Most of the papers in this volume were given at the Conference on Greek and Latin Linguistics (Katwijk, 16-17 December 2005), held in honour of Albert Rijksbaron, to whom the book is dedicated. The conference aimed at building a bridge between literary and linguistic studies of texts in Greek and Latin by applying methods and models developed in the field of narratology and in that of discourse oriented linguistic analysis, to which the honoree has contributed widely throughout his scholarly career. The resulting volume shows that this is a fruitful area of research.
The book is well edited, with only few typos.1 It comprises a nearly complete list of A. Rijksbaron’s publications,2 an index locorum and a general index. The introduction by Allan and Buijs (pp. 1-6) and the single bibliography for all papers included contribute to its unitary character.
Irene J. F. de Jong “Sophocles Trachiniae 1-48, Euripidean prologues, and their audiences” (pp. 7-28) claims that, although Sophocles’ Trachiniae apparently starts with a monologue of Deanira, the nurse who is presumed to be on stage right from he beginning, though not addressed directly, is the narratee of her speech, making it into a dialogue. Signals for the presence of an addressee de Jong supposes to be narratorial interventions of the type
Lukas van den Berge “Mythical chronology in the Odes of Pindar: the Cases of Pythian 10 and Olympian 3” (pp. 29-41) discusses the structure of Py. 10.29-49 and whether the slaying of the Gorgo and Perseus’ revenge on Polydectes on Seriphos occurred before or after his visit to the Hyperboreans, without arriving at a definite conclusion as to their sequence, but claiming that Pindar mentions Perseus’ arrival at Seriphos as a warning to his audience to avoid envy at the homecoming of the victorious Hippokleas. In the case of Ol. 3.12-35 he argues for two separate journeys of Herakles to the Hyperboreans. As for the chronology of events, it is, Berge claims, “not indefeasibly encoded” in either of the passages, but has to be inferred from context.
Suzanne M. Adema “Discourse modes and bases in Vergil’s Aeneid” (pp. 42-64) uses the classification of discourse modes proposed by Smith (2003) (narrative, descriptive, reporting, registering) with the addition of Langacker’s concept of “base” (Langacker 2001) to describe the use of tense forms in Vergil’s Aeneid. The “directing mode”, i.e. the registering mode which takes note of events happening at the moment of utterance, transposed to reference time, is found to be the most common in the text. The pretended position of the narrator is within the fictive past, which enables him to use the HP, posing as an eyewitness, although of course he remains the omniscient narrator who may add his own comments to the scene and switch back to his “real” present or to other discourse modes.
In a similar fashion, Caroline H. M. Kroon “Discourse modes and the use of tenses in Ovid’s Metamorphoses” (pp. 65-92) establishes three types, narrative, descriptive and reportive mode, the first two of which can be combined with both a story-internal position of the narrator and an external, retrospective position, which is the only possibility for the reportive mode. Kroon ties the lack of dynamicity in the Metamorphoses to Ovid’s preference for telling stories in separate “vignettes” in which the advancement of the narrative is rather local than temporal: as if an eyewitness were describing various simultaneous parts of one and the same scene. The frequent HP supplants either a perfect, highlighting main events in the story-line or “zooming in” on the scene of the events, or, more frequently, an imperfect describing states or progressive, habitual and iterative events. Similar to the “zooming in” in a narrative passage, the HP may be used to the same effect in descriptive passages to switch to a story-internal descriptive position, and to give a more detailed account of a bounded event given in the perfect (e.g. the description of Niobe’s petrification in 6.303ff. deriguitque malis followed by HPs). As there is no progression between these simultaneous parts of the same event, the overall effect is that of a static picture.
Rutger J. Allan “Sense and sentence complexity. Sentence structure, sentence connection, and tense-aspect as indicators of narrative mode in Thucydides’ Histories” (pp. 93-121) distinguishes an “immediate mode” in which the narrator pretends to be an eyewitness of the events and a “displaced mode” in which he looks back at past events from his present vantage point. The former is said to be displayed in a simpler sentence structure, less hypotaxis, less frequent use of participles,
Michel Buijs “Aspectual differences and narrative technique: Xenophon’s Hellenica & Agesilaus” (pp. 122-153) compares parallel passages in these two works and examines their different use of aspectual forms. He relates the different uses to the difference in genre, i.e. narrative in the Hellenica vs. encomium in the Agesilaus, with narrative episodes in the Agesilaus used as exempla to show the subject’s character through his deeds. Using Rijksbaron’s definition of the discourse function of the imperfect as opening up a framework for further elaboration on the same topic (Rijksbaron 1988:250-254), Buijs claims that an imperfect in the Hellenica is supplanted by an aorist in the Agesilaus (in five out of his six examples) to mark the end of the exemplum and return from the narrative to the “diegetic” mode, switching back to the viewpoint of the narrator, whereas the imperfect in the Hellenica marks the continuation of the story. For some examples this seems to make sense (e.g. Hell. 3.4.11-13, Ag. 1.14-17), in others one wonders if the difference in genre is really the motivating factor.3 Buijs is certainly right in claiming that any definition of aspect by which the opposition between the aorist and imperfect indicative always entails a different real world situation fails to explain his examples which all refer to the same real world situations respectively.
Jean Lallot “L’opposition aspectuelle ‘présent’ – ‘aoriste’ dans la grande loi de Gortyne” (pp. 154-167) finds that the text uses the aorist for verdicts in special cases, but the present for general prescriptions and in cases where the same verb is repeated which he describes as a kind of anaphoric use or ”
Gerry C. Wakker “Intentions and future realisations in Herodotus” (pp. 168-187) discusses the use of Greek
Stéphanie J. Bakker “Adjective ordering in Herodotus: A pragmatic explanation” (pp. 188-210) takes a fresh look at the question after earlier scholarship (not only on Greek) claimed that adjective ordering depended on semantics (e.g. Fugier & Corbin (1977), Seiler (1978)). For Greek, cases of variation of the positioning of multiple adjectives attached to one noun seem to counterevidence these claims, and Bakker tries to establish the criterium of “informativeness” that triggers the position of the adjectives: “The more informative the adjective, the further to the left it is expressed.” No formal definition of “informativeness” is given, though. In the case of coordination, Behaghel’s “Gesetz der wachsenden Glieder” sometimes seems to interfere (e.g. Hdt. 7.83.2
Casper C. de Jonge “From Demetrius to Dik. Ancient and modern views on Greek and Latin word order” (pp. 211-232) discusses the approaches of Demetrius and Quintilian to ancient Greek and Latin worder order, interpreting both as talking about pragmatic rather than syntactic categories. He points out similarities between Demetrius’ treatment of Greek word order that claims that the
It is to be hoped that this stimulating collection of papers will further the interest that linguists and scholars in literary studies take in each other’s fields. As this volume shows in a remarkable way, there is much to be gained by a broader perspective.
Fleischman, S. 1990. Tense and Narrativity. From Medieval Performance to Modern Fiction. London.
Fugier, H. & J. M. Corbin. 1977. ‘Coordination et classes fonctionelles dans le syntagme nominal latin’, BSL 72, 245-273.
Labov, W. 1972. Language in the Inner City. Philadelphia.
Langacker, R. W. 2001. ‘The English Present Tense’, English Language and Linguistics, 251-272.
Leo, F. 1908. Der Monolog im Drama. Ein Beitrag zur griechisch-römischen Poetik. Göttingen.
Rijksbaron, A. 1988. ‘The Discourse Function of the Imperfect’, in Rijksbaron, A., H. A. Mulder, & G. C. Wakker (eds.). In the Footsteps of Raphael Kühner. Amsterdam. 237-254.
Seiler, H. 1978. ‘Determination, a Functional Dimension for Inter-language Comparison’ in H. Seiler (ed.). Language Universals. Tübingen. 301-328.
Smith, C. 2003. Modes of Discourse. The Local Structure of Texts. Cambridge.
1. E.g. the garbled quotation of Leo 1908 on p. 9: “entgegegen” for “entgegen”, “sie ist gewohn” for “sie ist gewohnt”, “in ihrer Erinnerungen zu wühlen” for “in ihren …”, on p. 23 the Greek text for example  is missing, p. 190 “Referentzfestlegende” for “referenzfestlegende”.
2. Addendum for 2006: ‘Over punten en komma’s, in het bijzonder bij Plato’, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, and after the publication of the book under review, Plato. “Ion or: On the Iliad.” Edited with Introduction and Commentary by A. Rijksbaron. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
3. E.g. in Hell. 4.3.20-21 vs. Ag. 2.15-16 with
4. The example of Kroisos’ dream about his ill-fated son Atys (Hdt. 1.34) is taken to show this difference, although it seems difficult to find more in it than the difference in question (
5. E.g. Hdt. 9.22.1-2 where the point seems to be that Masistios is wearing a cuirass hidden under his tunic and that only when this is realized by his enemies is he killed by a stab in the eye. This, following B.’s principle, would explain why the noun comes first and the adjectives follow (