Par-MEN-ides or Parmen-I-des: A Controversy Not Limited to the Letter

  • Marko Marinčič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
Keywords: classical names, stress placement


The languages which adopted Greek words and names directly or indirectly through Latin tend to place the word stress according to Latin rules. While this principle has a number of exceptions even in Italian, it has been established as a norm (lex Perrottae) for doublets, at least in academic circles. In literary translations, by contrast, Greek names often display the Greek stress, not just for metrical reasons but rather as a deliberate choice, aiming at an evocative, commemorative reproduction of the name with its original sound. Examples are found as early as the Roman epic poet Ennius. The dilemma thus transcends mere orthography. In terms of the speech act theory, the – unmarked – Latin stress may be linked to denotative use, and the Greek one to performative, ‘ritual’ use. The paper argues that for everyday, ‘vernacular’ usage, the Latin stress is the only sensible and historically established choice, while literary translation requires more freedom.


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How to Cite
Marinčič, Marko. 2016. “Par-MEN-Ides or Parmen-I-Des: A Controversy Not Limited to the Letter”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 18 (1), 87-96.