Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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9.5. Stylistic factors

In poetry, but at times also other text types, the word order is largely determined by metrical and/or aesthetic factors. This is a literary convention, which, as it were, overrides syntactic and pragmatic factors that normally determine the word order.

In the grammars a tendency may be discerned to put word order patterns that are exceptional, but can as such be explained, on a par with intentionally exceptional but hardly grammatical word order patterns. Thus, (46) is adduced as an instance of a complicated and statistically remarkable, but nevertheless grammatically correct, embedding: [41]

(46) si quis qui quid agam forte requirat erit (`If there is someone who happens to ask what I am doing', Ov. Tr. 1.1.18)

Conversely, there are examples that constitute an intentional violation of normal placement rules, e.g. (47)–(50):

(47) grandia per multos tenuantur flumina rivos (`Great streams are channelled into many brooks', Ov. Rem. 445)

(48) quem tibi candidi primo restituent vere Favonii … beatum (`Whom the radiant Zephyrs will give back to you happy … at the beginning of the spring', Hor. C. 3.7.1–3) [42]

(49) valui poenam fortis in ipse meam (`To my own detriment I have been brave', Ov. Am. 1.7.26)

(50) raucae, tua cura, palumbes (`The cooing wood-pigeons, your pets', Verg. Ecl. 1.57) [43]

In (47) we find an intentional distribution of adjectives and nouns according to the pattern adj 1 – adj 2 – noun 1 – noun 2. [44] In (49) poenam is in an exceptional position, having been moved from the preposition phrase to the beginning of the sentence. In (50) we find an unusual placement of an appositive constituent. For examples see Sz. (689–94).

Examples of this kind have often been adduced in order to show that Latin word order – presumably owing to the presence of cases – was completely free.

This is incorrect. [45]

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As for prose texts, prosodic considerations have received attention from antiquity onwards (Quint. 9.4.26 is an interesting example). There are certainly intriguing observations to be made. Livy, for example, has fuerunt much more often in clausula position than erant, which is in accordance with his preference for polysyllabic final words. [46] 46a

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Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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