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Pragmatics of Archaic Greek Literature

Final Activity Report Summary - PRAGL (Pragmatics of Archaic Greek Literature)

PRAGL was an interdisciplinary project that was very successfully carried out throughout the outgoing as well as the returning phase of the fellowship. The basic aim was to apply principles, theoretical models and frameworks form pragmatics, in combination with elements from sociolinguistics, cognitive psychology and anthropology, to the textual analyses of different ancient Greek literary pieces.

The basic scientific achievement was the production of innovative views and readings that were proposed in several conferences and scientific meetings and were collected in a monograph. The main subject of the analyses was the Homeric poems, of about 28 000 lines, which represented the crucial starting point for not only ancient Greek literature, but also for any grammar of ancient Greek language. The initial presupposition on the relevance of different pragmatic aspects, such as the speaker's communicative intentions and the contribution of the context of the utterances, led the fellow to identify a number of linguistic features whose functions and meanings could not only be enriched, but even redefined. The linguistic features which were mostly analysed were different kinds of third person pronouns and particles.

The research and the results related to the project provided fresh theoretical impulse and strong evidence concerning the discourse functions and the pragmatic meanings of the words in question and were much beyond the initial expectations. The selected approach revealed that a considerable amount of further work could potentially be done on the chosen corpus in the future. In this sense, the project laid the foundations for an overall alternative perspective within which to read any sentence of early Greek poetry.