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Title: Chronology, dialect and style : studies in the distribution of linguistic archaisms in early Greek hexameter poetry
Author: McConnell, Tom
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 3128
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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The chronology of early Greek hexameter poetry is obscure. Some scholars have attempted to make arguments about the relative chronology of the texts based on their differing use of certain linguistic forms. In the introductory chapter the history of the question is surveyed, and statistical arguments are used to establish which of the previously studied linguistic forms are most worthy of further study. The next three chapters are each concerned with one linguistic form - thematic genitives in -οιο and -ου; the observance and neglect of digamma; and the use of different kinds of tmesis, 'initial' and 'non-initial'. In each chapter, possibly underlying factors are analysed. I argue that for each feature the factor of formularity or repetition needs to be taken into account, since repeated phrases distort the statistics. For the thematic genitives, it was found that the ending chosen is highly determined by the metrical structure of the words in question, and that each metrical structure differs in its use of the ending. I also argue that the -οιο ending is stylistically marked as appropriate for heroic hexameter texts. For the digamma, it is argued that issues of dialect play a particularly important role, and a parallel with the similar phenomenon of resonant lengthening is drawn out. It is also shown that different words treat digamma differently. Lastly, it is found that the distribution of different types of tmesis is dependent on whether they are found in speech and narrative. In each case, it is argued that chronology is relatively unlikely to be a factor in the distribution. In the last chapter, it is argued that there might be a significant stylistic element in the distribution of all three factors, where the more archaic linguistic forms became stylistically marked through their association with certain registers or kinds of poetries. A model for this process is sketched out, according to which, the more likely a kind of hexameter performance was to remain conservative as across generations, the more likely it was to have the archaic forms associated with it, thus producing stylistic marking.
Supervisor: Willi, Andreas Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available