Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

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Jacob Rhoden
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Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Jacob Rhoden » February 9th, 2015, 12:59 am

Im working on translation of English to Greek (from Duff, Chapter 6, Exercises A, Number 8). It uses some "time" type of words, i.e. "already", "now":
I have already written to them, but now I will write again.
I did not get the word order correct, and I've not yet come across any rules or principles with regards to how these words should be ordered, are there any principles? i.e. Looking at my first attempt, I must have defaulted to use english word ordering, i.e.:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν γραψω παλιν.
However the book uses:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν παλιν γραψω.
I don't recall Duff yet mentioning any rules about this. Is the ordering important (i.e. is my answer wrong?). Am I to guess we just stuff all "time" words the front of a phrase/sentence? Is the ordering with multiple "time" type words important, i.e. can you write παλιν νυν? (It occurs to me that this issue may be dealt with in Duff somewhere further down in the book, but I am only up to chapter 6 at the moment.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 9th, 2015, 7:28 am

Duff's textbook was written at time when word order was poorly understood. We've made some progress but there is still much to be learned. Some people read so much Greek that they acquired a good feel for word order, but in theoretical terms there has been much to go on until Helma Dik's application of functional linguistics (though Henri Weil's work in the 1800s managed to anticipates many points).

What this research is telling us is that word order tends to be very context-specific, depending on what facets of the sentence are taken for granted and what is emphasized. As a result, it's hard to say what the right word order is when you are translating single sentences devoid of context. When I taught Greek, I accepted as correct such word order variations.

In my own investigation of πάλιν, I find that it is often found in the so-called "second position," unless for some reason it is brought forward into first position. There are instances of it in third and later positions but they are much more uncommon, as it seems to me in more complex clauses.
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Jacob Rhoden
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Jacob Rhoden » February 9th, 2015, 7:41 am

Thanks, that would explain it!

From what I know about Chinese, all the time stuff has fairly standard patterns, so I assumed there may be some simple rules in Greek as well.

I do assume that wider reading (just like how we learn in English) will help our brain work out the natural patterns/orders of things.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 9th, 2015, 9:16 am

Jacob Rhoden wrote:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν γραψω παλιν.
However the book uses:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν παλιν γραψω.
I'm hoping that the book actually uses ἔγραψα...
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

cwconrad
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by cwconrad » February 9th, 2015, 3:26 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Jacob Rhoden wrote:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν γραψω παλιν.
However the book uses:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν παλιν γραψω.
I'm hoping that the book actually uses ἔγραψα...
Well, Barry, there's always the possibility that the sentence was intended as "You already wrote to them on your own behalf, but now I'm going to write again."
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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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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 9th, 2015, 4:02 pm

a few examples of πάλιν in clause final position.

Matt. 26:44 καὶ ἀφεὶς αὐτοὺς πάλιν ἀπελθὼν προσηύξατο ἐκ τρίτου τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπὼν πάλιν.

John 11:7 ἔπειτα μετὰ τοῦτο λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς· ἄγωμεν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν πάλιν.

Acts 17:32 Ἀκούσαντες δὲ ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν οἱ μὲν ἐχλεύαζον, οἱ δὲ εἶπαν· ἀκουσόμεθά σου περὶ τούτου καὶ πάλιν.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 9th, 2015, 5:03 pm

cwconrad wrote:
Well, Barry, there's always the possibility that the sentence was intended as "You already wrote to them on your own behalf, but now I'm going to write again."
Generous you are, perhaps to a fault.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

cwconrad
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by cwconrad » February 9th, 2015, 5:48 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
cwconrad wrote:
Well, Barry, there's always the possibility that the sentence was intended as "You already wrote to them on your own behalf, but now I'm going to write again."
Generous you are, perhaps to a fault.
I simply mentioned the possibility; I also have had occasion over the years to note that the stigmatic aorist middle 2 sg. does confound people thinking that it ought somehow to be a future indicative active 1 sg. with an augment that has no business being there ...
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » February 9th, 2015, 7:27 pm

However the book uses:
ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν παλιν γραψω.
I'm hoping that the book actually uses ἔγραψα...
Well, Barry, there's always the possibility that the sentence was intended as "You already wrote to them on your own behalf, but now I'm going to write again."[/quote]
I have what must be a different edition of Duff (3rd. edition, 2005), and the sentences for chapter 6, section A are in a different order, but for this sentence he does give ἠδη ἐγρψα αὐτοις, ἀλλα νυν παλιν γραψω.
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cwconrad
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Re: Word ordering for "time" words in Duff?

Post by cwconrad » February 10th, 2015, 7:54 am

cwconrad wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
cwconrad wrote:
Well, Barry, there's always the possibility that the sentence was intended as "You already wrote to them on your own behalf, but now I'm going to write again."
Generous you are, perhaps to a fault.
I simply mentioned the possibility; I also have had occasion over the years to note that the stigmatic aorist middle 2 sg. does confound people thinking that it ought somehow to be a future indicative active 1 sg. with an augment that has no business being there ...
Upon a bit of further reflection on the matter of how the text of this exercise sentence ought to have been written, it seems to me that there are two pedagogical values involved here (granting that it's a relatively trivial issue!!): on the one hand, we don't want to confuse the learner; rather, we want the focus to be on the single element in the exercise sentence; on the other hand, we want the learner to be alert and observant -- to give serious consideration to the whole of the exercise sentence. While it might seem improbable that the sentence as originally cited by Jacob Rhoden in the form, ηδη εγραψω αυτοις, αλλα νυν παλιν γραψω, was correctly cited, it can yield the perfectly intelligible sense that I suggested (above). That 2 sg. aorist middle form is something worth underscoring in the beginner's memory: for my own part, I can remember encountering that form (not for γράφειν, to be sure) in a text and thinking that it must be a misprint, that surely this was supposed to be a future 1 sg. active.

Still on the other hand, Jacob spelled out that sentence as he read it -- or thought he was reading it -- from the textbook page without accents -- this wasn't a cut and paste entry from a digital text. That being the case, it's easy to see how the copying error might have arisen.

Barry, you are free to say that I am merely trying to extend a rather trifling thread in order to append yet another trifle to it -- and if you do, what harm can one more trifle do?
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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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