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Doing things with words on stage. Pragmatics and its use in ancient drama - 04-05-06-07/07/2018, Zur


The Greek word hypokritês and its English counterpart actor, taken together, describe well the active nature of speech in language generally and drama in particular: the characters on stage (and the actors for them) fight and strike deals, they humiliate and elevate—both each other and themselves—, they conceive plans and implement their intrigues, often through words alone. Moreover, by speaking they convey to the audience an idea of their characters, their concerns, and their relations. The study of language in its context-specific use and the analysis of conversation grant access to this dimension of the dramatic text; they permit going beyond the level of what is said and giving relevance of the ways in which it is said.

This conference will explore the pragmatic dimension of Greek and Latin dramatic texts, its use for literary interpretation, and the way it is reflected upon. Its aim is to define the current state of the field, identify future directions of research, and measure the potential of the contribution that pragmatic analysis can bring to the study of ancient drama. We also welcome papers that offer a comparative perspective with modern drama.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 04-05-06-07/07/2018

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Seminar für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie, University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Federica Iurescia ; Severin Hof ; Gunther Martin ; Giada Sorrentino



PROGRAMA/PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA: Disponible también en PDF/Also available in PDF/Anche disponibile in PDF

Wednesday 4th July

Room RAA-E-30, Rämistrasse 59

14.30-14.45 Welcome Address


Dr. Evert van Emde Boas (Oxford) “Mind style in Greek tragedy: pragmatics as the key to characterisation”

Dr. Giada Sorrentino (Freiburg i. B.) “Kommunikation und Charakterisierung in der Iphigenie in Aulis”

Dr. Laura Gianvittorio (Wien) “Performative narratives in early tragedy”

Room RAA-G-001, Rämistrasse 59

18.30 Keynote Speaker Lecture

Prof. Dr. Luigi Battezzato (Vercelli/Pisa) “The Politeness of Oedipus”

Thursday 5th July

Room RAA-E-30, Rämistrasse 59


PD Dr. Carlo Scardino (Düsseldorf) “Euripides: Von der Rhetorik zur Pragmatik”

Prof. Dr. Renata Raccanelli (Verona) “Appunti per una pragmatica della comunicazione comica in Plauto”

10.30-11.00 Coffee Break


Dr. Annemieke Drummen (Heidelberg) “Turn-taking in Ancient Greek drama: linguistic forms and pragmatic goals”

Severin Hof (Zürich) “Dialogische Syntax im Prolog des sophokleischen Ajax”

12.30-14.00 Lunch Break


Sandra Piedrabuena (Sevilla) “Terms of address on right periphery in Greek Tragedy”

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Eigler (Zürich) “ A-parte-Szenen in der römischen Komödie”

15.30-16.00 Coffee Break


Prof. Dr. Licinia Ricottilli (Verona) “Gesto e parola nelle commedie di Terenzio: alcuni spunti”

Dr. Evita Calabrese (Verona) “La pragmatica della gestualità nella tragedia di Seneca”/“The pragmatics of gestures in Senecan drama”

Dr. Matteo Capponi (Lausanne) “Doing Things without Words on Stage. Quelques scènes tragiques où geste et parole ne coïncident pas.”

Friday 6th July

Room RAA-E-30, Rämistrasse 59


Dr. Lavinia Scolari (Palermo) “Pragmatica della fraus. Codifica e decodifica della simulatio nelle tragedie di Seneca”

Prof. Dr. Luis Unceta Gómez (Madrid) “The Politics of Manipulation. Politeness and Insincerity in the language of Parasites and Courtesans in Plautus’ comedies”

10.30-11.00 Coffee Break


Marco Catrambone (Pisa) “Manipulating agreement in tragic dialogue”

Dr. Camille Semenzato (Zürich) “Pentheus und Dionysos in den Bakchen: die Grenzen des klaren Dialogs”

12.30-14.00 Lunch Break


Prof. Dr. Michael Lloyd (Dublin) “Politeness and impoliteness in Aristophanes”

Prof. Dr. Peter Barrios-Lech (Boston) “Developments in Politeness from Aristophanes to Menander”

Dr. Łukasz Berger (Poznán) “Face-work in the advice discourse in Plautus and Terence”

16.15-16.45 Coffee Break


Vanessa Zetzmann (Würzburg) “Failing Speech Acts and Silence in Greek Tragedy”

Dr. Smaro Nikolaidou-Arabatzi (Komotini/Thrace) “Doing things without words on stage. The technique of silence in Greek tragedy”

Saturday 7th July

Room RAA-E-30, Rämistrasse 59


Dr. Rutger Allan (Amsterdam) “Negotiating common ground in dramatic dialogue. The role of particles”

Prof. Dr. Anna Bonifazi (Köln) “Appearance, identity, rank, emotion: The cognitive-pragmatic relevance of using (e)keinos and autos in tragedy”

Dr. Luuk Huitink (Leiden) "CHORUS: What? for I know not yet what you will say. ALCMAEON: Nor will you ever, if you interrupt." The Limit of Pragmatics and the Art of Tragedy

12.15 Closing Remarks

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