Some remarks on the use of nisi and nisi quando in curse texts from Britannia

Název česky Několik poznámek k užítí nisi a nisi quando v textech proklínacích tabulek z Británie


Rok publikování 2023
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis As is well known, the Latin curse tablets illustrate some linguistic peculiarities that are tied to the genre they belong to. They exhibit a highly formulaic and, to a certain extent, also artificial linguistic variety. The language of most of the epigraphic documents we possess includes certain habitual formulations repeating themselves, which are typical of certain types of inscriptions, this applies even more in curse tablets whose texts are, however, often formulated according to their own rules, which consider the magical ritual itself, and are focused on the supposed effect of the curse. One of the special features that occur exclusively in curse texts from Britannia, is the combination of a conditional clause with a temporal one, when expressing time data. In the case of prayers of justice, the writer often wants the guilty party to be punished and the stolen items to be returned to the owner. This is usually coupled with restrictions to last until the wish is granted, and mostly expressed by variations of the formula meaning “until”, which refer to the lasting of a restriction for the wrongdoer - i.e., the restriction lasts until the thief returns the stolen item. In the texts coming from Britannia, a modification of this formula appears using ante and nisi. Apart from the usual connotations of the conjunction nisi “if not, unless” (condition) and non nisi “except” (false concessive clause), nisi has another semantic nuance here – it combines a conditional meaning with a temporal one: instead of the expected construction ante ... quam, the complex non ante ... nisi (quando) occurs.
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