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Aspectual Differences And Narrative Technique: Xenophon's Hellenica & Agesilaus

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Chapter Summary

In the case of modern languages, linguists have the possibility of producing two texts that differ in aspectual forms only, and of asking a native speaker how he experiences the two texts. In the case of a dead language such as Ancient Greek, one cannot consult a native speaker, but one has parallel passages in Xenophon’s Hellenica and Agesilaus that in some cases show differences in the aspectual choice of their verbal constituents, while the exact same real-world situation is being described. Neither in the discussion of Ancient Greek aspect, nor in discourse-centered linguistics have these passages received full consideration. In this paper, the author presents a treatment of these parallel passages in terms of discourse organization and narrative technique.

Keywords: Agesilaus; Ancient Greek; aspectual differences; Hellenica; narrative technique; Xenophon



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