Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 31st, 2016, 8:37 am

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:Wow, Barry. I appreciate your patience in dealing with this guy. He's really an idiot.
All learners need self-belief to have the confidence to speak out. Mr. Milton seems to be unbalanced in his acquisition processs. I have had ESL students who have a similar disposition.

"Internalisation" is quite a complex thing, and production is one part of that. Analytical models, such as those that allow for the efficient translation of Greek to English (or English to Chinese) don't always make sense to learners who are struggling to construct a working model of the language itself. In my opinion, the prevailing idea that if language is internalised then it is learnt, is a furfy. The majority of a knowledge will always be outside of an individual speaker. The standard of usage is intelligibility by other speakers. It is not internal, but interactive. Writing good Greek is not a matter of harmony with what we feel should be written or said, but it is the Greek that gets a meaning across. Translation is about getting more or less the same meaning across in another language.


In addition to the ability to produce language that feels "right" to the person, there are two other things that can be useful. One is to work from models - memorised and understood model phrases and structures can be adapted to create novel phrases. In a predominantly spoken language, that would be remembered as spoken examples, and in a predominantly written language those will be written models. It is something like being able to say, "My mother would say ...., while my uncle would prefer to say ...". Learning to do that involves substitution drills - πίνω σίκερα ἐκ τοῦ ποτηρίου, into which we could substitute other elements such as οἶνον, γάλα or ἀσκόν. Learning model sentences, then, is a combination of knowledge and skill. The other thing that may help Mr. Miller is a set of rules phrased in terms of usage requirements - if tou want to give background information, then use a genitive absolute, but if you want to mark a point in time use the articular infinitive. For the choice of synonyms, things need to be put quite simply. Something like, if the crows were flying at the same speed as the man was running we would use ἐλαύνειν, while if the approach of the crows caused him to flee (the crows catching up), the use διώκρειν, and if it was at the moment when they caught up, use καταδιώκειν. Producing language involves a combination of those three things - rules, models and the will to speak. Different people have a different balance between the three, and moving from interlanguage to a progressively more standard form of the language requires work on all three fronts.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 31st, 2016, 8:38 am

Daniel Streett's test - mentioned in that thread - is an interesting one. I guess that I got over 10 out of 10.
  • For "yes", I got μαλ. and ν. (2/1)
    For seat, I got κ. and θ. and also β...μα. I don't know if ἱλ... was ever thought of as a seat, despite the way it is expressed in English. (3/1).
    For "ball", I only got the standard σφ. (1/1).
    For "cat", I misspelt the basic word as αἴγουλος, but I do know the close words λέων and πάρδαλις, which I could use to paraphrase a meaning (eg. πάρδαλις οἰκιακή) which I'm confident could have been understood (maybe 1.5/1).
    "Monkey" was wrong (0/1), but I recognised it when I saw it.
    "Nine" and "red" were okay (2/2).
    "Cold" was of course ψ., but there is also κρύ(ος), (cryo-) but I wasn't sure of its declension (1.5/1).
    "Nose" was of course ῥ., but there is also μυκτήρ, but I wasn't confident about that one (1.5/1).
    "Jump"is either ἁλ. or λα. (2/1)
    For the greetings "hello" is straightforward enough with χ., but I would guess that "How are you?" would be ὑγιαίνεις; because the private correspondence in the papyri often contain questions about the health of others. I don't think I know "Goodbye!" except the written Ἔρρ. forms, so maybe I could get a little bonus, maybe 2.
Totally then, my score would be about 15/10 :lol:
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 31st, 2016, 9:24 am

S Walch wrote:
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
English: "The crows beholding the miracles of Jesus were unbelieving."

Koine: οἱ ὄχλοι θεασαμενοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ ἦσαν ἄπιστα
In too many of his sentences the word order is 1:1 with the English sentence. Sometimes it works, usually not. This would sound more idiomatic with different order, e.g. "οἱ ὄχλοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν". I don't claim to be better at composition than he is, but I have some sense of idiomatic language when I read, whether it be Finnish, English or Koine.

P.S. According the original English it would be "οἱ κόρακες τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν", but spelling mistakes don't count in this kind of discussion.
But, but, Eeli, "remember in Greek the word order is more flexible!" - So his words, which appears to be an excuse to say "I can write out these in Greek whilst following the English word order".

Usually the hallmarks of one who clearly isn't too familiar with the target language.
Hey, this has worked for countless beginning Greek students over the centuries, so speak respectfully... :lol:
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Shirley Rollinson » August 31st, 2016, 2:44 pm

Thanks for making my day - I'm about to go to my Beginning Greek class - with some rather week students. It makes them look good.
I especially like The crows beholding the miracles of Jesus were unbelieving
:-)
Shirley Rollinson
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cwconrad
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by cwconrad » September 1st, 2016, 7:38 am

There's been a lot of fun had in this thread of the sort falling in the category of end-of-semester harvests of θαύματα produced by students in exams and term papers. Undoubtedly folly earns its exposure to ridicule; at the same time, however, it is not only risible but pathetic.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:Wow, Barry. I appreciate your patience in dealing with this guy. He's really an idiot.
All learners need self-belief to have the confidence to speak out. Mr. Milton seems to be unbalanced in his acquisition processs.
'
My initial response to this was: "What is most appalling here is the self-assurance of the author." An arrogant assumption of infallibility is something different in nature, it seems to me, from "self-belief." It's always been my thinking that teachability is essential to "learning" -- not the docility of the lost beginner but an openness to instruction, some awareness that, however much one knows, one's ignorance really is profound. I wonder whether one can learn anything at all without that sense that there is more to be learned than what one knows.
There's an old proverbial dictum of unknown origin that I've always liked:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool - shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple - teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep - wake him. He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise - follow him.
There's something similar from Hesiod's Works and Days:
οὗτος μὲν πανάριστος ὃς αὐτὸς πάντα νοήσῃ,
ἐσθλὸς δ᾽ αὖ κἀκεῖνος ὃς εὖ εἰπόντι πίθηται.
ὃς δέ κε μήτ᾽ αὐτὸς νοέῃ μήτ᾽ ἄλλου ἀκούων
ἐν θυμῷ βάλληται, ὃ δ᾽ αὖτ᾽ ἀχρήιος ἀνήρ.
Not the least of the reasons Solon was deemed one of the ἕπτα σοφοί is the attitude exemplified in his dictum, "γηράσκω ἀεῖ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος." διδάσκεσθαι is a good word, an exemplary "subject-affected" middle-passive involving both the engagement of the subject and accessibility to external stimulation.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 1st, 2016, 9:56 am

cwconrad wrote:Undoubtedly folly earns its exposure to ridicule; at the same time, however, it is not only risible but pathetic.
Not everyone can accept direct external correction. Sometimes, what is needed is to give someone the tools to correct themself. I don't think Mr. Milton is composing Greek as carefully as I do, or with the same methodology. I perhaps expose mysekf to less ridicule, but I'm guessing that in the end both roads will get to the top of the mountain.
cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:Wow, Barry. I appreciate your patience in dealing with this guy. He's really an idiot.
All learners need self-belief to have the confidence to speak out. Mr. Milton seems to be unbalanced in his acquisition processs.
'
My initial response to this was: "What is most appalling here is the self-assurance of the author." An arrogant assumption of infallibility is something different in nature, it seems to me, from "self-belief." It's always been my thinking that teachability is essential to "learning" -- not the docility of the lost beginner but an openness to instruction, some awareness that, however much one knows, one's ignorance really is profound. I wonder whether one can learn anything at all without that sense that there is more to be learned than what one knows.
There's an old proverbial dictum of unknown origin that I've always liked:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool - shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple - teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep - wake him. He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise - follow him.
For better or for worse, there are a measure of people, who never really learn till they begin to teach.

It is obvious from that discussion that Mr. Milton will not or can not accept abstracted corrections. That is within the range of normality - if he is unaware of how he produced what has been written, then correcting it based on an assumption that it was composed using logic (abstracted rules of the language that we learn - grammar), or that he consciously modelled his Greek on somebody else's Greek, would be a mistake on the correctors' part. In an instructional environment, learning styles are often harmonised among class members. Here, though, it seems that Mr. Milton is not following expected paths. Perhaps he was an autodidact or he only took limited formal education in Greek. In any case, correction needs to begin where he is. I've already my two-parts-out-of-three-missing theory.

For the sake of illustrating word order, let me compose something about my dinner quickly, with as least reference to grammar and models as I can. I am confident that in some respects at least it will resemble Mr. Milton's style.

Εν τω δειπνον μου μετα συνεργατων τε και διευθεντων υπηρετων εφαγον κρεατα βοινα, ζωμον και επινομεν Αυστραλιανικον οινον.

Why is the word-order the same as English? Because, that is the way that ideas present themselves in my thinking. If I tell that story to myself first in Chinese, then in Greek, the order is like this:

Σημερον εσπερη υμεις συν τινας των της ημων πολεως μεγαλων εφαγομεν μου συνεργαται παραπολλα βρωματα. Η τραπεζα εχει κρεας, λαχανα και ζωμον. Φερουσα ηλθεν τις Αυστραλιανον οινον. Το δειπνον μετα αυτο, εφαγομεν ζωμον και συνεζητησαμεν λιγον την διδασκαλιαν.

That is still more-or-less understandable even in more-or-less Chinese word order.

I don't think anyone is able to give Mr Milton clear directions anout Greek word order. If word order is idea order, that may be something else again. Is there a way to teach idea-order that people could readily accept.
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(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 1st, 2016, 1:54 pm

Hey guys, can we please take it easy on Mr. Milton? This is not CARM. I think it is sufficient to address the grammatical issue, and I don't want to import what I see in that thread here.

The phrase ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν αὐτὸν, as Carl has properly translated it, might remind us of this verse: εἰ δὲ ἀλλήλους δάκνετε καὶ κατεσθίετε, βλέπετε μὴ ὑπ’ ἀλλήλων ἀναλωθῆτε.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 2nd, 2016, 4:25 pm

With your indulgence Jonathan, and not in recalcitrance, I'd like to say something about guessing before moving on to Mr. Milton's grammar.

Here is a simple example:

Question: What is the square root of fifty?
My thought process if I have to guess: Well, the square of seven is forty-nine and the square of eight is sixty-four, so it is greater than seven and less than eight. Also the interval from forty-nine to fifty is one and the interval from fifty to sixty-four is fourteen, so the interval between seven and the square root of fifty is less than one fifteenth of ten.
My guess: seven point zero six.

(The correct answer is 7.071067)

There are a number of mathematical skills that I used to make my guess more sure or reasonable. Those are things that I am able to do myself because of previous knowledge, drills and experience. Assuming that there is an element of guesswork in composing Greek, how can the guessing be checked? We are not trained in Greek usage, when we are trained in seminary, because there was (for me at least) no compositional component.

In learning to compose, there is an element of guessing, and unfortunately, there are no neat and readily available models to check one's guess against. To turn now to do what Jonathan asked about sticking to the grammar, let me layout a few details about this construction, and how to use it in composition.

In Mr Milton's latest practice sentence - ἐν τῷ θεραπεύειν τὸν Ἰατρόν τὸν άνθρωπον, ἐγένετο σεισμός from "As the doctor was treating the man, there was an earthquake. " - there is generally no problem, so long as earthquakes can make up part of a doctor to patient treatment process. His Greek sentence means something like, "One of the things that happened as a sequential (temporal consideration), but not intentional or planned (volitional consideration) part of the doctor's treatment of the man was an earthquake." Leaving off both the temporal and volitional dimensions, and only stressing the overall (persistent) nature of the action, the ἐν τῷ + inf. here could be translated as, "A event that occurred that involved the doctor and (in this case also) the patient as part of (be reasonably expected to happen during the course of) the treatment (without putting an end to what was happening!!!) was an earthquake." The authority structure between doctor and patient suggests the doctor might be in control, but that control or power structure is limited to the phrase θεραπεύειν τὸν Ἰατρόν τὸν άνθρωπον, and doesn't extend beyond the the limits of the ἐν τῷ + inf. phrase. In other words, there is an independence of will between the action of the earthquake - which Mr. Milton correctly indentifies and uses, but there is a problem with the semantics of θεραπεύειν.

What makes Mr. Milton's translation implausible is not the Greek grammar or syntax, but the lack of relationship between θεραπεύειν and σεισμός. More specifically, if somebody wants to compose using this ἐν τῷ + inf. there are a number of constraints on what can be said. It is a tight-packed structure, unlike the more broad reaching "while" of English. That care or caution needs to be taken because the structure prompts the reader to think that there is a relationship between the two actions - in other words, it has to be reasonable to expect that what happens outside the ἐν τῷ + inf. could be part of that process or sequence, and there must be a separation of wills (avoid syntactic monotheletism) or accidents (if we are speaking of non-volitional entities). While volition is separate, flow is not.

In using this construction, there should be a movement from vague focus or large picture, to a specific incident or detail - usually expressed by a word whose meaning has limited scope, ie. one which is very specific.
My suggestion for Mr. Milton's improvement is that he learn vocabulary in a structured way, similar to "prepare food - slice, dice, stir-fry and serve", which we immediately recognise as only one possible sequence of cooking in English, but in a second language one needs to (at first at least) artificially construct such taxonomies.

Here is a quick discussion of some examples; Matthew 13:4 - ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτόν, ἃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν - σπείρειν is scattering seeds describing the entire process, their falling where is incidental. Matthew 27:12 - ἐν τῷ κατηγορεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων, οὐδὲν ἀπεκρίνατο. - κατηγορεῖσθαι is the whole kit and caboodle, not just saying "You did such and so." cf. Acts 24:2ff, while ἀποκρίνεσθαι is one small step in the process. They weren't looking for the opportunity to blurt out, "You're wrong!", they fully wanted to "drag his arse into court" (as the Americans say). Mark 2:15 - ἐν τῷ κατακεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ, καὶ πολλοὶ τελῶναι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ συνανέκειντο τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ· - do other people sometimes join one for a meal? Yes. Was their seating themselves their choice? Yes. Moreover, κατακεῖσθαι is a more general word than the prefixed συνανακεῖσθαι. Luke 2:6 - Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ, ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν. - a broad and general situation followed by a specific event that could logically be expected to happen to a pregnant woman. Luke 3:21 - Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαόν, καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου - Jesus came as one of the many, which is both logical and a contrast between the large picture and the small. Acts 4:30 - ἐν τῷ τὴν χεῖρά σου ἐκτείνειν σε εἰς ἴασιν, καὶ σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα γίνεσθαι διὰ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ ἁγίου παιδός σου Ἰησοῦ. - there is something of an (implied) causal relationship here, but it is not expressed syntactically (the second infinitive following the δὸς of verse 29. 1 Corinthians 11:21 - ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν, καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ, ὃς δὲ μεθύει. - the general situation and two distinct possibilities.

If Mr. Milton would like some specific exercises or drills to improve his use of this construction, and was unable to design them himself, then we could discuss that here too.

If you have gotten used to that construction already, we could say at a more theoretical level that the use of ἐν in this construction, is not the "space within which" ἐν that works with a homogeneous whole, but rather "one of the constituant parts" ἐν that works with something composed of a conglomeration of things into a whole. A prerequisite to understanding that, is that there is a need to differentiate between simple actions or entities and complex ones, as described in passing above.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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