Struggling with Participles

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Emma Ehrhardt
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Emma Ehrhardt » February 6th, 2017, 11:30 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:I doubt many students would be willing to systematically go through so many examples anyway.
How I would treat this is to pick a column and try to read through it, seeing how many I could understand the gist of. Work through the column a second time, and then pick maybe 1-2 examples from the ones I struggled with to look up (i.e. the analytical form if I didn't understand it, or the verse if I wanted more context). Then don't worry about the rest I didn't understand, but go to the next column and try to see what I could read of them, etc. My goal would be to become more familiar with participles in general, not to understand every example in the booklet exactly. I know that's not the easiest conceptual shift to make, but in language learning, I get more mileage from 'get the gist, then study something else, then later come back & see how much more sense it makes...' I think of this booklet like the "for more practice" section of a math workbook. There's more there than you need, so work through examples carefully, but stop when you feel you've accomplished your goal.

I agree that this method of automated selection does result in some phrases that feel like they need more context. This is where a good teacher or tutor definitely adds value in the 'curation' they do.

Jonathan - I'd be interested to see what criteria you're using to categorize. It's easy to select arthrous vs anarthrous and to sort by tense. But I haven't thought too much about distinguishing adverbial vs anarthrous adjectival.
Emma Ehrhardt
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alanmacall
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by alanmacall » February 6th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Emma - thank you very, very much indeed! That is a most helpful and impressive piece of work. I am extremely grateful. I will take your advice of trying to go through a column at a time and seeing how it goes.

Paul - many thanks also for your comment. It was very helpful, especially how you talked about the adverbial participles, and focusing on context and taking a guess. That actually helped me as a I had been trying to categorise everything. Emma made the same point in the most recent comment, about getting the gist.

With much appreciation
A
Alan
A beginner trying to self learn Greek

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 6th, 2017, 3:06 pm

alanmacall wrote:Paul - many thanks also for your comment. It was very helpful, especially how you talked about the adverbial participles, and focusing on context and taking a guess. That actually helped me as a I had been trying to categorise everything. Emma made the same point in the most recent comment, about getting the gist.
This is really, really important. You do need to notice the details, but the goal is to read sentences, not analyze them. There's a process of "successive approximation" - read what you already understand to get the gist, learn a bit more, read it again to understand it in more depth, and repeat until you really understand it. A little analysis helps you read better, but the reading is what matters.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 6th, 2017, 6:22 pm

Emma Ehrhardt wrote:Jonathan - I'd be interested to see what criteria you're using to categorize. It's easy to select arthrous vs anarthrous and to sort by tense. But I haven't thought too much about distinguishing adverbial vs anarthrous adjectival.
I will try to put a type attribute into the lowfat treebanks to distinguish them.

I had queries that computed this, but they don't work on the current treebanks due to a change in structure. The basic idea is to look for relationships between the participle and the phrase or clause, and to look at the case of the participle. For instance, this finds supplementary participles that are coreferential with the subject (because the participle occurs in the nominative):

Code: Select all

for $word in //w		
where $word/@mood='participle' 	
  and $word/@case='nominative'
  and ($word/@role=('o') or ($word/@role='v' and $word/parent::wg[@role=('o')])) 
let $sentence := $word/ancestor::sentence			
return $sentence
This finds supplementary participles that are not coreferential with the subject:

Code: Select all

for $word in //w		
where $word/@mood='participle' 
  and $word/@case!='nominative'
where $word/parent::wg[@role=('o')] 
let $subject := $word/parent::wg/*[@role='s']
let $subject-case := ($subject/@case, $subject/*[@head='true']/@case)[1]
where $word/@case = $subject-case
let $sentence := $word/ancestor::sentence
return $sentence
Let me adjust the trees or the queries so they work together again, and I'll post some examples.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 9th, 2017, 9:49 pm

Here are the first few results of each of the two queries I showed. Both of these queries involve supplementary participles, i.e. participles that are obligatory arguments to the main verb. (@alanmacall - how many examples of each are you looking for?)

If the subject of the participle is the same as the subject of the main verb, then the participle is nominative. Some examples:

Acts.12.16 ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐπέμενεν κρούων·
Gal.6.9 τὸ δὲ καλὸν ποιοῦντες μὴ ἐνκακῶμεν·
2Thess.3.13 Ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀδελφοί, μὴ ἐγκακήσητε καλοποιοῦντες.
Matt.17.3 καὶ ἰδοὺ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἠλείας συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ.
Acts.21.32 οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες τὸν χιλίαρχον καὶ τοὺς στρατιώτας ἐπαύσαντο τύπτοντες τὸν Παῦλον.

If the subject of the participle is not the same as the subject of the main verb, then the participle has its own subject constituent, and both the subject constituent and the participle occur in the case required by the main verb. Some examples:

Luke.18.36 ἀκούσας δὲ ὄχλου διαπορευομένου ἐπυνθάνετο τί εἴη τοῦτο.
Acts.8.31 παρεκάλεσέν τε τὸν Φίλιππον ἀναβάντα καθίσαι σὺν αὐτῷ.
Heb.2.8 νῦν δὲ οὔπω ὁρῶμεν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ὑποτεταγμένα·
Mark.11.20 Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν.
Luke.12.37 μακάριοι οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι, οὓς ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος εὑρήσει γρηγοροῦντας·

Here are the raw query results, sorted by sentence length, showing the structure of the sentences. (Warning: this is a query against a new rendition of the treebanks as of 30 minutes ago, and I haven't checked past the first few results in each file yet. So this may contain errors.)
supplementary-coreferential.pdf
(76.73 KiB) Downloaded 30 times
supplementary-not-coreferential.pdf
(148.19 KiB) Downloaded 31 times
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 10th, 2017, 5:55 am

In any first or second language acquisition experience, the early stages are characterised by telegraphic speech. In other words, at the very beginning of your understanding of participles, it is okay for you just to see participles as another meaning element in the sentence. Because of your English language background, and this (Greek) being a second language, the next thing that will probably happen is a "language transfer" - the concepts and categories that you are used to in English, will be what you quite naturally look for in Greek - ie you will try to differentiate which is a nominal and which verbal participle. If you take that step, you (along with most of the rest of English speaking Greek learners) will need to spend the rest of your engagement with participles un-learning that Anglo-centric distinction.

Jonathan's introduction of categorisations that are not familiar to you might seem a little daunting, but they might help to impress you that participles don't need to conform to the needs of English grammar.

Let me add a small suggestion. Understanding comes from recognising patterns, which in turns comes from the discerning significant difference, the appreciation of which comes from some extent from conditioning (ie your knowledge of English). Let me add a few questions to guide your pattern recognition that might not seem logical from an English point of view, but which I believe might help you move beyond understanding Greek as telegraphic (ungrammatical language - smoothed over with clever translation) to understanding Greek grammar - specifically as you try to understand participles:
Considering all participles associated with a full (finite) verb, which meaning of the verbs (understood lexically in abstract or in context, but not grammatically) are the sub-set of the other? Eg. Eat and gulp are like this - you can't gulp unless you eat. Is the larger meaning the main verb or the participle? What order do tney come in - is order dependent on meaning or on grammar?
Can you - just with common sense - think which actions or states are prerequisite / dependent on the others. How are they expressed in the grammar - by finite (main) verbs or participles? What tenses?
For (almost) auxilliary verbs (stop, persist in, etc) what is the tense of their participles?
Could a particple or participial phrase be left out, and the sentence still have its essential meaning, no meaning or a different meaning? Could a main verb be left out and the participle be made into a full verb, and the sentence still have the same meaning, a changed meaning or no meaning.

Those are just a few questions that you could ask of sentences containing participles. The system of categorisation that Jonathan has introduced seems like a good basis for categorisation, and these are questions which I think will lead to understanding.

Good luck, and keep asking.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 10th, 2017, 12:15 pm

In response to this question I was looking for Goetchius' treatment of Participles and discovered a 600+ page downloadable .pdf of an exegetical grammar[1] which appears to be a very eclectic gathering of information from a host of standard and not so standard reference works. The section on participle usage starts on page 225 (pdf p.265):
§26.15 The Uses of the Present Participle.

There are many examples. The quality of the treatment is somewhat uneven. Read it with a critical eye.

[1] AN EXEGETICAL GREEK GRAMMAR
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (and LXX)
A Systems Approach For Study Of The New Testament
By Rev. Norman E. “Swede” Carlson
http://www.thecfbc.com/node/29
http://www.thecfbc.com/publications
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 10th, 2017, 12:49 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Jonathan's introduction of categorisations that are not familiar to you might seem a little daunting, but they might help to impress you that participles don't need to conform to the needs of English grammar.
Ooops - forgive me for dumping query results without relating them to the original question. I'll use Funk's Grammar as a guide, since it is available on the Internet and has good examples.
The following sentences illustrate the three major functions of the participle:
(1) ἐκεῖνος ἦν ὁ λύχνος ὁ καιόμενος καὶ φαίνων Jn 5:35
He was the burning and shining lamp
(2) ἐπαύσαντο τὺπτοντες τὸν Παῦλον Acts 21:32
They stopped beating Paul
(3) καὶ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν Mt 22:22
And when they heard, they marveled
770.1 In (1) the two participles (καιόμενος καὶ φαίνων) are employed adjectivally to modify λύχνος, as the repetition of the article indicates (ὁ ... ὁ ...) (§684). This use of the participle in nominal word clusters is said to be attributive (to be considered in detail below).

770.2 The participle (τύπτοντες) in (2) is said to supplement the main or finite verb (ἐπαύσαντο) in forming a verb chain. This use of the participle is conventionally called supplementary. It is treated in this grammar under verb chains (§§568, 571f.; see §§584, 585 for additional uses of the supplementary participle).

770.3 In example (3), ἀκούσαντες functions adverbially, in that it depicts the circumstances under which the action denoted by the main verb takes place. Here it is the equivalent of a temporal clause. This use of the participle is termed circumstantial because the participle (and its complements) depicts the circumstances, e.g. time, cause, means, manner, condition, under which the action denoted by the main verb takes place. The circumstantial participle will be treated under adverbial clauses (§§0845-849).
My queries investigated the supplementary participle (the second kind), which are a lot like this kind of English verb chain:

Code: Select all

I 	wanted	to go	to town
 	kept	going 	 
 	attempted	to go	 
 	began	to go	 
 	stopped	going	 
 	attempted	to stop going
I was looking at how case tells you if the subject is the same for both verbs - "they stopped hitting him" (they is the subject of both stopped and hitting) versus "he saw them wandering around" (he is the subject of saw, them is the subject of wandering). But that's probably not the place for a beginner to start.

Here's where to look for explanations - with plenty of examples - of each of these 3 categories of participles:
I hope that gives some context for my examples. Let me know if you want me to do more queries to produce more examples in any of these categories.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by RandallButh » February 11th, 2017, 3:30 am

It might help beginners to know that "participles" are adjectives that are constructed from verbs.

Even so-called adverbial participles are adjectives, they modify the explicit or implicit subject. If the subject is female, the participle is female, if plural the participle is plural, just like we would expect of an adjective.

It is quite simple and logical when viewed within the Greek system.
Recommendation for teachers: distill the ideas down to something that you could teach a reasonably bright 8-year-old, and save non-colloquial English terms like 'attributive, supplementary, and circumstantial', maybe even 'adjective', for a second pass higher up the learning spiral or when kids are over 12 and already use some of the basic participle functions. Expanding and contracting example sentences into Greek that has identical reference, one example with a participle and the other with a finite verb, can be used effectively in classes.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Struggling with Participles

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 11th, 2017, 12:16 pm

RandallButh wrote:Recommendation for teachers: distill the ideas down to something that you could teach a reasonably bright 8-year-old, and save non-colloquial English terms like 'attributive, supplementary, and circumstantial', maybe even 'adjective', for a second pass higher up the learning spiral or when kids are over 12 and already use some of the basic participle functions. Expanding and contracting example sentences into Greek that has identical reference, one example with a participle and the other with a finite verb, can be used effectively in classes.
Yeah.

Unfortunately, I wind up working backward to get to that point, and it's not helpful for the beginners to see the sausage being made. I start with a reference grammar or two, do some queries on the syntax trees, and slowly figure out how to teach it well. We do participles all the time in my class, but we just act them out or illustrate the situation with images, identifying them as participles, but not classifying them yet. They aren't there yet.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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