Thursday, September 16, 2004

how does this rhetoric accentuate my figure?

that's right, kids--it's the moment you've all been waiting for. drumroll please...and today's rhetorical figure is...

HYPERBATON: violation of the usual order of words. for examples of this, read ANYTHING by ausonius or paulinus of nola. an example in english might be: 'read this really to letter hard is' instead of 'this letter is really hard to read'. to put a normal english sentence into hyperbaton, i recommend that you simply think about the sentence for a moment, then think about what it would sound like if yoda said it, and then write that down.

3 comments:

lucius said...

Q. has the following in Book I (regarding barbarism, solecism, hyperbaton), raising, as it would seem, the question of a distinction betweem solecism "qua ordo turbatur'between solecism and hyperbaton:

XXXIV. Cetera vitia omnia ex pluribus vocibus sunt, quorum est soloecismus. Quamquam circa hoc quoque disputatum est; nam etiam qui complexu orationis accidere eum confitentur, quia tamen unius emendatione verbi corrigi possit, in verbo esse vitium, XXXV. non in sermone contendunt, cum, sive "amarae corticis" seu "medio cortice" per genus facit soloecismum (quorum neutrum quidem reprehendo, cum sit utriusque Vergilius auctor: sed fingamus utrumlibet non recte dictum), mutatio vocis alterius, in qua vitium erat, rectam loquendi rationem sit redditura, ut "amari corticis" fiat vel "media cortice". Quod manifestae calumniae est: neutrum enim vitiosum est separatum, sed compositione peccatur, quae iam sermonis est. XXXVI. Illud eruditius quaeritur, an in singulis quoque verbis possit fieri soloecismus, ut si unum quis ad se vocans dicat "venite", aut si pluris a se dimittens ita loquatur: "abi" aut "discede". Nec non cum responsum ab interrogante dissentit, ut si dicenti "quem video?" ita occurras: "ego". In gestu etiam nonnulli putant idem vitium inesse, cum aliud voce, aliud nutu vel manu demonstratur. XXXVII. huic opinioni neque omnino accedo neque plane dissentio; nam id fateor accidere voce una, non tamen aliter quam si sit aliquid, quod vim alterius vocis optineat, ad quod vox illa referatur: ut soloecismus ex complexu fiat eorum quibus res significantur et voluntas ostenditur. XXXVIII. Atque ut omnem effugiam cavillationem, sit aliquando in uno verbo, numquam in solo verbo. Per quot autem et quas accidat species, non satis convenit. Qui plenissime, quadripertitam volunt esse rationem nec aliam quam barbarismi, ut fiat adiectione "nam enim", "de susum", "in Alexandriam", detractione "ambulo viam", XXXIX. "Aegypto venio", "ne hoc fecit", transmutatione, qua ordo turbatur, "quoque ego", "enim hoc voluit", "autem non habuit": ex quo genere an sit "igitur" initio sermonis positum dubitari potest, quia maximos auctores in diversa fuisse opinione video, cum apud alios sit etiam frequens, apud alios numquam reperiatur. XL. Haec tria genera quidam diducunt a soloecismo, et adiectionis vitium pleonasmon, detractionis elleipsin, inversionis anastrophes vocant: quae si in speciem soloecismi cadat, hyperbaton quoque eodem appellari modo posse.

eric said...

very interesting bit of quintilian. it has been my understanding that hyperbaton is intentionally employed for rhetorical effect, while solecism is accidental and get belie a certain provinciality (as in augustine's case), which in turn might subject one to scorn.

lucius said...

Regarding Eric's remark: I think Q.'s point is that a solecism, involving an improper collocation of words such as the example of "quoque ego" or "enim hoc voluit", is not justifiable by calling it a hyperbaton. He writes in I.v about the three virtues of style:

Iam cum oratio tris habeat virtutes, ut emendata, ut dilucida, ut ornata sit (quia dicere apte, quod est praecipuum, plerique ornatui subiciunt), totidem vitia, quae sunt supra dictis contraria: emendate loquendi regulam, quae grammatices prior pars est, examinet.

So he starts with correct expression, clear expression, and ornament or adorment. These are the desideranda. But they have set against them their opposites.

Licet enim dicamus aliquod proprium speciosum sublime, nihil tamen horum nisi in complexu loquendi serieque contigit:laudamus enim verba rebus bene accommodata. Sola est quae notari possit velut vocalitas, quae euphonia dicitur; cuius in eo dilectus est ut inter duo quae idem significant ac tantundem valent quod melius sonet.

He then goes on to tell us that barbarism and solecism, are a 'foeditas' and are to be avoided. Regarding solecism proper, Q. admits qudrapertitam rationem: solecisms of addition, solecisms of omission, of transposition, and of substitution. The third variety, 'qua ordo turbatur', is the one which relates directly to the question of hyperbaton: "quoque ego" and the loke involve the misplacement of a postpositive and, in Q.'s view at least, would not be justifiable by the figure of hyperbaton. He goes on to mention alternate systems of classification which would tend to include hyperbaton under inversio.

Later on he apothegmizes the matter:

Est enim soloecismus in oratione comprensionis unius sequentium ac priorum inter inconveniens positio.

From this I would conclude that some inversiones are hyprbata, while others, because of a perceived or acknowledged inflexibility with regard to mutually understood standards of educated speech, will always be solecisms (at least until the languge evolves to a point at which such things are acknowledged.

Q.'s "Licet enim dicamus" is a case in point: an indicative after 'licet' would have been an unthinkable barbarism for him, but In Apuleius the indicative is in fact found.