Internal

‘Sorry!’

This project will examine linguistic patterns and strategies of apologies (and related phenomena) in the textual corpus of the Roman playwright Terence.

Department: Classics, Humanities

Supervised by: Dr Peter Kruschwitz

The Placement Project

Excuse me, you would not be interested in this placement by any chance, would you? Great, then by all means do apply for the placement! But just why did it seem appropriate to introduce a sentiment like this with ‘excuse me’: was it just attention-grabbing, or rather a matter of politeness, or are there even more reasons one could think of? Why do we apologise at all, and when? Does it matter to whom we are apologising, and does the design of the linguistic form depend on this? A thriving branch of current Latin (socio)linguistic research investigates forms of politeness in Latin. However, one area that has been strangely neglected so far is the whole area of apologies. Using the example of Terence, Rome’s most successful comic playwright of the 2nd century B. C., this project aims at publishing a substantial case study of ancient forms of apologies, embedding this in current ancient and modern linguistic discourse. The (pseudo-)orality of this textual corpus, combined with the fact that Terence was at all times regarded as a model writer of Latin, make this textual corpus seem particularly appropriate for a close examination. The project is a new, stand-alone project under the umbrella of Reading’s Language, Text, and Power research initiative (for further details please refer to http://www.languagetextpower.tk) and builds on the PI’s longstanding interest (and publication record) in Terence. It will allow the successful candidate to engage in a distinct, cutting-edge research project, from its earliest stages to preparation for publication.

Tasks

The successful candidate will familiarise himself/herself with the textual corpus of Terence (1 week), identify relevant passages for this project (1.5 weeks), perform additional, thematic word searches within this textual corpus (0.5 weeks), and participate in organising and interpreting the material (3 weeks), with the aim of publishing a consistent article, presenting a strong case (outcome of this placement).

Skills, knowledge and experience required

The successful candidate will have Latin A levels and/or completed Latin 2 (CL2L2) or higher. Bibliographical and IT skills are mandatory. An already existing interest in Roman comedy and/or Latin linguistics is desirable, but not essential.

Skills which will be developed during the placement

The successful candidate will have Latin A levels and/or completed Latin 2 (CL2L2) or higher. Bibliographical and IT skills are mandatory. An already existing interest in Roman comedy and/or Latin linguistics is desirable, but not essential.

Place of Work

Office space and PC access will be provided.

Hours of Work

Office hours.

Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Unknown - Tuesday 08 June 2010

How to Apply

Suitable candidates should send their CV and a covering letter to p.kruschwitz@reading.ac.uk .


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