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II. Long syllables which are lighter in various degrees than the foregoing, and which are often shortened by the lambic Law,- in other words, unaccented long syllables, including the long penultimate syllables of conjunctions, prepositions, and pronouns. (For the frequent shortening of the latter, see Ahlberg, De corrept. iamb. 66 ff.) III. Short syllables of normal value. IV. Exceptionally short and rapid syllables, which have less than the value of one mora, including those which are diminished in value almost to the point of vanishing (syllabae brevibus breviores). This last class is of special importance for the purposes of the present study, and hence requires more detailed discussion.
Syllables of Diminishing Value. — In general, there are very many diminishing syllables in Plautus, some initial, some medial, and some final, which are at least as rapid and as fugitive as the final syllable of nempe. Thus Leo has shown (Forsch. 267 ff.) that the final syllables of enim, nimis, satis, magis, potis are exceptionally weak and very rarely placed under the metrical accent, cf. the monosyllabic forms sat, pot(e), mag(e); still earlier Schrader had shown in his wellknown study (De partic. -ne prosodia, 30 f.) that the final syllable of potin is never placed under the ictus, that of satin very rarely, and so on. Again, we may illustrate this weakness chiefly from medial syllables. The Plautine language possesses the doublets purigo and purgo, iurigo and iurgo, creduas and credas, mavolo and malo, spreverit and sprerit, audiverat and audierat, cognoverit and cognorit, face and fac, siet and sit, laudarier and laudari, dextera and dextra, periculum and periclum. We may freely admit that in Plautus these are, for the most part, actual doublets; yet it is evident that,
1 This list includes doublets of two kinds, first, those like iurigo and iurgo, cognoverit and cognorit, in which the shorter forms are actually derived from the longer ; and secondly, those like periculum and periclum, creduas and credas, siet and sit, laudarier and laudari, in which the two forms are independent of each other and possess a different origin. Only the first class of cases is strictly pertinent here, but, for convenience, I have enumerated as doublets all the related word-forms which were at the disposal of the poet. For an example of voverat actually written for vorat (Saturnian verse-close), see CIL. I, 541, 7, and cf. Havet, De Sat, 236.
shortly before this time and even during the whole Plautine period, such shortened forms as cognorim or purgo still retained very largely in actual speech the diminishing syllable (e.g. cognoverim), - a syllable having the value perhaps of one half or one fourth of a mora. Moreover, the usage of Terence shows that many of these weak syllables (especially when a long vowel preceded, cf. Spengel on Ad. 304; Schrader, l.1., 13 ff.) had diminished still further by his time; for Terence is here somewhat more strict than Plautus, and, in general, knows only the forms cognorim, malo, fac, laudari, etc.; in only one position in the verse does he admit the use of the long forms sprēverit, amāverat, face, siet, laudarier, dextera, perīculum, viz. in the verse-close, and it is evident that in this position he is strongly influenced by metrical convenience or necessity. In other words, so great is the demand in the final foot for iambic words and for words ending in an iambus that, in this place, the poet assigns, and the reader expects him to assign, the value of a full mora to syllables which are too short to be often counted at all elsewhere (for additional examples, see below, p. 179). This license is justified, however, by the fact that it rests upon a metrical convention which is thoroughly well known to the reader, and it is possibly also somewhat relieved by the further fact that all quantities, both long and short, tend to be heard more distinctly in the verse-close than elsewhere (cf. in part, Cic. de Or. iii, 50, 192).3
The ancient rhythmical theory of extraordinary short and fugitive syllables applies of course equally well to the verse of other than the classical nations. Thus, in our English accentual poetry we often find the light second vowel suppressed in such dissyllables as never (written also nev'r), seven (sev'n), heaven, power, etc., and in Shakespere also in jewel, being, seeing, playing, cf. also trav(e)lled, rememb(e pred, threat(e)ned (Abbott, Shakespearian Gramm., § 470); conversely, Shakespere sometimes pronounced as dissyllables some of our present monosyllabic words, such as fire (written also fier), dear, fear, hour (ib., § 480). A close parallel to the Terentian usage of měő, amavěrat, periculum is afforded by the termination -tion, which is rarely dissyllabic in the middle of a line, but is frequently so treated at the end of a line (ib., § 479), e.g.: That shall make answer to such questions.
1 Cf. Engelbrecht, Stud. Terent. 76 ff. ; Stange, De archaismis Terent. 33 f.; Lindsay, Class. Rev. VI, 87 ff.; Brock, ff.
2 Cf. Lindsay, Class. Rev. VI, 89: “In other words, Plautus tends to treat the use of the expanded forms (periculum, poculum, etc.) as a license, only to be resorted to in cases of metrical necessity.”
8 Cf. Ramain, Études sur les Groupes de Mots, Paris, 1904, p. 202: "Les doubles formes, lexicologiques ou prosodiques, ne sont pas usitées indifféremment: c'est ainsi que evenat, siet, füerit sont reservées exclusivement pour le dernier pied.” Cf. also Exon, Hermathena, XIII, 568.
2 Hen. VI, i, 2, 80. These three lead on this preparation.
Cor., i, 2, 15
Ant., iii, 4, 26. Compare also the negligible syllables in the following lines from Hamlet :
Ay, thou poor ghost, while mem(o)ry holds a seat, i, 5, 96; And leads the will to desp(e)rate undertakings, ii, 1, 104; Remorseless, treach(e)rous, lech(e)rous, kindless villain, ii, 2, 609; The undiscov(e)red country from whose bourn, iii, 1, 79; And with the incorporal air do hold discourse, iii, 4, 118.
Synizesis. — Apart from the phenomena of elision, the most perfect illustration of the occurrence of negligible syllables in O. Lat. is afforded by those cases in which two contiguous vowels, belonging to different syllables, are pronounced in immediate succession either in the same word, or in case of elision, in two different words, e.g. meõ, meam īxorem. Quite similar are the cases where the two vowels belong to differ
1 The second case is of course usually termed synaloepha (so-called elision), but it would be a faulty and pedantic analysis that would admit in the present case any difference of principle between the two examples cited above; see below, pp. 178, 202 f. Besides, the best authorities, both ancient and modern, do not attempt to distinguish sharply between synisesis and synaloepha; cf. Hephaestion, p. 10 W; Scholia A, p. 120 W.; L. Müller, R.M.2 279 ff.
ent and originally independent parts of a compound, as in coèrce, coēmisse, coêgi, deôsculer, dehortari, prehendo, etc. (cf. Klotz, Grundz. 140; C. F. W. Müller, Pl. Pros. 451 ff.?). These phenomena are usually grouped under the name of synizesis, but as I have already pointed out (p. 159), the use of this name cannot be considered fortunate. To classical scholars the term 'synizesis’ is chiefly associated with certain poetical artifices, certain metrical licenses, which dactylic poets like Homer and Vergil have freely used in order to adapt words of a difficult kind — especially cretic words like vautéw or aurcis — to the exigencies of the hexameter verse, and, although the ancients sometimes defined the term naturally and scientifically -- as, for example, Scholia A upon Hephaestion, p. 119 W., where it is implied that, in Aoi for Deol, the e is naturally so weak as to be scarcely audible yet the artificial sense has always predominated in the use of the term; cf. Christ, Metr.? 28, § 37.2 Hence there can be little ground for wonder that so conscientious a student of Plautus as C. F. W. Müller has put it on record (Pl. Pros. 456, n. 1) that he considered all Roman synizesis artificial and of Greek origin, and there can be little doubt that he was largely led by this view of the subject to substitute iambic shortening as an explanation for all supposed cases of synizesis in Plautus. Before we undertake, then, to prove the reality of Plautine synizesis or to explain its laws, we must clearly differentiate this synizesis of the living speech and of the preferred rhythm from certain other phenomena which possess a wholly different character, and owe their origin to a widely different line of development.
A. The phenomena which we propose to discuss are quite different from the synizesis of Greek origin (Synizesis Grae
1 Here, as in every other part of the present subject, authorities differ about the proper name for the phenomena. C. F. W. Müller, for example, rejects the term 'synizesis,' and compares the method of procedure to elision between independent words.
2 In the passage of Scholia A cited above, the natural and artificial elements are strangely mixed, eg. Tås ka kouet plas aparpel Tŵv otixwv (artificial) ... δισύλλαβον υποκλέψασα (natural) διά τήν χρείαν (artificial). και γέγονε θοι Tpórov Tivá (natural).
canica, L. Müller, R.M.2 283, 325 ff.), which was first introduced by Catullus and his contemporaries into Roman epic poetry, and which may best be illustrated by the familiar Vergilian examples aureis (Aen. i, 726), alveõ (ib., vi, 412), Eurystheò (ib., viii, 292). I may point out just here, by way of anticipation, one important and striking difference which exists between Vergilian and O. Lat. synizesis. The latter is chiefly connected with the weakening of an initial syllable in words which begin with an iambus, e.g. (e)os, (e)amus, t(u)ām-rem (but cf. èxěámus, aúreò), while the former assumes the weakening of a medial syllable in polysyllabic words, e.g. aureo. This treatment of the initial syllable of iambic words in O. Lat. is probably to be explained on the wellknown principle of the preferred rhythm of a language; in other words, the ear of the Roman people originally preferred the fierce energy (yopyótns) of the trochaic rhythm to the comparative tameness of the iambic movement, and this national preference for the trochaic rhythm made itself felt in word-forms, wherever the conditions were otherwise favorable, as in (e)ámus, èxěámus, ádfült, aúrčò, etc. Greek synizesis, on the other hand, although doing no actual violence to this principle, does nothing to promote it, and hence stands in no close relation to distinctive Roman tendencies or the cadences of Roman speech. Yet widely as the Greek and the Roman forms of synizesis differ in these respects, they are both subject at certain points to the same limitations (see
B. The phenomena which we discuss are wholly different in character from the treatment of vowel i and vowel u as consonant i and consonant u respectively, in such a way as to make the preceding short syllable long by position, e.g. āvyum (Enn. Ann. 91 M.), insidyantes (ib., 443 M.), ābyete (Verg. Aen. ii, 16), tēnvia (id., Geor. ii, 121), consily[um] (Hor. C. iii, 4, 41); for other examples, see L. Müller, R.M.2 299 ff.; Christ, Metr.32. According to L. Müller (l.l., 283, 301), this hardening of i and u is confined to epic and lyric poetry, where it is due almost wholly to metrical necessity (extrema necessitate), and its use was never admitted in Latin iambic