Feedback on Greek Voice Tagging and Rationale

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cwconrad
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Re: Feedback on Greek Voice Tagging and Rationale

Post by cwconrad » April 16th, 2014, 9:02 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:I'm trying to find an informal description for myself.
The quest continues... "The subject is under the influence of the event described in the verb."
cwconrad wrote:That’s helpful. The troublesome sentence might be reformulated to include these elements: “Middle marking indicates that the subject is somehow involved in the action or process to which the verb refers. The subject may be an agent and also a patient (direct reflexive), or an agent and also a beneficiary (indirect reflexive). The subject may be a patient affected by an external agent or instrument (passive). The subject may be an experiencer receiving sensations or responding emotionally or engaging in a cognitive process or interaction with another or others. The subject may be an undergoer of an internal process, whether spontaneous or voluntary (birth, growth, change,body movement, spatial movement).”
It still has the first sentence untouched. That was what I found problematic. It kind of says one thing and then the rest says another thing. "involved more than just as an agent" or something like that would be better. But the rest is now very good.

Considering the audience, can you assume that the reader knows what "agent" and "patient" mean? (A CIA agent was wounded and became a patient in a hospital...)
Right! You've grasped the problem of a circular dictionary. How might a subject be "involved" in a verb's action or process? As a beneficiary? Oh,do you mean one of the heirs named in an insurance policy? No, not exactly; I mean the person whose needs are served or who is helped by the process or action. And yes, a patient might be somebody recovering from an illness or surgery; it's also linguistic gobbledygook for the -- pardon my non-technical definition, please -- person or thing directly impacted by the verbal process. For my part I've found these linguistic technical terms very useful in the description of ancient Greek voice usage. For pre-beginners (for whom my "brief rationale" was never intended), the terms might indeed be confusing. In a primer on Greek voice (a project that will need undertaking, but not the present project) these terms would need to be defined; perhaps they need it here too, but in any case, thank you, yes, an exemplary construction illustrating each such usage would be a helpful addition.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Alan Bunning
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Re: Two "feeler" questions

Post by Alan Bunning » April 16th, 2014, 9:13 am

cwconrad wrote:The document to which I'm seeking feedback here is intended to serve a narrower objective, namely, explaining why tagging verbs in terms of voice inflection only is more helpful to users of a parsed text than the existing tagging of verbs in terms of a convoluted scheme of unpredictable and scarcely-intelligible mixtures of form and meaning. If that sounds like gobbledy-gook, it's because I'm trying to replace the gobbledy-gook with a clearer accounting for the kinds of meanings that are implicit in the inflected forms of Greek verbs.
So if we parse verbs according to their form (which I am in favor of), could you propose another set of tags to accompany them which would indicate the meaning? Should things like the translated voice, transitivity, subject-affectedness, etc. be included in a separate set of tags?

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Feedback on Greek Voice Tagging and Rationale

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 16th, 2014, 9:16 am

In particular, should MorphGNT change their tagging in any way? Their tagging is the basis for a whole lot of downstream stuff, and they are very responsive. biblicalhumanities.org and MorphGNT are now tagging in the same way.

Also, how do you feel about the proposed conventions for Perseus?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

cwconrad
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Re: Clearly written

Post by cwconrad » April 16th, 2014, 9:22 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:From the point of view of interlinear users, pre-beginners and those who have failed the learning process, but still want some accept access to the New Testament in the original language, there are that gs that could be clearer.
Does it need to be clear fitor pi ther them? If they're pre-beginners, then I'm not sure that there's really anything that would be clear...
In their case the best that could be hoped for would be that they could recognise the framework of the verbal voice ststem, within which future learning might take place.

Let me parenthesise my next comment by saying that as he stated earlier in reply to my first two questions, Carl's article is not meant to teach the Greek voice system.

From what I, with my limidufferencted powers of understanding, understand from his article is that deponency was an inadequate concept because it only looked at the first principal part, whereas understanding the possibilities that a verb could follow means being aware of whether a verb could have been used in what range of forms in the language, and then to use that background understanding of the possible uses to guide our assignment of a semantic value to a particular verbal form - the final quote.

To do that effectively, supporting reference material, or Carl's own nomenclature would be more useful if the idiom of each verb was indicated in addition to what he is proposing about just marking the fornaments without semantic implication. όψονται could be MP1! (where the exclamation mark or some other symbol indicates that form of the verb is lacking all or one or other forms). If I understand the article correctly, but it seems to say that the forms -όντο / -θησαν are semantically indistinguishable - if that is true, then even though there are three ways of marking a form for its voice idiom, there are only two significant ommisions that need to be marked- either the Active is missing from the language or that neither of the MP forms are present for that verb. If that assumption of no difference is not made then the complexity of marking the verbs voice idiom would be overly complex and users can look at the first few lines in a dictionary entry for the information (assuming that the limited corpus of the New Testament represents the language) - a step that pre-beginners probably wouldn't take.

NONE of that, of course is relevant to the present limited discussion.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure quite what point or points the above comment was intended to make, but I am relieved and grateful for the final sentence.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

cwconrad
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Re: Two "feeler" questions

Post by cwconrad » April 16th, 2014, 9:29 am

Alan Bunning wrote:
cwconrad wrote:The document to which I'm seeking feedback here is intended to serve a narrower objective, namely, explaining why tagging verbs in terms of voice inflection only is more helpful to users of a parsed text than the existing tagging of verbs in terms of a convoluted scheme of unpredictable and scarcely-intelligible mixtures of form and meaning. If that sounds like gobbledy-gook, it's because I'm trying to replace the gobbledy-gook with a clearer accounting for the kinds of meanings that are implicit in the inflected forms of Greek verbs.
So if we parse verbs according to their form (which I am in favor of), could you propose another set of tags to accompany them which would indicate the meaning? Should things like the translated voice, transitivity, subject-affectedness, etc. be included in a separate set of tags?
Good question. My own preference clearly favors tagging voice form only without attempting to fine-tune the description of usage in a specific instance; I think that information needs to be spelled out clearly in the lexical entry -- and I guess that says something about what I understand a good lexicon to be.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

cwconrad
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Re: Feedback on Greek Voice Tagging and Rationale

Post by cwconrad » April 16th, 2014, 9:34 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:In particular, should MorphGNT change their tagging in any way? Their tagging is the basis for a whole lot of downstream stuff, and they are very responsive. biblicalhumanities.org and MorphGNT are now tagging in the same way.
Suffice it to say, I think verbs should be tagged for voice only as indicating the morphoparadigm -- active, middle-passive, and passive.
Jonathan Robie wrote:Also, how do you feel about the proposed conventions for Perseus?
I haven't really had a good opportunity to digest that yet. I will say, however, that I don't think it's necessary to distinguish between future middle and future passive with reference to the morphoparadigm.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Clearly written

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 16th, 2014, 11:47 am

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
MAubrey wrote: Does it need to be clear for them? If they're pre-beginners, then I'm not sure that there's really anything that would be clear...
In their case the best that could be hoped for would be that they could recognise the framework of the verbal voice ststem, within which future learning might take place.
Let me parenthesise my next comment by saying that as he stated earlier in reply to my first two questions, Carl's article is not meant to teach the Greek voice system.

...

NONE of that, of course is relevant to the present limited discussion.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure quite what point or points the above comment was intended to make, but I am relieved and grateful for the final sentence.
That is an interesting reply to something entitled "Re: Clearly written". Let me put what I wanted to say in a frame of reference that I've noticed some people use to arrange their thoughts.

You idea of marking voice at a form differentiation only level seems sound, but of what use is it dictionary usersa or anybody else?

At least with the deponent verb approach, we could know that όψονται is middle in form and active and meaning. As deficient a system as it might, identifying deponents let us know that like this verb, only some forms of a verb exist, and so the remaining forms carried the weight, so to speak. I was was suggesting that you mark the verbs that have forms missing so as to keep the good feature of the deponent system.

As far as a sales - pitch is concerned, you are shooting yourself in the foot before the race by using A. M. and P., then saying that they are neither active, middle nor passive. Every available reference work says they are. Even the the lexicon entries in the self-same work will be arranged like that. It is not enough to be right. You need to sell your ideas as the best in competitive market.

You need to present subject-affectednees way of looking at voice as being more natural to understand, easier to use and as having more utility in dealing with the text.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Clearly written

Post by cwconrad » April 16th, 2014, 1:16 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote: ... Let me put what I wanted to say in a frame of reference that I've noticed some people use to arrange their thoughts.
I'm going to do a bit of editing here, if I may; correct me if I've misunderstood your intent.
Stephen Hughes wrote:Your idea of marking voice at a form differentiation only level seems sound, but of what use is it [to] dictionary users or anybody else?

At least with the deponent verb approach, we could know that όψονται is middle in form and active and meaning. As deficient a system as it might [be], identifying deponents let[s] us know that like this verb, only some forms of a verb exist, and so the remaining forms carried the weight, so to speak. I was was suggesting that you mark the verbs that have forms missing so as to keep the good feature of the deponent system.
I've still not followed the syntax of the above, but I take your question to be: Isn't there some value to knowing that some verbs don't have active morphoparadigms? I'm sorry, but I really can't see what that value might be. It's certainly helpful to know that ἄρχειν and ἄρχεσθαι have different meanings and ought really to be considered different verbs. It's helpful to know that ἐγείρεσθαι is intransitive and means "wake up" or "rise up" while ἐγειρειν means "rouse" or "make stand." How is it helpful to know that πορεύεσθαι/πορευθῆναι or δύνασθαι/δυνηθῆναι or κτᾶσθαι/κτήσασθαι don't have active forms? If one learns to use these verbs in conversational usage, one doesn't need that information at all, but if one has learned by the grammar/translation method, it is helpful for the user, in my opinion, to be aware of the kinds of usage that are associated with these "subject-affected" or subject-referring" or "special reflexive verbs", however we may prefer to characterize them.
Stephen Hughes wrote:As far as a sales - pitch is concerned, you are shooting yourself in the foot before the race by using A. M. and P., then saying that they are neither active, middle nor passive. Every available reference work says they are. Even the the lexicon entries in the self-same work will be arranged like that. It is not enough to be right. You need to sell your ideas as the best in competitive market.
I see what you mean by equating teaching with huckstering! Perhaps I might put it in Medieval philosophical terms: you're a "conceptualist" while I'm -- in this respect, at least -- more a "nominalist." I don't think that "A, M, and P" carry that much baggage; I think users will be content to see them as designations of morphoparadigms rather than as bearers of inherent semantic force. What do others think about this? Will users be confused by using "A, M, and P" as designations of morphoparadigm only?
Stephen Hughes wrote:You need to present subject-affectednees way of looking at voice as being more natural to understand, easier to use and as having more utility in dealing with the text.
I agree. I do indeed think it's more natural and more useful as a perspective on voice forms and usage. Are you really (really and truly??) arguing that the doctrine of deponency is more natural and useful as an accounting for what have been otherwise called media tantum and passiva tantum verbs? That was, I think, my original second question:
Question 2: Is the ORIGINAL AGNT 5.3 ON VOICE still intelligible and persuasive? Does it make a clear and convincing case for classifying verb forms as “deponents”? Can the traditional notion of deponent verbs be defended in this day and age?
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Huckstering Greek

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 16th, 2014, 3:02 pm

Thanks for the editing. I downloaded a keyboard draw green squiggles on the letters and that produces text - often random text, sometimes in the wrong paragraph.

Standing out in a market is always good. The best product isn't always the market leader.

I don't really and truly think anything about grammar anymore. I read the language not parse the forms. I probably couldn't name all the tenses / moods now. I spend my time thinking about the interrelatedness of the grammatical system, not the forms. I don't learn words anymore, I try to see their collocations and the way they relate to other words in the lexical stock.

I'm trying to think back to the 1980's when I read an RSV interlinear that we bought from an Op-shop and I used an Analytical Lexicon, by Moulton perhaps. I read the introduction so many times that I even photocopied and bound the introduction so I could take it with me. Actually, I only read and reread the English hoping to someday read the Greek. At that time deponency was no more strange than nominative. So much for the folly of youth.

Beginners believe anything and prefer the most straightforward, natural sounding explanations.It is better to put an English translation for all the forms.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Feedback on Greek Voice Tagging and Rationale

Post by cwconrad » April 17th, 2014, 6:42 am

This thread has been very helpful to me and I’m grateful for the responses. As it may be near its end, there are a couple items left over that need a response, one to Eeli and one to SH, whose relentless antennae have not only probed at points both expected and unexpected, but at times have pushed me into corners unexpected.
cwconrad wrote:[quote="Eeli Kaikkonen"The quest continues... "The subject is under the influence of the event described in the verb."

That’s helpful. The troublesome sentence might be reformulated to include these elements: “Middle marking indicates that the subject is somehow involved in the action or process to which the verb refers. The subject may be an agent and also a patient (direct reflexive), or an agent and also a beneficiary (indirect reflexive). The subject may be a patient affected by an external agent or instrument (passive). The subject may be an experiencer receiving sensations or responding emotionally or engaging in a cognitive process or interaction with another or others. The subject may be an undergoer of an internal process, whether spontaneous or voluntary (birth, growth, change,body movement, spatial movement).”

Eeli: "It still has the first sentence untouched. That was what I found problematic. It kind of says one thing and then the rest says another thing. "involved more than just as an agent" or something like that would be better. But the rest is now very good.

Considering the audience, can you assume that the reader knows what "agent" and "patient" mean? (A CIA agent was wounded and became a patient in a hospital...)
Eeli, I responded yesterday in a manner I now can see was not really responsive and certainly not helpful. One of my pet peeves is linguistic jargon, and lo, I’ve employed it myself. It was Iver Larsen who first introduced me to the utility of semantic-roles terminology in discussing voice usage — the terms “patient,” “agent,” “beneficiary,” “experiencer,” “undergoer” (see http://language.worldofcomputing.net/se ... roles.html). I want to rewrite that paragraph including the additions I’ve already suggested as well as additions to clarify the jargon and illustrate how each term is to be used. I really do want to make the “involvement of the subject in the action or process of the verb” intelligible. I’ll come back with a revised paragraph as soon as I can.
Stephen Hughes wrote:I'm trying to think back to the 1980's when I read an RSV interlinear that we bought from an Op-shop and I used an Analytical Lexicon, by Moulton perhaps. I read the introduction so many times that I even photocopied and bound the introduction so I could take it with me. Actually, I only read and reread the English hoping to someday read the Greek. At that time deponency was no more strange than nominative. So much for the folly of youth.

Beginners believe anything and prefer the most straightforward, natural sounding explanations.It is better to put an English translation for all the forms.
I believe that good teachers and good students feed each other. I cannot begin to report all that I have learned from my students, particularly in beginning Greek classes. There are, to be sure, beginners who “believe anything and prefer the most straightforward natural sounding explanations.” But what differentiates the good student from the passive absorbent tabula rasa is the questions raised when the teacher’s explanations are not good enough. The best first-year Greek class I ever taught was one whose sudents started scheduling their own weekly discussion sections (unbeknownst to me) and took turns leading the group discussions, explaining and illustrating morphology and usage. Can you just imagine what that would have been like if they’d been doing it in conversational Greek?
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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