Particle Consistency

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 25th, 2016, 1:45 pm

If you are considering breaking them all up, let's look at this well-known sentence from Saint Basil:
Saint Basil the Great (Letter 234, PG.32, col.869) wrote:αἱ μὲν γὰρ ἐνέργειαι αὐτοῦ πρὸς ἡμᾶς καταβαίνουσιν, ἡ δὲ οὐσία αὐτοῦ μένει ἀπρόσιτος.
What is function of those three particles?
γάρ - connects this sentence to the one before.
μέν and δέ - words that relate the two parts of the sentence. (μέν by itself - without δέ in the following phrase can be taken as an emphatic element within the phrase that is found.

All three relate units (phrases) to other phrases. These particles show the relationship between clauses.

How about the μενοῦνγε that you are asking about, does it show the relationship between clauses? In the following sentence, it is an adverb:
Romans 10:18 wrote:Ἀλλὰ λέγω, μὴ οὐκ ἤκουσαν; Μενοῦνγε·
Breaking that up into its constituents would leave people thinking that the οὖν is showing the relationship between clauses.

That is significant in Philipians 3:8.
Philippians 3:7,8 wrote:Ἀλλ’ ἅτινα ἦν μοι κέρδη, ταῦτα ἥγημαι διὰ τὸν χριστὸν ζημίαν. 8 Ἀλλὰ μὲν οὖν (μενοῦνγε NA-UBS) καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου· δι’ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα εἶναι, ἵνα χριστὸν κερδήσω,
If οὖν is left on its own, it would be something like, "however (a structure marker) therefore (relating what he is anout to say with what precedes) indeed, I also/even consider ..." If it is combined with the μέν together, as μενοῦνγε it becomes an emphatic particle "however, most certainly (adding emphasis within the current phrase), I even consider ...".

To take another example:
In most cases οὐδέ is a conjunction, but in combination wth -πω, as οὐδέπω, it functions as an adverb.:
οὐδέπω γὰρ ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφήν, ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι.
It changes wordclass and changes its function in the text. In the example, γάρ and ὅτι relate phrases together, while οὐδέπω modifies what is in the phrase in which it occurs, ie ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφήν.

If you went ahead with the option to arbitrarily break every particle up, you are probably going to encounter problems with incorrect word-class classifications in the syntax.
0 x


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

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Alan Bunning » May 26th, 2016, 9:33 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:If you went ahead with the option to arbitrarily break every particle up, you are probably going to encounter problems with incorrect word-class classifications in the syntax.
That was not one of the options.
0 x

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 26th, 2016, 9:49 am

Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:If you went ahead with the option to arbitrarily break every particle up, you are probably going to encounter problems with incorrect word-class classifications in the syntax.
That was not one of the options.
That was in response to a comment.
Alan Bunning wrote:For example, I thought I would just separate γε, but then I would be left with μενουν instead of μεν ουν in just a few places so I should probably separate them. But then μεν has been attached to a few things so I should check to see if it should be separated from them as well. And then what about περ and τοι?
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Alan Bunning » May 26th, 2016, 10:56 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:If you went ahead with the option to arbitrarily break every particle up, you are probably going to encounter problems with incorrect word-class classifications in the syntax.
That was not one of the options.
That was in response to a comment.
Alan Bunning wrote:For example, I thought I would just separate γε, but then I would be left with μενουν instead of μεν ουν in just a few places so I should probably separate them. But then μεν has been attached to a few things so I should check to see if it should be separated from them as well. And then what about περ and τοι?
I did not appreciate your comment that misrepresented my position with the crazy claim that I am going to “arbitrarily break every particle up”. In the case of the example you cited, I am not necessarily buying your analysis. Bauer already shows that μενουν γε can be separated and μεν ουν is already separated 100% of the time by NA28, SBL, WH, and ST. I have not studied the issue enough to make up my mind on anything yet, so I could be persuaded that they should all stay together, and indeed right now they are all together!
0 x

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Alan Bunning » May 26th, 2016, 10:59 am

cwconrad wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:It doesn’t look like anybody is going to be able to answer the questions I posed. This forum and my Greek teacher are the closest things to experts that I have. I have read Funk, Blass, Robertson, and Bauer on this issue which didn’t really answer my questions either. Those guys are all dead, but I got to wondering who today is in the same class as a Funk, Blass, Robertson, or Bauer?
Twenty years ago while Bob Funk still lived, he gathered together a committee of several scholars in the Greek of the era to compile a new grammar of Hellenistic Greek; the project got under way but the project died, primarily, I believe, for lack of solid funding. Funk died; Daryl Schmidt, who chaired the project, also died. While there are several respected scholars in the field of Hellenistic Greek, I don't think there's any real consensus on the issues on which you would like definitive answers. It is not as if there were not a lot of careful study and creative thought being given to the issues, but for the time being, it would appear, we are going to have to continue to rely upon outdated "authorities."
One thing I think that might help me make up my mind is to know if anyone else has published something on this, is working on this now, or may work on it in the future. Maybe we could convince someone like Stephen Carlson to study this area and publish a paper on it? With all of the seminary’s and graduate schools, maybe someone would tackle this issue? My guess is that is not really a priority and the only people who care are the ones who actually publish texts, and in that case they just do what they want.

Still I wonder if there something unusual about that older era that is no longer being carried forward by today’s scholars? They seemed to have a very detailed understanding of the language down to the minutia. Who is the Funk, Blass, Robertson, or Bauer of today. Perhaps people like that only come around every 100 years or so?
0 x

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by cwconrad » May 26th, 2016, 1:43 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
cwconrad wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:It doesn’t look like anybody is going to be able to answer the questions I posed. This forum and my Greek teacher are the closest things to experts that I have. I have read Funk, Blass, Robertson, and Bauer on this issue which didn’t really answer my questions either. Those guys are all dead, but I got to wondering who today is in the same class as a Funk, Blass, Robertson, or Bauer?
Twenty years ago while Bob Funk still lived, he gathered together a committee of several scholars in the Greek of the era to compile a new grammar of Hellenistic Greek; the project got under way but the project died, primarily, I believe, for lack of solid funding. Funk died; Daryl Schmidt, who chaired the project, also died. While there are several respected scholars in the field of Hellenistic Greek, I don't think there's any real consensus on the issues on which you would like definitive answers. It is not as if there were not a lot of careful study and creative thought being given to the issues, but for the time being, it would appear, we are going to have to continue to rely upon outdated "authorities."
One thing I think that might help me make up my mind is to know if anyone else has published something on this, is working on this now, or may work on it in the future. Maybe we could convince someone like Stephen Carlson to study this area and publish a paper on it? With all of the seminary’s and graduate schools, maybe someone would tackle this issue? My guess is that is not really a priority and the only people who care are the ones who actually publish texts, and in that case they just do what they want.

Still I wonder if there something unusual about that older era that is no longer being carried forward by today’s scholars? They seemed to have a very detailed understanding of the language down to the minutia. Who is the Funk, Blass, Robertson, or Bauer of today. Perhaps people like that only come around every 100 years or so?
I can only speculate on this matter and my speculation may not be worth very much. I think there are quite a few who would attribute that kind of status and authority to Stanley Porter, but there are very many others who would not. I think that two or three developments of the last century have a bearing on the "current status of questions." One of these is the unquestionable loss of academic status of ancient Greek, probably more in the United States than in other countries. I think it is also true that Biblical Greek has suffered a significant loss of academic status in seminaries, this also probably more in the United States than in other countries. A third factor, I think, is the growing prominence of academic linguistic study being brought to bear upon understanding ancient Greek; this has illuminated numerous questions having to do with ancient Greek, but it has also, I think, brought forth diversities of theoretical approach and methodologies that may very well hinder the emergence of consensus on such questions as that in which you are particularly interested. On the other hand, it's also possible that nobody to date has taken interest in this particular question -- I guess it's a lexicological question -- of legitimate word-boundaries in the era of the NT manuscripts. It's also a fact that the conventions governing the publication of today's standard printed texts of the GNT are frightfully inconsistent with the extant manuscripts themselves (I realize I am in danger of speaking too forthrightly about what I don't understand, but that's certainly my impression).
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: Particle Consistency

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 26th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:If you went ahead with the option to arbitrarily break every particle up, you are probably going to encounter problems with incorrect word-class classifications in the syntax.
I did not appreciate your comment that misrepresented my position with the crazy claim that I am going to “arbitrarily break every particle up”.
There is a range of options available from the total compounding to the arbitrary break up. Going ahead with any option on that continuum will have effects on the syntax.

With regard to your harsh statement, no claim was made. "If" (αἴκα) introduces a hypothetical statement expressed in the past tense. The past tense is used in English for unreal statements. English uses the future in "to be going to" for introducing something that is planned. In rephrasing what I have said, you have gravely misunderstood my tone and meaning.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3605
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 26th, 2016, 3:32 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:If you went ahead with the option to arbitrarily break every particle up, you are probably going to encounter problems with incorrect word-class classifications in the syntax.
I did not appreciate your comment that misrepresented my position with the crazy claim that I am going to “arbitrarily break every particle up”.
There is a range of options available from the total compounding to the arbitrary break up. Going ahead with any option on that continuum will have effects on the syntax.

With regard to your harsh statement, no claim was made. "If" (αἴκα) introduces a hypothetical statement expressed in the past tense. The past tense is used in English for unreal statements. English uses the future in "to be going to" for introducing something that is planned. In rephrasing what I have said, you have gravely misunderstood my tone and meaning.
Moderator Hat On

Can we please watch the tone here, and focus on the technical questions about particles?

I think Stephen is saying he did not mean to imply that Alan wants to break every particle up, and that "if you went ahead" in the first quote is meant as "if someone went ahead". Rereading it with that in mind, I can see that as a possible reading, but I can easily see why Alan read it the other way. I also suspect that both Stephen and Alan are examining all possible approaches, including some that they would each recognize are not very promising.

Let's remember our policy:
If discussion of this nature is to succeed, proper respect and courtesy to other list members is important. While scholarly debate, including disagreement, is encouraged as a goal of this conference, attacks upon the character, intelligence, or faith of those participating are not acceptable. Criticism must focus upon the arguments of others; it may not be directed to the individual.
Let's not waste our energy giving or receiving offense here. Before hitting [Submit], take a second read and make sure that what you post isn't likely to be perceived as an insult.

Moderator Hat Off

Now back to particle consistency ... and if anyone has a satisfying solution here, I'm all ears.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Alan Bunning
Posts: 268
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Alan Bunning » May 26th, 2016, 4:26 pm

cwconrad wrote:One of these is the unquestionable loss of academic status of ancient Greek, probably more in the United States than in other countries. I think it is also true that Biblical Greek has suffered a significant loss of academic status in seminaries, this also probably more in the United States than in other countries.
I was not aware of either of these trends. What is the reason for this? Lack of interest? Budget cuts?
0 x

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3605
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Particle Consistency

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 26th, 2016, 4:31 pm

Here's a stupid question or two. Are the challenges of compound particles different than for other compound words in Greek? How many words is ἑαυτοῦ or στις or στο? What exactly do we mean by a word in Greek, anyway? Does the answer depend on the period of Greek we are looking at? Is the concept of word relative to a given language?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Post Reply

Return to “Syntax and Grammar”