Het modern taalkundig concept van de intonatie-eenheid in de Laat Middeleeuws Griekse πολιτικος στιχος poëzie



In this article, I hope to strengthen the case that the study of so-called dead languages can
benefit from modern linguistic theory. More concretely, I show that we can apply the
modem linguistic concept of the intonation unit, which is a theoretical notion fully developed
on the basis of contemporary spoken (!) languages, to the Late Medieval Greek
πολιτικος στιχος poetry (12th - 15th century). This type of poetry is conceptually made up
of short, simple, "chunks" of information. More precisely, each verse consists of two
(stylized) intonation units, demarcated by the fixed caesura, which can thus be equated
with an Intonation Unit boundary. This thesis is supported by various arguments, both of
a metrical (e.g. avoidance of elision) and of a syntactico-semantic nature (e.g. position of
the P2 particles).