A Poetic Meditation on English Spelling Rules and Reform For Two Contrasting Voices—Eysp L. Kore-Eckly SpecGram Vol CLV, No 3 Contents Grammars in Contrast Series Series—Series of Series Announcement from Psammeticus Press

From an Optimal and Theoretical, Pluri- and Interdisciplinary As Well As Transversal Perspective2,3

D. Argyropoulou
UTM and UHD4

1st act, 1st scene
Antigone: Ismene, my sister, my dearest, our brother is dead and unburied shall he lie, for Kreon hath set forth and ranked highest this constraint which declares *burial.5 But, nay, I cannot comply with that hierarchy.
Ismene: My dear, my beloved sister! Thou wouldst bury him and violate that highest-ranking constraint! Oy veh! Knowest thou not that thou riskest being *! ?

2nd scene
Kreon: Thus is the spirit of my theorising: [πατριώτης] shall be the feature which shall prevail in our city of Thebes. And it shall be proclaimed to all dwellers within the walls of noble Thebeswhere I govern and bind and licence as pleaseth methat its unmarked value is positive. Whoso containeth in his (or her) heart and soul [-πατριώτης] will fall subject to *burial, for thus explanatory adequacy may be obtained. I won’t licence a single case of violation, let alone multiple cases!

3rd scene
Messenger: My liege! Despite all rankings, all hierarchies, there hath been violation of thy royal constraint.
Kreon: What sayest thou? Alas! I fear that I might lose my hitherto strict and unquestioned domination over all possible candidates that could have done the deed.

2nd act, 1st scene
Kreon: Thou hast been seen violating my royal constraint,6 however opaque was the night. Tell me thou! Knewest thou that *burial is ranking highest?
Antigone: I knew it, how could I help it? It was transparent.
Kreon: Still thou wast not Faithful to the constraint. Why couldst thou not align with other Thebans?
Antigone: Thou rankedst thy constraint locally, in this town, only. But in UG7,8 ’tis different, and faithfulness to kinsfolk is required.
Kreon: ’Tis determined, then, that she shall pass to the world of the dead.

2nd scene
Ismene: If thou art broyges with her, then I shall share her sort, for we are of the same ancestor node!9
Antigone: Nay, my sister, I will not suffer thee to do that.

3rd act, 1st scene
Kreon: Lo, Haimon, my son! Thou canst not possibly be sympathetic with the maid,10 for thee knowest that if there was licensing of her misdeed, then I could not govern here,11 and therefore12 nor couldst thou, some day in the future of Derivational History. Nay, do not thou think too much of her, since she was no optimal candidate for thou, and no less shouldst thou require of thy future spouse. Antigone shall perish, be counterfed to death.

2nd & 3rd scene
Antigone: (wandering among syntactic trees13) [ɑ:::x]! Here I am, proceeding toward the realm of silence. My fate hath doomed me. The world of empty elements is calling me... welcoming a new null-subject... And I shall leave no trace behind me... (Final Devoicing sets in)

4th act, 1st scene
(In which a group of old men communicate with tAntigone, but they use telepathy,14,15 so if you don’t already know what they’re saying, you’ll never know.)
Old men: - - - - - - - ------!
tAntigone: ----!!!!------.....-----?!---- - ---- - (----)!

2nd scene
The first coming of the prophet Tiresias.16
Teirésias (the great old master of zeromancy,17,18 who had the annoying habit of expressing himself in French19 to make himself sound more mysterious, pronounces the following words, famously not fully understood by Kreon, whose French was rather rudimentary): Ô Kréôn, fils de Ménoikeus, songe à ceci: Un mort peut en cacher un autre!

3rd scene
Chorus: Thou heardest the dread prophecy! Grant the maiden the delayed release! Bury Polyneikes!

- - - ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΕΤΑΙ - - -

Next time: Kreon buries Polyneikes, but Antigone and Haimon kill themselves20 in a dramatic scene.21 Eurydiki, Haimon’s mother, is told what happens, but leaves without saying a word22 and later kills herself, too.


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1 This adaptation of the well-known drama by Sophocles was completed in a Classics department library (Smith 2008) and is based on randomly selected translations of the play in various and varying languages, though none of them were actually Ancient Greek.

The author apologises to any classicists whose feelings she may have hurt by studying this venerable text (cf. Utrolig et al. 2004; for a different view see Vennenmin 2004). Don’t venture into linguistic journals if you can’t grasp the concept of humour. On this concept see Raskin 1985, the contributions in Ruch 2007, Attardo 1994, Gruner 1997 and Lowe 1986; see also Plakas et al. 2005. On a completely unrelated topic, see Mentis, et al. 1995. To any unsuspecting readers, the author also would like to point out that this text’s structure has a mimetic function at the meta-representational level of the academic discourse. She acknowledges that you couldn’t have noticed it, unless you knew it was there. This is, of course, Plato’s problem, not mine.
2 These adjectives are compatible with one another.
3 Optimality Theory or OT, as it is known, had long been thought to have originated in 1993 (Prince and Smolensky 1993). Not so recent findings by Dresher 1996 however suggest that it is substantially older.
4 The latter is an Excellent Elites Clustering University.
5 On burial practices see Bendann 2003, Carr 1995.
6 Howbeit, for the reasonable suggestion that the body had in fact been accidentally covered by sand blown upon it by the strong wind mentioned in the original version of the play, cf. Greeley, Blumberg, Williams 1996, Bullard 1997.
7 U(nder)G(round), where the some of the Greek gods are underlying.
8 Hale and Reiss 1995.
9 On the resemblance of nodes in family trees to Gordian knots, see Rimmer 2006, Kafebathartukodut and Gureherriapolitada 2004.
10 For a similar view see Idsardi 1997.
11 Füle & Svetgevári forthcoming, as cited in Racz 2008.
12 Transitivity.
13 Or rather what remains of the syntactic forest after a particularly hot summer; see note 22. Needless to say that the remainders of the charred syntactic trees directly and mimetically reflect the atmosphere (in its concrete as well as metaphorical sense) of the scene and the state of mind (not the theory of mind) of the protagonist.
14 They do so because Final Devoicing has already taken place in the previous act. Alternatively, they could have resorted to Ancient Greek Sign Language. Little is known, however, of this language (see the little we know in Edwards 1997). It is unlikely that we’ll ever know much more about AGSL.
15 Telepathy does not work (Brassard et al. 2005, Warcollier and Gridley 2006; a slightly different, though a bit delusional view is taken by Meerloo 1949). Or so it has been claimed by most phoneticians (who would obviously lose their job, if it did work). See also the fruit of unsuccessful communication in the 5th act.
16 His first coming in the play, of course. It was actually his 42nd coming to King Kreon, including those when he came around for a drink, but Kreon had gone out.
17 The term ‘zeromancy’ does not denote, as Garcia 1990 purports, a prediction of the future based on the alignment of empty categories at birth, but rather a prediction of somebody’s destiny or fatum or whatever based on the number of zeros in the acoustics of his or her name. Antigone, for example, has two nasals in her name (and nasals are known to have zeros in their transfer functions (Evens 1998)), so she is doubly doomed.
18 ‘Zeromancy’, just like ‘accentogenèse’, does not only sound barbarian, but the former just like the latter are indeed the product of tinkering around with genetic modifications in language trees and are therefore rightly called a monstrosity.
19 To any historical linguists or other diachronically minded people who come up with the objection that Ancient Greek is older than French, the author would like to point out that the homme de Tautavel existed before the Greek came to Greece (Lumley 1979, Yokoyama and Nguyen 1981, Yokoyama et al. 1982). The author does not want anyone to question the idea of prehistorical Frenchness (on the topic of Frenchness, see Kidd 2000, Le Hir 1997); specifically, she doesn’t want any Catalans or Occitans to point out that the toponym isn’t even French. She knows that.
20 Not “[Antigone and Haimon]i kill *themi”.
21 The ‘Romeo and Juliet’ motive. Claims that the Shakespearian play couldn’t possibly have influenced Sophocles ignore basic knowledge about disturbances in the space-time continuum (Adams 1982) and could only have been put forward by literary scholars with no degree in astrophysics. Indeed, the recent discovery of a fragment of a Shakespearian play written on a papyrus alongside a basic recipe for baklavas, dating from around the year 3300 (in the Jewish tradition), confirms this hypothesis (Sûr & Certain 2007). Still more recent scholarship has even ventured on the idea that most of Shakespeare’s historical plays are actually based on interviews with the protagonists (Portokali forthcoming). The French have long ago recognised this important aspect of mutual influence across the lifespan of humankind and accordingly incorporated French Literature studies into their Classics curriculum.
22 Many have wondered why she didn’t say anything here. Readers should be reminded that syntactic trees regularly burn down during hot summers in this part of Greece (see last year’s devastation of the Parnitha, cf. also Dasos et al. 1989, 1991, 1996 and Pefkou and Dasos 1996) and not everyone has therefore access to the little stock that remains.

A Poetic Meditation on English Spelling Rules and Reform For Two Contrasting Voices—Eysp L. Kore-Eckly
Grammars in Contrast Series Series—Series of Series Announcement from Psammeticus Press
SpecGram Vol CLV, No 3 Contents