The Languages of Aristophanes: Aspects of Linguistic Variation in Classical Attic Greek (Oxford Classical Monographs)

The Languages of Aristophanes: Aspects of Linguistic Variation in Classical Attic Greek (Oxford Classical Monographs)

Andreas Willi

Language: English

Pages: 376

ISBN: 0199215103

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


By examining linguistic variation in Aristophanic comedy, Andreas Willi opens up a new perspective on intra-dialectal diversity in Classical Attic Greek. A representative range of registers, technical languages, sociolects, and (comic) idiolects is described and analyzed. Stylistic and statistical observations are combined and supplemented by typological comparisons with material drawn from sociolinguistic research on modern languages. The resulting portrayal of the Attic dialect deepens our understanding of various socio-cultural phenomena reflected in Aristophanes' work.

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word with this meaning must have existed in general language. In the pairs eTrifj.apTVpOfj,ai/fj.apTvpoiJ.ai and TrpoCTKaAeo/iayWAeofiGU the greater frequency of the simplex verbs suggests that they were used more widely. The compounds have been shown above to be nontechnical. Frequency and word distribution (e.g. the fact that they are attested in several plays) indicate the non-technicality of words such as ypacpij, ypaKw(v), i}Aia

Comedy and therefore easily comparable. 63 Also, the great practical impact of medicine on everybody's life might make the comic exploitation of medical terminology rewarding. 61 A proper name: cf. MacDowell (1971) 147. See S. C. Todd (1990), esp. 167-70, and MacDowell (1995) 156-7 for a discussion of how the juries were composed in practice (primarily old men with low cash incomes, perhaps mainly farmers). The orators seem to take it for granted that the jurors understand the regular features

as Diogenes Laertius, and at least some of this material is probably based on deductions made from Empedocles' work. 46 Cf. Wright (1995) 291; Vegetti(i998) 354-5. 'Scientific Discourse' Ill The exact dates of his life are difficult to establish, but his 'working life covered a period between 477 and 432 BC1.47 Even if his travels may never have brought him from Sicily and South Italy to mainland Greece, except perhaps for one visit to Olympia, the fame of Empedocles' extraordinary exploits

(1941) H9-52. 37 Vowles (1928) 58; again (cf. n. 23 above), more precise figures would be preferable, but the general tendency seems clear enough. 38 Cf. e.g. Thales fr. i t B 3 (auympiai;, Trffyvvais, avaraais); Heraclitus fr. 22 B 55 (oi/ns, jaaffyois); Parmenides fr. 28 B 7. 2 (Sirens); Empedocles fr. 31 B 8 (nifu, SiaAAa^ts); Philolaus frs. 44 B 10 and 13 (eVcuai?, ovfjuppovyois, ataOrjais, pt^ojai?, avatpvais, yeWijats); Diogenes of Apollonia fr. 64 B 5 (poTjaiy, erepoi'axn?); for medical

particular circumstances, whereas iva is more unconditional.82 This explanation is supported by the fact that owcos + fut. ind., which is the most categorical of the 78 Based on the index by O. J. Todd (1932) 181 (in many cases the transmitted text is changed by modern editors); female: Av. 1240 (MSS); Lys. 384 (MSS); Ran. iT,5\;Eccl. 117, 917 (MSS; perhaps av must be inserted so that the example belongs to(c)); possibly Thesm. 285; male: Nub. 974, 1199; Vesp. 1526/7. 79 Female: Nub. 937—8, 1461;

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