Jonathan Robie wrote:... I think the most promising development is that people are beginning to modestly collaborate across what had been silos in the past. For instance, the communicative people, ESL folks, and computer geeks are starting to talk. Maybe in 10 years ..
A grassroots movement. The best kind in many ways. Work by Paul, Louis, and others, along with the B-Greek forum is a great encouragement.
Jonathan Robie wrote: I think most of us haven't been exposed to materials that would adequately teach how word order is used in English or German, much less Koine Greek, especially in conjunction with literary and discourse analysis. This is a fairly advanced topic. I doubt that it will be the first for which there are adequate materials. And it's hard to be sure about conclusions in papers that look at just one passage at a time or a bunch of sentences without much context, especially in forms of Greek I can't read easily. Classicists have a real advantage here ... but Koine Greek seems to be a little different in its use of word order than earlier Greek.
At an elementary level, English does not present a real difficulty with word order. With respect to word order (only) I can become quite fluent in English at a basic level by following a simple ‘hard-wired’ SVO order along with a few easily managed and predictable exceptions. To be sure, “Full fathom five thy father lies…” or “Then saith he to me …” will take some time, but the learner can get up and running with SVO, special consideration for interrogatives, and very few additional rules.
I have been reading through Athenaze
, and would really like to see something like that produced with more Biblical vocabulary and Biblical themes and background as the context.
Jonathan Robie wrote: Let me try a few hypotheses that others can feel free to poke holes in, verify or discredit with examples, etc.
• In most clauses, S is implicit. In any clause with an explicit S, that S is marked.
• SVO and VSO are both quite common in Koine Greek, some writers prefer one over the other, but neither seems to be particularly marked
• Moving O before V seems to be marked.
• Moving O before an explicit S is interesting, I suppose that means both O and S are marked? I'm not sure how to think about that.
• Phrases are much more fixed in their word order than clauses. Departures from standard phrase word order are likely to be particularly marked.
• A marked component may indicate a variety of things - emphasis, topic, focus - and you have to read in context to see why a component is marked. This isn't a matter of mathematical computation, and you should be careful not to overreach when interpreting word order. Interpretation is often subjective.
How much of that is true?
Great start, Jonathan. I hope we can also develop a simple entry level list of obvious ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. I will gather a few together to get it started.