Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 4th, 2015, 3:09 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Don't study the grammars. Read the Greek, and use the grammars for reference as necessary.
I think this is good advice. Only use the means if you have trouble in them getting to the aim.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 4th, 2015, 10:18 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Don't study the grammars. Read the Greek, and use the grammars for reference as necessary.
How does one know when it's necessary to consult the grammars? I'm thinking of cases where one fails to realize that one has misunderstood the text.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 5th, 2015, 7:40 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Don't study the grammars. Read the Greek, and use the grammars for reference as necessary.
How does one know when it's necessary to consult the grammars? I'm thinking of cases where one fails to realize that one has misunderstood the text.
Where does one begin? Is reading grammars the path to grammatical acquisition, or is using the language the path to grammatical acquisition?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 5th, 2015, 8:25 am

One of the things I really liked about Zerwick and Grosvenor is that you could read it verse by verse, but it referred you to explanations in Zerwick's intermediate grammar. That was really useful. I haven't used it for years, but it was great.

When I read grammars these days, I usually go looking for lots of examples of whatever I'm reading about, in context. I find that a lot easier to digest than abstract explanations.
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by cwconrad » December 5th, 2015, 8:31 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Don't study the grammars. Read the Greek, and use the grammars for reference as necessary.
How does one know when it's necessary to consult the grammars? I'm thinking of cases where one fails to realize that one has misunderstood the text.
Where does one begin? Is reading grammars the path to grammatical acquisition, or is using the language the path to grammatical acquisition?
I think that the grammars can (and do) play a role in assisting the ongoing process of understanding how contextual usage functions to assist meaning/understanding. I consult the grammars when I realize that I'm not fully satisfied that I understand an item of contextual usage in a text I'm working with. That may be, and most often is, a matter of discomfort about the validity of my perspective on the meaning. Often it comes when I realize that others have understood the text from a different perspective and I want to see how the alternatives match grammarians' understandings of the contextual usage in question. I don't think we are likely to consult a grammar unless we are cognizant of a real or possible ἀπορία in our grasp of the meaning of the text.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 5th, 2015, 5:02 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Don't study the grammars. Read the Greek, and use the grammars for reference as necessary.
How does one know when it's necessary to consult the grammars? I'm thinking of cases where one fails to realize that one has misunderstood the text.
Where does one begin? Is reading grammars the path to grammatical acquisition, or is using the language the path to grammatical acquisition?
I'm not on board with the either-or framing of this response. Clearly both are appropriate, and knowing when either is appropriate requires wisdom.
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 5th, 2015, 5:04 pm

cwconrad wrote:I think that the grammars can (and do) play a role in assisting the ongoing process of understanding how contextual usage functions to assist meaning/understanding. I consult the grammars when I realize that I'm not fully satisfied that I understand an item of contextual usage in a text I'm working with. That may be, and most often is, a matter of discomfort about the validity of my perspective on the meaning. Often it comes when I realize that others have understood the text from a different perspective and I want to see how the alternatives match grammarians' understandings of the contextual usage in question. I don't think we are likely to consult a grammar unless we are cognizant of a real or possible ἀπορία in our grasp of the meaning of the text.
This matches my feelings as well. I also find it instructive to look things up even when I think I know what means.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 6th, 2015, 2:27 am

Stephen, I intended to suggest no such dichotomy. I will say, however, that the grammars are relatively useless without significant language acquistion. It is through such acquisition that one gains the wisdom properly to use the grammars.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 6th, 2015, 4:48 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Stephen, I intended to suggest no such dichotomy. I will say, however, that the grammars are relatively useless without significant language acquistion. It is through such acquisition that one gains the wisdom properly to use the grammars.
I'm still hearing the dichotomy, despite the disclaimer. I find grammars helpful to pointing out neglected possibilities, some of which are difficult to predict for non-native speakers. So it's not clear to me that mere reading without consulting the "useless" grammars can open one's mind up sufficiently what the possible meanings are. This is especially true for rare constructions. On the other hand, evaluating the possibilities wisely requires the judgment than only comes from extensive reading and acquisition.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Time-Related Meanings in Perfect Participles

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 7th, 2015, 9:35 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Stephen, I intended to suggest no such dichotomy. I will say, however, that the grammars are relatively useless without significant language acquistion. It is through such acquisition that one gains the wisdom properly to use the grammars.
I'm still hearing the dichotomy, despite the disclaimer. I find grammars helpful to pointing out neglected possibilities, some of which are difficult to predict for non-native speakers. So it's not clear to me that mere reading without consulting the "useless" grammars can open one's mind up sufficiently what the possible meanings are. This is especially true for rare constructions. On the other hand, evaluating the possibilities wisely requires the judgment than only comes from extensive reading and acquisition.
Then I have not been clear (I sometimes think that English is not really my first language :lol: ). What you say above is largely what I meant, but with the emphasis on language acquisition to make the grammars useful. Part of my context is experience with individuals who have read grammars, often to score theological points, but little other experience with the language, and thus get it wrong by misapplying what the grammar is saying.

Your comment on access to the more obscure points of grammar to native speakers put me in mind of an anecdote related by Aulus Gellius in the Noctes Atticae (14.5) in which two noted Latin grammarians nearly come to blows discussing which is the proper vocative for "vir egregius," vir egregri" or "vir egregrie..." So that even native speakers are not always sure about every construction. :shock:
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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