syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Charlie Law
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Charlie Law » December 10th, 2017, 6:50 am

Charlie Law wrote:
December 9th, 2017, 4:39 am
MAubrey wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 11:44 pm
Charlie Law wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 9:23 am
But my question remains: what are some possible reasons for the constituent order seen in NA27?
How deep do you want to go here? There are a number quite non-traditional grammar concepts we'll need to work through in order to get to laying out the reasons.
Well, let's say that I'm willing to be challenged. I've read in discourse analysis for many years. A lot of the linguistics reading I've done over the years has been in Halliday- and Lamb-inspired approaches that are probably what you'd call "non-traditional". I've spent a fair amount of time analyzing and charting texts, mainly narrative, in non-IE languages, so I've seen the limits of traditional grammatical categories. Right now I'm trying to learn about relevance theory, since I know a lot of people who are working in that and I want to understand what they're talking about. I was exposed to prosodics in linguistics courses, but I don't know much and I'm sure things have come a long way since them. In other words, I'm happy to learn about alternative ways of look at language, but I'm not a specialist in any of them. Also, I'm not near a library and can only read things I can find online. I often can't get access to scholarly journals.
EDIT: All that to say that I'm happy to be exposed to some new (for me) ideas. No one has time to give me a crash course, I'm sure, but I'd welcome some suggestions to guide my reading. My grasp of much of what I've read and studied in past years is pretty shaky, so it's probably best to assume near-ignorance on my part.
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Charlie Law
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Charlie Law » December 11th, 2017, 7:50 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 5:15 pm
I can easily do queries that find split constituents vs. constituents that wholly precede the verb, but I don't yet have an explanation that fits all the data I've seen. I'd love to hear one.
I can't easily do queries that find split constituents vs. constituents that wholly precede the verb, but in reading in the next chapter of Matthew this morning, I ran across an almost-parallel example with a coordinating conjunction:

οὐ δύνασθε θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ. (Matt. 6:24 BGT)

Not all other variables are eliminated (these are dative objects rather than predicate adjectives, for example), but this at least shows that the constituent order I asked about in Matt. 5:36 isn't restricted to disjunctive phrases.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are oodles of "Obj1 Verb kai Obj2" sequences in the NT, but I haven't learned to exploit the grammatical search capabilities of my Bible software well enough to know for sure.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 11th, 2017, 1:29 pm

Charlie Law wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 7:50 am
I can't easily do queries that find split constituents vs. constituents that wholly precede the verb, but in reading in the next chapter of Matthew this morning, I ran across an almost-parallel example with a coordinating conjunction:

οὐ δύνασθε θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ. (Matt. 6:24 BGT)

Not all other variables are eliminated (these are dative objects rather than predicate adjectives, for example), but this at least shows that the constituent order I asked about in Matt. 5:36 isn't restricted to disjunctive phrases.
I went ahead and cranked out examples of split constituents, posting it here:

http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities ... uents.html

This shows 773 instances of split constituents.

I have not had time to look at all of the instances, and I would expect to find some false positives, some false negatives, and some instances that are open to interpretation, but perhaps this gives us something useful to talk about. I don't expect to be online much until Wednesday (I'm visiting my mother).

I did notice that Matthew 5:36 is not included in these results, that's because the treebank analyzes it differently.

Note also that we probably need to look at discourse data along with this. I'll look into that when I get back home.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Charlie Law
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Charlie Law » December 11th, 2017, 2:33 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 1:29 pm
I went ahead and cranked out examples of split constituents, posting it here:

http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities ... uents.html
Thank you, Jonathan! That data looks delicious.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 1:29 pm
I did notice that Matthew 5:36 is not included in these results, that's because the treebank analyzes it differently.
Hmm. Maybe later, if you have time, I wonder if it would be possible to run a search that would include the pattern in Matt. 5:36, too.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 1:29 pm
Note also that we probably need to look at discourse data along with this. I'll look into that when I get back home.
You and others have given me plenty to think about. I look forward to hearing more.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 11th, 2017, 6:42 pm

Charlie Law wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 2:33 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 11th, 2017, 1:29 pm
I did notice that Matthew 5:36 is not included in these results, that's because the treebank analyzes it differently.
Hmm. Maybe later, if you have time, I wonder if it would be possible to run a search that would include the pattern in Matt. 5:36, too.
Actually, I was fooled by my own output. It's listed under Matthew 5:34, the first verse of the sentence that contains it. There are actually 4 examples of split constituents in that sentence, three of them follow this pattern:

ὅτι θρόνος ἐστὶν τοῦ Θεοῦ
ὅτι ὑποπόδιόν ἐστιν τῶν ποδῶν αὐτοῦ
ὅτι πόλις ἐστὶν τοῦ μεγάλου Βασιλέως

Followed by the famous:

ὅτι οὐ δύνασαι μίαν τρίχα λευκὴν ποιῆσαι ἢ μέλαιναν.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Ruth Mathys
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Ruth Mathys » December 12th, 2017, 4:12 am

Coming late to the conversation, but this topic intrigues me. More than once I've read about the Iconicity Principle, specifically the Proximity principle: conceptual distance tends to match with linguistic distance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iconicity) or The principle of “iconicity of contiguity” (or “linguistic proximity”) assumes that forms that belong together semantically will occur closer together morphosyntactically than forms that are semantically unrelated (cf. Bybee, 1985). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153832/). The books that I've read don't discuss exceptions. Is there anything to read that addresses the challenge to the principle (from Greek or other languages)?
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » December 12th, 2017, 1:17 pm

Ruth Mathys wrote:
December 12th, 2017, 4:12 am
Coming late to the conversation, but this topic intrigues me. More than once I've read about the Iconicity Principle, specifically the Proximity principle: conceptual distance tends to match with linguistic distance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iconicity) or The principle of “iconicity of contiguity” (or “linguistic proximity”) assumes that forms that belong together semantically will occur closer together morphosyntactically than forms that are semantically unrelated (cf. Bybee, 1985). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153832/). The books that I've read don't discuss exceptions. Is there anything to read that addresses the challenge to the principle (from Greek or other languages)?
I'm certainly not an expert on Iconicity. It appears that the following paper addresses your topic from the perspective of computational linguistics.


Divergence from Syntax to Linear Order
in Ancient Greek Lexical Networks
Edoardo Maria Ponti
University of Pavia – Istitute for Advanced Study (I.U.S.S.)
Strada Nuova, 65 – Piazza della Vittoria, 15
Pavia 27100, Italy

Edoardo Maria Ponti
http://people.ds.cam.ac.uk/ep490/
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Jonathan Robie
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 12th, 2017, 2:33 pm

Hi Ruth,

You aren't late to the conversation, we are just gathering information to discuss.

I don't know much about iconicity, but split constituents do exist in Greek, and other languages have phenomena like separable verbs.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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