A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Carlson » July 12th, 2013, 4:38 am

Stephen Hughes wrote: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".

I've toyed with the idea that a post-beginning grammar ought to bring in languages in addition to English for comparison and contrast. A Romance language would be nice because of its aspectual distinction in the past. Many American students (in my experience at Duke) would have some knowledge of Spanish or French, and doctoral students are expected to read French (as well as German).
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby MAubrey » July 12th, 2013, 11:20 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:I meant pragmatics in general sense that it is introduced in discussions when it is differentiated from semantics.

Yes, I know.

But it shouldn't be differentiated from semantics.
Stephen Hughes wrote: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.


Stephen Hughes wrote: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 closest you're going to get to such a book in terms of already available works would be either Steve Runge's Discourse grammar of the Greek New Testament or Stephen Levinsohn's Discourse features of New Testament Greek--neither of which make statements like "such and such is used fairly much the same as it is in English"--for what its worth. Beyond that, available materials are spread across a massive web of research in Classical Greek, mostly in journal, but a few monographs. Paul Danove's monographs are useful in that regard, they deal with the argument structure and thematic relations of predicates.
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 13th, 2013, 12:43 am

MAubrey wrote:The closest you're going to get to such a book in terms of already available works would be either Steve Runge's Discourse grammar of the Greek New Testament or Stephen Levinsohn's Discourse features of New Testament Greek


Well, I'll have a look at those those two in November together with the work by Gignac that you recommended earlier. Speaking of which, I realised later that I have looked at it before sometime in the early 90's after J.A.L. Lee gave (or sold??) me a few books, and mentioned it.

Stephen Carlson wrote:I've toyed with the idea that a post-beginning grammar ought to bring in languages in addition to English for comparison and contrast. A Romance language would be nice because of its aspectual distinction in the past. Many American students (in my experience at Duke) would have some knowledge of Spanish or French, and doctoral students are expected to read French (as well as German).


The natural emergence (at around 2;0) of the "Give me the mummy made it cake" type constructions sort of ends up the same in the romance languages (and Modern Greek) as it does in English. The broad use of participles in narrative contexts wouldn't be able to be paralleled as well as it might be with other languages. The participle side of syntax is really interesting actually, the more I read.
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 13th, 2013, 12:43 am

MAubrey wrote: Stephen Hughes wrote:I meant pragmatics in general sense that it is introduced in discussions when it is differentiated from semantics.


Yes, I know.

But it shouldn't be differentiated from semantics.


I understand and respect that you have a theoretical objection to the differentiation between the terms, and I have read about some of the ways that linguists have been coming up with to deal with the theoretical issues that have arisen in linguistics to deal with the incorporation of Chomskyan thought in to the general discourse. I think that pragmatics is a form of compartmentalisation (is that the word?). Looking at things in parts is a way that some people like to teach. I remember the first time someone taught me to ride a motorcycle (when I was around 8), or to drive a car (c. 10). It was just get on / in and ride / drive. Later when I was learning skills / proficiency to be able to ride on the road, all the little things were practiced part by part. In fact pushing on the brake peddle with the bike stationary was something that had a null effect, but it was a way of concentrating on a particular function or aspect even if it never really existed in the real world. Actually, I'm a "throw in the deep-end (as the turn of phrase goes) and then deal with what problems arise" teacher.

Stephen Hughes wrote: "afterthought"... "forethought"

That was actually intended as a pun on the titan's name.
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Carlson » July 13th, 2013, 4:33 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:I've toyed with the idea that a post-beginning grammar ought to bring in languages in addition to English for comparison and contrast. A Romance language would be nice because of its aspectual distinction in the past. Many American students (in my experience at Duke) would have some knowledge of Spanish or French, and doctoral students are expected to read French (as well as German).


The natural emergence (at around 2;0) of the "Give me the mummy made it cake" type constructions sort of ends up the same in the romance languages (and Modern Greek) as it does in English. The broad use of participles in narrative contexts wouldn't be able to be paralleled as well as it might be with other languages. The participle side of syntax is really interesting actually, the more I read.


Yeah, it's not going to help with participles, but I don't know what commonly learned modern language would. A Romance language would facilitate comparisons with the imperfect and to a lesser extent the aorist. And almost any language other than present-day English would help with the present.
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 13th, 2013, 5:59 am

I think that the treatment of participles will break or break a work on syntax.
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby cwconrad » July 13th, 2013, 8:07 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:I think that the treatment of participles will break or break a work on syntax.


Perhaps you meant "make or break" -- if so, that might well be true.
On the other hand, if you really did mean "break or break" -- that might be true too. Participles in ancient Greek are at once the beasts of burden and the Trojan horses of Greek verb usage.
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 13th, 2013, 10:43 am

cwconrad wrote:Participles in ancient Greek are at once the beasts of burden and the Trojan horses of Greek verb usage.


What a great quote!
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 14th, 2013, 12:58 am

cwconrad wrote:Perhaps you meant "make or break" -- if so, that might well be true.
On the other hand, if you really did mean "break or break" -- that might be true too.

I was trying to be polite and find something positive to say about the treatment of participles, but I was standing over the computer on my way to class when I typed it and my true thinking about how they are currently treated came out.

Stephen Hughes wrote:The natural emergence (at around 2;0) of the "Give me the mummy made it cake" type constructions sort of ends up the same in the romance languages (and Modern Greek) as it does in English.

Stephen Carlson wrote:Yeah, it's not going to help with participles, but I don't know what commonly learned modern language would.

Relatives are so ingrained in my thinking that it is hard for me to imagine that participles are not "sort of" like them. Relatives sort of serve the function of participles in English. The case in Chinese is very different - there are no relatives - only something like a participle. Take for example the sentence, {10 Chinese characters follow} 给我一个妈妈做的蛋糕 Gěi (give) wǒ (I) yī (one) gè (unit marker word) māmā (mummy) zuò (make) de (particle of marking that it is something like participial / relative unit) dàngāo (cake) ("Give me one of the cakes which mummy made"). A variation could be {10 Chinese characters follow} 给我那个妈妈做的蛋糕 Gěi (give) wǒ (I) nà (that) gè (unit marker word) māmā (mummy) zuò (make) de (particle of marking that it is something like participial / relative unit) dàngāo (cake). The (extra from the point of view of adult English) "it" in "Give me the mummy made it cake" is of course retained in Semitic languages (and Coptic).

In Greek it's mind blowing! There are both participial and relative systems working together and they are clearly differentiated. The linguistic stub that emerges in child grammar at two years of age (2;0) is allowed to produce both options without either option being stunted. It is suggested in the literature that a full understanding of relatives comes at about nine years of age (9;0). So, I presume that by nine years of age, a child growing up with Koine Greek as a first language would have mastered the integrated system. That suggests that it predates the logical and rhetorical communication systems that would come in the teenage years.

A syntax of Greek needs to map out and trace the development and the range of functions of both branches and how they are intertwined.
Stephen Hughes
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 14th, 2013, 10:50 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:I've also found Goetchius' "The Language of the New Testament" is very informative on various structures and on par if not better than Funk in some areas).


I bought a copy on this recommendation, along with the workbook, and I have to say that I'm very impressed. Very clear writing, great examples, a constant focus on the bigger picture, approachable vocabulary.

A bit less detailed than Funk, easier to read.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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