Particles in Ancient Greek Discourse: Exploring Particle Use across Genres

  Bonifazi, Anna, Annemieke Drummen, and Mark de Kreij. 2016. Particles in Ancient Greek Discourse: Exploring Particle Use across Genres. Hellenic Studies Series 79. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

II.2 Discourse acts: The domain of particle analysis

§1. The present chapter builds on the discussion of discourse segmentation set out in IV.3, so to facilitate understanding I briefly summarize the ideas set out there, where the reader may find a fuller discussion and references. In ancient philosophy and rhetoric, language was described in terms of períodoi, kôla, and kómmata. All three terms are hard to define, and our understanding of them is often strongly determined by English translations. It appears that the term períodos initially described an intonation curve between two prosodically similar moments. The kôlon is a subdivision of the períodos: either a complete thought or a complete part of a thought, with distinct parts, and easy to repeat in a breath. Kómma, finally, is a term applied to particularly short kôla. What underlies all three terms is a focus on performance rather than on syntactical shape (e.g. sentence, clause, phrase), and in this chapter I trace modern and contemporary research that takes the same perspective on discourse.
§2. To ancient scholars, discourse consisted of different-sized units not based primarily on syntactical division, but rather on the sense of completion on the one hand and the speaker’s physical limitations on the other. From the nineteenth century onwards, conversely, the approach to discourse segmentation in ancient Greek texts reveals a strong tendency to regard syntax as the primary structure. This exclusive focus on syntax obscures the important role of particles in the articulation of discourse. A greater sensitivity to the linear presentation of both epic and lyric is needed for an understanding of the function of particles and their host units. The present chapter gathers the relevant evidence, both cross-linguistic and specific to ancient Greek, for the contention that not the sentence or clause, but the discourse act is the basic unit of language use. It is with regard to this smallest subdivsion of discourse that the function of particles is to be understood.

2.1 Introduction

§3. In speech, language is more malleable than the grammatical handbooks would have us believe, as we may note from the loose adherence to grammar even academics reveal in their day-to-day conversations. [1] This is not to say that a grammatical analysis is not a valid approach to such performed texts; both the Homeric and Pindaric corpora show a distinct tendency to obey a set of rules that largely conforms to what the handbooks call Greek grammar. A thorough knowledge of the grammar is indispensable for understanding the texts and allows the reader to note deviations from the standard and to hypothesize explanations for them. [2] Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the text’s impact in performance, however, cannot stop at contemplating grammar alone. [3] What we wish to challenge here is not the relevance of a prescriptive syntax for the study of Homer and Pindar, but its primacy.
§4. Consider the following example from the Odyssey, followed by Murray’s translation:

          (…) ὁ δ’ ὁρμηθεὶς θεοῦ ἤρχετο, φαῖνε δ’ ἀοιδήν,
500    ἔνθεν ἑλών, ὡς οἱ μὲν ἐϋσσέλμων ἐπὶ νηῶν
          βάντες ἀπέπλειον, πῦρ ἐν κλισίῃσι βαλόντες,
          Ἀργεῖοι, (…)
Odyssey 8.499-502
(…) and the minstrel, moved by the god, began, and let his song be heard,
taking up the tale where the Argives had embarked on their benched ships
and were sailing away, after casting fire on their huts (…)
Translation Murray

Murray’s pleasant translation tells the story adequately, but it obscures the original word order. In the translation the reader is given a neat sentence, which begins before this excerpt and continues after it. It is worth comparing the punctuation in the Greek (from Von der Mühll’s edition) to that in the English translation. Although the placement of some commas corresponds in the two texts, there are discrepancies. First of all, in the translation there is a comma after “the minstrel,” which allows the reader to focus on the new source of the upcoming discourse, but this comma is left out in the Greek. [4] Conversely, Von der Mühll prints a comma before ὡς, but Murray leaves it out before the corresponding “where” in the translation.

§5. These differences may be partly (or even wholly) due to the fact that English has more or less established rules for comma placement in written texts, whereas such a system did not exist for ancient Greek. [5] However, the choices in the Greek edition are revealing: they show that Von der Mühll feels there should be a comma before the “first-position word” ὡς, while he regards the participial construction ὁρμηθείς θεοῦ as too closely connected to the pronoun ὁ to permit a comma to intervene. Commas in written English are largely syntactic markers, since they mark the segments they divide as parts of the same superstructure: the sentence, which is in turn bounded by full stops. In (t1) above this convention explains the placement of a comma rather than a period after βαλόντες: the following nominative Ἀργεῖοι is taken as the subject of a long subclause, itself part of the sentence of which ὁ is the subject. However, it is open to discussion whether or not the syntactical unit of the sentence has true analytical value in a study of Homer, Pindar, or any other discourse produced in, or meant for, performance.
§6. The reception of a performed text is at least partly linear: the hearer cannot hear the second word before the first word, and likewise the second verse only after the first verse. [6] In cognitive studies it has been established that the working memory used for processing aurally received text is not all that large. [7] Still, we find numerous instances in Greek epic and lyric where the grammatical subject of a clause is not given until two verses after the verb, as in the Odyssey passage above. A close translation looks as follows: [8]

And he, having started from the god, began. He made the song appear,
starting from there, where they, on their well-benched ships,
sailed off on their way, having thrown fire on their tents,
the Argives,…

If the Greek audience truly needed the subject from line 502 to complete the construction begun in line 500, one would have to conclude that in performance this text would become rather unsuccessful. In fact, the nominative follows at a point where the audience would have been expected to already know who the story was about; it must therefore be regarded as serving another function. My translation focuses on the articulation of discourse in separate acts, each of which serves at least one purpose in furthering the discourse.

§7. This chapter traces the history of this approach to discourse articulation in Greek in general and Homeric epic in particular. I first outline the ideas presented by Wackernagel and refined by Fraenkel and later scholars (§§9-15), which several contemporary scholars have recently revisited (§16). Then I trace contemporary work on discourse articulation, especially in English, which has focused on spoken discourse (§§17-20). The earlier scholarship on ancient Greek, together with contemporary scholarship on modern languages, provides the foundation for the study of discourse acts (§§21-23).
§8. There are several ways in which we regard the study of discourse articulation as relevant to the analysis of the functions of particles. First of all, particles are important boundary markers in ancient Greek, revealing the production of discourse in manageable chunks in Homer (§§24-30) and Pindar (§§37-45). [9] Second, establishing act boundaries allows for a better appreciation of the host units of different particles (δέ §§31-36 and μέν §§46-62). Third, a close examination of discourse segmentation in Homer and Pindar reveals that particles, particle clusters, or a particle in concert with one word (group) function as separate acts. Closely examining the way particles work on the small scale allows for a more precise understanding of the role of some particles in navigating larger discontinuities in discourse, especially in Homeric narrative (§§64-71) and Pindaric performance (§§72-79).

2.1.1 Kôlon, intonation unit, discourse act

§9. In 1892 Wackernagel published a seminal article about a rule in the word order of Indo-European languages that he felt was followed so strictly that it deserved the predicate “law.” [10] As Goldstein rightly observes, Wackernagel 1892 presented neither the beginning nor the final form of the argument, but it has become the reference point for the large body of literature that has built upon its ideas. [11] The gist of Wackernagel’s argument is that a group of words, including particles, tend to occur in the second position of a clause, be it a main or a subclause. [12] His argument initially excludes enclitic particles that join sentences, [13] as their role of conjoining the host sentence to the preceding one gives them a natural reason to be in second position. His analysis consequently focuses on κε, which does not function on the level of Satzverbindung. [14] For this enclitic particle, as well as for θην, νυ, and τοι, Wackernagel finds that they have a strong tendency to occur in second position of the sentence. Finally, he notes that a number of non-enclitic particles, called postpositive Partikeln by Krüger, follow the same pattern of eschewing initial position. [15]
§10. Some forty years later, Eduard Fraenkel refined and extended Wackernagel’s ideas [16] in two publications, with the intention of better explaining the many apparent exceptions to the law in extant Latin and Greek literature. [17] Fraenkel’s contention is that the postpositives, such as particles, come in the second position not necessarily only of sentences, but also of smaller syntactical units. [18] He calls these smaller units Kola (henceforth kôlon, kôla), a term inherited from ancient scholarship on the units that make up prose and poetry. [19] Fraenkel analyzes the use of ἄν in Greek classical prose, [20] and concludes that it can generally be considered to occupy the second position of a kôlon, when it occurs later in a clause. [21] Having established this principle, Fraenkel revisited the topic in 1965 in order to show that vocatives generally occur at kôlon boundaries. [22]
§11. We might describe Fraenkel’s approach as a shift from a “map view” to a “route view” of language. [23] That is to say, he regards the text as first and foremost a syntactic construct, but rather than contemplating every sentence as an architectonic whole, he assumes that reception was realized in smaller units, which he calls “syntaktische Kola.” [24] These kôla the listener or reader receives in sequence, and they make sense in their linear order. Speakers group their words and thoughts in these smaller units, and it is the existence of these units that explains supposed enjambment in Roman elegy, “abnormal” placement of ἄν in Greek prose, and improves our understanding of how vocatives are used. Fraenkel’s work would form the basis for a series of studies in Greek linguistics in the following decades; his intuitions have pointed the way for the approach I elaborate in this chapter.
§12. Now with regard to second, or peninitial, position, some explanation is warranted. In the majority of cases, especially in classical prose, a “postpositive” particle occurs in second position in a clause. However, second position does not necessarily mean the second lexical item in a clause. If the preceding word is part of a tight group, such as article and noun or preposition and noun, it is possible for the whole word group to precede the particle. In such cases this positioning of the particle is unproblematic, although it is worth considering why it occurs on some but not all occasions. A first-position particle, like ἀλλά and καί, [25] may similarly cause a particle that comes after it to appear as the third rather than second word. Diagnostically most relevant, then, are those cases where a postposed particle occurs later than in second position in a clause even when none of the two abovementioned situations apply. In these instances it is probably the case that what comes before the peninitial particle and its preceding word is not a full syntactical clause, but a separate kôlon nonetheless.
§13. In his 1959 work on word order in Pindar, Lauer retrieves Fraenkel’s work on kôla to apply it to Pindar’s songs. [26] Like Fraenkel before him, he uses the idea of kôla to demonstrate that apparently divergent and problematic word order in fact obeys the rules of word order with regard to kôla, if not with regard to sentences. Lauer argues that the Pindaric corpus offers more insight into the performative reality than prose does, because of its metrical form. That is to say, whereas prose is only divided into syntactical units (which may or may not have a specific relation to the discourse units it was realized in), poetry is divided into both syntactical and metrical units, which provides slightly more handholds for establishing possible and even probable discourse division. [27]
§14. Throughout his study Lauer adheres closely to Fraenkel’s method, establishing kôlon boundaries by using criteria such as the placement of postpositives, quasi-independent grammatical constructions (such as participia coniuncta), and stylistic practices (such as parallel constructions). Having established these boundaries, he goes on to describe the kôla that emerge. Most of them fall under the open-ended list of types offered by Fraenkel, [28] but Lauer makes a few additional observations. Most importantly, Lauer observes that quite regularly there is a very short kôlon at the beginning of sentences, which he calls Kurzkola, short kôla, but does not further define them. [29] He is similarly taciturn about the term potentielle Kola, potential kôla, which he uses to describe these same short opening kôla, but which might be much more broadly applicable, on which see below. [30] Sometimes these initial kôla are so short that they consist of nothing more than a conjunction, which leads Lauer to conclude that conjunctions can stand outside the kôlon. [31] Finally, Lauer notes that in case of hyperbaton, the two (or more) members, typically an adjective (or a participle in attributive position) and a noun, can be Kolonbildend, opening and closing them. [32]
§15. In his analysis of vocatives, Fraenkel hints at the phonetic realization of kôla and kôlon boundaries, namely that the insertion of a vocative would result in a pause, with different possible effects. [33] For Stinton 1977, phonetic realization is the crucial question: can we establish where pauses might have been heard in Greek discourse? [34] His corpus, lyric passages of Greek tragedy, is quite different from Fraenkel’s material, but “the categories he [sc. Fraenkel] establishes for Greek prose can be readily adapted to the more condensed language of lyric poetry.” [35] Using Fraenkel’s categories on the one hand, and metrical responsion on the other, he makes the argument that both brevis in longo and hiatus are generally allowed only where there is a syntactical pause. His research into the intricate language of lyric shows that meter and sense stand in a somewhat natural relationship. [36]
§16. Recently, the concept of the kôlon has resurfaced in Scheppers’ The Colon Hypothesis. [37] His work is an important step forward because he includes literature from contemporary linguistics. Scheppers builds on the idea of kôla with help from research into modern languages, for which a spoken corpus is available. Like Bakker before him, whose work on Homer I discuss below, Scheppers incorporates the work done on “intonation units.” As the term suggests, the units are parts of spoken discourse that cohere by virtue of forming a single intonational contour, generally bounded by pauses. Scheppers combines the concept of kôlon and that of intonation unit to analyze the prose discourse of Lysias and Plato “as literary representations of ‘spoken’ Greek.” [38] Goldstein likewise turns to intonation in order to further our understanding of the position of enclitics and postpositives. In a thorough study of fifth-century Greek prose, he demonstrates that Wackernagel’s law is best understood as not primarily a syntactic phenomenon, but rather bound to intonational phrases. [39] Scheppers, Goldstein, and Bakker urge us to attempt to hear the intonational division of Greek discourse, and acknowledge its importance to word order and construction of meaning. In our work on particles in poetry and prose we subscribe to this approach to Greek discourse and hope to contribute to its further development. Their work has a solid basis in research on contemporary spoken discourse.
§17. Research on intonation units starts with Halliday’s concept of the “tone group,” which can be distinguished as a separate unit by virtue of having only one “tonic element.” In later scholarship the focus shifts to the “intonational contour,” to fit better with actual practice. [40] Speakers portion their discourse by proceeding in units that are marked by an independent intonational contour, and are often bounded by pauses. This segmentation, it appears, is not (or not only) a function of the physical need to breathe at regular intervals, but rather of the cognitive effort involved in planning speech. [41] Brown and Yule 1983 follow this line of reasoning and choose to call the small segments “information units,” since they reflect the piecemeal addition of information to the discourse. Chafe proposes to use the term “intonation units,” and adds that they are generally a combination of given and new information. [42] The combination of given and new information in intonation units is only a trend: some intonation units in fact contain only new, or, more rarely, only given information. Similarly, he notes that in his corpus of spoken English the correspondence between intonation units and syntactical clauses is in fact quite low. [43]
§18. It is one thing to observe that a certain kind of unit exists in discourse, but quite another to explain why it occurs. There is a range of explanations available, each reflecting the particular approach used in establishing the smallest discourse unit. One group of scholars, represented by Roulet on the one hand (Geneva School) and Sinclair and Coulthard on the other (Birmingham School), approach discourse as a strategic construct with a certain aim, and smaller discourse units as having a certain function in reaching that goal. In their seminal 1975 article on classroom discourse, Sinclair and Coulthard establish the term “discourse act,” analogous to Austin’s speech act. [44] They define discourse acts as the smallest step toward reaching a (sub)goal of the discourse, hierarchically ordered on a scale of act – move – exchange – transaction – lesson. [45] Roulet 1984 adopts part of this terminology (act – move – exchange), [46] and proceeds to apply the ideas to different kinds of material, including both spoken discourse and written texts. Over two decades of work, Roulet redefines his conceptualization of the discourse act several times, but in Roulet et al. 2001 he settles on the discourse act as every “update to the discourse memory,” [47] basing his idea on the work done by Berrendonner. [48]
§19. More recently, cognitive linguists have engaged with the smallest steps in discourse. Chafe regards the intonation unit as a focus of consciousness, “typically expressed with four words of English.” [49] Langacker talks about the same process in terms of “attentional frames,” which function “as instructions to modify the current discourse space in particular ways.” [50] As regards form, attentional frames may well coincide with grammatical constituents, but this is “only a tendency, not an inviolable principle.” [51] The relation between the empirically observable intonation unit and the cognitive process of language production may be linked productively to the work of the Birmingham and Geneva schools. The new focus of consciousness forms an update to the discourse memory (on which see II.4), which is verbalized in a new intonation unit. [52]
§20. There is one more element that contributes to our understanding of the discourse act. In the field of functional discourse grammar, scholars like Kroon, Hannay, and Hengeveld have approached language in a way largely similar to that of the Geneva and Birmingham schools. They have, however, a slightly different perspective: they define acts specifically as the smallest steps toward the main goal of the discourse. Hannay and Kroon, looking back to Kroon’s earlier work on Latin discourse particles, define discourse acts as “the smallest identifiable unit of communicative behaviour,” [53] but they expand it by stipulating that all acts are “strategic steps which the speaker wishes to make.” [54] Hannay and Kroon conclude that focus should shift from a link between discourse units and grammatical units to a link between discourse units and prosodic/orthographic units. [55] To bring all the above elements together: an intonation unit verbalizes a focus of consciousness, which is both an update to the discourse memory and a new step toward the overarching discourse goal.

2.1.2 Distinguishing potential discourse acts

§21. Discussions of the non-grammatically defined smallest units of discourse have followed divergent paths, but their results converge. The conclusions that contemporary linguists have come to share are worth revisiting briefly. First, it is generally agreed that there is more than one kind of organization at work at the same time in any discourse. This position accords with the view that different kinds of subdivision are possible, whether based on syntax, content, discourse steps, performance, or other criteria. [56] Second, discourse units are not building blocks of a grammatical structure, but the verbalization of frames or foci of consciousness. Third, discourse acts function in terms of updates to discourse memory. Fourth, the smallest discourse unit tends to align with the strategic function of the smallest step toward a discourse goal. By and large, the smallest subdivisions of discourse are no larger than clauses (often smaller), do not consistently map onto syntactical units, represent some elemental progression within a discourse strategy, represent the current cognitive focus of the speaker, and generally manifest in prosodically independent units. [57]
§22. Building on these separate but connected bodies of research, we will henceforth call the smallest subdivisions of discourse “discourse acts.” This choice is not only based on the belief that we should where possible avoid adding to the plethora of terminology used in linguistics, but also on the conviction that the term captures two important features of these units. First, it categorizes the unit as a subdivision of discourse, in whatever form, rather than a subdivision of a text or a sentence. Second, it characterizes the unit as an action, a word or word group used by the speaker to do something. This resonates with the concept of “action” in Conversation Analysis, which describes what speakers do with their utterances. [58]
§23. Establishing where divisions lie between discourse acts is inevitably tentative, as may be concluded from the outline of the literature on contemporary languages above. In particular Roulet and the Functional Discourse Grammar researchers have discussed the problem of establishing discourse act boundaries in sentences like:

(1) Pierre est sorti malgré la pluie
Pierre went out despite the rain
(2) Pierre est sorti bien qu’il pleuve.
Pierre went out even though it’s raining

The only apparent difference between these two examples is that in (1) the concessive is expressed through an adverbial phrase, whereas in (2) it takes the form of a subclause. The Geneva School regards both of these discourses as consisting of two acts, whereas Hannay and Kroon agree with them only if the prepositional phrase is realized as a separate intonation or punctuation unit. [59] The deciding factor, then, is performance: whatever the linguistic form of the text, the speaker decides what to present as separate intonation units, and thus as separate discourse acts. [60] In the following analysis of discourse acts in Homer and Pindar, any marking of discourse division necessarily represents a conjecture about the work’s realization in performance: we cannot fully reconstruct how the text was intended to be realized, and we can never establish how it was actually realized. Any division we propose, then, can only be into potential discourse acts, parallel to Lauer’s potentielle Kola. [61] To this we would add one caveat, posited by Bright: factum valet “an action otherwise prohibited by rule is to be treated as correct if it happens nevertheless.” [62] Bright’s general observation may be extended to the idea of a prescriptive definition: whatever definition of discourse act we establish, actual discourse will always prove it inadequate—there is simply no limit to linguistic creativity.

2.2 Discourse acts in Homer

§24. Contemporary scholarship on non-syntactic units in Homeric discourse starts with Egbert Bakker. In his extensive work on Homer from the end of the eighties onward, Bakker has engaged with Chafe’s ideas about intonation units. [63] Transcripts of descriptions of Chafe’s film, The Pear Film, by individuals who just watched it show language use that is remarkably similar to that in Homer. Bakker urges us to consider this spoken narrative style as the blueprint for epic. Let us consider a passage discussed by Bakker, with his division into chunks, or intonation units:

ἔνθ’ ἄρα τοι, Πάτροκλε,
φάνη βιότοιο τελευτή· /
ἤντετο γάρ τοι Φοῖβος
ἐνὶ κρατερῇ ὑσμίνῃ /
ὃ μὲν τὸν ἰόντα κατὰ κλόνον
οὐκ ἐνόησεν, /
ἠέρι γὰρ πολλῇ
κεκαλυμμένος ἀντεβόλησε· / (790)
Iliad 16.787-790, as given in Bakker 1997b:113
οἱ δ᾽ ὅτε δὴ
κλισίῃσιν ἐν Ἀτρεΐδαο γένοντο, /
τοῖσι δὲ βοῦν ἱέρευσεν
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων /
ἄρσενα πενταέτηρον
ὑπερμενέϊ Κρονίωνι /
Iliad 7.313-315, as given in Bakker 1997b:97

One of the contentions in Bakker’s Poetry of Speech is that what Chafe and others call intonation units have their stylized counterpart in metrical kôla in Homer, generally about half a line long. Like intonation units, the metrical kôla that make up the hexameter are a few words long, probably reflecting “the amount of information that is active at one time in a speaker’s consciousness.” [64] Working from this view, Bakker divides each line in the examples above into two “chunks,” which he assumes to have been “a prosodic, intonational reality.” [65] Each line above represents one intonation unit, and the slash (/) marks verse end. In positing a boundary Bakker takes two factors into account: first the meter, second the content of phrases.

§25. The Homeric hexameter is a metrical form of remarkable consistency. Since it is a particularly long verse form, it generally consists of two or more metrical cola. [66] In ninety-nine percent of verses there is a caesura (called the B caesura) after the first heavy syllable of the third foot (masculine) or between its two light syllables (feminine). [67] Here is an example of each from (t4):

Masculine B caesura:
ἠέρι γὰρ πολλῇ ¦ κεκαλυμμένος ἀντεβόλησε·
Feminine B caesura:
ἔνθ’ ἄρα τοι, Πάτροκλε, ¦ φάνη βιότοιο τελευτή·

Beyond this mid-verse metrical break, there are two further frequently occurring breaks: A caesura (ninety percent of verses), in the first foot or after the first syllable of the second foot, and C caesura (eighty-six to eighty-seven percent), either between the fourth and fifth foot (called “bucolic diaeresis”) or after the first syllable of the fourth foot. The common metrical breaks are also points where syntactical and sense breaks typically occur, which brings us back to Bakker’s intonation units, or chunks, and our discourse acts. Bakker’s analyses demonstrate that the mid-verse caesura in particular often serves as a place for a sense boundary. On the other hand, this need not be the case, and even the strong metrical break of verse end does not always coincide with the end of a discourse act. [68] Edwards, who anticipated some of Bakker’s points, bases his analysis of the Homeric verse into four units on Hermann Fraenkel’s observations. [69] Edwards argues for a strict correlation between metrical boundaries and sense units, clear linguistic evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, leading to divisions such as | ὃ δὲ τὸν μέν | ἔασε |. [70]

§26. Homeric meter is an important guide in suggesting discourse act boundaries, along with syntax, sense, and boundary markers. Building on Bakker’s approach I consider all these factors in establishing discourse act boundaries in Homer. There are often several possibilities of dividing the verse, depending on which criteria one gives priority to. [71] Consider once more the following line from (t5), first according to Bakker’s division and then ours, with a vertical bar to mark a discourse act boundary: [72]

οἱ δ᾽ ὅτε δὴ
κλισίῃσιν ἐν Ἀτρεΐδαο γένοντο, /
Iliad 7.313, in Bakker 1997b:97
οἱ δ᾽ | ὅτε δὴ κλισίῃσιν ¦ ἐν Ἀτρεΐδαο γένοντο

Bakker keeps οἱ δ᾽ ὅτε δή together, despite the position of δή, yet divides after δή, even though it means dividing the temporal conjunction ὅτε from its clause. [73] Bakker’s reason for dividing after δή in (t7) is that the particle occurs right before a common position of the A caesura, the trithemimeris. [74] However, οἱ δ᾽ is an important separate cognitive act, and therefore I propose to divide directly after. [75] This boundary coincides with another variant of the A caesura, and similar breaks occurs elsewhere in Homer; see also (t8). [76] In (t7) the feminine B caesura (marked by ¦) does not coincide with a discourse act boundary: a metrical break is an attractive place for an act boundary, but it does not entail an act boundary. In the excerpts from Homer given here and in other chapters, discourse act boundaries will be seen to regularly coincide with one of the three common metrical breaks in the hexameter, or with verse end.

§27. A longer excerpt better illustrates the many possible positions of discourse act boundaries, and the many forms acts take. At the end of the Catalogue of Ships there is a description of Achilles and his men loitering near the ships while the other Greeks are advancing on Troy. Taking into account meter and all the other factors outlined above, I divide the fifteen lines into potential discourse acts marked by vertical bars; boundary markers are underlined.

           ἀλλ’μὲν | ἐν νήεσσι κορωνίσι ποντοπόροισι |
          κεῖτ’ | ἀπομηνίσας Ἀγαμέμνονι ποιμένι λαῶν |
          Ἀτρεΐδῃ· | λαοὶ δὲ | παρὰ ῥηγμῖνι θαλάσσης |
          δίσκοισιν τέρποντο | καὶ [77] αἰγανέῃσιν ἱέντες |
775    τόξοισίν θ’· | ἵπποι δὲ | παρ’ ἅρμασιν οἷσιν ἕκαστος |
          λωτὸν ἐρεπτόμενοι | ἐλεόθρεπτόν τε σέλινον |
          ἕστασαν· | ἅρματα δ’ εὖ πεπυκασμένα κεῖτο | ἀνάκτων
          ἐν κλισίῃς· | οἳ δ’ | ἀρχὸν ἀρηΐφιλον ποθέοντες |
          φοίτων ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα κατὰ στρατὸν | οὐδὲ μάχοντο. |
780    οἳ δ’ ἄρ’ ἴσαν | ὡς εἴ τε πυρὶ χθὼν πᾶσα νέμοιτο· |
          γαῖα δ’ ὑπεστενάχιζε | Διὶ ὣς τερπικεραύνῳ |
          χωομένῳ | ὅτε τ’ ἀμφὶ Τυφωέϊ γαῖαν ἱμάσσῃ |
          εἰν Ἀρίμοις, | ὅθι φασὶ Τυφωέος ἔμμεναι εὐνάς· |
          ὣς ἄρα | τῶν ὑπὸ ποσσὶ | μέγα στεναχίζετο γαῖα |
785    ἐρχομένων· | μάλα δ’ ὦκα διέπρησσον πεδίοιο. |
Iliad 2.771-785

This is a very turbulent passage from the Iliad: [78] out of fifteen verses, only lines 774 and 781 can be divided roughly into two half lines. [79] Most of the discourse act boundaries are based on the words in bold that tend toward peninitial or initial position in the act. Furthermore, I take adverbial phrases as separate, as well as participial phrases. [80] In the first part of the passage (771-779, the description of Achilles’ camp) these participial and adverbial phrases separate the subject from its verb (an adverbial phrase intervenes in 771 and 773, a participial phrase in 776 and 778-779) with only one exception (ἅρματα 777). [81] The verbs, moreover, are isolated to such an extent that they appear only in the following line. Fifteen out of thirty acts are introduced by a boundary marker, thirteen of which are particles. In line 779 οὐδέ begins an act, illustrating the strong tendency for negatives to be act-initial. [82] It becomes clear from this passage why Bakker would characterize δέ as a “boundary marker,” as it accompanies many small and large steps in the narrative. [83]

§28. The description of Achilles’ camp, placed just after the catalogue of ships and just before the return to the battlefield, reveals the full extent of its mastery only when read as a sequence of small steps. A discourse analysis of any stretch of text must take into account semantics, syntax, pragmatics, meter, and cognition—discourse analysis is a holistic approach to the text. [84] The narrative presents us with a “wide” shot of the camp with Achilles and the Myrmidons. It brings us first to the ships, where Achilles indulges in his wrath; then shows us his people, by the sea, keeping themselves busy; then the horses, which stand idle by their chariots, which in turn are parked in the tents of their owners. My reading reveals the clustering of subjects + δέ throughout the passage. The arrangement is not uncommon in Homer, but the symmetry here is striking. Moreover, the (pro)noun + δέ combinations are consistently postponed until the middle of the verse, whereas typically δέ follows a (pro)noun immediately at the head of the verse. [85] Finally, in three places (lines 773, 775, and 778) we find the subject plus particle isolated as a separate discourse act. This is complemented by the isolation of the finite verbs, also consistently produced as separate acts in this passage. In lines 772, 777, and 779 the verb stands almost alone, and up to 779 even the ones that are less independent are separated from their subjects by at least a participle. The position of the verbs, either at line beginning (772 and 777) or at line end (779), suggests that they were prosodically set apart from their context by pauses or other discontinuities. [86] Their isolation will have lent emphasis to the words, putting the spotlight on their sense—which is one of inactivity: κεῖτο, ἕστασαν, οὐδὲ μάχοντο. [87]
§29. The narrative and visual path from one subject to the next, each highlighted in turn, and the overall sense of inactivity bring us to the reversal in 780, where the audience is presented with the act οἳ δ’ ἄρ’ ἴσαν. The beginning of line 780 is a heavy transition, which supports the choice by most editors to indent before this line – it is natural to print it as a new paragraph. The pronoun οἵ here is completely ambiguous, since it comes after a section containing a large selection of referents, but in fact it refers to none of the subjects in the description of Achilles’ camp. Rather, it marks the return to the battlefield before Troy, and functions as the cap of the entire Catalogue. The surprise effected by the narrative turn would not have had as much impact if it were not for the careful build-up of the preceding ten lines. After dwelling on the picture of soldiers lounging and killing time, the performer brings our attention back to the advancing army with three constituents: the pronoun οἵ, the particle combination δ᾽ἄρα, and the verb ἴσαν. The use of a particle combination to follow the pronoun instead of just a simple δέ provides some warning that we are being presented with a different kind of transition from the preceding ones, [88] but undoubtedly the verb here is the crucial factor. For the audience to be abruptly confronted with “they went”, after encountering a series of static verbs, requires quite a bit of cognitive processing on their part, as they search for the group of appropriate referents.
§30. To seal the return, Homer introduces a simile, comparing the army to an advancing, all-consuming forest fire (780). This image effectively redirects the audience’s attention to the battlefield, for it recalls another simile at the beginning of the Catalogue (lines 2.455-458) in which the shine of the Greeks’ armor is likened to the blaze of a forest fire on a mountain. [89] The simile serves to accommodate the cognitive effort required to travel back to the army advancing, that was last referred to in 2.455-473. The similes before and after the Catalogue are further connected in the sense that the one just before it describes a glinting army seen far off while the simile at line 780 gives an image of a Greek horde about to engulf the Trojans. The echo of the imagery must have helped the audience negotiate a considerable narrative and spatial discontinuity. [90]

2.2.1 Homeric δέ

§31. The scene at Achilles’ camp is a linguistically turbulent passage, produced in a stream of short acts that stand in no fixed relation to syntax or meter. The acts direct attention to different aspects of the scene, and allow the audience to take everything in step by step. δέ is instrumental in accomplishing this compartmentalizing effect, and in fact is essentially omnipresent in Homer. Yet the particle, despite its prevalence in the text, has not been the object of as much close analysis as might have been expected. The particle’s fundamental function in Homer has most recently been described by Bakker:

δέ “marks no more than a new step, a moment in time at which a new piece of information is activated in his [the narrator’s] consciousness. The particle is the most widely used linguistic boundary marker between foci of consciousness. And as an observable syntactic cue for such cognitive breaks in our text it is an important element for the study of how consciousness is turned into speech.”
Bakker 1997b:63 [italics original].

Before Bakker, δέ had been viewed as a primarily “connective” particle, sometimes with adversative force. [91] However, especially in Homer, δέ can occur at the boundary between two clauses, two phrases, between main clause and subclause, or vice versa, or between a vocative and what follows. In other words, δέ is not in the first place a syntactic marker. [92] Bakker, however, argues that it reflects the production of discourse in small steps. As such, δέ has little to do with content, and everything with form: the term connective thus is useful only if it concerns discourse rather than content.

§32. One aspect of the previous scholarship on δέ that Bakker preserves is the idea of δέ as in some way weak or “bleached. ” From the earliest studies onward δέ has been regarded as etymologically connected to δή; Bakker, like others before him, views δέ as a bleached version of δή. [93] This sense of δέ as a bleached form of δή, however, focuses overmuch on the semantic load of the particle.
§33. Indeed, Homeric δέ often goes (and should go) untranslated in English, but that is because its function does not have its equivalent in English in a lexical item, but in punctuation or prosody. Rather than anything bleached, as a boundary marker δέ is in fact the strongest of all second-position words: the only one that is practically never moved from its position in Homer and to a lesser extent in lyric. [94] The particle’s strength on a purely functional level has seldom been discussed, yet it is crucial to a number of other questions involving δέ. For instance, the fact that δή (or at least one of its aspects) seems to have been a mobile in early Greek, of which some trace remains in Homer, [95] speaks against the close relation envisioned between the two words by Bakker and most earlier scholars. Indeed δή’s mobility all but eliminates the possibility that in Homer δέ functioned as a bleached version of δή. [96]
§34. To better understand the differences between δέ and δή, consider first the instances where both particles occur, as in the following haunting scene from the Odyssey:

οἱ δ’ ἤδη γναθμοῖσι γελώων ἀλλοτρίοισιν, |
αἱμοφόρυκτα δὲ δὴ κρέα ἤσθιον· | ὄσσε δ’ ἄρα σφέων
δακρυόφιν πίμπλαντο, | γόον δ’ ὠΐετο θυμός. |
Odyssey 20.347-349
And they were now laughing with lips not their own,
actually they were eating meat defiled with blood, and then their eyes
were filled with tears; their heart presaged grief.

Here and in all thirty-one other instances of the combination δέ precedes δή. [97] The same thing holds for the combination of δέ with ἄν/κε(ν); remember that Fraenkel actually chose ἄν as a case study for his research into kôlon boundaries. The reason must quite simply be that δέ, at least in Homer, cannot leave its peninitial position for another second-position word. This tenacity suggests that its function is tightly connected to its position, which supports Bakker’s description of δέ as the quintessential boundary marker.

§35. The boundary that δέ marks can be that between a main and a subclause, between two parallel phrases, or after a vocative in direct speech, but the particle can also occur at stronger discontinuities in the discourse, as in the following example:

          εὖτ’ ἀστὴρ ὑπερέσχε φαάντατος, | ὅς τε μάλιστα
          ἔρχεται | ἀγγέλλων φάος Ἠοῦς ἠριγενείης, |
95      τῆμος δὴ νήσῳ προσεπίλνατο | ποντοπόρος νηῦς. |
          Φόρκυνος [98] δέ τίς ἐστι λιμήν, | ἁλίοιο γέροντος, |
          ἐν δήμῳ Ἰθάκης· | (…)
Odyssey 13.93-97
          When that brightest star rose, the one that most of all
          comes, heralding the light of early-born Dawn,
95      just then it approached an island, the sea-faring ship.
          There is a harbor of Phorcys, the old man of the sea,
          in the land of Ithaca. (…)

After describing how the sun comes up and the ship carrying the sleeping Odysseus reaches Ithaca, the performer devotes some attention to the place where Odysseus will be left by the Phaeacians. [99] This new section is set apart by the present tense and starts with δέ but is not otherwise marked, yet it represents a significant redirection from action to image and from movement to stasis. The two parts of discourse are divided by nothing more than δέ. [100]

§36. This passage is one example of how the particle can occur in any kind of transition, because of its ability to occupy the second position of any discourse act. Δέ in Homer is the simplest metalanguage: its syntactic and semantic flexibility shows that its function does not primarily lie on those levels, but is concentrated on marking a discourse boundary. [101] In Homer, δέ is markedly more frequent in narration than in direct speech. The imbalance suggests that there is something in the steps of narrative discourse that allows or requires more neutral boundaries than in direct speech. [102] Over time δέ develops from being an omnipresent boundary marker to a particle used to start new períodoi, and eventually to a marker of adversativity. This development is accompanied by a steady decline in the particle’s frequency in later texts, as well as a looser adherence to its peninitial position. [103]

2.2 Discourse Acts in Pindar

§37. Pindaric language is widely regarded as difficult. This view is implicitly reflected in the punctuation practices found in modern editions, which give the impression that Pindar sometimes wrote monstrously long sentences. [104] This syntactical approach does not do justice to how the songs were received by a listening audience. Like Homeric epic, Pindaric song proceeds in small acts. The most important difference between the two corpora is the music that was an integral part of Pindar’s songs.
§38. The melodies of Pindaric song are all lost to us, and we must keep in mind that the melody may have mitigated the apparent complexity of Pindaric discourse. The melodic dimension may have clarified constructions, created breaks and links, and overall made linguistic construction quite secondary. Moreover, music changes the way the lyric language is received and understood on a level above the discourse act. As opposed to the repetitive rhythm of Homer, the division of Pindaric song into strophe, antistrophe, and epode creates an intermittent recurrence of rhythmic (and melodic) units. Songs exploit the audience’s “melodic memory” to create resonance beyond the linear production of verse after verse, in a phenomenon called “tautometric responsion.” [105] In the example of Pythian 6 (t12 and t13 below), for instance, the phrases ἄγεις ἐφημοσύναν (20, about the victor’s son) and νόημα τοῦτο φέρων (29, about Antilochus), occupy the same metrical position in strophe and antistrophe. In this case, the resonance reinforces the comparison that Pindar proposes between the victor’s son and Antilochus.
§39. The one aspect of Pindaric song that is still accessible to us is its meter. Therefore, in dividing Pindar’s songs into discourse acts, metrical considerations play an important role. Since the verses are decidedly shorter than the Homeric hexameter, they are not often broken up into separate metrical kôla. [106] Although verse end does not coincide with act boundary quite as regularly as in Homer, this is still a strong tendency. Moreover, the strong metrical boundary after strophe, antistrophe, and epode always coincides with act boundary.
§40. Consider the third strophe of Pythian 6. After two strophai introducing the event (the chariot race in the Pythian games), the winner (Xenocrates), and his clan, Pindar focuses on Xenocrates’ son, who is addressed in line 15 with the vocative Θρασύβουλε, and again in line 19 with σύ τοι: [107]

          σύ τοι | σχεθών νιν ἐπὶ δεξιὰ χειρός, | ὀρθὰν ἄγεις ἐφημοσύναν, |
21      τά ποτ’ ἐν οὔρεσι φαντὶ | μεγαλοσθενεῖ
          Φιλύρας υἱὸν ὀρφανιζομένῳ
          Πηλεΐδᾳ παραινεῖν· | μάλιστα μὲν Κρονίδαν, |
          βαρύοπα στεροπᾶν κεραυνῶν τε πρύτανιν, |
25      θεῶν σέβεσθαι· |
          ταύτας δὲ μή ποτε τιμᾶς
          ἀμείρειν | γονέων βίον πεπρωμένον. |
Pindar, Pythian 6.19-27
          Now you, keeping him at your right hand, you keep the command straight,
21      which they say that once in the mountains to the greatly powerful—
          that Philyras’ son advised to the orphaned
          son of Peleus: to honour especially Kronos’ son,
          loud-voiced lord of lightning and thunder,
25      of all the gods.
          And to never of those honours
          deprive the given life of one’s parents.

In the passage above, I mark discourse act boundaries on the basis of syntax and sense (e.g. the apposition βαρύοπα…πρύτανιν), but also considering postpositives (νιν, ποτε, μέν, and δέ) and hyperbaton constructions (ὀρθὰν…ἐφημοσύναν). After σύ τοι [108] follows a participial phrase with the enclitic νιν in second position. [109] Τhe first two lines of this third strophe thus proceed in three acts, the first to direct attention to the focus of the upcoming two strophai (“You then”), the second to provide a link to the preceding (“keeping him [sc. Thrasyboulos’ father] at your right hand”), [110] and the third to look ahead to the upcoming discourse (“straight you keep the command”).

§41. The next act starts with a neuter pronoun (τά, “those things”) that retrieves the referent of ἐφημοσύναν “command.” At the same time, the pronoun functions as a transition into a little mythical reference (23-26). [111] The clause that provides an orientation for this narrative neatly demonstrates the difference between Pindar and Homer. Line 21 ends with the dative adjective μεγαλοσθενεῖ, which can in no natural way be construed with what preceded; it thus projects [112] an indirect object (dative) of an upcoming new action that will fit the epithet. The first words that follow are Φιλύρας υἱόν, a circuitous way of naming Cheiron, who after φαντί will naturally be taken as the agent in the emerging construction. At this point the audience may already have the information they need: Pindar is elaborating on a saying that Cheiron once taught someone in the mountains (ἐν οὔρεσι), someone as yet unnamed to whom the (rare) epithet μεγαλοσθενής can suitably apply. The combination of cues will have activated the figure of Achilles in the audience’s minds. The suspicion gains strength in line 22 when the audience encounters a second epithet, ὀρφανιζομένῳ, and finally is confirmed with the patronymic in line 23 (Πηλεΐδᾳ). Because of the interweaving construction and it is hard to establish where this relatively long act (21-23) may have been subdivided. The adjective in the dative (μεγαλοσθενεῖ) creates the expectation of a noun, and the thought is not yet complete at the end of line 22. Despite its length, however, the audience would still have been able to semantically process the construction on-line.
§42. In Homer, this act would probably have been broken in two, presented with the different components clustered together. Note, however, that such syntactical and discursive flourishes in Pindar are designed precisely to be flourishes; they function as verbal (and perhaps musical) tours-de-force that stand out against the general piecemeal progression of the discourse in his songs. [113] The saying itself is introduced at μάλιστα μέν and illustrates how so-called μέν – δέ constructions are often not symmetrical in early Greek poetry (more on this in §56-§59). Finally, line 24 (βαρύοπα στεροπᾶν κεραυνῶν τε πρύτανιν) contains another idiosyncrasy of Pindar’s. Lauer first observed that Pindar has a tendency to demarcate his kôla using hyperbata, which Lauer called Kolonbildend. [114] The suggestion is that a lone adjective (βαρύοπα) at the beginning of an act (or Kolon in Lauer’s terms) creates the expectation of a noun, and the eventual occurrence of the noun (πρύτανιν) then marks the end of the discourse act. [115] Markovic remarks that throughout early Greek literature, hyperbaton is a tool frequently used especially for “signaling or reinforcing the end of syntactical and semantic units” [my emphasis], and regards it as a feature “of oral tradition.” [116]
§43. The wisdom that Pindar offers in Pythian 6.23-25 is that one should honor Zeus most out of all the gods, and that one should honor one’s parents. The second part of the gnṓmē (“honor your parents”) introduces an important theme in the ode which provides the starting point for the following strophe: [117]

          ἔγεντο καὶ πρότερον | Ἀντίλοχος βιατὰς | νόημα τοῦτο φέρων, |
30      ὃς ὑπερέφθιτο πατρός, | ἐναρίμβροτον
          ἀναμείναις στράταρχον Αἰθιόπων |
          Μέμνονα. | Νεστόρειον γὰρ ἵππος ἅρμ’ ἐπέδα |
          Πάριος ἐκ βελέων δαϊχθείς· | ὁ δ’ ἔφεπεν
          κραταιὸν ἔγχος· |
35      Μεσσανίου δὲ γέροντος |
          δονηθεῖσα φρὴν | βόασε παῖδα ὅν, |

          χαμαιπετὲς δ’ ἄρ’ ἔπος οὐκ ἀπέριψεν· | αὐτοῦ μένων δ’ ὁ θεῖος ἀνήρ |
          πρίατο μὲν θανάτοιο κομιδὰν πατρός, |

Pindar, Pythian 6.28-39
          This happened in earlier times too. Strong Antilochos, keeping this in mind,
30      he died for his father, standing up to the man-slaying
          general of the Ethiopians,
          Memnon. For Nestor’s horse entangled the chariot,
          struck by Paris’ arrows, and he [Memnon] brandished
          his powerful spear.
35      The old man from Messene’s
          mind in panic, he called to his son.

          And not an earthbound word escaped from him: staying put, the godlike man
          bought with his death his father’s escape.

The theme established by the end of the third stanza is explored in the fourth, which here takes the form of a little narrative. The transition to the past (ἔγεντο καὶ πρότερον) and the introduction of the story are clear. The pronoun in νόημα τοῦτο secures the connection to the preceding discourse, and the next act, starting with the personal pronoun ὅς referring to Antilochus, begins a little abstract of the entire story. [118] Μέμνονα in apposition at the head of line 32 is semantically superfluous, but the name here serves to close the ring begun at the naming of Antilochus, a ring from victim to killer. [119] Furthermore, placing the name here enables Pindar to juxtapose Memnon with Nestor: a reflection in the language of the situation on the battlefield. The narrative proper follows, beginning with the particle γάρ, [120] and proceeds in six subsequent acts, no fewer than four of which start with δέ. [121] Use of δέ in Pindar is noticeably different from Homer’s usage: the particle occurs much less frequently, and is more often used to mark more significant boundaries in the discourse. [122] It is in Pindar’s narrative sections that we find a distribution of δέ closer to that found in Homer, but even in Pindaric narrative the particle is not used quite as frequently as in Homer. As for the particle’s position, in line 37 δέ is postponed until after the word group αὐτοῦ μένων, a license that does not occur in Homer. [123]

§44. The function of μέν in line 39 is not immediately obvious. It occurs in the line that appears to function as the resolution of the narrative (see II.3 §14), the end of the story. The sense of resolution is confirmed when we consider how the strophe continues:

40      ἐδόκησέν τε τῶν πάλαι γενεᾷ
          ὁπλοτέροισιν | ἔργον πελώριον τελέσαις |
          ὕπατος ἀμφὶ τοκεῦσιν ἔμμεν πρὸς ἀρετάν. |
Pindar, Pythian 6.40-42
40      And he was regarded among the race of the men of old,
          by latter generations, having done that great deed,
          to be foremost as regards virtue toward the parents.

Line 39, then, functions as the end of the narrative proper, while 40-42 are a reflection on the story’s outcome. If we take the classical approach to μέν as a “preparatory” particle, we find no satisfactory explanation for its occurrence here, in the act πρίατο μὲν θανάτοιο κομιδὰν πατρός. On a semantic level there is no parallellism or contrast with the following ἐδόκησέν τε τῶν πάλαι γενεᾷ. Syntactically, the verbs πρίατο and ἐδόκησεν do resonate with each other, as both have Antilochus as their subject. Scholars have consequently argued that μέν in such occurrences is “answered” by τε instead of δέ in Pindar. [124] But the two acts that would here be connected through μέν – τε diverge in their discursive nature. The first (39) rounds off the narrative, while the second (40) functions as a postscript.

§45. How, then, should we understand this μέν? In the following section I argue that μέν must be taken in instances like this as a metalinguistic cue: its host act rounds off one move, while μέν projects that a new move is coming up. The particle μέν possesses this function regardless of what introduces the upcoming act, be it δέ, τε, καί or no particle at all.

2.4 μέν in Homer and Pindar

§46. In the passages from Pythian 6 above (t12-t14), there are two instances of the particle μέν, both of which may offer insight into the workings of the particle. In Attic Greek prose, μέν mostly has a narrow function, that is, it marks the first part in a μέν – δέ construction. In such contexts it may be translated “on the one hand,” or remain untranslated. Schömann first argued that μέν developed from μήν, and that its original force was affirmative. [125] This view is compatible with the argument put forward by Spitzner, and soon promoted to communis opinio, that μέν in Homer is simply a dialectal variant (Ionic) of μήν (Attic) and μάν (Doric). [126] Spitzner’s observation led to the argument that μέν tout court is descended from μήν and its variants, both on a formal and on a functional level. Leumann further hypothesizes that the μέν – δέ construction preserves the Ionic variant of μάν because the construction found its way into Greek discourse through the scientific works from Ionia. At the same time, all dialects kept their own variant of μάν for all other instances, that is, where it affirms its clause. [127] Among these scholars, some also regard the fact that μέν is a shorter form of μήν as a sign of a bleaching or weakening of the function performed by its ancestor. [128]
§47. Thus the particle’s origin in μήν and its more common Attic use in a μέν – δέ construction have been linked. [129] One thing that has been lost in this development of scholarship is the forward-looking force of μέν. If μέν is from affirmative μήν, it implies contrast with the following by strongly affirming the present clause, phrase, or constituent. [130] I follow the majority of scholars in assuming a formal (i.e. diachronic) relation between μέν on the one hand and μήν and μάν on the other. However, unlike the majority I do not believe that μέν is always functionally connected to μήν and μάν by the time of Homer (i.e. synchronically), since to describe the use of μέν in Homer as “affirmative” is insufficient.
§48. Before the link between μήν and μέν became central to the analysis of μέν, scholars paid more attention to how μέν was actually used by Greek authors. This led Hoogeveen to say the following: “when a speaker uses μέν, he warns the reader or hearer that he should not agree to this first part, but should wait for the ἀπόδοσις, which resolves the utterance.” [131] In other words, with μέν the speaker promises to add something after the current clause, phrase, or constituent. [132] Rather than a development from the particle’s putative original affirmative force, this “anticipatory” sense is primary in μέν. The question now remains how to read μέν in Homer, since it can either be the Ionic form of Attic μήν, that is with the function of μήν, or the μέν shared by all dialects. In practice, this question would have to be answered per instance, but we may follow the generalization offered by Hartung that μήν is only shortened to μέν when it is used with other particles. [133] In my analysis of μέν in Homer and Pindar, I have found no instances of μέν on its own (i.e. except in particle combinations and after οὐ) where it cannot be explained as forward-pointing.

2.4.1 μέν projecting acts and moves

§49. The next step is to come to a better understanding of this “anticipatory” function of μέν. The words of Hoogeveen may be linked to the idea of metalanguage: μέν is first and foremost an instruction to the hearer. Discourse acts are not strung together at random, but rather stand in some kind of logical relationship to each other. As I discuss in more detail in II.3, different kinds of multi-act discourse units (“moves”) cohere for different reasons. The acts within a move may share a common topic, or in narrative they may share a place of action and set of characters (in what we call “contextual frames”). As a result of the coherence that acts possess in relation to each other, acts create expectations in the discourse, in a process called projection. [134] This phenomenon may help explain the workings of μέν, the particle that appears to have specialized in cueing projection. [135]
§50. In his work on projection, Auer describes the pragmatic process of how one word, utterance, or conversational action projects another. In conversation, speakers are remarkably capable of predicting what is coming next, often even beyond the interlocutor’s upcoming turn. This predictability is a result of experience, but more basically it depends on relevance. Any conversational action restricts the range of possible consequent actions:

“By projection I mean the fact that an individual action or part of it projects another. In order to understand what is projected, interactants need some kind of knowledge about how actions (or action components) are typically (i.e., qua types) sequenced, i.e. how they follow each other in time.”
Auer 2005:8 [136]

An act can project several others, and in practice these possibilities form a limited set. Beyond conversation, projection can become inherent in syntactical constructions, such as “the thing is,…” [137] Therefore, Auer speaks of pragmatic projection: “one act or action projects another” and syntactic projection: “one syntactical constituent projects another.” Projection can work on the microlevel (syntax: a preposition projects a noun to follow) [138] and on the macrolevel (genre: the first part of a priamel projects at least one more). [139] Moreover, projection can be more specific (preposition projects noun) or less specific (“and” after a syntactic closure “leave[s] all options open apart from not continuing”). [140]

§51. The concept of projection can offer better understanding of μέν in its entire range of pragmatic functions in ancient Greek, including the Homeric corpus and Pindar’s Victory Odes. In the present section I discuss the functions of μέν in terms of projection. First, the focus is on μέν creating pragmatic projection across discourse transitions. Second comes a discussion of the ultimate pragmatic projection: μέν at the beginning of discourse units, performative units, and even whole works. Finally, I consider the μέν – δέ construction, which works differently when μέν has large scope than when it has small scope.
§52. One aspect of μέν that has suffered in particular from the scholarly focus on μήν is its use in discourse transitions. In his list of functions of μέν – δέ constructions, the first function Hoogeveen lists is μεταβατικός (“transitional”). [141] In recent scholarship this has been retrieved by Bakker: rather than signaling a juxtaposition in states of affairs, μέν – δέ signals a juxtaposition of two discourse units. [142] As Devarius noted (see fn. 141), μέν can have this function on its own as well, without a following δέ. Consider the beginning of book ten of the Iliad:

καὶ τότε δὴ σπείσαντες | ἔβαν κλισίηνδε ἕκαστος, |
ἔνθα δὲ κοιμήσαντο | καὶ ὕπνου δῶρον ἕλοντο. |
᾽Ιλιάδος κ´
Ἄλλοι μὲν παρὰ νηυσὶν | ἀριστῆες Παναχαιῶν |
εὗδον παννύχιοι | μαλακῷ δεδμημένοι ὕπνῳ· |
ἀλλ’ οὐκ Ἀτρεΐδην Ἀγαμέμνονα ποιμένα λαῶν |
ὕπνος ἔχε γλυκερὸς | πολλὰ φρεσὶν ὁρμαίνοντα. |
Iliad 9.712-713 and 10.1-4
And at that point, after pouring libations, each went to his tent.
There they lay down and received the gift of sleep.
Iliad 10
The others around the ships, the best of all the Achaeans
slept through the night, overcome by soft sleep.
But not Atreus’ son Agamemnon, the shepherd of men,
did sweet sleep hold, as he pondered many things in his mind.

After ending the scene in book nine with all the leaders of the Greeks returning to their tents for the night, at the beginning of book ten the focus shifts to Agamemnon. In contexts like this, Apollonius Dyscolus describes μέν as marking a περιγραφή, a conclusion or summary. [143] Devarius took up this same term, calling μέν περιφραγικός, whereas Hoogeveen speaks of μεταβατικός (“transitional”); I believe Hoogeveen’s description is more helpful. In discourse terms, μέν does not function so much to mark a conclusion, since that is contained within its host act, but to point ahead. In instances like (t16) μέν pragmatically projects a new move, even as its host act rounds off the preceding one. As (t16) shows, the continuation of the discourse does not have to start with δέ: in line 3 ἀλλά introduces the new focus of discourse.

§53. Compare one further example, from the Catalogue of Ships:

650    τῶν μὲν ἄρ’ Ἰδομενεὺς δουρὶ κλυτὸς ἡγεμόνευε |
          Μηριόνης τ’ ἀτάλαντος Ἐνυαλίῳ ἀνδρειφόντῃ· |
          τοῖσι δ’ ἅμ’ ὀγδώκοντα μέλαιναι νῆες ἕποντο. |
          Τληπόλεμος δ’ Ἡρακλεΐδης | ἠΰς τε μέγας τε |
          ἐκ Ῥόδου ἐννέα νῆας ἄγεν | Ῥοδίων ἀγερώχων, |
Iliad 2.650-654
650    Of them, then, Idomeneus famed for his spear was leader,
          and Meriones, peer of Enyalios, slayer of men,
          and with them eighty black ships followed.
          And Tlepolemus the Heraclid, strong and tall
          from Rhodos led nine ships of noble Rhodians.

The Catalogue consists of a list of entries that describe a people and their leaders, one by one. [144] The entries are linguistically quite consistent, giving first the people and the leader in the first line, then often a little narrative, then naming the leader again, and giving the number of ships that he brings. In the renaming of the leader, which starts the final element of the entry, we often find μέν, as in (t17). Just like in (t16) μέν in (t17) prepares the hearer for the transition to a new focus, in this case a new entry. Here μέν is followed by δέ (line 653), but there is no syntactical symmetry between the two constructions. Rather, the μέν act looks like a conclusion, with the anaphoric pronoun retrieving the people named in the preceding discourse, whereas the δέ act looks like a new beginning, since it introduces a new name in first position.

§54. The function of μέν, however, is not itself “summarizing,” nor does it only juxtapose two list items or states of affairs. [145] The particle provides a metalinguistic cue for the upcoming entry even while its host act rounds off the present one: μέν projects an upcoming move. [146] In (t17) the information about the ships intervenes after the projection (652), but, as Auer shows, the “trajectory” of a projection may be quite long. [147] The audience will not have regarded the projection as resolved until the start of a new entry; they are able to mentally carry the projection over the intervening discourse. [148]
§55. In (t16) and (t17) μέν is not attached to one particular word in the act. That is to say, I do not take μέν as having small scope over the word preceding it. Its scope extends over the entire act, and its influence in fact reaches beyond. Compare this similar example from Pindar, where δέ marks the resolution of the pragmatic projection triggered by μέν:

          μάλα μὲν ἀνδρῶν δικαίων περικαδόμενοι. | καὶ μὰν θεῶν πιστὸν γένος. |

55      μεταμειβόμενοι δ’ ἐναλλὰξ ἁμέραν | τὰν μὲν παρὰ πατρὶ φίλῳ
          Δὶ νέμονται, | (…)

Pindar, Nemean 10.54-56
          taking good care of just men. Yes, the race of gods is truly trustworthy.

55      And alternately changing the day, the one with their beloved father
          Zeus they live (…)

In Nemean 10 Pindar tells the story of Castor and Pollux, who have here just been introduced as the stewards of the agones in Sparta. In line 54 this is expanded in an additional participial phrase, introduced by μέν. Now, this participial phrase rounds off the topic of Castor and Pollux as stewards of the Games. The final act of line 54 introduces a new grammatical subject and contains a gnomic thought. Then the epode ends, and at the beginning of the new strophe Castor and Pollux are retrieved as subject (μεταμειβόμενοι), but as part of a new topic: their mortal/immortal status. In this case, then, μέν serves to project a new move, yet it also projects the current discourse topic (Castor and Pollux) across a gnṓmē and the strong performative discontinuity between the epode and a new strophe. [149]

§56. In early Greek poetry, the relation between a μέν act and the following discourse is decidedly loose: μέν projects pragmatically, so it does not determine how discourse continues, only that it does. This touches upon another function of the particle often addressed in earlier scholarship: its so-called “inceptive” function which in turn is inherently connected to the “asseverative” function of the particle. [150] Bakker links the transitional function of μέν to its inceptive use as follows: “[μέν] is often used to mark a statement that clears the ground, establishing a framework for discourse to come, and as such it tends to be used at the beginning of a speech.” [151] Consider the following statement by Denniston about the frequent occurrence of μέν at the beginning of speeches:

“It is difficult to resist the impression that the budding speaker, at the turn of the fifth and fourth centuries, was recommended, as a kind of stylistic convention, to start off with a μέν, and to trust more or less to luck that he would find an answer to it, and not to care greatly if he did not.”
Denniston 19502:383.

However difficult we may find it to resist this impression, Denniston here presents as a special use of μέν something that represents a central and original function of the particle. Although any initial act may be said to naturally project by virtue of being initial (projection on a macrolevel), this use of μέν should be regarded as pragmatic projection. In practice, instances of μέν at the beginning of a new discourse rarely represent a balanced combination of a μέν and δέ act. Consider the famous beginning of Olympian 1:

Ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ, | ὁ δὲ χρυσὸς | αἰθόμενον πῦρ
ἅτε διαπρέπει νυκτὶ | μεγάνορος ἔξοχα πλούτου· |
Pindar, Olympian 1.1-2
Best is water, but that gold, a blazing fire
alike that stands out in the night, beyond lordly wealth.

The priamel to Olympian 1 starts with a juxtaposition of water and gold, or so it appears. The particles μέν and δέ in the second position of the first two clauses suggests that we are faced with a classic parallel construction, but the reality is more complex. Gildersleeve’s translation nicely brings out the asymmetry in the construction: “…but there is another—gold—a blazing fire like it loometh—a night fire far above all proud wealth.” [152] Rather than just an article, ὁ in Pindar is “still largely deictic”; [153] because of that and for metrical reasons Gildersleeve translates ὁ δέ as a separate step (“but there is another”), a separate act in our terms. The first act with μέν grounds the song and performance, upon which the next act starting with δέ builds. Then follows another foil before the priamel’s climax is reached in line 7. μέν thus marks a discursive beginning, not one half of a syntactically or propositionally symmetrical construction. The fact that μέν so often occurs at the beginning of strophes, antistrophes, epodes, and songs is an extension of this same function. [154]

2.4.2 Small-scope μέν

§57. Until this point, I have focussed on the function of μέν on its own, with large scope, projecting the progression of discourse. We must also consider the construction μέν – δέ, however, which occurs from the earliest Greek literature onward. Since the most basic cue for discursive progress in Homer is δέ, [155] it comes as no surprise that at some stage the frequent act projection of μέν and act introduction of δέ led to a grammaticalization of the μέν – δέ construction. [156] In this construction, μέν does not project “a continuation of discourse” but it grammatically projects “a δέ act.” [157] The following two examples from Pindar illustrate the difference between μέν on its own marking pragmatic projection, and μέν in a μέν – δέ construction:

πολλὰ μὲν ἀρτιεπής
γλῶσσά μοι τοξεύματ’ ἔχει | περὶ κείνων
κελαδέσαι· | καὶ νῦν (…)
Pindar, Isthmian 5.46-48
Many arrows does my fluent
tongue have, about them
to celebrate; and now (…)

In a typical Pindaric transition, the Isthmian ode proceeds from the manifold possible topics to the one the composer wants to focus on. [158] μέν creates a ground, yet points ahead, [159] and is followed by καὶ νῦν, which pins down what Pindar will in fact focus on. [160] Some view the relation between the μέν act and what follows as that of general to particular, or of secondary to primary. [161] However, in practice this is often clearly not the case, and moreover when it does occur, it may quite simply reflect the presentation of discourse in order of increasing relevance or importance, more than any particular function of the μέν – δέ construction.

§58. With an apparently similar turn of phrase, Pindar rounds off one of his Pythian odes:

(…) πολλὰ μὲν κεῖνοι δίκον
φύλλ’ ἔπι | καὶ στεφάνους· |
πολλὰ δὲ πρόσθεν πτερὰ δέξατο νικᾶν. |
Pindar, Pythian 9.123-125 (end)
(…) Many did they shower
leaves on him and wreaths;
and many wings of victory did he receive before.

Here full symmetry is achieved through the verbal resonance of πολλὰ μέν – πολλὰ δέ, and this parallellism may have been marked prosodically, as happens with juxtapositions in spoken English. [162] Rather than read (t21) as an instance where the δέ component of the juxtaposition is “omitted,” one might say conversely that Pindar creates a beautiful symmetry in (t22) by adding a parallel δέ act. In this construction, one can also see how both μέν and δέ have small scope, to emphasize the symmetry. The particle μέν lends itself to this kind of construction, but the occurrence of μέν does not – or at least not in archaic and early classical Greek – entail the construction in every instance. [163]

§59. In its use with small scope, which may have been rendered prosodically, μέν has another pragmatic function. As in the μέν – δέ construction, small scope μέν can project something very specific, dependent on the word preceding the particle; one can think for example of ἄλλοτε μέν (which projects ἄλλοτε δέ). [164] A special use of this small-scope μέν is with personal pronouns in the nominative, as in the following example from the Iliad. Personified Sleep reminds Hera of a time that Hera had commanded Sleep to distract Zeus:

ἤτοι | ἐγὼ μὲν ἔλεξα Διὸς νόον αἰγιόχοιο |
νήδυμος ἀμφιχυθείς· | σὺ δέ οἱ κακὰ μήσαο θυμῷ |
ὄρσασ’ ἀργαλέων ἀνέμων ἐπὶ πόντον ἀήτας, |
Iliad 14.252-254
Yes, I put the the aegis-bearing Zeus to sleep,
sweet me shed about him, and you contrived evil for him in your mind
stirring up blasts of cruel winds on the sea,

Examples like this are rare in Homer, but in this instance there appears to be a close relation between ἐγὼ μέν and σὺ δέ. That is to say, uttering ἐγὼ μέν, when the particle has small scope, limits the possibilities of the following to σὺ δέ, ὑμεῖς δέ, ὁ δέ, or similar. [165] This projection can even reach across utterances, see this example from Aeschylus (— marks a new speaker):

X.       τοὖργον εἰργάσθαι δοκεῖ μοι βασιλέως οἰμώγμασιν·
          ἀλλὰ κοινωσώμεθ’ ἤν πως ἀσφαλῆ βουλεύματ’ ἦι.
          — ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμῖν τὴν ἐμὴν γνώμην λέγω,
          πρὸς δῶμα δεῦρ’ ἀστοῖσι κηρύσσειν βοήν.
1350  — ἐμοὶ δ’ ὅπως τάχιστά γ’ ἐμπεσεῖν δοκεῖ
          καὶ πρᾶγμ’ ἐλέγχειν σὺν νεορρύτωι ξίφει.
Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1346-1351
Chorus:  The deed is done, it seems to me by the king’s cries.
          Now let us deliberate if perchance there is a safe course of action.
          — I tell you what I think:
          to proclaim a call to the citizens to return to the palace.
1350  — It seems to me that we should barge in as soon as possible,
          and prove the fact with a newly-blooded sword.

The chorus hear Agamemnon’s cries as he is attacked, and consider what to do. The deliberations proceed chorus member by chorus member, each sharing his thoughts. The first chorus member in the excerpt starts his utterance with ἐγὼ μέν, which implicitly juxtaposes his opinion to the others to follow. [166] Two lines later, a second speaker starts with ἐμοὶ δέ, reacting to the first speaker and continuing the discussion of possible courses of action that runs on until line 1371. That is to say, μέν serves to project an act or in this case utterance that is in a significant way parallel to the present act: it has small scope, which limits the possibilities of what follows. The projection is fulfilled with δέ in the following utterance. [167]

§60. If μέν can thus project a δέ act across speakers, it follows that μέν can be used to exploit this function even when the projection is never fulfilled. [168] In (t25) μέν projects a specific act, which remains unspoken:

          Ath. οὔκουν γέλως ἥδιστος εἰς ἐχθροὺς γελᾶν;
80      Od. ἐμοὶ μὲν ἀρκεῖ τοῦτον ἐν δόμοις μένειν.
          Ath. μεμηνότ’ ἄνδρα περιφανῶς ὀκνεῖς ἰδεῖν;
          Od. φρονοῦντα γάρ νιν οὐκ ἂν ἐξέστην ὄκνῳ.
Sophocles, Ajax 79-82
          Ath. Is it not the sweetest laughter to laugh at enemies?
80      Od. Well, it suffices for me if he stays in the house.
          Ath. Do you shrink from seeing a man who is clearly mad?
          Od. If he had been sane I would not have avoided him in fear!

Athena tries to convince Odysseus to gloat over the downfall of Ajax, but Odysseus is hesitant, and uses ἐμοὶ μέν to disalign himself with Athena: “it suffices for me if he stays in the house. [But you do not seem to agree.]” Quite specifically, in instances like (t25) μέν locates the referent over which it has scope (ἐμοί) with respect to other available (textually explicit or implicit) referents. [169] This use of μέν is especially frequent in drama. [170]

§61. Small-scope μέν following a pronoun or name can thus create a contrast by projecting a viewpoint that differs at least in part from the one held by the first referent. As we explore in a later chapter (II.5), γε after names or pronouns can have the same pragmatic effect of creating contrast, but for a different reason. Whereas μέν creates contrast through projection of another referent (who is often later expressed), γε creates it through emphasis on the current referent. [171]
§62. Projection can account for a range of pragmatic functions that μέν has in Homer, Pindar, and beyond. First, the particle serves as metalanguage to guide the hearer through the discourse, often foreshadowing transitions to new moves within the discourse. In this function, its scope extends over its entire host act, and there is no particular relation between μέν and the word that precedes it. Second, μέν can have scope over the preceding word, with a range of possible effects. In Homer and Pindar not every μέν entails a δέ: when μέν has large scope, the projection can be fulfilled with any particle that can continue the discourse, or no particle at all. If μέν has small scope, it most typically forms part of a μέν – δέ construction, which in later literature covers the majority of μέν instances.

2.5 Priming acts

§63. Projection is omnipresent in ancient Greek discourse, reaching far beyond the specialized lexical item μέν. It manifests itself in syntactic constructions, semantic interlinking, and discourse articulation. In contemporary texts, an indentation creates certain expectations in the reader about the relation between the upcoming discourse and the preceding discourse (some kind of discontinuity) and about the nature of the upcoming discourse (in some way coherent). In spoken discourse other tools are available to obtain similar effects, first and foremost utterance- and sentence-initial discourse markers, which are generally intonationally independent from what follows (such as “First, I would like to welcome you all” or “Sadly, Sarah could not make it”). [172] This section focuses on short acts in epic and lyric that share important characteristics with such discourse markers, especially their syntactic and presumably prosodic independence, which creates a projecting effect over the following discourse. The acts under examination are those consisting of nothing more than a (pro)noun and a particle, which reflect ad hoc cognitive processing while projecting the referent’s relevance for the upcoming discourse. I propose to call such phenomena priming acts. [173] In the section on Homeric discourse the focus is on the narrative function of these priming acts, while the section on Pindaric song considers the performative effect of priming acts involving a second-person pronoun.

2.5.1 Priming acts in Homeric narrative

§64. To illustrate the nature of priming acts, consider again Bakker’s reading of Iliad 7.313-314 (see t5), repeated here. Each line represents, in Bakker’s terms, one chunk or intonation unit, forward slash (/) marks hexameter end:

οἱ δ᾽ ὅτε δὴ
κλισίῃσιν ἐν Ἀτρεΐδαο γένοντο, /
τοῖσι δὲ βοῦν ἱέρευσεν
ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων /
Iliad 7.313-314, as given in Bakker 1997b:97

The boundary marker δή is, without further explanation, put here in fourth position of an intonation unit. [174] In performance, it is not inconceivable that οἱ δ᾽ ὅτε δὴ was performed as part of one intonation unit. [175] Cognitively, however, the first intonation unit in (t26) contains two acts, or rather one act and the beginning of a second, which concludes with the second chunk in Bakker’s division. Consider again my alternative presentation of line 313:

οἱ δ᾽ | ὅτε δὴ κλισίῃσιν ἐν Ἀτρεΐδαο γένοντο, |
τοῖσι δὲ βοῦν ἱέρευσεν | ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων
Iliad 7.313-314
And when they came to the huts of the son of Atreus,
then did the lord of men, Agamemnon, slay a bull
Translation Murray

When we read these two lines as four acts – with the nominative ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων taken as a separate act expanding the subject contained within ἱέρευσεν – οἱ δ᾽ turns out to be a subject without a verb, a phenomenon generally called a pendant nominative. [176] Most translations, like Murray’s above, solve this problem by taking the pronoun as the subject of the following act (a subclause). As a result, the independence of the pronoun is lost in the translation, obscuring the emergent discourse articulation. [177] Consider an alternative translation:

And they, when they came to the tents of Atreus’ son,
for them he sacrificed a bull, Agamemnon lord of men.

Syntactically, the isolation of οἱ δ᾽ is troubling, which is probably why instances such as this one are generally read as Murray does, without further discussion.

§65. Fraenkel had already noted the existence of such short initial kôla containing particles like μέν, δέ, τε, and others in second position. [178] He notes that when a constituent is brought to the front of the sentence, it receives strong emphasis:

“Ein starkes Pointieren einzelner Satzglieder wird auch da hervorgerufen, wo (…) ein Glied in auffälliger Weise an die Spitze des Satzes gerückt und so bis zu einem gewissen Grade isoliert wird.” [179]
Fraenkel 1933:336

As Fraenkel saw, the act containing the pronoun + particle is a normal and productive rather than anacolouthic construction. [180] Classicists have more recently described the phenomenon in Greek as a sign of “oral syntax, ” [181] a characterization that, like earlier views, marks this kind of construction as divergent from a supposed standard syntax.

§66. At certain points in narratives, but also in other kinds of discourse, we find such short discourse acts, comprising a (pro)noun and often a particle, set apart from their main verb by a participle, adverbial phrase, or temporal subclause, or even lacking a main verb, as in (t28). These acts make sense if we consider their possible function not at the level of the sentence, but of the larger discourse. From that perspective Iliad 7.313, for example, reveals itself as a narrative transition. In fact, Murray indents the line, which suggests that he interprets it as the start of a new scene or episode. At the beginning of this new scene, its main characters are activated and primed first of all, with the pronoun, before moving on to a new action: the priming act aids the redirection of the audience’s attention.
§67. In contemporary linguistic studies scholars have observed a similar phenomenon in spoken language, generally called left dislocation. [182] More specifically relevant is Ochs Keenan and Schieffelin’s discussion of a phenomenon that they call referent + proposition. [183] In these constructions, the subject of a proposition is presented as a separate intonation unit, followed by a proposition with the subject repeated (or changed). Consider the following typical example:

“My sister, she and her boyfriend just broke up…”
Ochs Keenan and Schieffelin 1976:243 (adapted)

As οἱ δέ in (t27), the noun phrase “My sister” stands on it own: it does not form part of a clause finished at a later point. Chafe discusses the same kind of construction, but he calls the initial unit an “isolated referent.” In his analysis of oral narratives he comes to the conclusion that “[i]t is not unusual for an intonation unit to verbalize little or nothing more than a referent.” [184] Left-dislocated elements in contemporary discourse are typically associated with topic status: the terms found in the left periphery of the sentence often reflect what a significant part of the upcoming discourse is about. [185]

§68. Greek is a Pro-Drop language, which means that its verb forms do not require the addition of a grammatical subject in the nominative. Since a nominative is often not strictly speaking necessary, its addition can be regarded as marked. This brings us to examples like the following passage, where the referent in the priming act takes the form of a name, and the main clause has a coreferential verb:

Τηλέμαχος δ᾽, | ὅθι οἱ θάλαμος περικαλλέος αὐλῆς
ὑψηλὸς δέδμητο | περισκέπτῳ ἐνὶ χώρῳ |
ἔνθ᾽ ἔβη εἰς εὐνὴν | πολλὰ φρεσὶ μερμηρίζων |
Odyssey 1.425-427
And Telemachus, where for him the bedroom of the magnificent house
was built up high, in a place with a view,
there he went to his bed, pondering many things in his mind.

In this example the name in the priming act (Τηλέμαχος) cannot be constructed with the verb in the immediately following act (δέδμητο), since it is not coreferential: it supports the validity of likewise regarding οἱ δέ as independent in (t27). [186] Here, Telemachus is singled out from a larger group and remains the main referent in the last lines of book one of the Odyssey. Despite the slight variations in form, in all incarnations the priming act reflects a cognitive process: the reorientation of the mind’s eye. From a discourse perspective, these priming acts typically occur at narrative transitions, redirecting the joint attention of the performer and audience to a character that has been out of focus for a time. When a referent is retrieved in a priming act, it creates an expectation of (i.e. projects) an upcoming action done by (or to, if the (pro)noun is in an oblique case) [187] the character.

§69. In a long and complex narrative, neither the audience nor the performer can keep track of every detail or character in the imagined world. Rather, a traditional storyworld is a construction based on the discourse as well as the whole body of knowledge and assumptions about that world shared by audience and performer. [188] A great deal of cognitive processing is involved in keeping track of who is where doing what at any particular point in the narrative. For this complex task the mind is well equipped, and Emmott has studied this cognitive process for readers of English literature. She speaks of “contextual frames,” a concept that regards people and places in a narrative as interconnected in networks.
§70. Emmott describes how characters are bound to certain places in the storyworld unless we are cued to change our knowledge of their location. The storyworld is only theoretically a whole world: in practice it is a string of discrete spaces containing certain characters and thus not others. [189] “Thus a narrative has regions, filled by landmarks (=reference objects) through which a path is established.” [190] Just as one word or construction will activate a whole semantic frame, the mention of one referent will make the entire contextual frame accessible. Thus a priming act can accomplish more than just re-orient the performer’s and audience’s attention on a specific character. The reference to a character activates the entire contextual frame to which the character is bound. [191] That is to say, the priming act has a potential double relevance: it is quite likely that it had a performative relevance in allowing the audience to follow the complex narrative of long epics, but it is also quite possible that the language accommodates the cognitive processing of the Homeric performer as he produces his instantiation of, for example, the story of how Telemachus reaches the decision to stand up to the suitors, in the first book of the Odyssey (t31). They might be signs of the performer navigating his memory by navigating the storyworld, moving from place to place and focusing on different characters as they become relevant. [192]
§71. In the ongoing narrative, priming acts may also serve to prime a character that has been covertly present in the ongoing contextual frame. [193] This is what happens in example (t32): after a long speech by Telemachus, at which Odysseus and the suitors are present, Odysseus is set apart from the others (πάντες) and primed as the character whom we will be following in the upcoming stretch of narrative. [194]

ὣς ἔφαθ’, | οἱ δ’ ἄρα πάντες ἐπῄνεον. | αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεύς |
ζώσατο μὲν ῥάκεσιν περὶ μήδεα, | φαῖνε δὲ μηροὺς
Odyssey 18.66-67
Thus he [sc. Telemachus] spoke, and they all approved. And Odysseus,
he girded rags around his loins, and he showed his thighs

Here the act αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεύς is divided from what follows by verse end, as well as the boundary marker μέν in the following line. [195] Denniston says the following about such constructions:

“Normally μέν and δέ stand second in their respective clauses, and everything between the last stop and the word preceding μέν applies to the whole μέν…δέ complex. (Strictly speaking, one should say, not ‘clause’ but ‘word-group’, which does not necessarily coincide with punctuation.)”
Denniston 19502:371

This clearly holds for (t32), where αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεύς provides the “subject” of both the μέν and the following δέ clause. However, Denniston fails to address the question of why this construction occurs, nor does he allow for the fact that the act preceding the μέν – δέ construction may project beyond it (i.e. “apply” to more than “the whole μέν…δέ complex”). [196] The priming act αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεύς redirects the performer’s and audience’s focus, and projects the character’s relevance for the upcoming discourse. [197] It may not be a coincidence that this kind of short act, which occurs in a myriad of contexts, has been incorporated in the quasi-fixed constructions of the form X δ᾽ | ὅτε δή, Χ δ᾽ | ἐπεὶ οὖν (and 3x τ᾽ ἐπεὶ οὖν), and Χ δ᾽ | ὥς οὖν. The beginnings of new scenes, often marked by indentation in the editions, typically require extra attention to be placed on particular referents. In such contexts, priming acts have become part of the verse that concerns itself with framing the upcoming scene. [198]

2.5.2 Priming acts in Pindar

§72. Narrative priming acts are especially suited to the performance situation of the Homeric epics, but they can be found even in Pindar’s songs. [199] Examples of the kind described above are few, however, and the units are syntactically fully integrated, as opposed to many instances in Homer. The following passage may function as an exemplar of the narrative priming act in Pindar:

                            (…) βασιλεὺς δ᾽ | ἐπεί
          πετραέσσας ἐλαύνων ἵκετ᾽ ἐκ Πυθῶνος | ἅπαντας ἐν οἴκῳ
49      εἴρετο παῖδα | τὸν Εὐάδνα τέκοι |
52      ὣς ἄρα μάνυε. | τοὶ δ᾽ | οὔτ᾽ ὦν ἀκοῦσαι |
          οὔτ᾽ ἰδεῖν εὔχοντο (…)
Pindar, Olympian 6.47-49 and 52-53
                            (…) And the king, when
          he came driving out of rocky Pytho, everyone in the house
49      he asked <about> the child, whom Euadne bore,
52      Thus he prophesied. And they, neither having heard,
          nor having seen it they swore (…)

In this passage in Olympian 6, where king Aipytus returns from Pytho to search for Iamos, the offspring of Euadne and Apollo, the priming act | βασιλεὺς δέ | effects a transition back to the king, who is subject and protagonist for the next five lines. The isolated | τοὶ δ᾽ | in line 52 effects another transition, this time to the king’s listeners, who had been passive bystanders until then. [200] In both cases the nominatives fit neatly into the syntactic structure, but as in the Homeric examples their function is not to be sought on a syntactic level only. Here, too, the priming acts function as cognitive pivots, accommodating the redirection of attention. [201] Pindaric priming acts with second-person pronouns
§73. The Pindaric corpus features a different category of priming act, which may serve to illustrate a generic difference between epic and lyric. As songs composed for an occasion and for a specific audience, Pindar’s Victory Odes display a more direct interaction between performer and audience than the Homeric epics do. As a result, priming acts in Pindar typically do not shift perspective or focus solely within the storyworld, but shift from one world to the other, such as from the storyworld to the hic et nunc. [202] Second-person discourse is especially effective for moving out of the storyworld and into the here and now. Even in the interactive performance situation of Pindaric song, a singular or plural second-person reference has a strong effect. In the following paragraphs I show how the disruptive effect of a transition to second-person discourse can be linked to the occurrence of second-person pronouns in priming acts. [203] These priming acts can take different forms, and can be syntactically integrated to greater or lesser extent into the following discourse. Finally I discuss the frequent co-occurrence of second-person priming acts and names in the vocative.
§74. Pindaric discourse is a complex negotiation between speakers and addressees, who can be physically present (the performer(s), the audience, the victor, and his clan), vicariously present (as the composer through his song), or treated as present (ancestors, heroes, and gods). That is to say, not every “you” has to refer to someone physically present at the performance. [204] When a second-person pronoun or verb occurs at the beginning of a new act or move, moreover, the audience cannot know who is being addressed unless it is made clear through extra-linguistic means, or until the addressee’s identity is specified in what follows. [205] Therefore, when a you-reference occurs (especially outside direct speech), the audience cannot but be highly involved. [206] More than third-person forms, and even more than first-person references, second-person forms create an immediacy in the performance that lends itself well to transitions in the discourse, and especially to marking an upcoming passage as significant.
§75. Taking into account this performative effect of you-references, it is not surprising that we often find a second-person pronoun occurring in a priming act, as at the end of Nemean 3:

80                        (…) ἔστι δ’ αἰετὸς ὠκὺς ἐν ποτανοῖς, |
          ὃς ἔλαβεν αἶψα, | τηλόθε μεταμαιόμενος, | δαφοινὸν ἄγραν ποσίν· |
          κραγέται δὲ κολοιοὶ ταπεινὰ νέμονται. |
         τίν γε μέν, | εὐθρόνου Κλεοῦς ἐθελοίσας, | ἀεθλοφόρου λήματος ἕνεκεν |
          Νεμέας Ἐπιδαυρόθεν τ’ ἄπο καὶ Μεγάρων δέδορκεν φάος. |
Pindar, Nemean 3.80-84 (end)
80                        (…) The eagle is swift among birds:
          he seizes quickly, chasing from afar, the bloodied prey with his claws.
          And the chatterers, the jackdaws live down below.
          And for you, by the will of fair-throned Kleo, because of a desire to win,
          out of Nemea, from Epidauros, and out of Megara light has gleamed.

The last epode of the song starts with a metaphor that sets up a comparison between the eagle, best of birds, and the victor. [207] Then in line 83 we find a priming act that consists of the dative τίν and the particles γε and μέν. Unlike the nominatives in Homer, discussed above, the pronoun here is fully part of the syntactical construction, but the verb and subject that complete the construction are postponed to the very end of the song (δέδορκεν φάος). A priming act in this form, consisting of a second-person pronoun and a particle, is comparatively rare in Homer. [208]

§76. In (t35), I take μέν as the Ionic variant of μάν in a cluster with γε. The function of γε μέν is not to mark an adversative relation (Denniston 19502:387, with Bowra’s reading of the passage), but to mark a conceptual connection. As in the cluster νῦν γε μάν, the first word (τίν) introduces a concept (“the present” for νῦν and “the victor” for τίν) that is emphatically juxtaposed with the preceding. The juxtaposition is in itself neutral, but in the majority of instances of γε μέν/γε μάν the relation between the preceding and the following tends to be one of similarity rather than one of difference. [209] Here, eagle and victor are united by the conceit of distant sight; the eagle sees things from afar (τηλόθε), while the victor has light gleaming from afar on his behalf. Despite the syntactic integration of τίν here, the act τίν γε μέν has a force of its own. Irrespective of what follows, the second-person reference at once redirects attention to the “you,” linking the victor to the image of the eagle. By emphatically directing attention to the victor at the end of the song, the most important person of the event is primed and will remain in the audience’s mind even when the music dies down.
§77. The cognitive and performative usefulness of second-person priming acts like the one in (t35) readily suggests itself: just like priming acts that occur in narrative, these redirect joint attention to a new referent. This referent may be physically present at the performance, such as the victor or a member of his clan, [210] or not. [211] Since even deceased people, heroes, and gods can be made present through Pindar’s use of “you,” the potential absence of the referent does not significantly influence the performative impact of uttering the second-person pronoun. [212] The performative effect, in turn, leads to a higher level of audience involvement directly following the priming act. As a result, second-person pronouns have a natural place right before discursive peaks, such as the final line of the song in (t35). The position of the priming act has a particularly poignant peak effect in the second epode of Isthmian 7:

          ἴστω γὰρ σαφὲς | ὅστις ἐν ταύτᾳ νεφέλᾳ χάλαζαν αἵματος πρὸ φίλας πάτρας ἀμύνεται, |

          †λοιγὸν ἀμύνων† ἐναντίῳ στρατῷ, |
          ἀστῶν γενεᾷ μέγιστον κλέος αὔξων |
30      ζώων τ’ ἀπὸ καὶ θανών. |
         τὺ δέ, | Διοδότοιο παῖ, | μαχατάν
          αἰνέων Μελέαγρον | αἰνέων δὲ καὶ Ἕκτορα |
          Ἀμφιάραόν τε, |
          εὐανθέ’ ἀπέπνευσας ἁλικίαν |

Pindar, Isthmian 7.27-34
          So may he know well, whoever in that cloud wards off the hailstorm of blood for the beloved fatherland,

         <…> to the opposing army,
          that for his townsmen’s race he magnifies the greatest glory
30      in life as well as after death.
          You, son of Diodotos, glorifying the warrior
          Meleager, and glorifying Hector even,
          and Amphiaraon,
          you breathed out your flowering youth.

In the ode for Strepsiades of Thebes, Pindar reserves most of his praise for Strepsiades’ uncle and namesake who had died fighting for Thebes. In these lines, the song transitions from praising this ancestor’s virtues to addressing him directly. [213] Consider especially the stark contrast between the third person imperative ἴστω in 27 and the second-person pronoun followed by the vocative in 31. Lines 27-30 are the expression of a wish (ἴστω, “may he know”), and line 31 appears to immediately fulfill that wish. In performing 31-36, the performer(s), especially if it was a chorus of citizens, enact the praise of the uncle Strepsiades. [214] The transition from the expression of the wish to its fulfillment is reflected in a change from the third person to the second person, and the pivotal act is τὺ δέ, with the pronoun in the vocative or the nominative. [215]

§78. Considering the effect of the second-person priming act, it does not come as a surprise that it often co-occurs with a name in the vocative. Just as a second-person reference does, a vocative turns attention to a new addressee, [216] and in combination the two are complementary. As noted above, at the moment of utterance the referent of a second-person pronoun is underdefined. The most natural way to resolve the ambiguity through verbal means is to provide a name, which after a second-person pronoun inevitably takes the form of a vocative. [217] Vocatives in Pindar have been decribed as adding “liveliness” to the songs, [218] or as reminiscences of epic and hymns, [219] but other scholars have noted their discursive importance. [220] Names in the vocative in Pindar may be compared to apostrophes of characters in Homer. Characters in the epic narrative tend to be addressed at or just before important moments. [221] In Pindar the vocatives likewise occur at discursive transitions, both within the mythical narrative and between myth and hic et nunc.
§79. The effect of second-person references in priming acts in a Pindaric performance must have been profound. By devoting a separate discourse step to redirecting attention, Pindar made sure that the audience would be able to follow the path of his song. Moreover, the second-person pronoun primes the audience to focus on the directly upcoming discourse as an important new action. The difference between second-person priming acts and priming acts in narrative is that they do not only effect a cognitive redirection of attention, but may also trigger a physical shift of gaze, especially when Pindar turns to the victor, as in (t35). The cognitive usefulness of the priming act always goes hand in hand with its discursive importance. The fact that a discourse act is entirely devoted to directing attention to a new referent naturally creates anticipation about the upcoming discourse.

2.6 Conclusions

§80. The first sections of this chapter have sketched the scholarship on the smallest subdivisions of discourse in ancient Greek and contemporary languages. The importance of the concept of the discourse act reaches beyond this chapter and beyond the study of particles. In language, the act – consisting of a few words that verbalize the focus of consciousness – has more claim to the status of the basic linguistic unit than the clause or the sentence. Based on the argument that the discourse act is the most basic unit in the language-producing mind, the functions of particles are to be understood primarily with regard to discourse acts rather than to clauses or sentences. Discourse acts and particles exist independently from each other, but each is relevant to the other: discourse acts are the domain over which most particles exercise their force.
§81. δέ in Homer is inherently linked to the discourse act, by consistently marking boundaries between many different kinds of act. Its function is analogous to the use of “stop” to mark boundaries in telegrams written in English. The other particle discussed in terms of discourse acts is μέν. I describe this particle’s pragmatic functions in terms of projection: μέν projects that another act is to be expected. This force of the particle is further exploited in the μέν – δέ construction, when μέν has small scope and specifically projects a contrasting or complementary δέ act. Finally, the priming act, a strongly “incomplete” chunk of discourse in syntactic and semantic terms, illustrates an important discourse function of discourse acts. Priming acts typically occur at the beginning of new scenes, a type of transition that demands significant cognitive processing. To accommodate the speaker and audience’s cognitive needs, the “who” precedes the “what”. This reading of syntactically “dislocated” or “pendant” units recognizes their cognitive efficiency rather than focusing on their grammatical deficiency.
§82. An analysis of Homeric and Pindaric discourse demonstrates that the language of the two performative genres is more similar than one might have expected. Despite the fact that the syntax of Pindar’s songs is occasionally more intricate than that of Homeric epic, the discourse still generally progresses in small-ish acts. Both epic and lyric discourse proceed in small strategic steps, discourse acts, each with their own function in reaching the discourse goals.


[ back ] 1. Tannen 1984 presents a study of talk-in-interaction between academics.
[ back ] 2. In fact, we believe that there is a strong link between discourse and grammar: with Du Bois and others we assume that it is language-in-use that shapes grammar, not the other way around.
[ back ] 3. See II.1 for more on this issue.
[ back ] 4. See below §§63-79 for this kind of construction.
[ back ] 5. See IV.3.4.
[ back ] 6. See Kahane 1994:143, “The pace, direction, and sequence of any particular performance is fixed” [italics original].
[ back ] 7. See Chafe 1994:53-55 and Rubin 1995:69, “…each intonation unit corresponds to the contents of working memory.”
[ back ] 8. Bakker 1997b and Edwards 2002 also advocate closer translations. However, Edwards proposes a translation into “conversational English” (2002:11), and he says: “this is the way a bard would address his audience.” I follow both Bakker and Edwards in staying very close to the original order of the Greek, especially as regards the act-by-act progression.
[ back ] 9. See IV.3.10 for the same phenomenon in Herodotus and Thucydides.
[ back ] 10. Wackernagel 1892: “Über ein Gesetz der indogermanischen Wortstellung.”
[ back ] 11. Goldstein 2010:9. Wackernagel later attributed the discovery of the law to Delbrück (Wackernagel 1920:46); he had already mentioned the phenomenon himself in 1879. In 1892:342 he also refers to Bergaigne 1877 who had mentioned the second-position tendency of personal pronouns in Greek.
[ back ] 12. Initially he focuses on enclitic personal pronouns (μιν, νιν, οἱ, ἑ, σ*, μ*, σφ*) in second position.
[ back ] 13. Wackernagel 1892:370-371 mentions τε and ῥα. He mentions in passing that the position of ῥα in Iliad 2.310 βωμοῦ ὑπαΐξας πρὸς ῥα πλατάνιστον ὄρουσεν is not problematic since the participle acts like a subclause here: “[hier] ist das Partizip einem Nebensatz gleichwertig” 1892:370-371; this comment foreshadows Fraenkel’s approach to kôla.
[ back ] 14. Wackernagel 1892:371.
[ back ] 15. Wackernagel 1892:377 lists ἄν, ἄρ, ἄρα, αὖ, γάρ, δέ, δήτα, μέν, μήν, οὖν, τοίνυν, but his analysis focuses almost exclusively on ἄν (379-402).
[ back ] 16. Fraenkel 1933:336n2 refers to Müller who had shown that Plato’s prose proceeds in short kôla in his 1927 dissertation. In this work, Müller compares the language of the Nomoi with the language of the Epinomis, in order to show that the latter was not written by Plato. In the process, he shows the intricate construction of the Platonic sentences, but apparently inadvertently also that Plato constructs his lines from relatively small building blocks, with enclitics in the second position of many of the kôla.
[ back ] 17. E. Fraenkel 1932 and 1933, both gathered in Fraenkel 1964, 73-130, with additional “Nachträge zu ‘Kolon und Satz II’ ” on pages 131-139; he adds his final thoughts in 1965: “Noch einmal Kolon und Satz.”
[ back ] 18. In “Kolon und Satz I” Fraenkel argues that in Latin elegy (Propertius, Horace, Martial) pentameter end almost always counts as a break of some sort, even if the sentence runs in into the next distich. A purely syntactic reading, which may conclude that a subject is divided from its verb by distich end, does not do justice to the Bau, the build-up of the sentence. The insertion of a parenthetical phrase at the end of a pentameter, for example, creates a syntactical Fuge, a joint: if we can speak of a syntactic break, there cannot be enjambment.
[ back ] 19. See IV.3.6 for more on kôla in prose, with an overview of ancient and recent literature as well as new analyses of Herodotus and Thucydides. For more on the metrical kôlon, see §§24-26 below and e.g. Gentili and Lomiento 2003.
[ back ] 20. His corpus is Herodotus, Thucydides, Lysias, Plato, Demosthenes, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander (details in Fraenkel 1965:3).
[ back ] 21. The only exception to this rule is when it comes directly before or after the verb that it accompanies: Fraenkel 1933:320.
[ back ] 22. Fraenkel 1965; in later oratory, at least already in the fifth century BCE, vocatives are used much more as a means of “Gliederung und Hervorhebung,” (“subdivision and emphasis”) helpful for the hearer, crucial for the reader.
[ back ] 23. This terminology is more typically applied to (oral) narrative, compare Zoran 1984, Landau and Jackendoff 1993, Herman 2002, and Ryan 2003; applied to classics by Bonifazi 2008 and 2012, Minchin 2001, Purves 2010, and Strauss Clay 2011. Consider also Collins 1991, who says in his The Poetics of the Mind’s Eye (98): “the consecutiveness of speech accords with the consecutiveness of visual perception.”
[ back ] 24. Fraenkel 1932:204.
[ back ] 25. καί especially can in some functions be completely mobile, whereas in other functions it is generally in initial position. See IV.2.4 and especially §§117-132 for more on the scope and position of καί.
[ back ] 26. The more recent study by Hajdú 1989 does not refer to Lauer, and as a result many of Hajdú’s findings about kôla and word order in Pindar had been anticipated by Lauer.
[ back ] 27. Turner and Pöppel 1983 claims that the notion of breaks at line end is a general characteristic that will be noticed even when one does not know the language of the poetry. As noted above, Fraenkel actually used supposed rules governing the coincidence of syntactical breaks with metrical breaks in Latin elegy to establish his kôlon idea.
[ back ] 28. Fraenkel 1932:212-213, 1933:320-347.
[ back ] 29. In the 1964 edition of Kolon und Satz II Fraenkel uses the term Kurzkolon in his footnotes, and expands briefly on particles forming Kurzkola in “Nachträge zu ‘Kolon und Satz, II’” 135-137.
[ back ] 30. Lauer 1959:46; I expand on such acts in §§63-79.
[ back ] 31. For καί forming a separate discourse act, see IV.2.4.4.
[ back ] 32. Lauer 1959:54-58. The idea is taken up by Race 2002 and by Markovic 2006. Markovic makes no reference to Lauer’s work.
[ back ] 33. Fraenkel 1965:17.
[ back ] 34. Rather than Fraenkel’s cola, Stinton consistently uses “(atomic) sense-groups,” imported from contemporary studies on English phonetics.
[ back ] 35. Stinton 1977:29.
[ back ] 36. Stinton’s argument is long and intricate, aimed mainly at proving the correlation between metrical period-end and pause. In the final pages he discusses the different gradations of pause that may be found: from the tightest connection of preposition and noun divided by verse end (no pause expected) to a verb divided from its direct object, where the pause is more probable.
[ back ] 37. Scheppers builds on the word order publications by Dik (1995, 2007). Dik 1995:36 builds on Fraenkel’s work and regards the intonation unit or kôlon as “the basic units for the analysis of word order, taking precedence, in principle, over syntactically defined clauses.” Goldstein 2010 proposes another approach to word order, but also regards kôla as basic units. See IV.3.6 for more on Scheppers’ work.
[ back ] 38. Scheppers 2011:x. Markovic 2006:127-129 also builds on Bakker’s ideas about intonation units and kôla.
[ back ] 39. Goldstein 2010 is concerned with this issue throughout, but especially chapters 3 and 4 are crucial.
[ back ] 40. Halliday 1967; his method is adapted especially by Chafe 1979, (ed.) 1980, and by Brown and Yule 1983.
[ back ] 41. See Pawley and Hodgetts Syder 2000:172-173.
[ back ] 42. See II.5 §9 for a discussion of Chafe’s work and what he calls “activation cost.”
[ back ] 43. Even of the substantial intonation units (see note 49 below), only sixty percent coincides with syntactical clauses. The numbers are inevitably much lower for regulatory and fragmentary intonation units.
[ back ] 44. Sinclair and Coulthard 1975:23; Austin established the term speech act in his 1962 work How to Do Things with Words.
[ back ] 45. Sinclair and Coulthard use as their corpus recordings of school lessons, and attempt to describe the structure of the strongly dialogic discourse. They first divide the lesson into “transactions,” encompassing the entire discussion of a certain topic. Within those transactions, they establish “exchanges,” typically a dialogue between teacher and student. These exchanges can then be subdivided into “moves,” actions with a specific goal, such as “getting an answer to a question.” There are of course many ways of asking a question, and more often than not a teacher does not simply ask a question outright, but introduces or embeds it in some way, or never even actually asks anything.
[ back ] 46. In his 1984 article, Roulet says (31-32): “[attempting] to describe the speech acts which constitute authentic (French) conversations and texts – as we have been doing in Geneva since 1979 – (…) has ultimately led us to postulate a hierarchical structure composed of at least three levels: exchange, move, and speech act.” In a later publication, he clarifies that he borrows the terminology exchange-move-act from Sinclair and Coulthard (Roulet et al. 2001:53).
[ back ] 47. Roulet 2001:64-65.
[ back ] 48. Berrendonner 1990, who speaks of the “memoire discursive” or “savoir partagé” [shared knowledge]. He calls the smallest unit of discourse a clause or utterance (“énonciation”). His analysis suggests that he does not take a primarily syntactic approach to establishing these units, but it is not entirely clear what factors he does regard as relevant. Only in his conclusion (“En guise de conclusion” 35) does he bring up prosody: “les segments qui sont prosodiquement ‘détachés’” [italics original].
[ back ] 49. See Bakker 1997b:44-53 for a discussion of the concept of intonation units. Chafe’s intonation units fall into three functional categories: fragmentary, substantive, and regulatory intonation units. Fragmentary are those that remain unfinished, like false starts, and whose function as such is generally hard to establish. Most frequent are the substantial intonation units, containing substantive ideas, states, or referents. The third are the regulatory intonation units, with the function of regulating the flow of discourse, the interaction between speaker and hearer, the cognitive process, and the speaker’s attitude toward what she is saying (Chafe 1994:62-64).
[ back ] 50. Langacker 2001:151, quoting from Harder 1996. Langacker and Roulet’s discourse space or discourse memory are echoed in what Steen 2005 calls “mental representations of discourse.” Unhappy with the ad hoc approach applied by his predecessors, Steen introduces the “basic discourse unit.” This ideal unit is at the same time a proposition and a clause and an intonation (or punctuation) unit and an illocutionary act. The strength of Steen’s approach is that he states explicitly what many other researchers do implicitly: that they operate with the idea of an ideal discourse act and categorize the others based on their relation to the ideal (note, for example, Halliday’s positing of a marked and unmarked information unit, Chafe’s “fragmentary intonation unit,” and the like).
[ back ] 51. Langacker 2001:162.
[ back ] 52. Chafe 1994 throughout explicitly links these two ideas about the intonation unit: it represents a focus of consciousness, and it is an update to the mental representation of discourse.
[ back ] 53. Kroon 1995:65. Hannay and Kroon elaborate in 2005:93, “In the 1997 model of FG [Functional Grammar] (…) the speech act (the precursor to the discourse act) was described in terms of clausality. In FDG [Functional Discourse Grammar] this problem is resolved, since discourse acts can also be realized by a variety of non-clausal structures.”
[ back ] 54. Hannay and Kroon 2005:104.
[ back ] 55. Hannay and Kroon 2005:88. Note that their conclusion was anticipated by, among others, Chafe 1994:63-69 (whom they cite), Brown and Yule 1983:159-164, and Langacker 2001:154-163 (not cited in their references).
[ back ] 56. Arguably, the lack of clarity about these different possible levels is part of the reason why “acts” are defined differently among different scholars; see Hannay and Kroon 2005:103-104. They separate “ideas” from “acts,” and they argue that the units that the Geneva school has focused on are in fact “ideas” whereas they themselves focus on “acts.” See IV.3.6 and 7 for a discussion of other discourse segmentation criteria in contemporary discourse analysis.
[ back ] 57. Prosodically independent units have their parallel in punctuation units in written text, on which see especially Hannay and Kroon 2005:108-116; compare IV.3.4.
[ back ] 58. See III.4 §§19-22 on “action” in Conversation Analysis.
[ back ] 59. In practice, however, Roulet and Hannay and Kroon are closer together than we are led to believe. The question is whether we see the sentence as a generic example or as a unique event. In the former case, the sentence is open to different kinds of performance, and thus can be rendered potentially in one or two (or more) acts. In the latter case, as an actual event, it is rendered in either one or two acts (or possibly more, for whatever reason), but this cannot be extrapolated from the written form.
[ back ] 60. This holds independently of whether the discourse is poetry or prose. See IV.3.5 for kôla and kómmata, ancient terms that are partly equivalent to intonation units or discourse acts.
[ back ] 61. Lauer 1959:46, see also Scheppers 2011:40-42.
[ back ] 62. Bright (ed.) 1966:323.
[ back ] 63. Especially Bakker 1993b and 1997b.
[ back ] 64. Bakker 1997b:48.
[ back ] 65. Bakker 1997b:50.
[ back ] 66. Literature on Homeric colometry is extensive, but H. Fraenkel 1926 (revised in H. Fraenkel 1955) is the seminal publication; see for later studies, all building on Fraenkel, Barnes 1986, Edwards 1966, 2002, and 2011 (in Finkelberg), and Bakker 1997b.
[ back ] 67. Edwards in Finkelberg 2011:II.518-519.
[ back ] 68. As Bakker demonstrates in 1997b:151-154; see especially the example of Iliad 22.451-455 on page 154.
[ back ] 69. Compare Edwards 1966:117 “[T]here is a close relationship between the sense-units of the sentence and the metrical kôla, or, putting it another way, between the pauses in sense and the caesurae of the verse.” In his work, he considers every caesura a possible boundary, yielding more than just half-line kôla. Blankenborg (unpublished thesis, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) is currently working on a more dynamic model of establishing the likelihood of prosodic pauses at different points in the Homeric verse.
[ back ] 70. Edwards 2002:4. Edwards argues that this half line may resolve as one or two units, i.e. with or without the boundary, but his system does not allow for a boundary to occur after ὃ δέ, which is where I would put it. More on such small discourse acts in §§63-79.
[ back ] 71. However, see Kahane 1994:26-29 for a discussion of five separate readings of “sense-pauses” in the Homeric hexameter, which show remarkable convergence.
[ back ] 72. From this point onward, I will divide all examples into potential discourse acts. Vertical bars are used to identify units of discourse in prose by Blass 1887 and Scheppers 2011, in prose and poetry by Fraenkel 1932, 1933, 1964, and 1965, and in poetry by Bonifazi and Elmer 2012a.
[ back ] 73. See for the οἱ δ᾽ | ὅτε δή construction §§64-66, §71, and De Kreij 2016.
[ back ] 74. Bakker 1997b:150.
[ back ] 75. Compare Kahane 1994:18, who speaks of the “intricate interrelationships between metrical units and sense-units.”
[ back ] 76. Compare Iliad 4.29 (=16.443 and 22.181): ἕρδ’· | ἀτὰρ οὔ τοι πάντες ἐπαινέομεν θεοὶ ἄλλοι; see also Goldstein 2010:41 who claims that “it is possible for an intonational phrase to be as small as a syllable,” with reference to Cruttenden 1997:68.
[ back ] 77. καί frequently occurs directly after the caesura (see Von Hartel 1874 and Eberhard 1889), in which case it often starts a new kôlon (discussed in Bakker 1997b:71-74).
[ back ] 78. This turbulence, among other things, leads Kirk 1985:242-243 to say about lines 761-779 that it might be “a singer’s expansion, and not by Homer himself.”
[ back ] 79. In many cases the emergent discourse articulation will match metrical division, in the sense that Edwards adopts from H. Fraenkel. Consider in the example above especially the verse-initial acts in 773, 775, 777, 778, 780, 782, 783, and 785, as well as the verse-final act in 779. This match is attractive and complements the argument that these acts had some prosodic independence.
[ back ] 80. The decision to regard adverbial phrases as separate is influenced by how English works. In none of the cases above does the adverbial or participial phrase limit the preceding (pro)noun, in which case prosodic continuity would be necessary: we do not find “the men by the sea” (which implies an opposition with “the men inland”) but “the men, by the sea,” etc; see Langacker 2001:161-162 with example 7.
[ back ] 81. In line 777, κεῖτο does occur directly after the bucolic diaeresis, which may have led to a discontinuity before and after κεῖτο.
[ back ] 82. Moorhouse 1959 argues that the negation was originally sentence-initial in Greek, but note the objections raised by Gonda 1963, especially that Moorhouse does not sufficiently take into consideration the role of style and genre. Fraenkel appears to agree with Moorhouse, and in his 1964 edition of Kolon und Satz II he marks in the footnotes the many instances of negations at kôlon beginning; Scheppers 2011:74-75 notes the same tendency in Lysias and Plato.
[ back ] 83. See Bakker 1993b and IV.2.2; more on δέ in §§31-36 below.
[ back ] 84. See IV.3 for a holistic approach to Herodotean and Thucydidean discourse segmentation.
[ back ] 85. For the combination of pronoun + particle see below in §§63-79 but especially II.5.
[ back ] 86. For more on prosody see IV.3.2.
[ back ] 87. Gesamtkommentar 2003:II.2.250, “Ausdrücke des Liegens, Stehens und zweckfreien Tuns (…) bzw. unfreiwilligen Nichtstuns (779) sind vorherrschend und stehen oft am [Versanfang].” The Basel commentary to the Iliad will be referred to throughout volume 2 by ‘Gesamtkommentar, year, volume number, fascicle number, page number’. The individual volumes are edited by different scholars, and can be found under their names in the Bibliography.
[ back ] 88. As regards the combination’s use here, let me anticipate that ἄρα often serves to accomplish “frame recall,” a return to the main narrative thread, on which see II.4 §18 and §38, and II.5.3.3.
[ back ] 89. Scott 2005:38 remarks that the simile at Iliad 2.780 “is responding to the first simile in the earlier cluster at 455” but does not expand on the possible performative effectiveness of this “responsion”; see also Kirk 1985:243 and Gesamtkommentar 2003:II.2.253.
[ back ] 90. Consider Auer 2005:27, “Memory for form is much shorter than memory for content,” and Langacker 2001:180: “While the essential content may be retained, memory of how it was presented linguistically will soon be lost”. The new image, in other words, may well remind the audience of the earlier one.
[ back ] 91. See for the communis opinio in earlier scholarship Denniston 19502:162.
[ back ] 92. See IV.2 §§14-25 for the syntactic flexibility of δέ-acts, especially in Herodotus and Thucydides.
[ back ] 93. Bakker captures the communis opinio when he says (1997b:75) that the etymological connection of δέ with δή, “as a phonetically shortened and weakened version of this latter particle” is “commonplace.”
[ back ] 94. Not strong in the sense of marking the strongest pause (as a period does in punctuation), but strong in the sense of its adherence to its position – it is clearly strongly connected to the start of new acts. See note 97 for the exceptions.
[ back ] 95. See II.3.3.2 for the relevant evidence and literature.
[ back ] 96. This is not to say that they may not be etymologically connected, but in Homer the two lexical items have clearly gone separate ways. Alternatively, the particle δή might be a strengthened version of δέ (parallel to ἆρα which seems to have developed from ἄρα, see Braswell 1988:173-174 and De Kreij 2015) in one of its functions; more on this in II.3 §§56-57.
[ back ] 97. The parallels are Iliad 7.94, 7.399, 8.30, 9.31, 9.245, 9.432, 9.696, 10.252, 11.524, 13.52, 16.763, 17.466, 18.20, 18.290, 18.291, 19.345, 20.23, 20.307, 21.92, 22.300, 24.398; Odyssey 1.26, 2.176, 3.168, 4.706, 5.302, 5.322, 7.155, 13.178, 14.24, and 20.321. The postpositive that Fraenkel took as his case study, ἄν, occurs 30 times with δέ, always following it; the pattern persists in the 130 instances of δέ κ(εν).
Τhere are relatively few examples in Homer (out of 10.969 instances in total) of δέ leaving its peninitial position, only after prepositional constructions (the list is not exhaustive): ἀνὰ ῥῖνας δέ (1x: Odyssey 24.318), ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ δέ (2x: Iliad 11.829 = 11.845), δι᾽ ὤμου δέ (2x: Iliad 13.519 and 14.451), διὲκ προθύρου δέ (1x: Odyssey 21.299), ἐκ θαλάμου δέ (1x: Iliad 24.275), ἐκ κεφαλῆς δέ (1x: Odyssey 6.226), ἐκ πάντων δέ (2x: Iliad 4.96 and Odyssey 2.433), ἐκ πυκινῆς δέ (1x: Odyssey 6.128), ἐκ τοῦ δέ (3x: Iliad 13.779, 15.69, and Odyssey 1.212), ἐν μέσσῃ δέ (1x: Odyssey 5.326), ἐν θυμῷ δέ (1x: Iliad 15.566), ἐν βουλῇ δέ (1x: Iliad 2.194), ἐν τῇ δέ (1x: Iliad 7.248), ἐν δοιῇ δέ (1x: Iliad 9.230), ἐν καυλῷ δέ (1x: Iliad 17.607), ἐν λεχέεσσι δέ (1x: Iliad 18.352), ἐν γαίῃ δέ (1x: Iliad 22.276), ἐν κλισίῃσι δέ (1x: Iliad 23.254), ἐν νύσσῃ δέ (1x: Iliad 23.338), ἐν Λέσβῳ δέ (1x: Odyssey 3.169), ἐν νόστῳ δέ (1x: Odyssey 11.384), ἐν πρύμνῃ δέ (1x: Odyssey 15.285), ἐν προχοῇς δέ (1x: Odyssey 20.65), ἐν δαπέδῳ δέ (1x: Odyssey 22.188), ἐπὶ πολλὰ δέ (1x: Odyssey 14.120), ἐπὶ στήθεσσι δέ (1x: Iliad 21.254), ἐπὶ δηρὸν δέ (1x: Iliad 9.415), ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ δέ (2x: Iliad 4.470 and 14.419, once ἐπὶ δ᾽ αὐτῷ Οdyssey 22.75 [in ἐπὶ δέ, ἐπί is otherwise used adverbially, without a complement following the particle]), ἐπ᾽ αὐτῶν δέ (4x: Iliad 1.461 and 2.424, Odyssey 3.458 and 12.361), ἐς νῆας δέ (1x: Iliad 11.513), ἐς ἀλλήλας δέ (1x: Odyssey 18.320), ἐς Φηρὰς δέ (2x: Odyssey 3.488 and 15.186), πρὸ Φθίων δέ (1x: Iliad 13.693), πρὸς Θύμβρης δέ (1x: Iliad 10.430), ὑπὸ γλωχῖνα δέ (Iliad 24.274).
[ back ] 98. Practically every edition indents before Φόρκυνος, and likewise before “There is” in the translation; see also De Jong 2001a:317-318 and Bowie 2013:114, “new episodes in Greek (and Latin) literature are often marked by an ecphrasis, a formal description of a place or scene, regularly in the form ‘There is a certain…’”
[ back ] 99. See for this discursive device (“unframed discourse”) and the role of particles in it II.4.2 (γάρ) and II.5.3.3-4 (ἄρα and δή).
[ back ] 100. On this kind of discourse transition see also II.3 §49, where I discuss a similar construction without a particle; IV.2.2 examines the different kinds of divisions that may be marked by δέ.
[ back ] 101. As the instance of δή in line 95 illustrates, there is a construction where δή is used with temporal markers to signal boundaries in discourse. It is in this function that δή and δέ may be connected; see II.3 §§56-57 for a discussion.
[ back ] 102. In Homer’s narrative passages, δέ makes up 6,8% of the words in the Iliad and 7,4% in the Odyssey, whereas in direct speech it makes up only 3,1% in the Iliad and 2,9% in the Odyssey.
[ back ] 103. The details of this development are not easily mapped, since diachronically diverse texts are generally also generically diverse. For the frequency of δέ, it is around 5.4% in Homer, which is never matched in later literature, where only Herodotus approaches it at 4.2%. However, the strong variation within Homer between narrative and direct speech suggests that the differences with other authors too need not all be the result of diachronic development.
[ back ] 104. See II.3.4.2 for a discussion of a twelve-line “sentence” at the beginning of Pythian 2. The same prejudice exists about the length and complexity of Thucydides’ períodoi, see IV.3.10.2 for a discussion.
[ back ] 105. The idea of tautometric responsion is presented in Metzger 1880:33-41, and critiqued by Gildersleeve 1885:l-li.
[ back ] 106. There is a lot of scholarship on Pindaric colometry, and different scholars have proposed different metrical articulations of his songs; see e.g. Irigoin 1953, Cole 1988, Gentili and Perusino 1999, and Itsumi 2009.
[ back ] 107. I here follow the colometry given in Gentili et al. 1995.
[ back ] 108. See §§72-79 for a discussion of similar transitions (2nd person pronoun + particle) in Pindar.
[ back ] 109. In Pindar, νιν is not limited to second position, but it does tend toward it. Here the participial phrase following the nominative gives sufficient reason to assume a discontinuity between τοι and σχεθών.
[ back ] 110. Scholars are not undivided on this point (see Gentili et al. 1995:545-546 for an overview of the possibilities), but I see no reason to read νιν here as referring to the victory.
[ back ] 111. See II.3 §50 on relatives (+ποτε) introducing embedded narratives in Pindar.
[ back ] 112. See below §§49-51 on the concept of (pragmatic) projection.
[ back ] 113. This observation resonates with the claims about tragic lyric in Stinton 1977:29.
[ back ] 114. Lauer 1959:54-58; see also Race 2002 and Markovic 2006:138-140. Race 2002:21 believes that Lauer pays “little attention” to hyperbata, and does not refer to Lauer’s idea of Kolonbildende hyperbata. Markovic does not cite Lauer, but describes this kind of hyperbaton similarly, calling it a “framing hyperbaton.”
[ back ] 115. Especially remarkable are instances where Pindar postpones a word that would otherwise have been in initial position in order to achieve hyperbaton, as ὅς in Olympian 1.12 θεμιστεῖον ὃς ἀμφέπει σκᾶπτον and τόν in Isthmian 1.13 παῖδα, | θρασεῖαι τόν ποτε Γηρυόνα φρῖξαν κύνες.
[ back ] 116. Markovic 2006:128-129.
[ back ] 117. See Gentili et al. 1995:547.
[ back ] 118. For the typical components of a narrative see II.3.2.1.
[ back ] 119. See IV.3.5 on the sense of completion inherent in the idea of períodos.
[ back ] 120. For this function of γάρ at the beginning of an embedded narrative see II.3.2.2.
[ back ] 121. See Gentili et al. 1995:548, “sono descritti con evidenza quasi figurativa, accentuata dall’ andamento rapido e paratattico delle frasi, i particolari dell’ episodio.”
[ back ] 122. See II.3 §65 for more on δέ at significant discursive transitions in Pindar. δέ makes up 5.4% of the words in the Iliad and Odyssey, while it makes up 4% of the words in the Victory Odes. The contrast is starker when one considers the difference between narration and direct speech in Homer (see note 102).
[ back ] 123. See note 97 above; Gentili et al. 1995:37 punctuates between αὐτοῦ and μένων; I follow the punctuation and colometry of Gildersleeve and Snell/Maehler.
[ back ] 124. See Bury 1892a:156, Gildersleeve 1885:164, and Hummel 1993:388-389.
[ back ] 125. Schömann 1831:176; he rivisits the topic in 1862:188.
[ back ] 126. Spitzner 1832:I.2 xx-xxxi, picked up by Hartung 1833:390, expanded by Nägelsbach 1834:I.153-175; see also Bäumlein 1861:160 μέν “[versichert] einfach die Aussage und speziell den voranstehenden Begriff,” Ebeling 1885:1046-1061, Wackernagel 1916:117, Denniston 19502:359-397, Ruijgh 1971:202.
[ back ] 127. Leumann 1949:87-88 is the first to attempt a coherent answer to the question: if μέν is indeed historically connected to μάν, why do we not find different dialectal forms of the μέν – δέ construction?
[ back ] 128. Matthiae 1845:3, Passow 1852:175, Bäumlein 1861:159, Bakker 1997b:80, Beekes 2010:930. In some cases, an analogy is proposed with the relation between δέ and δή, on which see more in §§26-29 above.
[ back ] 129. There is a useful overview of the early literature on the topic in Mutzbauer 1884:4-9; Ruijgh 1971:202 argues that already in Homer the majority of instances of μέν is of the coordinating μέν – δέ construction.
[ back ] 130. See Hartung 1833:402-403.
[ back ] 131. Hoogeveen 1769:639, “qui enim primo vocabulo apponit τὸ μέν, lectorem vel auditorem monet in hoc tanquam principio ne acquiescat, sed exspectare jubet, donec sequatur ἀπόδοσις, quae orationem absolvat.”
[ back ] 132. See also Stephens 1837:74, “μέν informs the reader that some statement is about to follow which ought to be considered in connection with that in which μέν itself occurs.”
[ back ] 133. Hartung 1833:393, see more specifically Ruijgh 1981:274, who lists ἦ μέν, οὐ μέν, οὐδὲ μέν, καὶ μέν, and μὲν δή.
[ back ] 134. The term projection has its origins in Conversation Analysis, beginning with Sacks, Schegloff, and Jefferson 1974 (Schegloff offers a comprehensive definition in 1984:267), and it has been explored by Streeck 1995 and 2009, Goodwin 1996:372 (“prospective indexicals”), Auer, Couper-Kuhlen, and Müller 1999, Hopper 2004, 2008 (with Thompson), and 2011, Günthner 2008 and 2011, Auer 2005, 2009, and 2011 (ed. with S. Pfänder).
[ back ] 135. Scholars working on projection (be it pragmatic or syntactic) do not explore (to our knowledge) the possibility that certain particles can be linked directly to the process, but Auer 1992:8 (introduction to Auer and Di Luzio (eds) 1992) does say about an occurrence of allora in a conversation that it is to be interpreted there as a “projective particle instead of an adverb,” and this “prospective particle foreshadows the upcoming joke-telling.”
[ back ] 136. For the cognitive relevance of the second part of this definition, see II.4.4 on scripts and Homeric type-scenes.
[ back ] 137. See Günthner 2008 for such constructions in German.
[ back ] 138. See Auer 2005:16, “a preposition prestructures the following slot in a highly compelling way (a noun phrase is bound to follow).”
[ back ] 139. The audience are familiar with the genre and know “how actions (or action components) are typically (i.e., qua types) sequenced” in a Victory Ode.
[ back ] 140. Auer 2005:16 [italics original].
[ back ] 141. Hoogeveen 1769:655; see also Devarius 1588:122, who describes the first of μέν’s functions as περιγραφικός, “summarizing.” In later Greek this function is mostly taken over by the combinations μὲν δή (see also IV.3.11.4) and μὲν οὖν (μέν νυν in Herodotus, see IV.3.11.4 and 5): Hoogeveen 1769:672-685, Hartung 1832:263, 1833:16, 19, and 399-402, Bäumlein 1861:178-179, Denniston 19502:258-259 and 472-473.
[ back ] 142. Bakker 1993b:302-305. In 1997b he phrases his point yet more eloquently: “μέν and δέ mark events in performance time, not in story time.” See IV.3.8 for the use of μέν and δέ at endings and beginnings of chapters and even books in both Herodotus and Thucydides.
[ back ] 143. Apollonius Dyscolus, Combiners 251.19-26 (edition Dalimier 2001), discussed in I.2 §74.
[ back ] 144. See Gesamtkommentar 2003:II.2.148-150 for the language of the Catalogue entries.
[ back ] 145. Compare Bakker’s description of Iliad 8.256-58 (1997b:84): “Instead of a referential or stylistic contrast, then, μέν in unit d marks a moment at which a switch is withheld, a moment consciously marked as something other than a new step with a new item coming into focus, and a characteristic way of guiding the listener’s consciousness through the flow of speech” [emphasis original].
[ back ] 146. Compare also the μέν in Pythian 6.39 (t13) which occurs in the line that rounds off the narrative, yet points ahead to the discussion of the story’s relevance for the laudandus.
[ back ] 147. Auer 2005:8, “An action (or action component) may project onto the timing slot immediately following it, and make some next activity (component) expectable in this slot. But it may also allow other things to happen ‘in-between’, before the projected unit legitimately can or should occur, and it may project more than one ‘next’ in a sequence.”
[ back ] 148. See also Stephens 1837:74 on μέν, “[the hearer] is kept in expectation, and takes care to retain the former statement distinctly in his view, till he has heard that which he ought to consider it in connection with.”
[ back ] 149. See II.3 §73n241 for more instances of μέν used in this way by Pindar. Compare III.4.2 for μέν used by speakers in tragic and comic dialogue to “hold the floor,” that is, to extend their utterance over the upcoming line end.
[ back ] 150. For descriptions of μέν as “inceptive” or “asseverative” see Matthiae 1845:5, Schömann 1862:188, and Denniston 19502:382-384.
[ back ] 151. Bakker 1997b:82.
[ back ] 152. Gildersleeve 1885:129.
[ back ] 153. See II.5 §25 for more on the demonstrative pronoun and the article in Pindar.
[ back ] 154. μέν in peninitial position of a new strophe: Olympian 10.64, Pythian 3.47 (μὲν ὦν), 4.93, 4.116, 4.139, 5.94, Nemean 7.85; antistrophe: Olympian 2.48, Pythian 3.8, 3.77, Nemean 1.62, 11.6, Isthmian 4.7 (μὲν ὦν), 4.61; epode: Olympian 7.32, Pythian 2.65, 4.86, Isthmian 1.30; and song: (t20), Olympian 9, Pythian 4, and Isthmian 2. This makes up 22 out of a total of 182 instances of μέν in the Odes.
[ back ] 155. See above §§31-36, IV.2.2, and Bonifazi 2015:253.
[ back ] 156. Auer 2005:28, “the same linguistic element can either constitute an independent action to be dealt with and responded to, or be a grammatical element of a syntactic construction. There is reason to believe that the second is a grammaticalized version of the first. Vocatives (…) are a case in point.” Auer expands on the different uses of the vocative on pages 31-32.
[ back ] 157. See Ford, Fox, and Thompson 2002:20: “certain recurrent kinds of interactional activities precipitate certain recurrent kinds of grammar, and (…) important cues to an understanding of what grammar is can be found in considering how grammar works in everyday social interactions”; see also Hopper and Traugott 2003.
[ back ] 158. See also Patten’s note (2009:201) on πολλὰ μέν in Isthmian 5.46: “…it plays the same role [as πολλά μοι in Olympian 2] within the conventional rhetoric of the ode: it prepares the listener for the reduction of the theoretically possible diversity of topics (πολλὰ μέν) to the one topic that the singer intends to choose…” [my emphasis].
[ back ] 159. Especially in this context consider how Cooper 2002:2655 aptly describes the function of μέν: “μέν stops the movement and develops a need for and expectation of reinstituted movement.”
[ back ] 160. See IV.2.4.2 for the generally climactic or pinning-down function of καί; on καί νυν/καὶ νῦν in Pindar, see Privitera 1982:198, Felson 1999:8: “καὶ νῦν, (…) and νῦν δέ (…) regularly function as ‘shifters’ from mythic time to the epinician here and now,” see also Felson 2004:374n21 and 378 with n29.
[ back ] 161. This is frequently noted as typical of μέν and δέ constructions, e.g. Devarius 1588:123: “Interdum enim universale aliquod proponentes sub μέν particula, postea sub δὲ, strictius aliquod subiicimus,” Bäumlein 1861:168-169, and Kühlewein 1870:21.
[ back ] 162. Compare the instance in Pythian 6.23 (t12) where the μέν act is also part of a closed juxtaposition. About the so-called “list intonation,” see, for example, Liberman and Pierrehumbert 1984, Selkirk 1984 (English), and Truckenbrodt 2004 (southern German); see also IV.2.3.7 for a link with τε.
[ back ] 163. This was the belief of Hoogeveen 1796:660-672, Thiersch 1826:571-576, and Bury 1892b; consider also the comment of the scholiast to μέν in Iliad 4.301: ποῦ ὁ δέ; (“Where is the δέ?”), see I.2 §44.
[ back ] 164. Iliad 18.472, 21.464, 23.368, 24.530; Odyssey 4.102, 5.331, 11.303, 16.209, 23.94.
[ back ] 165. The parallels of ἐγὼ μέν are Iliad 22.123; Odyssey 11.82, 15.515, 17.593, 22.367.
[ back ] 166. See Chafe 1994:77 on the influence of the factor of contrastiveness on pronoun selection in English; see also II.5 §§41-43 for the use of ὅ γε to mark contrastiveness.
[ back ] 167. See III.4 §§37-38 on the rarity of turn-initial δέ in responses of one speaker to another.
[ back ] 168. See for the possible effects of unfulfilled projection Auer 2005:25-27.
[ back ] 169. The pragmatic force of such answers beginning with μέν approaches that of “well” in question – answer sequences. Lakoff 1973:463 describes its use in answers when the speaker “senses some sort of insufficiency in his answer, whether because he is leaving it to the questioner to fill in information on his own or because he is about to give additional information himself” [my italics]. Schiffrin 1987:126-127 offers a slightly different analysis of this function of “well,” she explains it as marking how the upcoming statement will not directly answer the expectations of the interlocutor; this latter approach is endorsed by Blakemore 2002:133.
[ back ] 170. See Denniston 19502:380-382 for parallels.
[ back ] 171. See II.5.3.2 on ὅ γε in Homer and III.4 §§62-64 on γε in turn-initial position tragic and comic dialogue.
[ back ] 172. For sentence adverbials in English see e.g. Swan 1988; Schiffrin 1987:228-266 discusses the discourse marking function of temporal adverbs like “now” and “then.”
[ back ] 173. See De Kreij 2016. The term builds on Emmott 1997:123, who uses “priming” to describe the activation of a contextual frame.
[ back ] 174. δή in Homer as a rule has the second position in clause or subclause, and can only be moved by another first- or second-position word. The clear exceptions to this rule are the instances of δὴ τότε and δὴ γάρ, where δή is in first position. A possible counterexample is Iliad 7.359 εἰ δ᾽ ἐτεὸν δή, but the scholia already regarded it as a problematic passage, probably because of the position of δή, and Aristarchus did not in fact read the δέ. More on the different aspects of Homeric δή in II.3.3.
[ back ] 175. See the discussion of the example in §26 above.
[ back ] 176. See for example Chantraine 1953a. Ruijgh 1990 and De Jong in her 2012 commentary on Iliad 22 use this term with little elaboration. When the noun or pronoun at the head of the sentence is not a nominative but in another case, the grammars speak of prolepsis. Bertrand 2010 applies a pragmatic model to word order in Homer, and regards these constructions as “undetermined” (page 322, “indeterminée”).
[ back ] 177. Murray’s reading, tacitly accepted by many, may be based on the assumption that for some reason ὅτε δή as a unit is transposed until after the pronoun, some sort of anastrophe, to avoid the metrically intractable *ὅθ᾽ οἱ δή or equivalent. However, this reasoning is insufficient. After all, there are adequate metrical equivalents for this construction, especially ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δή and καὶ ῥ᾽ ὅτε. Thus, if indeed this construction is some transposition of ὅτε, the reason is most likely not metrical. Rather, it appears that the desire to use the nominative pronoun, which is syntactically optional, demands this construction rather than another.
[ back ] 178. Though sometimes discourse unit-final; see Fraenkel 1933:337, where he gives a few examples of summarizing kôla.
[ back ] 179. “A strong emphasis on individual constituents is also accomplished there, where (…) a constituent is conspicuously put at the head of the sentence, and is thus isolated up to a point.”
[ back ] 180. Compare ὁ δ᾽ followed by a participle in Iliad 6.510-511 ὁ δ᾽ ἀγλαΐηφι πεποιθώς / ῥίμφα ἑ γοῦνα φέρει; Slings 1992b:100 says about this example: “[f]rom a point of view of oral communication (…) the sentence is completely well-formed.” Like Slings, Goldstein 121-171 applies an information structure approach to such constructions. On pages 136-143 he discusses what I call priming acts in fifth-century prose in terms of “new subjects” and “topic resumption,” among other things.
[ back ] 181. De Jong 2012:122 ad Iliad 22.248-249: “… a pendant nominative (or frame) (…) This is a fairly common phenomenon in the Homeric epics, a clear manifestation of their oral syntax”; Hajnal 2004:243-244 calls the construction of verse-final αὐτάρ Ἀθήνη in Odyssey 6.2 a “Spur mündlicher Syntax,” (“a trace of oral syntax”); see also Slings 1992b, referred to above.
[ back ] 182. Established by Van Riemsdijk and Zwarts 1974 (re-published in 1997), see also Ochs Keenan and Schieffelin 1976, Geluykens 1992, Pekarek Doehler 2011b. Ochs Keenan and Schieffelin 1976:240-241 already eschewed the term “left-dislocation,” and more recently Pekarek Doehler 2011b:50 has added that she finds “such a view (..) both pragmatically and cognitively implausible.”
The verse-final αὐτὰρ+(pro)noun construction (see t32) is another good illustration of the problem of the term left-dislocation. Because of its position at verse end, it is in the right periphery of the performative unit, i.e. the hexameter verse, and probably in some way independent from the rest of the line. Syntactically it may be in the left periphery of its sentence, but most importantly, it is both performatively and syntactically independent. A more promising approach is to regard the act not at the level of the sentence, but at the level of discourse. From that angle, the act is neither left nor right of anything, and least of all is it dislocated in any way. Rather, it is exactly where it should be to provide a cognitive reorientation.
[ back ] 183. See also Berrendonner 1990:29 on “syntagme nominal + proposition”: the referent “nomme ou met en mémoire un objet de connaissance que Z [sc. the proposition] présuppose ensuite comme thème.”
[ back ] 184. Chafe 1994:67, and on page 68: “[t]ypically, such isolated referents (expressed as so-called free NPs) are subsequently included as participants in events and states. But intonation units like these show that it is quite possible for speakers to focus on a referent alone” [italics original].
[ back ] 185. I use “topic” in the sense of discourse topic, as described by Brown and Yule 1983:71; see also Chafe 2001:673-674.
[ back ] 186. Consider also Odyssey 13.81-88 ἡ δ’ | ὥς τ’ ἐν πεδίῳ τετράοροι ἄρσενες ἵπποι (…) ὣς ἡ ῥίμφα θέουσα θαλάσσης κύματ’ ἔταμνεν. Here, after the loading of the ship and two lines about Odysseus falling asleep, the attention is directed back to the ship, captured in nothing more than a feminine pronoun. After the pronoun a simile that introduces a new subject begins. This construction with a simile (there are 9 parallels in Homer: Iliad 4.433, 11.67, 12.167, 13.62, 15.271, 15.323, 15.381, 16.428; Odyssey 22.302) clearly demonstrates that the initial (pro)noun is syntactically independent. For the function of τε in similes see II.4.3.1.
[ back ] 187. Note that when the pronoun in the priming act is in the nominative a following complementary construction is optional (pragmatic projection) whereas if the pronoun is in an oblique case, it is always integrated into a construction (syntactic projection).
[ back ] 188. The concept of a storyworld, or the mental representation of the implied (and not always explicitly discussed) world where a narrative takes place, comes from Herman 2002. For the storyworld as a mental representation of the narrative, see II.4.1.
[ back ] 189. Some places are of a specific “nature,” such as Olympus, which has an effect on its contextual frame (some characters are naturally assumed to be there unless we know otherwise, while other characters are by nature excluded from the space).
[ back ] 190. Landau and Jackendoff 1993:223; compare Chafe 1979:179: “Rather than think of an experience as being stored in memory in terms of distinct episodes, it seems preferable to think of a more complex storage in terms of coherent spaces, coherent temporal continuities, coherent configurations of characters, coherent event sequences, and coherent worlds.”
[ back ] 191. This is what Emmott 1997:123 calls “priming.” Sometimes this priming of an entire new scene is encoded in the rest of the verse, as for example in Iliad 6.237-238: Ἕκτωρ δ᾽ | ὡς Σκαιάς τε πύλας καὶ φηγὸν ἵκανεν / ἀμφ᾽ ἄρα μιν, and 6.323-324: Ἀργείη δ᾽ Ἑλένη | μετ᾽ ἄρα δμῳῇσι γυναιξὶν / ἧστο.
[ back ] 192. See Schank and Abelson 1977:19: “If we ask a man ‘Who was your girlfriend in 1968?’ and ask him to report his strategy for the answer, his reply is roughly: ‘First I thought about where I was and what I was doing in 1968. Then I remembered who I used to go out with then.’ (…) Lists of ‘past girlfriends’ do not exist in memory. Such a list must be constructed. The process by which that list is constructed is a search through episodes organized around times and locations in memory” [my emphasis]. For Schank and Abelson’s work on “scripts” see II.4 §§46-47.
[ back ] 193. See Emmott 1997:122-126 for overt and covert characters in contextual frames.
[ back ] 194. This reading is supported by Bonifazi’s recent work on the particle αὐτάρ; see Bonifazi 2012:218-243. On page 222 she speaks of “the visual and presentational function of αὐτάρ.”
[ back ] 195. See Kahane 1994:114-119 on the name Odysseus in verse-final position; Clark 1997:107-158 (especially 140-142) calls such line endings that open new narrative units “bucolic anticipations.”
[ back ] 196. Moreover, the act preceding a μέν – δέ construction can take many forms, and it can be only a particle. See IV.2.4.4 for the construction καὶ | Χ μέν.
[ back ] 197. Here again the terminology of projection is informative, as Streeck and Jordan 2009:95 define “pre’s” as “the small behavioral units that precede larger behavioral units or adjustments.”
[ back ] 198. See De Kreij 2016; the instances of these constructions are: (X δ᾽ ὅτε δή) Iliad 1.432, 3.15, 4.446, 5.14, 5.630, 5.850, 6.121, 7.313, 8.60, 9.669, 10.180, 10.526, 11.232, 11.618, 13.240, 13.604, 16.462, 18.67, 18.520, 20.29, 20.176, 21.148, 22.248, 23.38; Odyssey 1.126, 1.332, 2.314, 6.85, 7.3, 16.324, 18.208, 18.217, 19.532, 21.42, 21.63, 24.362; (X δ᾽ ὡς οὖν) Iliad 3.21, 3.30, 3.154, 5.95, 5.711, 7.17, 8.251, 11.248, 11.575, 11.581, 14.440, 16.419, 17.198, 18.222, 18.530, 21.49, 21.418; Odyssey 3.34, 8.272, 15.59, 17.492, 22.407, 24.232, 24.391; (X δ᾽ επεὶ οὖν) Iliad 1.57, 2.661, 3.340, 4.382, 5.573, 10.272, 11.642, 13.1, 16.394, 18.333, 22.475, 23.813, 24.329, 24.587; Odyssey 4.49, 8.372, 8.454, 16.478, 17.88, 19.213, 19.251, 21.57, 21.273, 23.300, 24.384, 24.489.
[ back ] 199. The occurrence of the priming act outside epic may suggest that the construction was simply entrenched in language, quite independently of epic. In any case, the priming act serves an important function in accommodating the cognitive processing of performer and audience.
[ back ] 200. The other instances of priming acts in narratives are: Olympian 6.39: ἁ δὲ | φοινικόκροκον ζώναν καταθηκάμενα; Olympian 8.67: ὃς | τύχᾳ μέν; Olympian 10.43: ὁ δ᾽ἄρ’ | ἐν Πίσᾳ ἔλσαις; Pythian 4.111: τοὶ μ᾽ | ἐπεὶ; Pythian 9.18: ἁ μὲν | οὔθ᾽ ἱστῶν; Pythian 9.111: πατὴρ δὲ | θυγατρὶ φυτεύων; Nemean 1.43: ὁ δ᾽ | ὀρθὸν μὲν ἄντεινεν κάρα ; Nemean 5.25: αἱ δὲ | πρώτιστον μέν; Isthmian 6.41: ὁ δ᾽ | ἀνατείναις οὐρανῷ. A slightly larger fronted unit is found in Pythian 3.100: τοῦ δὲ παῖς | ὅνπερ. Not narrative, but similar in function are Olympian 1.30: Χάρις δ᾽ | ἅπερ ἅπαντα τεύχει τὰ μείλιχα θνατοῖς | ἐπιφέρουσα τιμὰν | καὶ ἄπιστον ἐμήσατο πιστόν ἔμμεναι τὸ πολλἀκις and Olympian 6.80: κεῖνος | ὦ παῖ Σωστράτου.
[ back ] 201. See also Olympian 7.49: κείνοις | ὁ μέν, for an instance where the pronoun is in the dative, and its referent is thus primed as the patient in a following event.
[ back ] 202. Apart from priming acts, which consist of (pro)nouns and particles, different but comparable constructions occur at discourse transitions in Pindar: Olympian 1.67 πρὸς εὐάνθεμον δ᾽ | ὅτε φυάν, 6.4 εἰ δ᾽ | εἴη μὲν, 10.45, περὶ δὲ πάξαις | Ἄλτιν μὲν ὅγ᾽, 13.104 νῦν δ᾽ | ἔλπομαι μέν; Pythian 1.17-18 νῦν γε μάν | ταί θ᾽ ὑπὲρ Κύμας, 1.75-76 ἀρέομαι | πὰρ μὲν Σαλαμῖνος; Νemean 9.39 λέγεται μάν | Ἕκτορι μέν, 10.90 ἀνά δ᾽ | ἔλυσεν μέν, 11.11 ἄνδρα δ᾽ ἐγὼ | μακαρίζω μέν, 11.29 ἀλλὰ βροτῶν | τὸν μέν; Isthmian 2.41 ἀλλ᾽ ἐπέρα | ποτί μὲν, 8.11 ἀλλ᾽ ἐμοὶ | δεῖμα μέν.
[ back ] 203. “Second-person priming acts” are all those instances where a second-person pronoun makes up a separate discourse act, typically accompanied by one or more particles.
[ back ] 204. This aspect of Pindaric performance is discussed in Felson 1999 and 2004; Bonifazi 2004a:396-400 discusses the range of functions of “you”-reference in Pindar.
[ back ] 205. See Bonifazi 2004a:400 on Isthmian 6.19 ὔμμε τ᾽ | ὦ χρυσάρματοι Αἰακίδαι: ὔμμε can be “an am Phantasma reference to the Aeginetan ancestors, an ocular reference to some artistic representation of the Aeacids, or an ocular reference to the Aeginetan clan.”
[ back ] 206. See for example Felson 2004:382-383 on the second-person forms in Pythian 9.90-100.
[ back ] 207. With Bury 1890:60-61 and Pfeijffer 1999:418 (who reads μέν differently). Bowra, conversely, reads the eagle as referring only to Pindar, and regards the image as unconnected to the final praise of the victor.
[ back ] 208. One possible exception with σὺ δέ is Odyssey 17.379 σὺ δὲ | καί ποθι τόνδ’ ἐκάλεσσας, and with ὑμεῖς Iliad 7.73 ὑμῖν δ’ | ἐν γὰρ, 13.116 ὑμεῖς δ’ | οὐκέτι; Odyssey 20.266 ὑμεῖς δέ | μνηστῆρες. In Homer ἀλλὰ σύ is more frequent, with the inherent reorienting function of ἀλλά: Iliad 1.393 ἀλλὰ σὺ | εἰ δύνασαί γε, 9.600 ἀλλὰ σὺ | μή μοι, 18.134 ἀλλὰ σὺ μὲν | μή πω; Odyssey 16.256 ἀλλὰ σύ γ’ | εἰ δύνασαί τιν᾽ and especially 21.234 ἀλλὰ σύ | δῖ’ Εὔμαιε; Drummen 2009 explores the reorienting function of ἀλλά in Greek drama.
[ back ] 209. νῦν γε μάν occurs in Pythian 1.17 and 1.50; νῦν γε μέν in Pythian 4.50, and the remaining instances of γε μέν/γε μάν are Olympian 12.5, Olympian 13.104, Pythian 3.88, Pythian 7.19, Nemean 8.50, Nemean 10.33, Isthmian 3.18b.
[ back ] 210. Second-person priming acts, of referent(s) potentially present: Olympian 5.21 σὲ τ᾽ | Ὀλυμπιόνικε (see Kambylis 1964:132n5), Olympian 13.14 ὔμμιν δὲ | παῖδες Ἀλάτα, Pythian 2.18 σὲ δ᾽ | ὦ Δεινομένειε παῖ, Pythian 2.57 τὺ δὲ | σάφα νιν ἔχεις (strophe beginning), Pythian 6.19 σύ τοι | σχέθων νιν (t11, strophe beginning), Nemean 3.83 τίν γε μέν | εὐθρόνου Κλεοῦς ἐθελοίσας. Formally different but functionally similar are Olympian 11.11-12 ἴσθι νῦν | Ἀρχεστράτου / παῖ, Nemean 5.48 ἴσθι | γλυκεῖάν τοι Μενάνδρου / σὺν τύχᾳ μόχθων, and Isthmian 6.44 νῦν σε | νῦν εὐχαῖς ὑπὸ θεσπεσίαις / λίσσομαι.
[ back ] 211. Second-person priming acts, of referent(s) not physically present: Olympian 9.17 σόν τε | Κασταλία | πάρα, Pythian 6.50 τὶν τ᾽ | Ἐλέλιχθον, Pythian 8.8 τὺ δ᾽ | ὁπόταν (strophe beginning), Pythian 8.61 τὺ δ’ | Ἑκαταβόλε (strophe beginning), Isthmian 6.19 ὔμμε τ᾽ | ὦ χρυσάρματοι Αἰακίδαι, Isthmian 7.31 τὺ δέ | Διοδότοιο παῖ; in Νemean 5.41 we find τὺ δ’ Αἰγίναθε δίς | Εὐθύμενες.
[ back ] 212. Consider also the possibility that a hero or god may be present in the form of a tomb and/or a statue.
[ back ] 213. Felson 1999 and 2004 discuss deictic shifts marked among other things by first, second, and third person pronouns. Pfeijffer 1999:479 and 550 discusses the instances of τὺ δέ in Pythian 8 (8.8 and 8.61) as markers of topic shift, but this does not sufficiently explain the performative impact of such acts.
[ back ] 214. The date and context of Isthmian 7 are obscure, see Privitera 1982:103-107.
[ back ] 215. The pronoun’s case is important in that if it is a vocative there is no good reason to assume a discourse act boundary before the name in the vocative. If the pronoun is a nominative, however, it is likely that there was a discontinuity between pronoun and name; i.e. τὺ (nom.) δέ | Διοδότοιο παῖ, or τὺ (voc.) δέ Διοδότοιο παῖ; a similar case is Pythian 8.61 τὺ δ’ | Ἑκαταβόλε | (…) ὤπασας. In CEG 326.2 τὺ δέ, Φοῖβε, δίδοι, the verb form is an imperative, so the pronoun probably should be read as a vocative.
[ back ] 216. The major study of vocatives in Pindar is Kambylis 1964. The peculiarities of their linguistic form are briefly discussed by Hummel 1993:71-73.
[ back ] 217. There is also a group of instances where the vocative and the pronoun are inverted. In these cases the second-person pronoun does not form a priming act: Olympian 6.12 Ἁγησία | τὶν δ’ αἶνος ἑτοῖμος, 8.15 Τιμόσθενες | ὔμμε δὲ, 9.112 Αἶαν | τεόν τ᾽; Pythian 4.59 ὦ μάκαρ υἱὲ Πολυμνάστου | σὲ δ᾽, 5.5-6 ὦ θεόμορ᾽ Ἀρκεσίλα | σύ τοί νιν, 5.45 Ἀλεξιβιάδα | σὲ δ᾽; Nemean 1.29 Ἁγησιδάμου παῖ | σέο δ᾽, 2.14 ὦ Τιμόδημε | σὲ δ᾽, 6.60 Ἀλκίμιδα | σέ γ᾽, 7.58 Θεαρίων | τὶν δ’, 7.94-95 ὦ μάκαρ | τὶν δ᾽.
[ back ] 218. E.g. Gerber 2002:29, “Pindar elsewhere enlivens the style by addressing one of a pair directly,” Meyer 1933:55, “Verlebendingung der (…) Erzählung,” and Hummel 1993:67.
[ back ] 219. See Braswell 1988:141-142 ad Pythian 4.59.
[ back ] 220. Bundy 1962:6-7 (and passim) discusses apostrophe in Pindar in terms of “name caps” and “pronominal caps,” and notes that they occur often directly after a priamel; see also Bonifazi 2001:117 for discussion of the vocative in Olympian 6.22.
[ back ] 221. See Block 1982, Richardson 1990:170-171, Kahane 1994:154-155, Mackay 2001, and De Jong 2009:94-95 for literature and discussion of apostrophe of characters in Homer.