Evidence for the influence of Atticist lexica on non-literary papyri of the first three centuries CE
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 01:00 authored by Emmanuel Roumanis
This study applies select lexical dicta of the Atticist lexicographer Phrynichus to the non-literary papyrological evidence of the first three centuries CE. I analyse the data gathered from this exercise to determine how far Atticistic usages (approved forms) penetrated the lexical choice of writers of non-literary papyri, and to ascertain the reliability of innovative words (condemned forms) in the same documents as evidence for linguistic change—either beginning or spreading from the spoken language. Additional documentary and literary comparanda are utilised to provide a fuller picture of the process of lexical change wherever the papyrological material is lacking or inadequate. The theoretical issues surrounding the notions of the spoken and written languages are examined, with a particular emphasis on the register category of non-literary papyri. In order to approach more closely the hypothetical construct of the Koine vernacular, the proscriptions of Phrynichus are treated as evidence of lexical innovations that were more widespread in speech than in writing. These innovations, which according to the evidence we have at hand, were slow and gradual, could not more quickly manifest themselves in writing on account of the archaising tendencies arising from the Atticistic movement.