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The syntax and discourse function of preposed temporal ἐπεί-clauses in Homeric Greek

Prais, Judith; (2019) The syntax and discourse function of preposed temporal ἐπεί-clauses in Homeric Greek. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The interplay in the Iliad and Odyssey between preposed temporal ἐπεί-clauses and preceding text is investigated. It is demonstrated that the metrical and compositional conditions of the poems influence lexical and grammatical form, distorting or restricting the semantics of some words while prescribing a limited set of phrasal patterns from which to form subordinate clauses. By combining in a single investigation observations on the syntax and discourse function of ἐπεί-clauses, a distinction can be drawn between components which are predominantly necessary for metrical or information purposes (such as αὐτάρ and personal pronouns) and those which facilitate the organisation of the text (such as the antiphonal relationship of imperfect and aorist accounts of events). Following an introduction to the syntax of ἐπεί-clauses, Chapter 3 argues that out of metrical necessity the typical antithetical meaning of αὐτάρ weakened to a progressive meaning when juxtaposed to ἐπεί. In Chapter 4 instances of left-dislocation of noun phrases before a preposed ἐπεί-clause are considered. It is suggested that this dislocation is determined by the discourse processing challenges posed by subordination and does not perform the role of organising discourse on a broader textual basis. Chapter 5 surveys the discourse function of the ἐπεί-clauses with the observation made that those clauses which start books bear a subtly different relationship to preceding text when compared with book-internal clauses. In Chapter 6 a range of preposed clauses are examined; they are shown to relate back to preceding text through recapitulation or through expectancy. Chapter 7 considers the discourse function of ἐπεί-clauses which, in their relationship to a preceding account of the commencement of that event, emphasise thorough completion. The wording of the ἐπεί-clause is considered in Chapter 8, with the observation made that ἐπεί-clauses which denote completion are lexically and/or phrasally distinctive.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The syntax and discourse function of preposed temporal ἐπεί-clauses in Homeric Greek
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Please note: the online version is missing the Impact Statement (page nine of the print copy).
UCL classification: UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060744
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