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The Politeness of Achilles: Off-Record Conversation Strategies in Homer and the Meaning of "Kertomia"

Michael Lloyd
The Journal of Hellenic Studies
Vol. 124 (2004), pp. 75-89
DOI: 10.2307/3246151
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3246151
Page Count: 15
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The Politeness of Achilles: Off-Record Conversation Strategies in Homer and the Meaning of "Kertomia"
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Abstract

This article examines social interaction in Homer in the light of modern conversation analysis, especially Grice's theory of conversational implicature. Some notoriously problematic utterances are explained in terms of their 'off-record' significance. One particular off-record conversation strategy is characterized by Homer as kertomia, and this is discussed in detail. The article focusses on social problems at the end of Achilles' meeting with Priam in Iliad 24, and in particular on the much-discussed word ἐπικερτομέων (24.649).

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