• RSS
ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 75-79 The Deferment of Postpositive Particles in Greek Documentary Papyri Stephen M. Bay Brigham Young University Abstract This article examines instances in Greek documentary papyri in which postpositive particles occur after their normal "peninitial" position in a clause or sentence. The ratio between deferred and normally placed postpositives in papyri is given and compared to the ratio in literary texts. A diachronic analysis of the phenomenon is also provided, to assess its likelihood of occurrence, century by century, and finally, a brief analysis follows of the grammatical constructions that accompany it in papyri to evaluate whether they are at all different from literary texts. The deferment of postpositive particles beyond second position is a relatively infrequent, but not abnormal occurrence in Attic prose. This paper seeks to examine the occurrences of this postponement in documentary papyri. The examination will determine how often the postponement occurs in documentary papyri, whether the frequency of occurrence in documentary papyri is proportionate to that found in literary texts, and whether or not the frequency of occurrence is stable throughout the centuries from the Ptolemaic through the Byzantine periods. In 1892 Wackernagel observed that in Greek and other Indo-European languages, certain words must occupy second position in their sentence or clause.' Denniston pointed out that there is a hierarchy of postpositive usage when multiple postpositives are used in a given clause. When they occur together with ydp or other connective particles, gtv and/or r should always appear first.2 Much of the recent scholarship dealing with this phenomenon in regard to the Greek language has focused on situations in which postponement 1 J. Wackernagel, "Ober ein Gesetz der indogermanischen Wortstellung" Indogermanische Forschungen 1 (1892) 333-436. 2 J.D. Denniston, The Greek Particles (Oxford 1950) lx.
Top of page Top of page