The pragmatics of the quotative frame: a comparative study of Homer and Mesopotamian mythological narrative

Kirkham-Smith, Guy ORCID: 0000-0002-3922-6432 (2021). The pragmatics of the quotative frame: a comparative study of Homer and Mesopotamian mythological narrative. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study looks to consider how the narrator uses the boundaries of speech within a narrative to guide and influence their audience. This is done by looking at three specific aspects. Firstly, the quotative frame in Greek and Near-Eastern literature is considered. The Near-Eastern analysis provides a comprehensive documentation of the introductory and capping formulas used for direct speech in a range of Akkadian literature. The Greek analysis looks more specifically at the transitional phrase, which lies between two speeches and allows the narrator to encode information to help the audience understand how to appreciate the speeches.

Secondly, this study considers the role of interjections in Homeric narratives and how they are distinguished within the text due to their position at the start of speech. This prominence is utilised by the narrator to further influence the external audience into placing their focus on specific aspects and know where their sympathies are supposed to lie. The second chapter demonstrates that while both Greek and Akkadian languages can use interjections in similar ways, their use to influence audience as exhibited in the Homeric texts is lacking in the Near-Eastern material.
Thirdly, this study considers moments of silence in the text, specifically where the contents of a speech are dramatic enough to force characters in the text into silence, and thus shift back to narrative. Using the term siopic hiatus, the third chapter argues that the Homeric narrator creates an artificial threat to the narrative through this silence, which in reality foreshadows a progression of narrative. This contrasts with the Near-Eastern material, where such a feature is lacking. This demonstrates a higher level of performance and interactivity between narrator and audience in Greece than in the Near-East.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
P Language and Literature > PJ Semitic


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