Re: Word order and emphasis in Acts 2:39
Posted: January 2nd, 2013, 3:01 pm
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Stephen Carlson wrote:Thanks, Randy. I would love to see some examples of this. I'm not aware of any, but I don't any theoretical objection to it either.RandallButh wrote:Stephen, that is generally true, both in Greek and across languages. However, Greek is something of a rare bird in this because it sometimes has things 'against the grain', that is, a Focal constituent will precede a 'frame of reference'. Maybe Steve R has a tagged text that can spit out a half dozen examples to illustrate this.
preverbal focus & setting constituents
Towards the beginning of his discussion of Points of Departure Levinsohn 2000:9 cites Matt. 6:2a Ὅταν οὖν ποιῇς ἐλεημοσύνην, μὴ σαλπίσῃς ἔμπροσθέν σου. The conditional Ὅταν clause is according to Levinsohn a point of departure. Helma Dik 2007:36-37 in her discussion of preverbal Setting constituents chooses to exclude from her her definition of Settings anything which could be considered a clause in its own right, e.g., genitive absolutes, adverbial clauses, etc.
In his discussion of preverbal focus constituents Levinsohn 2000:37 cites James 1:2 Πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε, ἀδελφοί μου, ὅταν πειρασμοῖς περιπέσητε ποικίλοις. He marks Πᾶσαν χαρὰν as the focus constituent but does not consider the conditional ὅταν clause a Point of Departure. I would assume that the position of the ὅταν clause is the reason for not calling it a Point of Departure.
I have not found an example of a focus constituent followed by a point of departure both in front of the main verb in the same clause. I am not saying this does not happen. However, Levinsohn 2000:37 states "Any point of departure that is present will preceed any preverbal focal constituent" (italics in original). So perhaps we have a disagreement between Levinsohn and Buth?
I am tempted to depart both from Levinsohn and Helma Dik and suggest that the James 1:2b ὅταν clause functions as a contextualizer. My notion of a contextualizer includes clauses and does not depend on position relative to the clause being contextualized. So my contextualizer is not equal to Levinsohn's point of departure or Helma Dik's Setting.
 Helma Dik’s framework is only vaguely similar to Levinsohn’s, differences abound. Setting constituents are similar in some respects to Points of Departure, contextualizers, whatever.
A point of departure for Levinsohn (2000:8) is by definition clause initial. This is also true for Settings in Helma Dik (2007:38). In other words, this isn't a matter of observation. Yesterday I did some thinking about this. The point of departure serves to attach a new clause to the immediately preceding co-text. The metaphor is spacial and linear. If you want to glue a new clause to the clause the precedes it you need to apply the glue to the left hand side of the new clause since that is the mating surface between the new and the preceding clauses.