The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
Jonathan Robie
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 4th, 2017, 2:43 pm

In your framework, is moiety lexically determined? Do all words have moeity, or do you see this as a property of verbs?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 4th, 2017, 2:45 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 10:26 am
I think I'm getting the gist of what you are seeing, Stephen. I wonder if I could understand it better by contrasting the Greek moities with English. Koine would say it like this..., an Aussie would say it like this... Yes, give it a name. Why not?
I think that it is worth investigating and if necessary categorising words acurately into either or both of the moieties, to help both readers and translators. Let's see where this goes.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 4th, 2017, 3:42 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 2:43 pm
In your framework, is moiety lexically determined? Do all words have moeity, or do you see this as a property of verbs?
At first, following the model of English (and Greek textbooks) I thought that abstractness and concreteness was a property of nouns. Pretty soon, it became clear that it was lexically determined, and it crossed boundaries between word classes and displayed an abstract and concrete differentiation pattern in a way that English doesn't. Unlike word like ἀρχή word be

There seem to be words that belong strictly one or the other moiety, and those that mean something different in the context of one or the other FWIW, since κλῆρος was the first word that I happened to notice that with, it is my own reference example. But saying "a κλῆρος-type" word is not going to make sense to others.

I don't think that all words are marked as belonging to one group or the other. It may be that the distinction is only maintained in some forms of writing. It is not as clear-cut as the shadow always precedes the man.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 8th, 2017, 2:49 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 10:26 am
Yes, give it a name. Why not?
The most suitable name would be something based on "speech styles". The word "moiety" could refer to the abstract and specific groups of words in the lexicon. It is not really a law, I think, but an observable phenomenon. Because there are two, a word like "two-fold", "double" or "binary" might fit, and because of the way that they follow each other in turn, then "alternating" might be good too.

Looking at it from the point of view of collocation of meaning, one might be able to say that abstract meanings and specific meanings are collocated into alternating phrases. In some cases those meanings are carried by the same word, and in other cases by different words.

Here is a short passage from Aelian, De natura animalium. It very clearly illustrates the features of the structure.
Κλαυδίου Αἰλιανοῦ, Περὶ Ζῴων Ἰδιότητος 7.7 wrote:κόραξ δὲ ἐπιτρόχως φθεγγόμενος καὶ κρούων τὰς πτέρυγας καὶ κροτῶν αὐτάς,
And the crow (that we see) glibly uttering its sound and clapping its wings together and rattling them
Some general information about crows
ὅτι χειμὼν ἔσται κατέγνω πρῶτος.
(It) first knows that there will be a storm.
A specific statement
κόραξ δὲ αὖ καὶ κορώνη καὶ κολοιὸς δείλης ὀψίας εἰ φθέγγοιντο,
And the crow and what's more both the shearwater and the jackdaw, if they make their sounds throughout the late afternoon
General statement
χειμῶνος ἔσεσθαί τινα ἐπιδημίαν διδάσκουσι.
They instruct one that throughout winter
Specific point.
κολοιοὶ δὲ ἱερακίζοντες, ὡς ἐκεῖνος λέγει, καὶ πετόμενοι πῆ μὲν ἀνωτέρω πῆ δὲ κατωτέρω,
When shearwaters fly like hawks, as Aristotle says, and they (are seen to be) flying somewhere up higher and somewhere else down lower
Broad general statement.
κρυμὸν καὶ ὑετὸν δηλοῦσι.
Frost and rain are signified.
Specific statement
κορώνη δὲ ἐπὶ δείπνου ὑποφθεγγομένη ἡσυχῆ,
When the shearwater calling quitely in muffled tones at dinner time
General setting.
ἐς τὴν ὑστεραίαν εὐδίαν παρακαλεῖ.
It is calling the later fine weather to come (ie and share the meal).
Specific point.
φανέντες δὲ ὄρνιθες πολλοὶ μὲν τὸν ἀριθμόν,
When birds are visible, being many in number
λευκοὶ δὲ τὴν χρόαν,
and white in colour
General statement
χειμὼν ὅτι ἔσται πολὺς ἐκδιδάσκουσι.
They are indicating that there will be a great storm.
Specific point
νῆτται δὲ καὶ αἴθυιαι πτερυγίζουσαι
When ducks and (another type of) shearwater (at least a diving bird) flutter their wings as if to fly,
General statement
πνεῦμα δηλοῦσιν ἰσχυρόν.
They are indicating that there will be a strong wind.
Specific detail
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Paul-Nitz » April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am

A name for the phenomenon: "General-Specific Coupling"

In the example below, am I seeing what you are describing, Stephen?

Matthew 6:24-26

GENERAL Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει.
[“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.]
SPECIFIC οὐ δύνασθε θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.
[You cannot serve both God and Money. ]

SPECIFIC Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν· μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν τί φάγητε [ἢ τί πίητε], μηδὲ τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν τί ἐνδύσησθε.
[“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.]
GENERAL οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος;
[Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?]

GENERAL ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν οὐδὲ θερίζουσιν οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν εἰς ἀποθήκας, καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά·
[Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.]
SPECIFIC οὐχ ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν;
[Are you not much more valuable than they?]

I think English thinking and language likes expressing thoughts (especially propositions) in terms of a contrast.
  • “I think this and this is true. But consider this in contrast.”
English usually uses a conjunction or adverb to mark the connectors mark the contrast: but, however, although, still, be-that-as-it-may, that said, etc.

Maybe Greek thinking and language likes expressing thoughts in a back and forth pattern between Specific and General. If so, it does not mark this with a conjunction. Maybe it marks it with asyndeton (the lack of any conjunction). In the verses above, you'll find asyndeton at the middle of each pair.
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Stephen Hughes
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 9th, 2017, 4:20 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
A name for the phenomenon: "General-Specific Coupling"
In terms of the structre in which it occurs that is fine as a name. I introduced that passage from Aelian, because participial general statements are where every body already recognises the two-fold structure of Greek stylistic practice. What I am saying is that if one looks at the same pattern in the language, in something like
Luke 7:38 wrote:ἤρξατο βρέχειν τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ τοῖς δάκρυσιν, καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμασσεν, καὶ κατεφίλει τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἤλειφεν τῷ μύρῳ.
Then the same pattern appears based on word choices, like this:

ἤρξατο βρέχειν (contextual / general word) τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ τοῖς δάκρυσιν,
καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμασσεν (specific),
καὶ κατεφίλει (a specific act) τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ,
καὶ ἤλειφεν (specific small context word) τῷ μύρῳ.

Here the first phrase uses contextualising language, and the following three use specific language.

[As an aside, (ie not part of the explanation arising from Jonathan's request for explanation), there are of course two other layers of beauty here in these words. First, the stylistic shifts are well joined. The dative of agency at the end of the first contextual phrase is picked up by the dative of agency at the beginning of the first (antiphonal) specific phrase. The shared subject τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ has a similar function between the following two lines. Seccouplets of the phrases move from the least specific to the most specific element in order of introduction.The verb ἤρξατο βρέχειν is a pseudo-modal (periphrastic) construction giving us the overal context for what follows, the next is the feet (in the Byzantine rendition at least) telling us what part was moistened (wettened), and then the αὐτοῦ further specifies the ownership (belonging) of the feet, finally, and most specifically in its phrase, the means are ("is" in English terms) specified.

To state that again, from another perspective, the choice of vocabulary alerts us to the fact that we are in the contextualising or specifying phrase, and within the phrase, the order is according to the change in the degree of generality to specificity that the author wants to present.]

The word βρέχειν (high tendency) / βροχή (exclusively) occurs in contextualising statements in the New Testament, ie usually in contextualising phrases, and ἐκμάσσειν (in New Testament contexts at least) occurs in the second phrase of couplets. In the Aelian passage above ὑετὸν δηλοῦσι are used in the second phrase of the couplet, rather than βροχή.

The type of kissing suggested by καταφίλειν is more extensive and involved than another word might suggest, and within New Testament contexts it occurs in specific phrases.
Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
A name for the phenomenon: "General-Specific Coupling"

In the example below, am I seeing what you are describing, Stephen?
Judge for yourself.
Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
Matthew 6:24-26

GENERAL Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει.
[“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.]
SPECIFIC οὐ δύνασθε θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.
[You cannot serve both God and Money. ]
So far as the internal structure is concerned, hating and loving are more contextual actions than the devotion or despising, ie it is within the context of loving that devotion happens, and within the context of hating that one despises. There seems to be a certain degree of honourific movement of God to the broader context earlier elements of a phrase. God is a universal being, and mamon tends to occur near the end of phrases.
Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
SPECIFIC Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν· μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν τί φάγητε [ἢ τί πίητε], μηδὲ τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν τί ἐνδύσησθε.
[“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.]
GENERAL οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος;
[Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?]
μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν (contextualising statement)
τί φάγητε [ἢ τί πίητε], (specific points)
μηδὲ (μεριμνᾶτε understood) τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν (contextualising statement)
τί ἐνδύσησθε. (specific point)

οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος;
Life is a much bigger thing than food, and clothes are worn because of the needs of our bodies.
Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
GENERAL ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν οὐδὲ θερίζουσιν οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν εἰς ἀποθήκας, καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά·
[Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.]
To βλέπειν requires time and mental effort. As with Aelian's use of birds in the contextualising speech style phrases, πετεινόν "flying creatures", seems to be a contextualising wprd, but actually it seems to be used in either - ie, it is not a specifically marked word. σπείρειν, θερίζειν and συνάγειν (in the active or mediopassive of self advantage) are all small context / specific. ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά· While τρέφειν is a word that belongs to the specific moiety in the lexicon, the order of the phrase goes from the conceptually broadest to the conceptually most specific ideas.

Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
SPECIFIC οὐχ ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν;
[Are you not much more valuable than they?]
Perhaps this is a statement on its own, or there may be no words here, only grammar.
Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
In the verses above, you'll find asyndeton at the middle of each pair.
As you look further, there will be things between the phrases.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Paul-Nitz » April 10th, 2017, 10:11 am

Stephen,
So, is this accurate? In the Matt 6:24-26 selection, I was looking for a back and forth pattern of thoughts and seeing coupling of general-specific statements. You are seeing the coupling of general-specific within statements based on the quality of the words used.
Paul
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

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

Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 10th, 2017, 11:24 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:
April 10th, 2017, 10:11 am
Stephen,
So, is this accurate? In the Matt 6:24-26 selection, I was looking for a back and forth pattern of thoughts and seeing coupling of general-specific statements. You are seeing the coupling of general-specific within statements based on the quality of the words used.
Paul
Yes. Some of them at least.

If you would like to continue discussions, we will also see that some words determine their sense accordong to context, there is a regular pattern of style-shifting according to voice, the θη- are almost outside the system, and that the discourse markers and relative clauses change the pattern (as you have seen in the difference between your analysis and mine already and in other ways too).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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

Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 11th, 2017, 4:34 am

I was expecting to be asked what I meant by "inadequate", when I said that current lexical resources are inadequate. In the absence of a question, let me answer an unspoken one...

To be able to compose or speak according to an authentic style system, then it would be really handy for us to have;
ἀλείφειν (spec. vs abstr. χρίειν)

somewhere at least in an entry, so that we can choose the right one to use.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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

Re: The two-fold and structured moieties of Koine Greek.

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 11th, 2017, 4:47 am

Again on the naming, "How speech style affects / determines choices in synonymy." might work as a description, so that could be incorporated into the naming process.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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