important clues for major-phrase demarcation in Homeric Greek, see chapter 4.

[ back ] 14. Cf. Hoekstra 1965.

[ back ] 15. Full account in Van Raalte 1986:28–103, but her study does not pay attention to the stichic movement of the clause-structure in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

[ back ] 16. The sample in the Appendix provides the following statistics:

Clause starts after position … Iliad Odyssey
1 [+ ] 0.00% 0.00%
1 [+ –] 0.89% 1.07%
5.35% 4.30%
2 5.35% 7.53%
3 [+ ] 2.68% 3.23%
3 [+ –] 8.93% 11.8%
2.67% 1.07%
4 3.57% 0.00%
5 [+ ] 1.78% 0.00%
5 [+ –] 9.82% 6.45%
7.14% 15.05%
6 5.36% 2.15%
7 [+ ] 5.36% 2.15%
7 [+ –] 1.78% 1.07%
0.89% 0.00%
8 3.57% 4.30%
9 [+ ] 3.57% 2.15%
9 [+ –] 0.00% 0.00%
1.78% 5.38%
10 0.89% 2.15%
11[+ ] 0.00% 0.00%
11 [+ –] 0.00% 0.00%
11½ 0.00% 0.00%
12 28.6% 30.10%
Total number of clauses* 112 93

Table 2: Percentages of clauses starting after various metrical positions
*Predicatively used participles have not been counted as individual grammatical clauses

[ back ] 17. Leaf 1900–1902:448.

[ back ] 18. Cf. Devine & Stephens 1994:409–410.

[ back ] 19. Devine & Stephens 1994:323–324.

[ back ] 20. Devine & Stephens 1994:239–240, 255–256.

[ back ] 21. Devine & Stephens 1994:238–243.

[ back ] 22. Cf. Stanford 1954.

[ back ] 23. Devine & Stephens 1994:229–230, 255–256.

[ back ] 24. Heubeck, West & Hainsworth 1988:325.

[ back ] 25. Leaf 1900–1902:299 ‘we must it seems supply ἄλγε᾿ ἔδωκεν or ἔστιν from 431’; Edwards 1991:197 ‘we must understand Ζεὺς ἄλγε᾿ ἔδωκεν from 431’.

[ back ] 26. Clark 1997:107–117.

[ back ] 27. The following statistics showing the positions of clause completion are taken from the sample in the Appendix. Completion of clauses is divided into three ‘syntactical’ types. Type A is the asyndetic juncture of clauses; type B resembles asyndetic juncture as the pragmatic constituent is ‘reorganised’ into the major phrase and hence into the grammatical clause; type C is the completion of the clause followed by an extra-clausal pragmatic constituent.

  Iliad Odyssey


0.00% 0.00% 0.89%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 1.78% 0.89%
0.89% 0.89% 2.67%
0.00% 0.00% 0.89%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
1.78% 4.46% 6.25%
3.57% 2.67% 2.67%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.89% 1.78% 3.57%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2.67% 0.00% 3.57%
0.89% 0.00% 0.89%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
13.39% 26.79% 14.28%

0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 0.00% 2.15%
2.15% 0.00% 3.23%
2.15% 1.07% 1.07%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 4.30% 2.15%
3.23% 3.23% 5.38%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 1.07% 3.23%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
1.07% 1.07% 9.68%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
0.00% 0.00% 1.07%
0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
9.68% 13.98% 24.73%

Total number of clauses* 112 93

Table 3: Percentages of clauses ending on various metrical positions
*Predicatively used participles have not been counted as individual grammatical clauses

[ back ] 28. Identification of the grammatically complete clause would lead to clause end at word end not included in Fränkel’s colometry; Higbie 1990:15.

[ back ] 29. Clark 1997:30–52.

[ back ] 30. Higbie 1990:29.

[ back ] 31. Cf. Clark 1997:44.

[ back ] 32. Devine & Stephens 1994:51. Cf. the distinction framing-rhythm in Lidov 2010.

[ back ] 33. For a recent overview, see Clark 2004.

[ back ] 34. Hardie 1920;14–26; Basset 1938:145–149.

[ back ] 35. Devine & Stephens 1994:36–39, 243–246.

[ back ] 36. Basset 1938:147.

[ back ] 37. Ἐγχειρίδιον περὶ μέτρων, 2nd century A.D.

[ back ] 38. ἡ γὰρ μεταξὺ διάστασις τῆς τε τοῦ προτέρου τελευτῆς καὶ τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ δευτέρου μῆκος τῇ συλλαβῇ παρέχεται ‘for the in-between separation of, on the one hand, the completion of the first, and, on the other, the start of the second provides the syllable with duration’, Aristides Quintilianus (p. 43.2–4 in the edition of Winnington-Ingram).

[ back ] 39. Cf. Devine & Stephens 1994:79–82, 143–145.

[ back ] 40. Dionysius of Halicarnassus On Literary Composition 17/68.7–73.8 (in the edition of Usener-Radermacher).

[ back ] 41. Cf. an important exception discussed in Ruijgh 1987:319.

[ back ] 42. As in his example of the molossus word type.

[ back ] 43. Basset 1938:142. Or Iliad 2.484 ἔσπετε νῦν μοι μοῦσαι Ὀλύμπια δώματ᾿ ἔχουσαι ‘Now please list for me, goddesses, in possession of Olympian dwellings’. The example, the start of the Catalogue of Ships, is not haphazardly chosen. In his discussion of Dionysius’s choice, Ruijgh 1987:322 points at the special value of Iliad 9.39 as the start of Odysseus’s autobiography, the first lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey being unsuitable.

[ back ] 44. I use this term for additional final lengthening. It is a musical term denoting “prolongation” (Cleonides Introduction to Harmonics 14).

[ back ] 45. As in Dionysius of Halicarnassus On Literary Composition 22/101.19 and 22/109.2 U-R, and in his On Demosthenes 38. Rossi 1963:63–76 and 93–98.

[ back ] 46. As the term is used in music, cf. Aristides Quintilianus p. 38.28–39.2 W-I. Nicanor’s punctuation system at least suggests that the term refers to a ‘measurable’ duration of silence.

[ back ] 47. Rossi 1963:42n100; Ruijgh 1987:322; and see above In most of his examples, though not in this one, Dionysius cites a verse or part of a verse that starts with one or more metrical feet that fit exactly one specimen each of the rhythmical word type that shares its name with the metrical pattern of the verse of which it forms the start.

[ back ] 48. As described in Dionysius of Halicarnassus On Literary Composition 4/15.3–23.13 U-R; cf. the comments ad loc. in Robert 1910, and Aujac & Lebel 1981; metarrhythmisis is analysed in Koster 1953:25. The scholia regularly comment on the phenomenon.

[ back ] 49. Ruijgh 1989:311 considers the description in Aristides Quintilianus p. 35.8–12 W-I of the dactyl as anapaest a maiore versus the anapaest as anapaest a minore as an indication of the longer duration of the thesis compared to that of the arsis.

[ back ] 50. Devine & Stephens 1994:421.

[ back ] 51. Richardson 1993:143 ‘The imperative standing alone at the beginning of the verse, is brutally abrupt and dismissive’.

[ back ] 52. Cf. in the first book of the Iliad, lines 12, 100, 104, 113, 139, 160, 195, 208, 241, 311, 347, 403, 447, 546 and 588 in the edition of Leaf 1900–1902.

[ back ] 53. Turning the subsequent pronoun into a relative pronoun; cf. the use of τά as a relative pronoun without explicit antecedent in Odyssey 21.276.

[ back ] 54. The description of the line in Kirk 1985:90 seems to take such an effect for granted.

[ back ] 55. Bakker 1988; Devine & Stephens 1994:255–256.

[ back ] 56. Cf. Heubeck, West & Hainsworth 1988:347.

[ back ] 57. Commentaries on the Iliad and the Odyssey represent by way of their various authors, the various ways used to describe the sentence structure and the problems with punctuation involving δεῦτε and its alleged singular δεῦρο, e.g. Heubeck, West & Hainsworth 1988:347, 366; Richardson 1993:155. Devine & Stephens 1983; 1994:340 consider adverbial δεῦρο (e.g. Oedipus Tyrannus 318) as appositive.

[ back ] 58. In the Iliad: 45.5% of the grammatical clauses; in the Odyssey: 51.61% (based on the sample in the Appendix).

[ back ] 59. Cf. Aristotle’s remark (Rhetoric 1409a) ἀλλὰ δεῖ τῇ μακρᾷ ἀποκόπεσθαι καὶ δήλην εἶναι τὴν τελευτήν μὴ διὰ τὸν γραφέα μηδὲ διὰ τὴν παραγραφὴν ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸν ῥυθμόν ‘but the strong rhythmical pause ought to be introduced by a long syllable and the end clearly marked, not by the scribe nor by a punctuation mark, but by the rhythm’.

[ back ] 60. Cf. the remarks on avoiding rhythmical disturbance despite “refooting” in Devine & Stephens 1994:434.

[ back ] 61. This seems incompatible with the possibility of verses ending in a syllable [→ short vowel + consonant], since such a syllable is itself heavy, cf. Rossi 1963:66. The problem is that verse-final syllable [→ short vowel + consonant] may be metrically light (due to sandhi), but rhythmically prominent only when prepausal.

[ back ] 62. Cf. the remarks on anceps at ‘period end’ in Lidov 2010:36n18.

[ back ] 63. Devine & Stephens 1994:25–31.

[ back ] 64. Devine & Stephens 1994:224–225.

[ back ] 65. Cf. McLennan 1978.

[ back ] 66. Type 1, short vowel + hiatus: οὐδ᾿ οἵ γ᾿ ὁρμηθησαν ἐπ᾿ ἀνδράσιν ἀλλ᾿ ἄρα τοί γε || οὐρηῖσιν (Odyssey 10.214–215) ‘And they did not attack the men, but these same beast | with their tails’; type 2, short vowel + || consonant: ὅς τ᾿ εἶσ᾿ ὑόμενος καὶ ἀήμενος ἐν δέ οἱ ὄσσε || δαίεται (Odyssey 6.131–132) ‘He makes his way vexed by rain and wind, and in his head both his eyes | burn’; type 3, short vowel + ambisyllabic consonant + || vowel: τὼ δ᾿ αὖτις ξιφέεσσι συνέδραμον ἔνθα Λύκων μὲν || ἱπποκόμου (Iliad 16.337–338) ‘The two of them immediately attacked each other with swords; then Lyco | of the helmet’; type 4, short vowel + consonant + || vowel: αἴτιοι ἀλλά ποθι Ζεὺς αἴτιος ὅς τε δίδωσιν || ἀνδράσιν (Odyssey 1.348–349) ‘Guilty, but I think Zeus is guilty: he bestows | on men’; type 5, short vowel + movable nu + || consonant: ὣς Ὀδυσεὺς κούρηισιν ἐυπλοκάμοισιν ἔμελλεν || μίξεσθαι (Odyssey 6.135–136) ‘Similarly Odysseus was about to join the beautiful girls’ | company’; type 6, short vowel + consonant + || consonant: τέκνον ἐμόν τοῦτον μὲν ἐάσομεν ἀχνύμενοί περ || κεῖσθαι (Iliad 19.8–9) ‘My child, despite our grief we will let him | lie here’; type 7, short vowel + || consonants: ὣς φάτο καί ῥ᾿ ἵππους κέλετο Δεῖμόν τε Φόβον τε || ζευγνύμεν (Iliad 15.119–120) ‘Thus he spoke, and he ordered that his horses, Deimus and Phobus, | be yoked’; type 8, long vowel + hiatus: ὑψόσε δ᾿ ἄχνη || ἄκροισι σκοπέλοισιν ἐπ᾿ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἔπιπτεν (Odyssey 12.238–239) ‘And high up the foam | fell on the steep cliffs on either side’; type 9, diphthong with short vowel + || vowel (The phonological realisation of the consonantal sound of the diphthong, the glide, avoids hiatus): ὢ πόποι ἦ ῥα καὶ ἄλλοι ἐυκνήμιδες Ἀχαιοὶ || ἐν θυμῶι βάλλονται ἐμοὶ χόλον (Iliad 14.49–50) ‘O dear, surely the other well-harnessed Greeks | will foster a grudge against me in their heart as well’; type 10, diphthong with long vowel + || vowel: ἀλλά τ᾿ ἐπ᾿ αὐτῶι || ἔσσυτο καί τέ μιν ὦκα λαβὼν ἐξείλετο θυμόν (Iliad 17.677–678) ‘But straight to him | he rushed, and snatching him quickly he took his life away’; type 11, long vowel + || consonant: τοῖσι δὲ Κίρκη || πάρ ῥ᾿ ἄκυλον βάλανον τ᾿ ἔβαλεν (Odyssey 10.241–242) ‘And to them Circe | threw walnuts and acorns’; type 12, diphthong with long vowel + || consonant: δεκάτηι δέ με νυκτὶ μελαίνηι || γαίηι Θεσπρωτῶν πέλασεν μέγα κῦμα κυλίνδον (Odyssey 14.315–316) ‘In the tenth night, on the dark | land of the Thesprots a great rolling wave disposed me’; type 13, diphthong with short vowel + || consonant: σοὶ δὲ θεοὶ ἄλοχον τ᾿ ἰδέειν καὶ πατρίδ᾿ ἱκέσθαι || δοῖεν (Odyssey 8.410–411) ‘May the gods | grant | you to see your wife again and to reach your home land’; type 14, long vowel + movable nu + || consonant: ἠδ᾿ ἔτι καὶ νῦν || πείθευ (Iliad 14.234–235) ‘And so this one more time | obey me’; type 15, long vowel + consonant + || vowel: οὐδέ κε φαίης || ἀνδρὶ μαχεσσάμενον τόν γ᾿ ἐλθεῖν (Iliad 3.392–293) ‘One would not have thought | this man as one who had come after doing battle’; type 16, diphthong with long vowel + consonant + || vowel: εἰ δ᾿ ἐθέλεις καὶ ταῦτα δαήμεναι ὄφρ᾿ ἐὺ εἰδηὶς || ἡμετέρην γενεήν (Iliad 6.150–151) ‘If you wish to know that as well, that you may understand fully | my lineage’; type 17, long vowel + consonant + || consonant: ὡς ὅτε μήτηρ || παιδὸς ἐέργηι μυῖαν (Iliad 4.130–131) ‘As when a mother | sweeps a fly from her child’; type 18, long vowel + || consonants: ἡμῖν δὲ δὴ αἴσιμον εἴη || φθίσθαι (Iliad 9.245–246) ‘And that it may be our fate | to perish’.

The sample in the Appendix provides the following statistics:

  Iliad Odyssey
Type 1 11.42% 4.76%
Type 2 5.71% 9.52%
Type 3 17.14% 7.14%
Type 4 5.71% 7.14%
Type 5 0.00% 7.14%
Type 6 5.71% 14.29%
Type 7 2.86% 2.38%
Type 8 14.29% 2.38%
Type 9 0.00% 4.76%
Type 10 2.86% 2.38%
Type 11 5.71% 0.00%
Type 12 2.86% 0.00%
Type 13 2.86% 9.52%
Type 14 0.00% 0.00%
Type 15 11.42% 14.29%
Type 16 0.00% 2.38%
Type 17 14.29% 11.90%
Type 18 0.00% 0.00%

Table 4: Different realisations of the verse-final heavy element as percentage of the number of “enjambed” grammatical clauses.

[ back ] 67. Basset 1938:147–148, 153–154 was one of the first to argue in favour of a continuing metrical pattern within the grammatical unity.

[ back ] 68. I agree here with Daitz 1991:153–154, who argues that despite the demarcating value of metrical boundaries, repetition of a recognisable metrical pattern underlies the continuation of grammatical clauses.

[ back ] 69. Devine & Stephens 1994:377–382.

[ back ] 70. Devine & Stephens 1994:469–475.

[ back ] 71. Dionysius of Halicarnassus On Literary Composition 11/37.9 U-R: ἐξ ὧν δ᾿ οἶμαι γενήσεσθαι λέξιν ἡδεῖαν καὶ καλήν τέτταρά ἐστι ταῦτα τὰ κυριώτατα καὶ κράτιστα, μέλος καὶ ῥυθμός καὶ μεταβολὴ καὶ τὸ παρακολουθοῦν τοῖς τρισὶ τούτοις πρέπον.

[ back ] 72. Clark 1997:157–158.

[ back ] 73. Hardie 1920:5.

[ back ] 74. E.g. Aeneid 1.46–47: Iovisque || et soror et coniunx.

[ back ] 75. Cf. Clayman 1981.

[ back ] 76. In the sample (see Appendix) from the Iliad, 14.63% of all transitional constituents is verse-final, in the Odyssey 25.02%.

[ back ] 77. Examples and their translation from Friedländer 1948.

[ back ] 78. Devine & Stephens 1994:400–401.

[ back ] 79. Friedländer 1948:22.

[ back ] 80. Two times in the sample of the Iliad (see Appendix), four times in the Odyssey.

[ back ] 81. Lidov 1989:83 warns against the assumption of pre-existence of the cola in the I-E tradition. I do not assume any such pre-existence in the comparison between Homer and verse inscriptions.

[ back ] 82. Friedländer 1948:148 describes the inscription as ‘intermediate between verse and prose’.

[ back ] 83. Dionysius of Halicarnassus On Literary Composition 16/61.20–68.6 U-R.

[ back ] 84. Cf. Devine & Stephens 1994:449–450.

[ back ] 85. The Homeric epic is described as “dance-beat” in David 2006, but see my review in BMCR 2007.04.46.