A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Textbooks, Graded Readers, Beginner Resources and links, Teaching aids, etc.

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 9th, 2013, 5:53 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Grammars of modern languages sort of assume that people communicate (write and speak) in them.

How long has it been since someone "knew" Koine (or NT) greek and wrote a grammar?


How are you measuring?

Nobody has spoken Koine as their native language for a long time, and few of us would find it easy to learn Greek from grammars like Thrax's, written around the time of Christ:

http://www.hs-augsburg.de/~harsch/graeca/Chronologia/S_ante02/DionysiosThrax/dio_tech.html

Though it would be interesting. This is pretty much academic, I think, if we want to do something like this, we use the best sources we can as a starting point. And we need to use sources that are either (1) donated, or (2) old enough to be out of copyright.

Stephen Hughes wrote:Besides the issue of avoiding copyright law, is it generally agreed that Nunn and Smyth had mastered the language or did they just intelligently shuffle someone else's notes?


We will not violate copyright law, period. That's a given. And if we do something, starting with the best grammars available to us is also a given. Nunn and Smyth have been nominated, Smyth is probably the most used grammar on this forum, and much loved, but too much for a beginner's grammar.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1465
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 9th, 2013, 11:35 am

cwconrad wrote:If, on the other hand, what we're talking about really is a good "intermediate Greek Syntax," I think we might do worse than focus shared efforts on reformulating those chapters of Funk's BIGHG now on the eve of its publication in a revised 3rd edition. One matter on which Louis and I have exchanged notions while proofreading the draft versions is whether we should suggest improvements at points where we can readily discern where a more radical reformulation would pretty clearly be desirable (I could readily envision reformulating what is set forth about voice morphology and syntax). I think such a project would be much more feasible than alternatives suggested heretofore.


Do you / Louis have a list of changes you would like to see made?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1465
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 10th, 2013, 7:17 am

Jonathan Robie wrote: How are you measuring?

It is a difficult thing to measure, yes. My point is that a grammar of the language would be more difficult to formulate than a set of exegetical crib-notes (which is doubtless also a difficult task).

I suppose I was thinking that someone who has an adequate command of the language to write a grammar of its written form would be one who would be able to produce a text to the standard of the texts that they are writing the grammar about.

Jonathan Robie wrote:Nobody has spoken Koine as their native language for a long time,

Oral skills in the language would be an advantage too, as in many cases the epistles read much better at a higher (natural speech) speed.

Jonathan Robie wrote: few of us would find it easy to learn Greek from grammars like Thrax's, written around the time of Christ

Well, thanks for that reference, I just had a read through that... It is not a teaching grammar, it is a series of definitions that one could apply to a language already known.


cwconrad wrote:Many of us have repeatedly urged that students who've advanced beyond the primer or the first-year classroom would do best to start reading widely and intensely with the best reference tools available. A deeper grasp of ancient Greek is ultimately not something that one learns from textbooks or teachers but from assiduous and attentive reading in quantity.


Sailing long and far into the deep blue yonder is not so easy as it sounds. Given that there are graduates (in their early years) and assuming that they have been given a useable educational product that they can use throughout their lives, then there would perhaps be the possibility that there are 40 times more people reading Greek outside an academic setting than in it. The situation would be; working with new texts without the aid of a teacher, easy access to (dated) online resources, access to texts ...

What type of grammar does that need? Reference or teaching. Probably both.

Would schoolboy commentaries on individual texts be better? (Of course an overall grammar of Koine would sort of replace the need for them to 90%, I guess.)
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
Stephen Hughes
 
Posts: 1148
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am
Location: China

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby cwconrad » July 10th, 2013, 7:53 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
cwconrad wrote:If, on the other hand, what we're talking about really is a good "intermediate Greek Syntax," I think we might do worse than focus shared efforts on reformulating those chapters of Funk's BIGHG now on the eve of its publication in a revised 3rd edition. One matter on which Louis and I have exchanged notions while proofreading the draft versions is whether we should suggest improvements at points where we can readily discern where a more radical reformulation would pretty clearly be desirable (I could readily envision reformulating what is set forth about voice morphology and syntax). I think such a project would be much more feasible than alternatives suggested heretofore.


Do you / Louis have a list of changes you would like to see made?


No, we don't. Louis raised the question with me in a discussion of the presentation on phonology and orthography in BIGHG; we noted that Funk's account of phonological and orthographical factors is consistent with standard views about the evolution of Attic forms but that Funk's account doesn't adequately describe phonology and orthography of Biblical Koine (à la Buth). I advised Louis that I didn't think we should attempt to rewrite any part of Funk's 3rd edition but faithfully reproduce that text with as few errors as possible. I do think that a supplement to Funk's BIGHG should include a clear and accurate accounting of the phonology and orthography of Biblical Koine (or of Hellenistic Greek of the Roman empire era). Certainly there should be a supplement seting forth an updated understanding of verbal "voice" or διάθεσις. As we get copies of the newly-released Polebridge edition and look carefully through it, we may formulate a list of other chapters that would need a supplemental updating.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby cwconrad » July 10th, 2013, 8:11 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:[
cwconrad wrote:Many of us have repeatedly urged that students who've advanced beyond the primer or the first-year classroom would do best to start reading widely and intensely with the best reference tools available. A deeper grasp of ancient Greek is ultimately not something that one learns from textbooks or teachers but from assiduous and attentive reading in quantity.


Sailing long and far into the deep blue yonder is not so easy as it sounds. Given that there are graduates (in their early years) and assuming that they have been given a useable educational product that they can use throughout their lives, then there would perhaps be the possibility that there are 40 times more people reading Greek outside an academic setting than in it. The situation would be; working with new texts without the aid of a teacher, easy access to (dated) online resources, access to texts ...

What type of grammar does that need? Reference or teaching. Probably both.

Would schoolboy commentaries on individual texts be better? (Of course an overall grammar of Koine would sort of replace the need for them to 90%, I guess.)


You rightly say, "Sailing long and far into the deep blue yonder is not as easy as it sounds." "Schoolboy commentaries" run the gamut of quality and utility; my inveterate judgment on most such commentaries is that they too often fail to address the difficulties in the text that I've found. There are some classic commentaries like Barrett on Euripides' Hippolytus, Fraenkel's on Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Benner on Homer's Iliad, Stanford on the Odyssey, but these seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

I remember feeling that sailing "long and far into the deep blue yonder" is an Odyssean adventure. Yes, one needs the best resources available in terms of lexica and research grammars. But that navigation is perilous in any case, and the signature motto that you've adopted applies to it in every respect:

Ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή, ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξύς, ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερή, ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή.

I like that very much -- where does it come from originally? I've always known it in its abbreviated Latin form, 'Ars longa, vita brevis est."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby MAubrey » July 10th, 2013, 10:54 am

cwconrad wrote:Ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή, ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξύς, ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερή, ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή.

I like that very much -- where does it come from originally? I've always known it in its abbreviated Latin form, 'Ars longa, vita brevis est."


It's the first two lines of Hippocrates's Aphorismi.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
MAubrey
 
Posts: 629
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: British Columbia

Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 11th, 2013, 5:54 am

cwconrad wrote:I like that very much

I think that it is a valid outlook on human existence in any age. Studying Greek at the Bachelors, Ancient history (Egyptolgoy) at Masters, and training as a high school history teacher all give a "perspective" on both the fleeting and the repetitious nature of human life. When history serves as the treasury of human experience, the past is always a good guide for the future. Some timeless insights into life are to be found in little saying like this Hippocrates's Ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή, ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξύς, ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερή, ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή.

Actually, I am thinking of perhaps changing it sometime soon for the apostle's really beautiful statement in Romans 12:3 - μὴ ὑπερφρονεῖν παρ’ ὃ δεῖ φρονεῖν, ἀλλὰ φρονεῖν εἰς τὸ σωφρονεῖν. Finding beauty in statements like that is one of the things that make reading the Greek even more rewarding.

cwconrad wrote:I remember feeling that sailing "long and far into the deep blue yonder" is an Odyssean adventure.

I would suppose that my Καλυψώ, in visiting whose island a few times I've wiled away many months is our seemingly welcoming but "usually" false friend ἐτυμολογία. The Σειρῆνες from I have had to set restraints and limits for my self from are comparative studies of many sorts. The Πηνελόπη to which all of this has led back to a few times is of course the New Testament.

MAubrey wrote:It's the first two lines of Hippocrates's Aphorismi.

I was lead to believe by others that it was the first first five actually.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
Stephen Hughes
 
Posts: 1148
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am
Location: China

Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 11th, 2013, 8:02 am

I think that most currently available resources treat pragmatics as an "afterthought". Perhaps to be more useful to humanity, pragmatics could become his brother "forethought". Like, when you want to express such and so, then there are the following option; 1, 2, 3. Moving from meaning to form, not always from form to meaning.

It seems that clear description of the interplay between morphology and syntax is presently hard to find, if anyone had something to offer in that field, I would be happy to read it.

Another thing that I find lacking currently is a classification of nouns according to which syntactic roles they favour.

Collocation data for various combinations appears to be uncollated, although in reading, we notice it.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
Stephen Hughes
 
Posts: 1148
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am
Location: China

Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby MAubrey » July 11th, 2013, 6:43 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:I think that most currently available resources treat pragmatics as an "afterthought". Perhaps to be more useful to humanity, pragmatics could become his brother "forethought". Like, when you want to express such and so, then there are the following option; 1, 2, 3. Moving from meaning to form, not always from form to meaning.

Pragmatics is something linguists invented after Chomsky misinterpreted Bloomfield's avoidance of talking about semantics with reference to syntax as a theoretical maxim: syntax and semantics are cognitively independent. Once semantics is separated from grammatical structure, pragmatics as an additional sub-field becomes a necessity. But the fact of the matter is that there is no clear delineate-able boundary between semantics and pragmatics. They exist as a continuum.
Stephen Hughes wrote:It seems that clear description of the interplay between morphology and syntax is presently hard to find, if anyone had something to offer in that field, I would be happy to read it.

What kinds of resources are interested in? Discussions about the interplay between morphology & syntax in general? Or with specific reference to Greek?

Also, "Ars longa, vita brevis est" is indeed the first two lines...which is what I meant. You're right, of course, about its totality being the first five.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
MAubrey
 
Posts: 629
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: British Columbia

Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 12th, 2013, 3:12 am

MAubrey wrote:Pragmatics is something linguists invented after Chomsky misinterpreted Bloomfield's avoidance of talking about semantics with reference to syntax as a theoretical maxim: syntax and semantics are cognitively independent. Once semantics is separated from grammatical structure, pragmatics as an additional sub-field becomes a necessity. But the fact of the matter is that there is no clear delineate-able boundary between semantics and pragmatics. They exist as a continuum.


I meant pragmatics in general sense that it is introduced in discussions when it is differentiated from semantics. Aside from the discussion of terms, my point is that in the books about that I have seen there is a bias toward form that are expressed in words or easily identifiable groups of words. The other functions of language that are constructed out of the words receive comparatively little treatment.

MAubrey wrote: with specific reference to Greek


Yes, I would be interested in reading discussions about the interplay between rhetorical, syntactic structures and then accidence. I would like to see that in an intermediate grammar.

The idea behind that is that a beginning grammar / teaching grammar is an interface between two languages. Presumably, since this is an English language forum, most of the people considering using such a work are teaching in English. But for teaching in another language, I'm afraid that an intermediate grammar will be "more of the same". In this regard, I mean that things that are taken for granted for granted because they are similar in the two languages are sometimes glossed over with things like, "such and such is used fairly much the same as it is in English".

It would be good to know what the rethorical / speech structures are and how they are being constructed, and whether the constructions are "normal" or altered.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
Stephen Hughes
 
Posts: 1148
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am
Location: China

PreviousNext

Return to Resources

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests