A New Look at Greek Prosody
Organized by David Goldstein (University of California, Berkeley) and Dieter
Gunkel (University of California, Los Angeles)
With the 1994 publication of The Prosody of Greek Speech, Devine and
Stephens achieved insights into Greek that many would have hardly thought
possible. The study of prosody, that is, the study of phenomena such as
syllable structure, accentual rhythm, pitch, and intonational phrasing, is
an extremely delicate and difficult endeavor when it comes to a corpus
language. Devine and Stephens combined detailed philological investigation
of texts (literary, grammatical, and musical) with linguistic theory, a
broad range of cross-linguistic typological comparisons, and evidence from
experimental linguistics and psychology, to offer the most extensive and
detailed portrait of Greek prosody to date.
Despite these impressive results, the pervasive role that prosody plays in
Greek language and literature has generally not been appreciated. Simply
put, prosody pervades practically every aspect of language, including
syntax, semantics, pragmatics, word formation, and accentual patterns, not
to mention other facets such as performance, gesture, and metrics. As
prosodic studies have been given only marginal treatment, the opportunities
for new discovery in this area are abundant.
The time has come for two things. The first is to look afresh at Greek
prosody from both an empirical and a theoretical standpoint. More is known
now than was in 1994, and the panel should showcase recent advances as well as identify and explore new frontiers. Second, the forum aims to bring
prosodic studies and their implications into the purview of a wider range of
We are interested in questions of prosody at every level, from the syllable
to the rhetorical period, and particularly welcome presentations that
demonstrate the implications of prosodic studies for Hellenic scholarship at
large. Questions that papers may address include the following:
1. What is the relationship between everyday colloquial speech rhythms and the dossier of Greek meters? What do metrical phenomena reveal about the prosody of the colloquial language?
2. How does prosody affect the formation of words (e.g., compounds,
hypocoristics) at the various stages of Greek?
3. How are we to understand the prosodic patterns found in prose texts, such as the clausulae of the Greek orators? What basis underlies these patterns, how do we account for their distribution, and what functional roles did they play in the sentence or the performance?
This panel will be held at the 2011 meeting of the American Philological
Association, which will run from 6-9 January in San Antonio, Texas.
A one-page abstract (suitable for a 15-20 minute presentation) must be
received by the APA office by 1 FEBRUARY 2010. Please send an anonymous abstract as a PDF attachment to apameetings AT sas.upenn.edu, and be sure to provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. Submissions will be reviewed anonymously.
Further information can be found on the APA web page at the following
address: http://apaclassics.org/AnnualMeeting/2011_CFPs.html. Please contact David Goldstein at dmgold AT berkeley.edu or Dieter Gunkel at
dcgunkel AT gmail.com with any questions.