Langage(s) et traduction
Edited By Sonia Berbinski
Points de vue rhétoriques sur l’ellipse dans l’Antiquité (I)
Abstract: Ellipsis, this particular case of the relationship between what is said and what is left implicit, is nowadays connected in linguistics with various phenomena such as: deletion, empty categories, fragments, implicatures, etc. This paper explores its situation in Antiquity, where it was counted as a mode of ambiguity, a type of argumentation, a stylistic defect, occasionally, as a figure… The analysis is confined to the field of rhetoric and concentrates on accounts of ellipsis as an instance of stylistic defect or as a figure, accounts which rely on an important construct: the framework of virtues and vices of style. Ellipsis as a defect is illustrated here by two points of view: that of Chrysippus (c. 280–c. 205), a famous Stoic philosopher, reported to have said that ellipsis should be permitted in the discourse of the orator, and that of Quintilian. The discussion of ellipsis as a figure is also based on Quintilian. The final section of our paper examines some echoes of these points of view in ancient rhetoric, and also in some subsequent grammarians and rhetoricians.
Keywords: ancient rhetoric, virtues and vices of style, schema, ellipsis
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