The author critically examines “Greek. A History of the Language and Its Speakers” by G. Horrocks; she shows the noteworthy additions and improvements of the second edition, but makes also clear that the main content of the first edition has not changed. Readers should be aware that the volume is not a handbook; to appreciate it, a basic knowledge of Greek and of general linguistics is required. The reviewer emphasizes Horrocks' intention to offer an ambitious book that goes beyond the pattern of most language histories, and that he aims to look «at the Greek language in all its varieties, and in the context of the changing social and historical circumstances of its speakers / writers (p. 4)». This well-documented survey of more than three thousand years of language history is inspired by a desire to explain the development of the Greek language in its entirety, and to explore the logic of its conservative features. Horrocks invites his readers to keep in mind how crucial, in the history of a language, is the emergence of a true classical canon. He likewise underscores the fossilizing effect – on orthography, grammar and vocabulary – of the exceptionally early emergence (5th-4th centuries BC) of such a canon in Greek. Many grammatical and stylistic topics are illustrated by carefully selected texts. The reviewer points out that the proposed interlinear 'verbum de verbo' English translation is arguably a sound approach to translation in such a scholarly book. But this remark, and other critical comments about specific points do not reduce the value of Horrocks' impressive achievement.

recensione a: Geoffrey C. Horrocks, Greek: A History of the Language and Its Speakers. Second Edition. Chichester/Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

FARAGGIANA DI SARZANA, CHIARA FRANCESCA
2011

Abstract

The author critically examines “Greek. A History of the Language and Its Speakers” by G. Horrocks; she shows the noteworthy additions and improvements of the second edition, but makes also clear that the main content of the first edition has not changed. Readers should be aware that the volume is not a handbook; to appreciate it, a basic knowledge of Greek and of general linguistics is required. The reviewer emphasizes Horrocks' intention to offer an ambitious book that goes beyond the pattern of most language histories, and that he aims to look «at the Greek language in all its varieties, and in the context of the changing social and historical circumstances of its speakers / writers (p. 4)». This well-documented survey of more than three thousand years of language history is inspired by a desire to explain the development of the Greek language in its entirety, and to explore the logic of its conservative features. Horrocks invites his readers to keep in mind how crucial, in the history of a language, is the emergence of a true classical canon. He likewise underscores the fossilizing effect – on orthography, grammar and vocabulary – of the exceptionally early emergence (5th-4th centuries BC) of such a canon in Greek. Many grammatical and stylistic topics are illustrated by carefully selected texts. The reviewer points out that the proposed interlinear 'verbum de verbo' English translation is arguably a sound approach to translation in such a scholarly book. But this remark, and other critical comments about specific points do not reduce the value of Horrocks' impressive achievement.
BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW
C. Faraggiana di Sarzana
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/105020
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