This paper studies a distinction that was proposed in previous works between total and partial adjectives. In pairs of adjectives such as safe–dangerous, clean–dirty and healthy–sick, the first (“total”) adjective describes lack of danger, dirt, malady, etc., while the second (“partial”) adjective describes the existence of such properties. It is shown that the semantics of adjective phrases with modifiers such as almost, slightly, and completely is sensitive to whether the adjective is total or partial. The interpretation of such modified constructions (...) is accounted for using a novel scale structure for total and partial adjectives. It is proposed that the standard value of a total adjective is always fixed as the lower bound of the corresponding partial adjective. By contrast, the standard value of partial adjectives can take any point on the partial scale. The effects of this theoretical distinction on the behavior of modified constructions are studied in detail, and their ramifications for the semantic theory of adjectives are discussed. Some other phenomena are surveyed that show evidence for total and partial adjectival constructions with various comparatives and exceptive phrases. (shrink)
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This article inquires into the shaping force that competition at musical contests exercised on ancient perceptions of literary genres, particularly for the non-choral and non-dramatic kinds of the Classical Period. Three musical contests of the fourth century BCE, the Panathenaia, the Amphiaraia, and the Artemisia, are taken as case studies. After a reconstruction of their programs, principles of categorization that spectators might have inferred from the contests are deduced, and modes in which categories of competition and literary genres interacted are (...) put forward. The article concludes by suggesting that, by enacting taxonomies, either strengthening or weakening the specificity of traditional types, institutionalized poetic and musical competitions contributed to the ancient conceptualization of literary genres. (shrink)
Carmen 4.2 is one of the most commented upon of the odes of Horace. It is indeed a complex poem. To summarize roughly: addressing the young poet Iullus Antonius, Horace presents the dangers of emulating Pindar, offering what seems like a lengthy description as well as an approximation of Pindar's own poetic style . Not as a doomed Icarus imitating the grand Pindaric swan, but in his own preferred mode, like a bee on the banks of Tibur, Horace will (...) continue to produce his own highly refined poems on a small scale . Iullus Antonius, on the other hand, will sing of Augustus’ triumph maiore plectro . Modestly, Horace himself will be content to join in with the popular chants for Augustus’ triumphal return as one happy civilian among the crowd . Iullus Antonius will moreover offer a grand sacrifice of ten bulls and as many cows on that occasion, whereas Horace promises a single bull-calf that he is saving especially for the purpose . I will try to offer a new interpretation of these last two strophes by pointing out an unnoticed allusion to a Hellenistic subtext. (shrink)
The idea of a returning golden age is widely understood and commonly presented both as a staple of Augustan propaganda and as a pervasive aspiration of Augustan society. The Carmen Saeculare—an official commission for a public festival—is presented as a means by which the regime proclaimed to an enthusiastic populace the imminent renascence of the golden race. The aim of this article is to draw attention both to the failure of the Carmen Saeculare explicitly to proclaim the renascence (...) of the race, and to the critique implicit in the poem of the very idea of a renascence. The golden race, according to this reading, might be undesirable on account of its very goldenness. The golden race was the subject of a complex myth at the centre of a complex discourse: neither the ‘official’ nor the popular response to the idea of its return can have been as simple as they are frequently portrayed. (shrink)
El presente artículo aborda las connotaciones y los fundamentos de la paráfrasis cum canere vellem en Serv. Ecl. 6. 3. El análisis del sentido del verbo volo en este contexto y la confrontación del pasaje con Serv. Ecl. 6. 5 revelan que Servio interpreta la frase cum canerem reges et proelia como referencia a un temprano empeño de Virgilio en componer poesía épica, del que pronto desistió. Esta interpretación está condicionada por la idea de que la secuencia cronológica Églogas - (...) Geórgicas - Eneida tiene un correlato jerárquico, idea que se funda en noticias biográficas y en la teoría de la tripertita varietas. This paper focuses on the connotations and grounds of the paraphrase cum canere vellem in Serv. Ecl. 6. 3. The analysis of the sense of verb volo within this context, as well as the confrontation between that passage and Serv. Ecl. 6. 5, show that Servius interprets the clause cum canerem reges et proelia as a reference to Virgil's early endeavor to compose an epic poem, from which he shortly desisted. This interpretation is conditioned by the idea that the chronological sequence Eclogues - Georgics - Aeneid has a hierarchical correlate, an idea which is founded on biographical information and the theory of tripertita varietas. (shrink)