Books on Greek word order?

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Books on Greek word order?

Postby Peter Streitenberger » September 7th, 2012, 2:38 pm

Dear Friends of the Greek Language,

is there a good book (or essay) on Greek word order and its function and meaning ?
Thank you !
Peter, Germany
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Re: Books on Greek word order?

Postby MAubrey » September 7th, 2012, 3:25 pm

(I moved this to the Book forum)

Yes. There are a few of books.

Here are the ones I would suggest:

Word Order in Greek Tragic Dialogue by Helma Dik (Dik has another book on word order in Herodotus, but it seems to be out of print right now. It's called: Word Order in Ancient Greek: A Pragmatic Account of Word Order Variation in Herodotus).

Discourse Features of New Testament Greek: A Coursebook on the Information Structure of New Testament Greek by Stephen Levinsohn

Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis by Steve Runge
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Books on Greek word order?

Postby MAubrey » September 7th, 2012, 3:31 pm

A couple other resources:

There's a useful dissertation by Nick Bailey: http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/handle/1871/15504

A. M. Devine and Laurence D. Stephens' book Discontinuous Syntax: Hyperbaton in Greek is pretty good too, but its a difficult read unless you have some background knowledge in generative syntax and also a few of their views on Greek word order aren't exactly consensus either.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Books on Greek word order?

Postby Peter Streitenberger » September 8th, 2012, 4:59 am

Dear Mike,
thank you ! I'll consult Levinsohn and Runge first.
Yours
Peter, Germany
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Re: Books on Greek word order?

Postby Paul-Nitz » September 16th, 2012, 8:54 am

There's another discussion about this topic at:

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=669

Note especially Iver Larson's paper linked there.
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Re: Books on Greek word order?

Postby RandallButh » September 17th, 2012, 3:38 am

There are two different systems at work in the citations of (Runge and Levinsohn) versus (Larsen).

Larsen has a simple scaler: the more to the left the more prominent.

Runge, Levinsohn, H. Dik, S. Dik, myself, and many functional linguists differentiate fronted constituents as Topical/Contextualizing vs Focal.
If the left-placed constituent is the most salient piece of information, then it is called "Focus" (or synonym), while a left-placed item that is not the most salient (important, reason for statement of the clause) is viewed as marked for contextual/relational reasons, to set up a topic/context span, name an entity for comparison/contrast, break the default foregrounded chaining.

The differentiated, multi-reason is the majority view in linguistics. In terms of signal, it is assumed that left-placed constitutents will also interact with the intonation/tonal system of a language so that a differentiated signal is possible in a language for a left-placed item.

Of course, this does not answer all questions for readers where texts do not have intonational/stress/tone differences marked in a text. The reader must supply their own reading and interpret left-placed constituents as either normal-left-placed (contextualizing contstituents) or marked left-placed (focus constituents).

[PS: a constituent may be more than one word, a whole phrase, or sometimes a partial constituent, a word from a phrase.)
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