Dative case as the direct object?

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Dative case as the direct object?

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 20th, 2017, 3:24 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
December 20th, 2017, 3:22 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 20th, 2017, 1:14 pm
I like the fact that I could easily query to find instances of dative or genitive objects. I don't think calling some of these complements would make it easier to query or understand. I don't think calling some of these obliques would make it easier to query or understand, and it would make it harder to find them.
The more I look into this issue, the more it seems to me that such a search is merely finding the dative or genitive cases where they could sound like a direct object in English. Again, if I merely change the gloss in most of those cases, then now you are merely finding what sound like indirect objects in English.
I disagree. And a big part of our disagreement may come down to what we feel these constructs mean in Greek. I don't think that English is driving my reasoning here. Of course, we have all been conditioned by many things - English, the Greek grammars we have read, etc., and we have to test each of our intuitions against the data.

In general, it's probably not helpful to keep repeating that we want to represent the Greek, not the English. That's axiomatic, and each of us is trying to do that. The more useful question is this: what does the Greek mean, and how do we best represent it?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Dative case as the direct object?

Post by Alan Bunning » December 20th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 20th, 2017, 3:24 pm
The more useful question is this: what does the Greek mean, and how do we best represent it?
Agreed, and there are probably several different ways to do that depending on your goals.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Dative case as the direct object?

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 20th, 2017, 8:18 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 19th, 2017, 12:13 pm
Stephen Carlson wrote:
December 19th, 2017, 9:26 am
The problem is, as evident in Mocciaro piece, is that with two argument verbs, the second argument (the object) gets different marking depending how affected the object is / how transitive the verb is. If the term "direct object" is defined with respect to transitivity, then we have some sort of (potentially arbitrary?) line-drawing exercise to decide whether a verb is transitive, because we're looking at a graduation of affectedness instead of discrete categories. This line may or may not correspond to particular case markings, so I'm not sure what point of the line-drawing exercise is.
Sure. And examples like ἥψατο μού τις make me think that the patient might be quite affected for some of these.
I'm not sure this is a good example of a patient. "Touch" doesn't have a patient, because the "object" is usually not affected and affectedness is not part of its meaning. The "object" is more of a location where the contact takes place. The motivation for why the object/complement is a partitive genitive is because touching something only contacts part of it.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 19th, 2017, 12:13 pm
I also wonder if semantic roles could be helpful here - [
That's what I was referring to with the Paul Danove case frame stuff. In general, it doesn't solve the analytical problems but pushes them down to another level detail. I refer to this as the fractal nature of grammar: no matter how you define things at any give level of resolution, you'll find things that don't fit. Edward Sapir's way of saying this is: All grammars leak.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Dative case as the direct object?

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 21st, 2017, 10:14 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
December 20th, 2017, 8:18 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 19th, 2017, 12:13 pm
Sure. And examples like ἥψατο μού τις make me think that the patient might be quite affected for some of these.
I'm not sure this is a good example of a patient. "Touch" doesn't have a patient, because the "object" is usually not affected and affectedness is not part of its meaning. The "object" is more of a location where the contact takes place. The motivation for why the object/complement is a partitive genitive is because touching something only contacts part of it.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 19th, 2017, 12:13 pm
I also wonder if semantic roles could be helpful here -
That's what I was referring to with the Paul Danove case frame stuff. In general, it doesn't solve the analytical problems but pushes them down to another level detail.
To really know whether I agree with you on ἥψατο μού τις, I would have to spend significant time studying similar constructions and how others have modeled agent / patient relationships. So the problem turtles. Building one model depends on another model, and each model needs to be examined in light of the data.

I think the basic takeaway is that we need to look at all the different kinds of objects that occur, at the same time, to make really good decisions here, and we can benefit by looking at the decisions others have made in their systems. There are various treebanks that have had to look at this question, and they have come up with different approaches to modeling objects.

I'm currently focused on creating an environment where we can compare the decisions made by these existing systems and see what kinds of queries are easily supported and what kinds of queries are not. And it's really helpful for me to make a list of the questions.

I saw Paul Danove's case frame presentation at SBL 2017. I would love to have this as a dataset ... I agree that adding this level of detail doesn't answer all the questions, but it certainly gives more precise data for making good modeling decisions.
Stephen Carlson wrote:
December 20th, 2017, 8:18 pm
I refer to this as the fractal nature of grammar: no matter how you define things at any give level of resolution, you'll find things that don't fit. Edward Sapir's way of saying this is: All grammars leak.
Exactly. And different models leak in different ways. When you have to annotate an entire corpus, you can't avoid this.

That's one of the advantages of having multiple analyses. But every model is just a model. None of them completely captures the language.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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