syntax of ὦ constituents

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Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 931
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

syntax of ὦ constituents

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » November 21st, 2015, 4:23 pm

Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus

ΕΞΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ
ὦ γῆς μέγιστα τῆσδ᾿ ἀεὶ τιμώμενοι, 1223

You who are ever held in greatest honour in this land,
— Lloyd-Jones 1994

ΧΟΡΟΣ
ὦ δυστάλαινα, πρὸς τίνος ποτ᾿ αἰτίας; 1336

Oh sorrow! What was the cause?

— Lloyd-Jones 1994
This is a question about the syntax of ὦ. Guy Cooper's comments in regard to ὦ ... τιμώμενοι are nearly incomprehensible. Something is going on here which could be explained in terms of syntax, i.e., an analysis of the constituent order and structure, the functional significance of ὦ, ... etc.

ὦ in line 1223 appears in a slot that could be filled by an article belonging to τιμώμενοι. Every thing between ὦ and τιμώμενοι limits τιμώμενοι. Cooper suggests that the constituents between ὦ and τιμώμενοι are members of the participle clause but he does not address the syntax, why they are sandwiched between ὦ and τιμώμενοι. Is there any sort of analogy between the syntax of ὦ γῆς μέγιστα τῆσδ᾿ ἀεὶ τιμώμενοι and οἱ γῆς μέγιστα τῆσδ᾿ ἀεὶ τιμώμενοι?

NON answers: hyperbaton, meter, other ... in other words, not interested in comments that do not address the syntax question.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: syntax of ὦ constituents

Post by Barry Hofstetter » November 22nd, 2015, 9:04 am

Well, just a thought. What if one of the answers you have precluded is the answer? But on the syntax question, if the vocative marker fills the same "space" as the article, then it also may be used attributively or not. I would read the use in Sophocles as a simple attributive use.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 931
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: syntax of ὦ constituents

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » November 22nd, 2015, 4:16 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote: ... on the syntax question, if the vocative marker fills the same "space" as the article, then it also may be used attributively or not. I would read the use in Sophocles as a simple attributive use.
To explore the question does ὦ behave similar to an article in syntax I took another pass at Cooper[1]. He suggests that ὦ with and adjective/participle makes the adjective/participle function as a substantive. He then illustrates separation between ὦ and participle and implies that the words between ὦ and participle are constituents of the participle clause. Note implies, the last part isn't stated as a rule.

Cooper (2:45.3.4 p1953) also mentions another pattern: “Interjection of ὦ between vocative and attribute, occasionally with ὦ repeated, which then appears with both words, is a poetic license which is not known in prose.”
Euripides Andromache 510.
κείσηι δή, τέκνον ὦ φίλος,
μαστοῖς ματέρος ἀμφὶ σᾶς
νεκρὸς ὑπὸ χθονὶ σὺν νεκρῶι <τε>.

Andromache
Dear child, you will lie below dead with your dead mother, next to her breast!
— Kovacs LCL 1995

[1] The discussion of ὦ in Cooper is under vocatives (vol 3, p1946-53, 2.45.3.0-5).
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stephen Carlson
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Re: syntax of ὦ constituents

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 26th, 2015, 5:54 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:NON answers: hyperbaton, meter, other ... in other words, not interested in comments that do not address the syntax question.
I'm confused: isn't hyperbaton a syntactic answer?
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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