Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

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

Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 29th, 2016, 12:31 am

Is anybody interested in discussing further and sharing their thoughts, theories, understandings or perplexities - or quotes from others - in dealing with the syntactic construction of the nominative participle together with a finite verb. We could discuss its use in auxilliary verbs, proverbs, commands (dialogue) and narrative. Not only dealing with the historical sequence from historical narrative to Modern adverbal / adjectival usage, but also whether theories and understandings of the participle proposed for New Testament readers fit into the context of the diachronic continuum or whether they are there for other reasons. We could look at the question of text-type (genre) in identifying and contextualising various usages. In this topic, the distinction between beginner and expert is blurred. That is because it is so little understood.

The ubiquity of their use makes it difficult to ignore (or avoid grappling with) them, but they are something that most (all) of us handle by translation or analogy. It is in our Koine period that they seem to take on their richest usage, and at the end of our period that they cease to be used, so there is both change and development to be considered within the continuity.

To appreciate their usage, we need to go beyond the blunt categories of adverb, adjective and verb, and use more specialised definitions. That will require tollerance on the part of those who feel out of their depth in dealing with jargon, and patience for those reading the words that others use to categorise things, that may be different from their own. I think that this discussion will be more like brainstorming ideas, rather than experts bringing answers to the table, and that requires the respect for others that sharing ideas in vulnerable situations usually entails. In this discussion, we need to embrace an egalitarian spirit, recognising our mutual ignorance, and the value that everyone can bring to our understanding. The usual power structures of knowledge will hold little validity as we explore what we believe, what we have been told, what has worked in what context, and we cooperate to make even a little sense of this topic. This is a time for questioning ourselves and others, and for facing the dark void of our ignorance.

Enough of the preamble. Is anybody interested?
0 x


Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

Post by cwconrad » April 29th, 2016, 7:18 am

I'm certainly interested, but I find it hard to imagine that this hasn't been the subject of a major study -- or two or three or more. It strikes me as a project only slightly less manageable than what Protagoras said about the gods: πολλὰ γὰρ τὰ κωλύοντα εἰδέναι ἥ τ' ἀδηλότης καὶ βραχὺς ὢν ὁ βίος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Martin Culy had a paper a few years ago of interest at https://www.academia.edu/3488970/The_Ca ... rbial_Uses and I think we had some discussion of that on the old B-Greek mailing list, but of course we were only talking about participles in NT Koine Greek.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

cwconrad
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Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
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Re: Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

Post by cwconrad » April 29th, 2016, 7:27 am

cwconrad wrote:I'm certainly interested, but I find it hard to imagine that this hasn't been the subject of a major study -- or two or three or more. It strikes me as a project only slightly more manageable than what Protagoras said about the gods: πολλὰ γὰρ τὰ κωλύοντα εἰδέναι ἥ τ' ἀδηλότης καὶ βραχὺς ὢν ὁ βίος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Martin Culy had a paper a few years ago of interest at https://www.academia.edu/3488970/The_Ca ... rbial_Uses and I think we had some discussion of that on the old B-Greek mailing list, but of course we were only talking about participles in NT Koine Greek.
0 x
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
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 30th, 2016, 1:39 am

cwconrad wrote:of course we were only talking about participles in NT Koine Greek.
I think that within a generation, for any discussion that we have now to still be considered a full discussion of a topic, needs to consider the history of the Greek language before and after the New Testament period, the cross-linguistic interferences that arise from authors being bi- or multilingual.
cwconrad wrote:I find it hard to imagine that this hasn't been the subject of a major study -- or two or three or more.
If there is little scope for advancing knowledge, there is still much scope for individual grappling with the topic.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
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Re: Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

Post by cwconrad » April 30th, 2016, 4:35 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
cwconrad wrote:of course we were only talking about participles in NT Koine Greek.
I think that within a generation, for any discussion that we have now to still be considered a full discussion of a topic, needs to consider the history of the Greek language before and after the New Testament period, the cross-linguistic interferences that arise from authors being bi- or multilingual.
I quite agree. NT Greek pedagogy may still be committed to the synchronic perspective, but I don't see how any attempt to understand the working of the language can be anything but diachronic in perspective.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
cwconrad wrote:I find it hard to imagine that this hasn't been the subject of a major study -- or two or three or more.
If there is little scope for advancing knowledge, there is still much scope for individual grappling with the topic.
I doubt we're in disagreement. I was suggesting that the start of serious inquiry into this should be to ascertain the "état actuel des affaires" in linguistic scholarship on participles in ancient Greek. Knocking heads together without doing that would seem like trying to reinvent the wheel.
0 x
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
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Diachronic context of nom. participle with finite verbs

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 30th, 2016, 2:52 pm

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
cwconrad wrote:I find it hard to imagine that this hasn't been the subject of a major study -- or two or three or more.
If there is little scope for advancing knowledge, there is still much scope for individual grappling with the topic.
I doubt we're in disagreement. I was suggesting that the start of serious inquiry into this should be to ascertain the "état actuel des affaires" in linguistic scholarship on participles in ancient Greek. Knocking heads together without doing that would seem like trying to reinvent the wheel.
Anybody likely to comment on this will not only have a wheel, but the whole car, and have not a little bit of skill at driving.

For your perenial Ephesians 1, If we take the opinion that the participle is a former of written abbreviation, something vague like; "The fisherman was casting, rowing, dragging, hauling." Your imagination can do the rest, if you wanted to fill it out.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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