syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 5th, 2017, 5:59 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 5:42 pm
It's quite possible that topic vs. focus is key here. I should be able to do queries involving information structure soonish, I'm in the process of setting up an environment to do various kinds of queries. When I can, I'll do those queries and post the results.
I'm looking forward to it. Whose analysis of information structure are you using?
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » December 5th, 2017, 7:11 pm

chaslaw wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 12:07 pm
It seems counterintuitive that the two object complements in the phrase λευκὴν ἢ μέλαιναν 'white or black' would be separated like this.
Hyperbaton is interesting indeed. I just wanted to comment on this little detail: the reason it seems counterintuitive in this case is because you cannot do that in English (or in many other languages), not because it's logically counterintuitive. In English "white or black" must be connected because you cannot say "white make", you have to say "make white". Therefore you cannot say "white make or black", either, and doing it in another language which has more freedom feels weird. Logical enough?
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 5th, 2017, 7:18 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 5:59 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 5:42 pm
It's quite possible that topic vs. focus is key here. I should be able to do queries involving information structure soonish, I'm in the process of setting up an environment to do various kinds of queries. When I can, I'll do those queries and post the results.
I'm looking forward to it. Whose analysis of information structure are you using?
I have two to work with: PROIEL and Levinsohn.

I'll be saying more about the environment I'm playing with over the coming weeks. It's all freely available, it currently takes a bit of installation, I expect to make it friendlier and document it as I go.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » December 5th, 2017, 7:22 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 7:11 pm
chaslaw wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 12:07 pm
It seems counterintuitive that the two object complements in the phrase λευκὴν ἢ μέλαιναν 'white or black' would be separated like this.
Hyperbaton is interesting indeed. I just wanted to comment on this little detail: the reason it seems counterintuitive in this case is because you cannot do that in English (or in many other languages), not because it's logically counterintuitive. In English "white or black" must be connected because you cannot say "white make", you have to say "make white". Therefore you cannot say "white make or black", either, and doing it in another language which has more freedom feels weird. Logical enough?
Yes, and precisely for that reason it is not safe to assume that the Byzantine Text or Codex Bezae altered the text to make the grammar acceptable. If you get away from documents written under the shadow of Second Temple Judaism you will discover all manner of syntax that sounds convoluted to English speaking students of the New Testament. Matthew's syntax is generally not difficult.
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by MAubrey » December 5th, 2017, 8:46 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 5:42 pm
It's quite possible that topic vs. focus is key here. I should be able to do queries involving information structure soonish, I'm in the process of setting up an environment to do various kinds of queries. When I can, I'll do those queries and post the results.
It is certainly *a* key. The majority of hyperbaton involve focal constituents. The topical ones are a little more complicated. In that way, hyperbaton is related to Greek enclitic phenomena, where most attach to focal constituents, but then there's a small set of topical ones to account for as well.

Presumably, then, a unified account of the interface of prosody, information structure, and syntax would be able to account for both enclitics and also hyperbaton.
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Charlie Law » December 6th, 2017, 6:26 am

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Stephen Carlson wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 4:59 pm
Another, somewhat related idea, is an afterthought in a separate unit "... that you cannot make one hair white--or black." At any rate, hyperbaton is a more general phenomenon, and this appeal to ellipsis seems to reach only some of them.
I had toyed with the idea that the second of the two adjectives comes as an afterthought, but I decided that notion was suspect since it seemed to reflect English syntax more than what I know of Greek.

When I was looking for analogous examples, this one turned up in Galatians 1:10:

Ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνθρώπους πείθω ἢ τὸν θεόν

Here it's easy to suppose that Paul wants to separate the two objects "men" and "God" to emphasize one or the other or to contrast them. But, again, I feel myself reading Greek but thinking English.

With the Matt. 5:36 example, it's harder to make a case for emphasizing "white" over "black" or vice versa, though perhaps you could suppose that they are separated to emphasize the contrast.

These notions are attractive and you can easily draw a sermon illustration from them if you want to, but, at least with Matt. 5:36, I still wonder if there's something more fundamentally mechanical going on here, like the load-bearing limits of pre-verbal slots. Could that "load limit" (sorry, I don't recall a more technical term) be defined grammatically? I haven't carefully examined Jonathan's several examples of multi-word constituents in a pre-verbal slot, but, at first glance, it seems that these pre-verbal constituents, though multi-word, consist of a single noun phrase or a pair of noun phrases joined by a coordinating conjunction. Could there be a difference when pair of nouns or noun phrases are joined (separated) by a disjunctive conjunction?
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Charlie Law » December 6th, 2017, 6:56 am

MAubrey wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 8:46 pm
Presumably, then, a unified account of the interface of prosody, information structure, and syntax would be able to account for both enclitics and also hyperbaton.
"... and then the end shall come." ;)
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 6th, 2017, 11:02 am

MAubrey wrote:
December 5th, 2017, 8:46 pm
Presumably, then, a unified account of the interface of prosody, information structure, and syntax would be able to account for both enclitics and also hyperbaton.
We have data on information structure and syntax. What would we need to know about prosody? The traditional accounting of enclitics is straightforward, but I get the impression you think we need something beyond that.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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

Post by MAubrey » December 6th, 2017, 2:36 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 11:02 am
We have data on information structure and syntax. What would we need to know about prosody? The traditional accounting of enclitics is straightforward, but I get the impression you think we need something beyond that.
I don't know how to answer that. In your view, what is the traditional account of enclitics?
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: syntax of disjunctive phrase (Matt. 5:36)

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » December 6th, 2017, 3:33 pm

Setting aside for just a moment the theoretical discussion, I went looking for examples of this phrase. Lots of samples of what you would expect. One author alternated:
Joannes Damascenus Dialectica sive Capita philosophica (recensio fusior)
Section 58, line 23

ζῴου ὑποκειμένῳ, καὶ ἀνάγκη πάντως ἐν τῷ σώματι ἢ νόσον εἶναι ἢ
ὑγίειαν· νόσον δέ φαμεν πᾶσαν τὴν παρατροπὴν τῆς φύσεως. – Ἔμμεσα
δέ, ὧν οὐκ ἀνάγκη τὸ ἕτερον ὑπάρχειν τῷ ὑποκειμένῳ ἢ τούτοις, ὧν
κατηγοροῦνται, ὡς τὸ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν· ἐναντία γάρ εἰσι, καὶ οὐ
πάντως ἀνάγκη ἓν αὐτῶν ὑπάρχειν τῷ σώματι· οὐ γὰρ ἀνάγκη πᾶν
σῶμα ἢ λευκὸν εἶναι ἢ μέλαν, εἰσὶ γὰρ σώματα φαιὰ καὶ πυῤῥά·

εἰ μὴ ἄρα τὸ ἓν τῶν ἀντικειμένων ἀφωρισμένως φύσει ὑπάρχει τινὶ ὡς ἡ
θερμότης τῷ πυρὶ καὶ ἡ ψύξις τῇ χιόνι. Τῶν μὲν οὖν ἐμμέσων τὰ μὲν
ἔχουσιν ὀνόματα, ὡς τὸ μέσον τοῦ λευκοῦ καὶ τοῦ μέλανος λέγεται
φαιόν, τὰ δὲ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ὀνόματα· τὸ μέσον γὰρ τοῦ δικαίου καὶ τοῦ
ἀδίκου οὐκ ἔχει ὄνομα, ἀλλὰ τῇ ἀποφάσει ἑκατέρου τὸ ἀνὰ μέσον γνω

Joannes Damascenus Expositio fidei
Section 10, line 11

ἀλλὰ τῆς πρὸς ἄλληλα σχέσεως καὶ τοῦ τῆς ὑπάρξεως τρόπου.
Ταῦτα οὖν εἰδότες καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἐπὶ τὴν θείαν οὐσίαν χειραγωγούμενοι
οὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν οὐσίαν καταλαμβάνομεν ἀλλὰ τὰ περὶ τὴν οὐσίαν, ὥσπερ
οὐδέ, ἐὰν γνῶμεν, ὅτι ἡ ψυχὴ ἀσώματός ἐστι καὶ ἄποσος καὶ ἀσχημάτι-
στος, ἤδη καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτῆς κατειλήφαμεν, οὐδὲ τοῦ σώματος, εἴπερ
γνῶμεν, ὅτι λευκὸν ἢ μέλαν ἐστίν, ἀλλὰ τὰ περὶ τὴν οὐσίαν. Ὁ δὲ ἀληθὴς
λόγος διδάσκει ἁπλοῦν εἶναι τὸ θεῖον καὶ μίαν ἁπλῆν ἔχειν ἐνέργειαν,
ἀγαθήν, πᾶσι τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦσαν κατὰ τὴν τοῦ ἡλίου ἀκτῖνα, ἥτις
πάντα θάλπει καὶ ἐν ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν φυσικὴν ἐπιτηδειότητα καὶ δεκτι-
κὴν δύναμιν ἐνεργεῖ ἐκ τοῦ δημιουργήσαντος θεοῦ τὴν τοιαύτην εἰληφὼς
ἐνέργειαν.
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