Matthew 1:20

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Alan Bunning
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Alan Bunning » April 3rd, 2017, 1:11 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 12:50 am
Stephen Hughes's explanation for the word order of ἐστιν makes no sense to me.

What's going on is that ἐστιν is enclitic, and as an enclitic it has tendency to fall in the "second" position of its prosodic unit (more aptly: after the first full position). Here, the prosodic unit is ἐκ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἁγίου, with ἐκ πνεύματός in the first position (prepositions don't count for position), ἐστιν in the "second," and ἁγίου after that. The heavy subject τὸ (γὰρ) ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν is extraposed into its own unit.
So if the verb would have been something different, the adjective would not have been separated from the noun? In other words, they were only split apart because the dissyllabic present indicative of the verb of being happens to be an enclitic?

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 3rd, 2017, 2:00 am

Alan Bunning wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 1:11 am
So if the verb would have been something different, the adjective would not have been separated from the noun? In other words, they were only split apart because the dissyllabic present indicative of the verb of being happens to be an enclitic?
It's still possible to split the adjective and the noun ("hyperbaton") if there's some particular emphasis on the first element. But because ἐστιν is enclitic, you will see (apparent) splits even with no particular emphasis.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2017, 6:19 am

I agree with Stephen Carlson here.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 3rd, 2017, 7:08 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 12:50 am
Stephen Hughes's explanation for the word order of ἐστιν makes no sense to me.
That is great. If the awareness of abstract and concrete concepts in Koine Greek is real and has really been lost from Greek readers then that is a way to date changes in the grammar of the language. The loss of that distinction marks a major change on the road to Modern Greek.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2017, 7:36 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 7:08 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 12:50 am
Stephen Hughes's explanation for the word order of ἐστιν makes no sense to me.
That is great. If the awareness of abstract and concrete concepts in Koine Greek is real and has really been lost from Greek readers then that is a way to date changes in the grammar of the language.
But if the rule you propose is not real, then it was not lost from the language. Take this to a non-beginner's thread, formulate your proposed rule more precisely, and provide data for it? As modern English speakers, our intuition for the language is not evidence.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2017, 8:53 am

A few more examples to consider:

Matt.12.8 κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
Mark.2.28 ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου.
Mark.9.47 καλόν σέ ἐστιν μονόφθαλμον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἢ δύο ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν, ὅπου ὁ σκώληξ αὐτῶν οὐ τελευτᾷ καὶ τὸ πῦρ οὐ σβέννυται.
Luke.10.41 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Κύριος Μάρθα Μάρθα, μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ περὶ πολλά, ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἢ ἑνός· Μαριὰμ γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο, ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται αὐτῆς.
John.6.55 ἡ γὰρ σάρξ μου ἀληθής ἐστιν βρῶσις, καὶ τὸ αἷμά μου ἀληθής ἐστιν πόσις.
John.8.34 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν δοῦλός ἐστιν τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
John.10.2 ὁ δὲ εἰσερχόμενος διὰ τῆς θύρας ποιμήν ἐστιν τῶν προβάτων.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 3rd, 2017, 1:38 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 8:53 am
A few more examples to consider:
None of your examples are of a verb to be (or otherwise) placed strangely between a noun and its adjective.

Alan's question is one that it is very easy to answer by talking about something else, but answering WHY in this case the verb is there between a noun and its adjective is not simple. The position of ἐστιν shows that there are two sections to this utterance. I think that in terms of what is being talked about, the ἐκ πνεύματός is independent or strong enough for the ἐστιν to follow it. The ἐκ πνεύματος is the second strong thing. Why has it been chosen to be the beginning of the second part? Why are there two parts? What is the basic or general characteristic feature of the first vs. the second part of Greek utterances? What is different between most other two part structures and this one? The first step towards understanding that is asking where γεννηθέν belongs in the grammar.

Do you see the γεννηθέν as part of the subject or complement?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 3rd, 2017, 11:51 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 1:38 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 8:53 am
A few more examples to consider:
None of your examples are of a verb to be (or otherwise) placed strangely between a noun and its adjective.
Luke 10:41 ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία

But more generally, you have what would normally be a constituent uninterrupted by a verb - ὀλίγων χρεία, or ἐκ πνεύματός ἁγίου - and this enclitic ἐστιν shows up smack dab in the middle of it. The other examples mostly do not involve adjective+noun+ ἐστιν, but they illustrate the more general pattern: a constituent can be interrupted by an enclitic in the way that Stephen Carlson described.

Work through the list of examples to see what I mean.

Ah, but I later found some other examples that concern me ...
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 1:38 pm
Alan's question is one that it is very easy to answer by talking about something else, but answering WHY in this case the verb is there between a noun and its adjective is not simple.
That's why I did a query on the syntax trees before answering. The following query finds such examples:

Code: Select all

for $wg in //wg
for $estin in  //w[@normalized='ἐστιν']
let $min := min($wg//@n)
let $max := max($wg//@n)
where $estin/@n <= $max
    and $estin/@n >= $min
    and not($wg//@n = $estin/@n)
return $wg/ancestor::sentence/p
At least in Randall Tan's analysis, these are constituents interrupted by the enclitic ἐστιν, as Stephen Carlson describes. As a check, let's see if a non-enclitic form of the same verb can appear in this way, let's try ἦν:
for $wg in //wg
for $estin in //w[@normalized='ἦν']
let $min := min($wg//@n)
let $max := max($wg//@n)
where $estin/@n <= $max
and $estin/@n >= $min
and not($wg//@n = $estin/@n)
return $wg/ancestor::sentence/p
I get examples like these:

Matt.3.4 ἡ δὲ τροφὴ ἦν αὐτοῦ ἀκρίδες καὶ μέλι ἄγριον.
Luke.1.10 καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος.

But these can be explained by split focus, and I do not think Matthew 1:20 can. I haven't worked through the entire list, and should before being too certain here.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 1:38 pm
The first step towards understanding that is asking where γεννηθέν belongs in the grammar.

Do you see the γεννηθέν as part of the subject or complement?
As part of the subject, though I suppose both interpretations are possible. Here is my interpretation of that:

γὰρ
s τὸ
adv ἐν αὐτῇ
v.part γεννηθὲν
p ἐκ Πνεύματός Ἁγίου
vc ἐστιν
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 4th, 2017, 4:03 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 1:38 pm
Do you see the γεννηθέν as part of the subject or complement?
Hi Stephen,

It sounds like you want the predicate to be γεννηθὲν ... ἐστιν ... with the meaning "is begotten ...," but the way to do this in Greek is to use a perfect instead. Even without the segmentation clue afforded by ἐστιν, I don't think this works.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

jtauber
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Re: Matthew 1:20

Post by jtauber » April 4th, 2017, 5:40 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 10:41 am
I conclude it must be okay to separate the adjective from the noun by a verb.
I'm coming off a course in Pindar and he does it a lot. Huge caveat: it's poetry and dialectically distance from Koine but still. Here are some examples from an assignment I did on Isthmian 4.37–57:

αὐτοῦ πᾶσαν ὀρθώσαις ἀρετὰν
κατὰ ῥάβδον ἔφρασεν θεσπεσίων ἐπέων
βαθύκρημνον πολιᾶς ἁλὸς ἐξευρὼν θέναρ

Watkins (2002) calls these "distracted" noun phrases.

Watkins, C. 2002. EΠEΩ NΘEΣIΣ: Poetic Grammar: word order and metrical structure in the Odes of Pindar. In Hettrick, H. (ed.) Indogermanische Syntax : Fragen und Perspektiven. 319-37. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
James Tauber
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