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2165. Two or more sentences (or words) independent in form and thought, but juxtaposed, i.e. coördinated without any connective, are asyndetic (from ἀσύνδετον not bound together), and such absence of connectives is called asyndeton.

a. The absence of connectives in a language so rich in means of coördination as is Greek is more striking than in other languages. Grammatical asyndeton cannot always be separated from rhetorical asyndeton. Grammatical asyndeton is the absence of a conjunction where a connective might have been used without marked influence on the character of the thought; as especially in explanatory sentences (often after a preparatory word, usually a demonstrative) which take up the matter just introduced; also where, in place of a conjunction, a resumptive word, such as οὗτος, τοιοῦτος, τοσοῦτος, ἐνταῦθα, οὕτω, etc., is employed. Rhetorical asyndeton is the absence of a conjunction where the following sentence contains a distinct advance in the thought and not a mere formal explanation appended to the foregoing sentence. Rhetorical asyndeton generally expresses emotion of some sort, and is the mark of liveliness, rapidity, passion, or impressiveness, of thought, each idea being set forth separately and distinctly. Thus, οὐκ ἀσεβής; οὐκ ὠμός; οὐκ ἀκάθαρτος; οὐ συ_κοφάντης; is he not impious? is he not brutal? is he not impure? is he not a pettifogger? D. 25.63.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.1.5
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