Rank shifting

serunge
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by serunge » March 20th, 2015, 12:22 pm

SFL's description of rank-shifting has the strength of capturing the structural changes that occur to create this phenomenon, whereas grammars might simply consider it a complex or substitute form. It is an elegant description of the structure. However, observing that rankshift has occurred (e.g. an NP or a clause are used in lieu of an adjective) may obscure rather than help matters. Rank shifting would only seem meaningful if one could attribute choice or intention to it. In other words, there would need to have been a simplex adjectival alternative available instead of a participial clause. Consider the case of Matt 13:44-45:
Matthew 13:44–45 (SBLGNT) Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν θησαυρῷ κεκρυμμένῳ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔκρυψεν, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ ὑπάγει καὶ πωλεῖ πάντα ὅσα ἔχει καὶ ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον.
45 Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ ἐμπόρῳ ζητοῦντι καλοὺς μαργαρίτας·
I built a syntax query to search for what Cascadia construed to be adjectival modifiers of NPs, where the modifiers were participial clauses. It yielded 376 hits (see attached image for the query). What was interesting is that a good many of these in the Gospels occurred at the introduction of a new referent, as in the two cases above. I can't think of a viable adjective the writer could have chosen instead of the participial clause, and I would consider this good Greek. Rather, the alternative formulation likely would have required the writer to have used two separate clauses to have conveyed the same information conveyed using the participial modifier. So in this case what might be construed as an upshift from a structural standpoint (adjective to clause) may functionally be more of a downshift motivated by elegance or economy (independent clause or relative clause to participial modifier). I attached a PDF with the rest of the results. They are illustrative; some participles I'd take as adverbial but the data still serves a purpose.

The notion of rank-shifting is useful in that it describes what is happening from a structural standpoint, but it requires additional consideration along the lines of Levinsohn's "default/marked" and "choice implying meaning" principles to nail down more precisely the exact nature of the choice. Otherwise one is simply tallying structural shifts that don't mean much on their own. I know this is not what you have done or are advocating, Kimmo, your many posts here over the years make this clear.

I'd suggest taking more of a compositional approach to the problem. I claimed in a recent paper on the article that use of an attributive structure other than first position results in a change in the information packaging in the NP. Whereas first attributives result in essentially one package, the addition of the unneeded article in second and third attributives creates a second package. Looking at the distribution of third attributives, none of the ones in the GNT were restrictive. All conveyed non-restrictie thematic information that reshaped the reader's perspective of the referent. This use of third attributive instead of first would fall outside the bounds of rank-shifting, yet would seem to overlap with the kind of phenomena you're interested in accounting for from a pragmatic standpoint. Hope this helps.
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Steve Runge

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 20th, 2015, 2:43 pm

KimmoHuovila wrote:I chose the term 'rank shifting' to emphasize the fact that I am looking into the relationship of elements in two different ranks: clauses and noun phrases. But for my limited purpose here, we can talk about the syntax of prepositions as long as we can talk about subjects and objects and the relationship of the phrases to corresponding finite clauses.
How would a writer disambiguate between the subjective and objective genitives in ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα?
… which suggests that prepositional phrases are optional. Take following hastily contrived example:

Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστὴς, ὁ φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου, φιλεῖ τὸν νυμφίον.

Where Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστὴς ... φιλεῖ τὸν νυμφίον is reduced or raised[1] to ὁ φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου.

John 3:26 καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰωάννην καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ· ῥαββί, ὃς ἦν μετὰ σοῦ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, ᾧ σὺ μεμαρτύρηκας, ἴδε οὗτος βαπτίζει καὶ πάντες ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτόν. 27 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰωάννης καὶ εἶπεν· οὐ δύναται ἄνθρωπος λαμβάνειν οὐδὲ ἓν ἐὰν μὴ ᾖ δεδομένον αὐτῷ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. 28 αὐτοὶ ὑμεῖς μοι μαρτυρεῖτε ὅτι εἶπον [ὅτι] οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ὁ Χριστός, ἀλλ᾿ ὅτι ἀπεσταλμένος εἰμὶ ἔμπροσθεν ἐκείνου. 29 ὁ ἔχων τὴν νύμφην νυμφίος ἐστίν· ὁ δὲ φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου ὁ ἑστηκὼς καὶ ἀκούων αὐτοῦ χαρᾷ χαίρει διὰ τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ νυμφίου. αὕτη οὖν ἡ χαρὰ ἡ ἐμὴ πεπλήρωται. 30 ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν, ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι.



[1] see the previous quotes on rank shifting where one author calls this raising and the other reducing.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

cwconrad
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by cwconrad » March 20th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote: see the previous quotes on rank shifting where one author calls this raising and the other reducing.
Heraclitus wrote:ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 21st, 2015, 4:31 am

KimmoHuovila wrote:Stephen,

I am basically trying to figure out what ways of rank shifting a clause into a noun phrase are 'good Greek', meaning grammatical and secondarily, considered normal (as opposed to 'foreign' or 'awkward').
"Good Greek" is not easy to define by rules, hard to recognise and an unattained goal in composition. There are many somewhat vague tendencies appropriate to context - defined on a number of levels - that come together beyond the grammatical rules that we are, the majority of us, familiar with. Comparing texts from one authour to other authours can be useful and problematic as well. Beyond the most rudimentary and well defined rules of accidence, intricacies about what even makes Greek Greek and not for example encoded English are really hard to grasp. The question, "Do you know Greek?" is so far beyond "Do you know Greek grammar?" as an actual day at the beach is beyond the photo that captured "the moment".
KimmoHuovila wrote:What are the ways of expressing what would be the subject and the object if it was a finite sentence?
To some degree the noun itself that is expressed with the genitive determines that. ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous in a way that τό φίλημα / φίλησις τοῦ Ἀκύλα (subjective genitive) so in effect it is the noun that determines the type of genitive. I think that you are looking for definable grammar to express something that is in the tendency (beyond grammar) part of language. That being said, I think it is good to try to go beyond the bounds of traditional (mechanical) grammar rules.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

KimmoHuovila
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by KimmoHuovila » March 21st, 2015, 9:44 am

serunge wrote: The notion of rank-shifting is useful in that it describes what is happening from a structural standpoint, but it requires additional consideration along the lines of Levinsohn's "default/marked" and "choice implying meaning" principles to nail down more precisely the exact nature of the choice. Otherwise one is simply tallying structural shifts that don't mean much on their own. I know this is not what you have done or are advocating, Kimmo, your many posts here over the years make this clear.

I'd suggest taking more of a compositional approach to the problem. I claimed in a recent paper on the article that use of an attributive structure other than first position results in a change in the information packaging in the NP. Whereas first attributives result in essentially one package, the addition of the unneeded article in second and third attributives creates a second package. Looking at the distribution of third attributives, none of the ones in the GNT were restrictive. All conveyed non-restrictie thematic information that reshaped the reader's perspective of the referent. This use of third attributive instead of first would fall outside the bounds of rank-shifting, yet would seem to overlap with the kind of phenomena you're interested in accounting for from a pragmatic standpoint. Hope this helps.
Thank you. I find your claim about attributive NP structures interesting.

There are two pieces to rank shifting that are both important. One is the choices (or lack of them) an author has when he wants to shift rank, say downshift (functionally) a clause into a noun phrase. As your examples bring out, often it is done by means of a participle. I am more looking at ways it can be done by means of a noun phrase than an adjectival modifier. Here is a contrived example: θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὄτι ὀ θεός ἀγαπᾷ τὸν Ἰωάννην -> θαυμαστή ἐστιν ἠ ἀγαπὴ (-, παρὰ, ἀπὸ) τοῦ θεοῦ (πρὸς?, εἰς?) τὸν Ἰωαννήν or perhaps even θαυμαστή ἐστιν ἠ ἀγαπὴ τοῦ Ἰωάννου ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ. What are the options? What real examples do we have instead of contrived examples? This is close to my original question and about which I found next to nothing looking at a few grammars. I assume that two genitives would not be common. Is the tendency to use just one preposition and have one genitive phrase. Can there be two prepositional phrases? If so, what prepositions are used?

The other issue is what is signalled by rank shift when it occurs. Any full treatment of rank shifting should deal with this also, as Steve pointed out. This deals with the why of rank shifting. I found it interesting that the introduction of a new referent is a common place to find participial clauses as modifiers. That sheds some light on the why. The first question deals with the how.
Sthephen Hughes wrote:To some degree the noun itself that is expressed with the genitive determines that. ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous in a way that τό φίλημα / φίλησις τοῦ Ἀκύλα (subjective genitive) so in effect it is the noun that determines the type of genitive. I think that you are looking for definable grammar to express something that is in the tendency (beyond grammar) part of language. That being said, I think it is good to try to go beyond the bounds of traditional (mechanical) grammar rules.
I think more goes to determining the type of genitive than just the noun. An author will specify it in more detail if he thinks it is needed in the context. So context gives often a crucial cue. As you notice, ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous. A Greek author is capable of expressing it in an ambiguous way if he wants to. What options does he have to do so at the level of a noun phrase? ἠ φιλία ῇ φιλεῖ / φιλεῖται ὁ Ἀκύλας may be one, if he chooses to use a full subordinate clause to modify a noun phrase. Can he use just a preposition or two prepositions? Which ones?

You are right with your qualifications on how we can assess good Greek. Basically, if native Greek authors use some constructions regularly, it is a good candidate of good Greek. If only non-natives use the construction, then it is a good candidate of "bad" Greek. For my present purposes, this is enough.
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Kimmo Huovila

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Re: Rank shifting

Post by cwconrad » March 21st, 2015, 10:27 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:...
To some degree the noun itself that is expressed with the genitive determines that. ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous in a way that τό φίλημα / φίλησις τοῦ Ἀκύλα (subjective genitive) so in effect it is the noun that determines the type of genitive. I think that you are looking for definable grammar to express something that is in the tendency (beyond grammar) part of language. That being said, I think it is good to try to go beyond the bounds of traditional (mechanical) grammar rules.
It's not altogether clear whether Stephen meant to write, " ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous in a way that τό φίλημα / φίλησις τοῦ Ἀκύλα (subjective genitive) [is not]" -- as I assume he did. I would suggest, however, that φίλημα τοῦ Ἀκύλα and φίλησισ τοῦ Ἀκύλα could both just as well mean "kissing Aquila", the former meaning "a kiss placed upon the face or lips of Aqula", the later "kissing Aquila." Context may in an particular instance help to clarify. So in English, "the kiss of death" could mean death (figuratively) plants a kiss or that someone plants a kiss that imparts death (figuratively or literally).
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Rank shifting

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 21st, 2015, 10:52 am

You might like to consider;
2 Corinthians 2:6 wrote:Ἱκανὸν τῷ τοιούτῳ ἡ ἐπιτιμία αὕτη ἡ ὑπὸ τῶν πλειόνων·

It has no syntactic parallels in the New Testament corpus, but it is somewhat similar to this statement from Xenophon's Memorabilia;
Xenophon, [i]Memorabilia[/i] 2.1.34 wrote:τὴν ὑπ᾽ Ἀρετῆς Ἡρακλέους παίδευσιν
the training of Heracles by Virtue
Which has these notes on it...
Josiah Renick Smith, [i]Xenophon: Memorabilia[/i] 2.1.34 wrote:τὴν ὑπ᾽ Ἀρετῆς παίδευσιν: for ὑπό and the gen. with a verbal noun, see Kr. Spr. 68. 43. 2. Cf. ἥδεσθαι τῇ ὑπὸ πάντων τιμῇ Cyr. iii. 3. 2.
Based on the almost parallel passage, if the person who was receiving the punishment was to be mentioned in 2 Corinthians he would be in the genitive, or you could just take Xenophon's statement as a parallel, without looking for a New Testament justification to include it in your consideration of good Greek.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 21st, 2015, 10:57 am

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:...
To some degree the noun itself that is expressed with the genitive determines that. ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous in a way that τό φίλημα / φίλησις τοῦ Ἀκύλα (subjective genitive) so in effect it is the noun that determines the type of genitive. I think that you are looking for definable grammar to express something that is in the tendency (beyond grammar) part of language. That being said, I think it is good to try to go beyond the bounds of traditional (mechanical) grammar rules.
It's not altogether clear whether Stephen meant to write, " ἡ φιλία τοῦ Ἀκύλα is ambiguous in a way that τό φίλημα / φίλησις τοῦ Ἀκύλα (subjective genitive) [is not]" -- as I assume he did. I would suggest, however, that φίλημα τοῦ Ἀκύλα and φίλησισ τοῦ Ἀκύλα could both just as well mean "kissing Aquila", the former meaning "a kiss placed upon the face or lips of Aqula", the later "kissing Aquila." Context may in an particular instance help to clarify. So in English, "the kiss of death" could mean death (figuratively) plants a kiss or that someone plants a kiss that imparts death (figuratively or literally).
I did mean to add the "is not", yes. It was there but got lost somehow.

Those were my impressions of φίλημα / φίλησις + genitive, but I am happy to accept yours, because if you have found an instance of it being that way, it is proof against non-existence, and non-existence is only ever tentatively proven.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 21st, 2015, 2:28 pm

serunge wrote: The notion of rank-shifting is useful in that it describes what is happening from a structural standpoint, but it requires additional consideration along the lines of Levinsohn's "default/marked" and "choice implying meaning" principles to nail down more precisely the exact nature of the choice. Otherwise one is simply tallying structural shifts that don't mean much on their own.
How would we go about demonstrating to an agnostic (linguistic) that this choice implied meaning? And what exactly is the choice? My problem with this discussion is finding examples based on what seems to be an inadequate specification of the phenomenon under consideration.

Kimmo:
There are two pieces to rank shifting that are both important. One is the choices (or lack of them) an author has when he wants to shift rank, say downshift (functionally) a clause into a noun phrase. As your examples bring out, often it is done by means of a participle. I am more looking at ways it can be done by means of a noun phrase than an adjectival modifier. Here is a contrived example: θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὄτι ὀ θεός ἀγαπᾷ τὸν Ἰωάννην -> θαυμαστή ἐστιν ἠ ἀγαπὴ (-, παρὰ, ἀπὸ) τοῦ θεοῦ (πρὸς?, εἰς?) τὸν Ἰωαννήν or perhaps even θαυμαστή ἐστιν ἠ ἀγαπὴ τοῦ Ἰωάννου ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ. What are the options? What real examples do we have instead of contrived examples? This is close to my original question and about which I found next to nothing looking at a few grammars. I assume that two genitives would not be common. Is the tendency to use just one preposition and have one genitive phrase. Can there be two prepositional phrases? If so, what prepositions are used?
What are we looking for? Are we looking for a context where a pattern like ὀ θεός ἀγαπᾷ τὸν Ἰωάννην rank shifts into a noun phrase rather than a clause in the immediate context? The following doesn't fulfill all those requirements, however the noun phrase and participle construct look to me like examples of rank shift.

Acts 10:40 τοῦτον ὁ θεὸς ἤγειρεν [ἐν] τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν ἐμφανῆ γενέσθαι, 41 οὐ παντὶ τῷ λαῷ, ἀλλὰ μάρτυσιν τοῖς προκεχειροτονημένοις ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἡμῖν, οἵτινες συνεφάγομεν καὶ συνεπίομεν αὐτῷ μετὰ τὸ ἀναστῆναι αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν· 42 καὶ παρήγγειλεν ἡμῖν κηρύξαι τῷ λαῷ καὶ διαμαρτύρασθαι ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ὡρισμένος ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ κριτὴς ζώντων καὶ νεκρῶν.

On further consideration perhaps these are not examples of rank shift since the finite verb is not repeated as a noun or participle. The participle clause might qualify as a rank shift from a finite verb clause that isn't in the sample. Should be obvious that I am struggling with the concept of rank shift.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Rank shifting

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 21st, 2015, 5:10 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
How would we go about demonstrating to an agnostic (linguistic) that this choice implied meaning? And what exactly is the choice? My problem with this discussion is finding examples based on what seems to be an inadequate specification of the phenomenon under consideration.
Apparently other people have had problems with Hallidayan Rankshift.
Not everyone seems to be pleased with the term ‘rankshift’
McGregor (1997:127-128,131) likes to define downward rank shift as
reclassification. His reason for renaming the process is that it
involves a change in part- of- speech membership. Most
significantly, in an anti-Hallidayan gesture, he maintains that
rankshift involves external as well as internal reclassification.
Apropos, he defines rankshift as the process which entails a unit of
a given rank, being, as it were, demoted in size and reclassified as a
unit of lower rank. This would result in the unit taking on the
grammatical and semantic properties “inherent to the lower ranking
unit”. McGregor (1997:131) draws the conclusion that finite clauses
cannot be rankshifted or nominalised, whereas non-finite clauses
can.



The Grammatical Phenomenon of Rankshift in Systemic Grammar
Aziz Yousif Al-Muttalibi,Ph.D.(Prof.), Nada Aziz Yousif ,M.A.,(Lecturer)**
http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=75825

It seems that recursive syntax has been discussed in other frameworks without all the obfuscation that collects around the practice of SFL.
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