Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

I don't understand what my textbook is saying about X. Can someone help me?

Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Wes Wood » January 18th, 2014, 4:23 pm

1 Cor. 5:5a παραδοῦναι τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός. Levinsohn states that in this example, "the more focal constituent (τῷ Σατανᾷ) is placed after the more supportive one (τὸν τοιοῦτον)." Would someone please clarify how he arrived at this conclusion? I think I am mostly confused by why this principle is chosen instead of the other three he suggests in this chapter. More specifically, is τοιοῦτον ever a pronoun? The sources I have consulted seem to suggest it can function as a pronoun but don't really clarify when it does and when it doesn't. Any illumination would be appreciated.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby RandallButh » January 19th, 2014, 6:56 am

-
The principles are fairly straightforward.
Default information is normally presented from known information as a setting for new information.
Or in other terms, from more topical to more salient.

The referent of τὸν τοιοῦτον is the known or 'given' piece of information and τῷ σατανᾷ is the more salient "new" information for the infinitive clause. So these items are in a default word order here.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Barry Hofstetter » January 19th, 2014, 7:49 am

Wes Wood wrote:1 Cor. 5:5a παραδοῦναι τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός. Levinsohn states that in this example, "the more focal constituent (τῷ Σατανᾷ) is placed after the more supportive one (τὸν τοιοῦτον)." Would someone please clarify how he arrived at this conclusion? I think I am mostly confused by why this principle is chosen instead of the other three he suggests in this chapter. More specifically, is τοιοῦτον ever a pronoun? The sources I have consulted seem to suggest it can function as a pronoun but don't really clarify when it does and when it doesn't. Any illumination would be appreciated.


To answer the pronoun question, any adjective in Greek may be used as a substantive at any time. There is no specific "rule" which would cover when to make an adjective substantive -- it's something that is required or not by what the author wants to say. Since it may and regularly does take the article to make it substantive, I would not call it a pronoun, since pronouns do not take an article, but are considered substantive by their meaning and usage.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Stephen Hughes » January 19th, 2014, 10:23 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:any adjective in Greek may be used as a substantive at any time

This is a stiking statmetn. I'd never considered that before. What is the technical name of that sort of substantive? Perhaps "substantial adjective" (?my guess?)?

What are the rules governing that change. That type of "substantial adjective" refers to something else in the masculine and feminine perhaps, and only in the neuter singular to the abstract quality of the adjective.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby RandallButh » January 19th, 2014, 10:52 am

The particular name of a pronominal demonstrative qualitative adjective is irrelevant to the discourse questions and might best be handled in its own thread. When an adjective's substantive referent is implied, but not explicit, then it can be said to be used 'substantively', 'nominally', in the appropriate gender and number. Again, none of this relates to the word order questions above.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Stirling Bartholomew » January 19th, 2014, 7:57 pm

Wes Wood wrote: I think I am mostly confused by why this principle is chosen instead of the other three he suggests in this chapter. More specifically, is τοιοῦτον ever a pronoun? The sources I have consulted seem to suggest it can function as a pronoun but don't really clarify when it does and when it doesn't. Any illumination would be appreciated.


Earlier in the chapter pronouns are discussed in regard to constituent order in reported speech. This is not reported speech. However, τὸν τοιοῦτον precedes a noun τῷ Σατανᾷ for what this is worth (??). Agree with Buth's very clear statement on focus constituents. The information flow is from what is known to what is affirmed. What is affirmed isn't always NEW information but it is the point of the statement, the salient bit of "news" even if it isn't really new. In this particular case παραδοῦναι ... τῷ Σατανᾷ is news, startling news.

Perhaps R.Buth could clarify why this is being analysed as topic -focus rather than topic - comment.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Wes Wood » January 19th, 2014, 9:01 pm

Dr. Buth, the way you said it was much more straightforward for me. :) Thank all of you for your replies.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby RandallButh » January 20th, 2014, 3:25 am

Perhaps R.Buth could clarify why this is being analysed as topic -focus rather than topic - comment.


I used "salient" as a synonym for 'comment' and I reserve the word 'focus' for non-default salient information, in other words for me Focus is a technical term meaning pragmatically marked salient information.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Barry Hofstetter » January 20th, 2014, 10:21 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:any adjective in Greek may be used as a substantive at any time

This is a stiking statmetn. I'd never considered that before. What is the technical name of that sort of substantive? Perhaps "substantial adjective" (?my guess?)?

What are the rules governing that change. That type of "substantial adjective" refers to something else in the masculine and feminine perhaps, and only in the neuter singular to the abstract quality of the adjective.


Stephen, every beginning text that I have taught from or examined has a section devoted to this grammatical feature of the language. Simply this, if the adjective is sitting there modifying nothing in the sentence, and particularly if it has the article modifying it, then we have a substantive adjective (which is the normal terminology). Greek also similarly substantivises participles and preposition phrases, e.g., ο πιστευων, οι εν τη αγορα... It is possible to have an anarthrous substantive, and then only context will determine.
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Re: Discourse Features of New Testament Greek

Postby Wes Wood » January 20th, 2014, 12:03 pm

RandallButh wrote:
Perhaps R.Buth could clarify why this is being analysed as topic -focus rather than topic - comment.


I used "salient" as a synonym for 'comment' and I reserve the word 'focus' for non-default salient information, in other words for me Focus is a technical term meaning pragmatically marked salient information.


This is one instance where I find specialized linguistic terminology helpful.
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