Use of the interrogative pronoun

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 11th, 2015, 3:02 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:The shades of "why?" is a vexing issue.
Let's be concrete about two Greek phrases, the most frequently used ones on this list.

Is there a difference in meaning or usage between τί οὖν, e.g.
Matthew 19:7 wrote:Τί οὖν Μωϋσῆς ἐνετείλατο δοῦναι βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν;
and διὰ τί, e.g.
Matthew 9:11 wrote:Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
If so, what is it?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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cwconrad
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by cwconrad » August 11th, 2015, 4:08 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:The shades of "why?" is a vexing issue.
Let's be concrete about two Greek phrases, the most frequently used ones on this list.

Is there a difference in meaning or usage between τί οὖν, e.g.
Matthew 19:7 wrote:Τί οὖν Μωϋσῆς ἐνετείλατο δοῦναι βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν;
and διὰ τί, e.g.
Matthew 9:11 wrote:Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
If so, what is it?
Perhaps there's an image that will demonstrate the difference to the naked eye?
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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)

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » August 11th, 2015, 6:56 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Let's be concrete about two Greek phrases, the most frequently used ones on this list.

Is there a difference in meaning or usage between τί οὖν, e.g.
Matthew 19:7 wrote:Τί οὖν Μωϋσῆς ἐνετείλατο δοῦναι βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν;
and διὰ τί, e.g.
Matthew 9:11 wrote:Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
If so, what is it?
Many of the references behind the link "τί οὖν" don't include "why". It's often just τί + οὖν, "what then". When it seems to mean "why" it's continuing the discourse, meaning "why then" or "so why". Not surprising, because οὖν means "then". Διὰ τί begins a new discussion (except e.g. Matt. 21:25 where there's Διὰ τί οὖν, "why then").
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 12th, 2015, 8:55 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:Many of the references behind the link "τί οὖν" don't include "why". It's often just τί + οὖν, "what then". When it seems to mean "why" it's continuing the discourse, meaning "why then" or "so why". Not surprising, because οὖν means "then". Διὰ τί begins a new discussion (except e.g. Matt. 21:25 where there's Διὰ τί οὖν, "why then").
This seems right to me, and it's a very helpful explanation.

Can we make similar distinctions for ἱνατί, εἰς τί, τί ὅτι, and χάριν τίνος? I think you're saying the following sentence doesn't quite work unless it's continuing something from prior context:

τί οὖν μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;

What do you think of these sentences:
  • Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
  • ἱνατί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
  • εἰς τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
  • χάριν τίνος μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
Are they all grammatical? Do they all mean the same thing?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » August 14th, 2015, 7:35 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:[
Can we make similar distinctions for ἱνατί, εἰς τί, τί ὅτι, and χάριν τίνος? I think you're saying the following sentence doesn't quite work unless it's continuing something from prior context:

τί οὖν μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;

What do you think of these sentences:
  • Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
  • ἱνατί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
  • εἰς τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
  • χάριν τίνος μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;
Are they all grammatical? Do they all mean the same thing?
I don't know. It would be interesting area of research. One possible nuance comes to mind: could there be difference between "teleological" and "non-teleological" why-question? Which means, is the end, the telos, the reason for something. Like "for what end" vs. "what causes this".

I've got a feeling that these behave more or less like other near-synonyms. They partly overlap and can be used synonymously, but partly there are more and less natural contexts for each or at least some of them. Some may be more neutral (less marked) than others.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 14th, 2015, 10:15 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:I don't know. It would be interesting area of research. One possible nuance comes to mind: could there be difference between "teleological" and "non-teleological" why-question? Which means, is the end, the telos, the reason for something. Like "for what end" vs. "what causes this".

I've got a feeling that these behave more or less like other near-synonyms. They partly overlap and can be used synonymously, but partly there are more and less natural contexts for each or at least some of them. Some may be more neutral (less marked) than others.
Thanks, this matches my intuition, and I'll use it as my "working hypothesis". I'll write up some notes on how to use the interrogative pronoun in questions - part of a small article on asking questions in Hellenistic Greek for language instruction - and post it here when I get it done.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 20th, 2015, 5:11 pm

I'm hacking away at this guide to asking questions in Hellenistic Greek ... I'll post something in a few weeks ... and I'd like to verify a few things along the way. Here's a question for today: is the neuter interrogative pronoun ever used in the plural forms τίνα, τίνων, τίσι, τίσιv, or τίνα? I did not find examples of such usage in the New Testament or Septuagint.

Would it even make sense to ask a question in this way? Does this occur in other periods of Greek? If so, what does it mean?

I'm asking only about cases in which it's a neuter pronoun used as an interrogative pronoun. I'm aware that these same spellings occur with other meanings.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 21st, 2015, 7:46 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm hacking away at this guide to asking questions in Hellenistic Greek ... I'll post something in a few weeks ... and I'd like to verify a few things along the way. Here's a question for today: is the neuter interrogative pronoun ever used in the plural forms τίνα, τίνων, τίσι, τίσιv, or τίνα? I did not find examples of such usage in the New Testament or Septuagint.

Would it even make sense to ask a question in this way? Does this occur in other periods of Greek? If so, what does it mean?

I'm asking only about cases in which it's a neuter pronoun used as an interrogative pronoun. I'm aware that these same spellings occur with other meanings.
Here's an example in Euthyphro:
Euthyphro (7β) wrote:ἔχθραν δὲ καὶ ὀργάς, ὦ ἄριστε, ἡ περὶ τίνων διαφορὰ ποιεῖ;
With the meaning "what things is the disagreement about".

In Euthyphro did not find other examples of a neuter interrogative used in the plural, but I think this is sufficient to clarify what it means. Does anyone have a convenient way to search for this usage in the classical literature, where, for instance, the neuter plural τίνα is distinguished from the masculine accusative?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 21st, 2015, 11:21 pm

Still working on this paper (and probably will be for a few weeks), but here's the current version of an additional table. This one starts from English glosses for common questions, and shows Greek sentences that can be used as templates to compose such questions. See if this looks helpful. I'll be adding some rows to this table in the paper.
Attachments
Asking Questions in Biblical Greek.pdf
(39.55 KiB) Downloaded 30 times
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Use of the interrogative pronoun

Post by Paul-Nitz » August 23rd, 2015, 3:38 pm

Wonderful thread! I am looking forward to studying it and catching up.
Here's a list I created that is related to asking why:

How to answer “why?”(the cause) in Ancient Greek:

When the answer to “why?” is a sentence (clause), use:

  • ὅτι (διοτι, διὰ τοῦτο ὅτι, καθοτι) - because (literally “that”)
    James 4:3 αἰτεῖτε καὶ οὐ λαμβάνετε διότι κακῶς αἰτεῖσθε… You ask and do not have because you ask badly.
    ἐπεί (ἐπειδη, επειδηπερ) – since, seeing that (literally? “on that”)
    John 13:29 τινὲς γὰρ ἐδόκουν, ἐπεὶ τὸ γλωσσόκομον εἶχεν Ἰούδας, ὅτι λέγει αὐτῷ [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς… Some were thinking, seeing that Judas had the purse, that he Jesus said to him…
    γαρ – for (In the sense of “I hit him for he hit me first,” not “I did it for him”).
    Colossians 3:20 Τὰ τέκνα, ὑπακούετε τοῖς γονεῦσιν κατὰ πάντα, τοῦτο γὰρ εὐάρεστόν ἐστιν ἐνκυρίῳ. Children, obey parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord.
When the answer to “why?” is a single thing (such as a noun), use:
  • διά τινα – because (literally “through”)
    Matthew 6:25 Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν· μὴ μεριμνᾶτε Because of this I tell you, do not worry…
    ἐπί τινι – because (literally “on”)
    Matthew 7:28 ἐξεπλήσσοντο οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· The crowds, being amazed because of his teaching.
    ἀπό τινος – because (literally “from”)
    Matthew 10:28 καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα… Do not be afraid because of those who kill the body..
    ἕνεκεν τινος – because (literally? “in that”)
    Matthew 10:39 ὁ ἀπολέσας τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εὑρήσει αὐτήν. The one who loses his life because of me will find it.
    κατὰ τινα - according to (literaly “down”)
    Matthew 19:3 εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀνθρώπῳ ἀπολῦσαι τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν; [they asked] if it is permitted for a man to let loose his wife because of every reason (for any reason).
    ὑπὲρ τινος – because (literally “over”)
    Acts 21:13 ἀποθανεῖν εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἑτοίμως ἔχω ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ. I am ready to die in Jerusalem because of the name of the Lord Jesus.
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