Verb transitivity

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Alan Bunning
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Verb transitivity

Post by Alan Bunning » December 6th, 2017, 12:01 pm

I have a question about verb transitivity. Consider these examples with εἶδον/ὁράω:

1. Intransitive: οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἰδόντες, εἶπαν αὐτῷ, ... (Matt. 12:2)
2. Transitive to direct object: Καὶ ἐξελθὼν, εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον, καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς ... (Matt. 14:14)
3. Transitive to clause: Τότε Ἡρῴδης ἰδὼν ὅτι ἐνεπαίχθη ὑπὸ τῶν μάγων, ἐθυμώθη λίαν ... (Matt. 2:16)
4. Transitive to direct object and clause? καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ὅτι νουνεχῶς ἀπεκρίθη. εἶπεν αὐτῷ·... (Mark 12:34)

The pattern of item number 4 is of interest here and occurs about a hundred times in the NT with several different verbs. How would you consider that grammatically? Is it a syntactic form of a double-direct object? Or would you say it is transitive only to αὐτὸν and the following clause is explanatory?

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Verb transitivity

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 6th, 2017, 12:38 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 12:01 pm
4. Transitive to direct object and clause? καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ὅτι νουνεχῶς ἀπεκρίθη. εἶπεν αὐτῷ·... (Mark 12:34)

The pattern of item number 4 is of interest here and occurs about a hundred times in the NT with several different verbs. How would you consider that grammatically? Is it a syntactic form of a double-direct object? Or would you say it is transitive only to αὐτὸν and the following clause is explanatory?
Are these all verbs of expression, knowledge, and perception? In general, none of the treebanks I know of get that entirely right. But they are still worth looking at. This is one of the things I think needs fixing in our own treebank.

In Mark 12:34, PROIEL treats ὅτι νουνεχῶς ἀπεκρίθη as a complement of ἰδὼν, you can see that in Syntacticus.

Lowfat and GBI treat the clause as explanatory. You can see that in the Lowfat reader.

Neither treebank is completely consistent on this front.

But I think you have your own model of the clause for your data, I imagine you have a place for adjuncts and a place for apposition and ... is this model documented somewhere? A consistent accounting for this in one model might look a little different from a consistent accounting in another model.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Alan Bunning
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Re: Verb transitivity

Post by Alan Bunning » December 6th, 2017, 12:50 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 12:38 pm
Are these all verbs of expression, knowledge, and perception?
I think most if not all of them are, but I would have to check. The ones that I can think of off the top of my head involve seeing, knowing, persuading, asking, commanding.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 12:38 pm
In general, none of the treebanks I know of get that entirely right. But they are still worth looking at. This is one of the things I think needs fixing in our own treebank.
Well the question then is how would you fix it? I am asking what do grammarians think is the best way to handle/view this situation.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Verb transitivity

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 6th, 2017, 1:21 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 12:50 pm
Well the question then is how would you fix it? I am asking what do grammarians think is the best way to handle/view this situation.
This is a little complicated.

First, I should mention that most treebanks have chosen to keep sentences short because of the way they display sentences, and that often results in oversimplifications that erase these relationships in many sentences.

I intend to fix that, but I don't yet know what the model should be. Are these objects? Complements? Are they a specific kind of object or complement? Can these verbs have both objects and complements? At the same time?

Some of these choices are driven by the relationships in the data, others by the model you are using. In other words, I've hit the same issue you have, perhaps a little earlier, but I don't have an answer that I'm sure is good even for our own trees.

So ... I'd love to hear opinions.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Verb transitivity

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 6th, 2017, 6:14 pm

In traditional grammars, this αὐτόν in Mark 12:34 has been analyzed as an instance of prolepsis; see e.g. A. M. Buscemi, "La prolessi nel NT," LA 35 (1985): 37-68 at 51.

In prolepsis, a constituent of an embedded clause is raised (or whatever your theory calls it) into the matrix clause for some kind of pragmatic effect. In Mark 12:34 what would be raised (or anticipated or whatever) is the subject of the verb ἀπεκρίθη and it is given a case that fits the matrix clause (here, the accusative αὐτόν for a participle headed by ἰδών). Often in prolepsis, the argument structure of the matrix verb was already complete on its own, so with prolepsis the argument structure looks overloaded according to a normal syntactic analysis.

I don't know how the case frame people (or for that matter the tree-bankers) deal with prolepsis, but in my opinion the proleptic pronoun has as much relation to the matrix clause's event structure as an ethical dative, i.e., not much: ratherr, the relationship is at a level higher than the event structure. For Mark 12:34 I would treat the αὐτόν as more of an adjunct than an argument, even though it kind of looks like an argument.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Alan Bunning
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Re: Verb transitivity

Post by Alan Bunning » December 8th, 2017, 11:16 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 6:14 pm
In traditional grammars, this αὐτόν in Mark 12:34 has been analyzed as an instance of prolepsis; see e.g. A. M. Buscemi, "La prolessi nel NT," LA 35 (1985): 37-68 at 51.
Prolepsis is a perhaps good explanation for that case because αὐτόν seems unnecessary or “overloaded”. But there many variations on this theme that seem to be transitive to a direct object and a clause:

1Cor. 3:20 knowing - κύριος γινώσκει τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς τῶν σοφῶν ὅτι εἰσὶν μάταιοι.
1Cor. 11:2 praising - Ἐπαινῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς ὅτι πάντα μου μέμνησθε ...
1Cor. 11:14 teaching - οὐδὲ ἡ φύσις αὐτὴ διδάσκει ὑμᾶς ὅτι ἀνὴρ μὲν ἐὰν κομᾷ ...
1Cor. 16:12 exhorting - ... πολλὰ παρεκάλεσα αὐτόν, ἵνα ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ...

There are also several with this pattern which seem to be more like the prolepsis example:

λέγω δὲ τοῦτο, ὅτι ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ... (1Cor. 1:12)
κρίναντας τοῦτο, ὅτι εἷς ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ...·(2Cor. 5:14)

Here are a few examples with κελεύω but the clause is not introduce with ὅτι or ἵνα :

... κέλευσόν με ἐλθεῖν πρός σε ἐπὶ τὰ ὕδατα. (Matt. 14:28) – he is commanding Peter
... ἐκέλευσεν τὸ στράτευμα καταβὰν, ἁρπάσαι αὐτὸν ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν ἄγειν τε εἰς τὴν παρεμβολήν. (Acts 23:10) – double-direct object idea but with 2 clauses
καὶ κελεύσας τοὺς ὄχλους ἀνακλιθῆναι ἐπὶ τοῦ χόρτου ... (Matt. 14:19) – is he commanding the crowds, or the disciples concerning the crowds? Passive makes it look more like he is commanding the disciples.
But then καὶ ἐπέταξεν αὐτοῖς ἀνακλῖναι πάντας ... (Mark 6:39) – here he could be commanding the crowds, but it could also go the other way. (the direct object with ἐπιτάσσω is often in the dative case)

How do grammarians look at these patterns syntactically?

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