Best Practices for Second Year Greek

Re: Best Practices for Second Year Greek

Postby RandallButh » June 12th, 2013, 1:22 am

Imagine two students of French having a discussion:
"What course are you taking next year?"
"Well, I've decided to stay with French so I signed up for 'Exegesis of 19th century literature.'"
"Cool, I wonder what 'exegesis' is?"
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Re: Best Practices for Second Year Greek

Postby Stephen Carlson » June 12th, 2013, 1:39 am

David M. Miller wrote:Thanks Stirling. I'm not proposing 'syntactophobia', but a non-systematic discussion of syntactical issues as they arise, with a focus on describing function rather than teaching a technical syntactical metalanguage. I'm interested in hearing from people who have tried this already. Does it work? Are there significant losses?

That's basically how I taught Greek once my class got beyond the primer. The main issues are: (a) the coverage of the grammatical issues will be spotty, and (b) you have to be really prepared for discuss any issue that comes up.

David M. Miller wrote:Also, can anyone recommend an alternative to Wallace as a reasonably accessible and recent reference grammar?

Well, that's a big problem. Wallace isn't really a reference grammar, except for the article. The rest of it is along the lines its subtitle Exegetical Syntax suggest: it is basically an intermediate syntax along the lines of Brooks & Winberry, Moule, Porter, etc. Don't let the bulk of the book fool you: it uses whitespace really well and clearly but the amount of material remains comparable for an intermediate syntax (except for the article, which Wallace studied for his thesis).

I wish there was a reasonably accessible and recent reference grammar.

My "go to" reference grammar is Smyth + BDF (or its slightly better and clearer German version BDR), but it isn't particularly accessible for students, yet those wishing to do doctoral work will need to acquire them anyway.

Robertson is still pretty decent, ahead of its time in many respects, but it is no longer "recent" in any sense of the word. One can find copies of it on the internet.

No reference grammar covers topics such as word order, information structure, connective particles, and discourse management uses of the article.

For individual studies of Greek syntax in certain areas, one has to turn to monographs. For verbal aspect and tense, I've found that classicists use Fanning for verbal aspect and generally avoid Porter . Unfortunately, Fanning is out of print. It is probably better to have your library purchase them and other monographs and put them on course reserve rather than require your students to buy them.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
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