Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 2nd, 2013, 1:30 am

Try a reading experiment: read
ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου
1,2,3 seconds pause
ὀ οἲκος.
Works for other examples, too:
1 Cot 9:27 ὑπωπιάζω μου (...pause...) τὸ σῶμα καὶ δουλαγωγῶ

What is happening to MOY?
(Whether or not original to Lk 14, it may be accepted as good Greek and is certainly not Hebrew. Mention of Hebrew was to illustrate a similar phenomenon:
if you read vayyomer lo ...(3seconds pause)... hamelek. [and the king said to him]
the word "lo" [to him] is not in a fronted position for focus. It is simply attached to the verb phrase and may be read as if one phonological phrase unit(though with two word stresses in Hebrew).

The point is that when such fronting takes place in Greek it opens up some special effects that are the opposite of putting focus on MOY.
Such fronting is cetainly not a 'default' situation.
When does it happen? When the verb becomes rhetorically 'heavy' so as to attract the MOY.
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns (1 Cor 9:27)

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » June 2nd, 2013, 12:47 pm

Very intereresting thread, but I don't have enough background to come to any conclusion or even understand what the linguists are saying here. However, I want to give a small challenge. Many years ago I did some research on 1 Cor 9 24-27 and want to present an alternative interpretation.

26ἐγὼ τοίνυν οὕτως τρέχω ὡς οὐκ ἀδήλως, οὕτως πυκτεύω ὡς οὐκ ἀέρα δέρων·
27ἀλλ’ ὑπωπιάζω μου τὸ σῶμα καὶ δουλαγωγῶ, μή πως ἄλλοις κηρύξας αὐτὸς ἀδόκιμος γένωμαι.

Back then I did some quick search for μου in some Pauline letters and noticed that most of them are after their head word in the NP. This was one of the exceptions. I automatically assumed that it's for "emphasis" which I would today call "contrastive topic".

Paul uses some word plays here. ὑπωπιάζω can mean "treat roughly" but also (lit.) "strike under the eye, give a black eye" (BAGD; see Thiselton's NIGTC). It quite naturally refers to boxing imagery, continuing from the previous verse. δουλαγωγῶ can means "bring into subjection/slavery", but Adam Clarke (sorry, I didn't find more authoritative source right now) says "...and δουλαγωγω, which signifies to trip, and give the antagonist a fall, and then keep him down when he was down, and having obliged him to acknowledge himself conquered, make him a slave" in wrestling. Be the interpretation of the latter word correct or not, it's important to notice how the discourse continues from v. 26 to v. 27. If ὑπωπιάζω is related to πυκτεύω, the reader would naturally have the body of the adversary in mind. μου would then be fronted to be the contrastive topic: it's not the adversary's body but my own body which I beat black and blue and make slave. τὸ σῶμα and the whole fight must then be interpreted metaphorically, meaning that it's not a physical combat which Paul describes but spiritual: I don't fight physically against another man, but spiritually against myself, my sinful inclinations.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 2nd, 2013, 1:41 pm

Elli,

Yes, i look at the text the same way you do.

Randall, I am still interested in hearing your answer to my question:
Do you consider MOU here as a constiutent in the noun phrase or not?

If not, what then?
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 2nd, 2013, 3:57 pm

Randall, I am still interested in hearing your answer to my question:
Do you consider MOU here as a constiutent in the noun phrase or not?

If not, what then?
the MOY and head noun are like a discontinous noun phrase. Technically, it is next to its article+noun, but in terms of phonological phrases it is part of the verb phrase, not the noun phrase. In that sense, it is like discontinuous noun phrases where one piece of the phrase is fronted in front of the verb, even though it is semantically to be joined with the rest of the noun phrase. Here the MOY has been joined to the verb as a clitic, tucked in behind the verb, not fronted, yet semantically it is still to be joined with its noun phrase though spoken with the verb phrase. c'est du grec.

that is why it can generate an extra thread in the decoder's head and create a sensation of intensifying the verb.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 3rd, 2013, 1:54 am

RandallButh wrote:
Randall, I am still interested in hearing your answer to my question:
Do you consider MOU here as a constiutent in the noun phrase or not?

If not, what then?
the MOY and head noun are like a discontinous noun phrase. Technically, it is next to its article+noun, but in terms of phonological phrases it is part of the verb phrase, not the noun phrase. In that sense, it is like discontinuous noun phrases where one piece of the phrase is fronted in front of the verb, even though it is semantically to be joined with the rest of the noun phrase. Here the MOY has been joined to the verb as a clitic, tucked in behind the verb, not fronted, yet semantically it is still to be joined with its noun phrase though spoken with the verb phrase. c'est du grec.

that is why it can generate an extra thread in the decoder's head and create a sensation of intensifying the verb.
Thank you for engaging in this discussion., You have helped me to see some of the reasoning behind your analysis. I find the suggested reasons too vague and inconsistent to be convincing, but this would be a good topic for further research and questioning of some traditional grammatical suppositions. One area of potential research is whether there is fronting within a noun phrase (a constituent in relation to the head noun) or whether fronting is only in terms of placement in relation to the verb. Another area is the interplay between phonology, syntax and semantics. A third area is whether the choice between the long and short forms of words like EMOU/MOU, EME/ME points to a difference in emphasis - as traditionally assumed - or it does not. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on native speaker intuition like we (or rather you) can with English sentences like: "It is me" versus "it's me" versus "it is me".

By the way, I noticed that the next sentence in Luke 14:24 also has a fronting of the MOU within its noun phrase:

23 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον, Ἔξελθε εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς καὶ φραγμοὺς καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου ὁ οἶκος· 24 λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου.

In the last sentence there is no textual uncertainty. I was not suggesting that an uncertain reading is not good Greek, but it is interesting to try to understand why copyists might have changed to default NP order in the first sentence, but not in the second.
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 3rd, 2013, 2:33 am

23 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον, Ἔξελθε εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς καὶ φραγμοὺς καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου ὁ οἶκος· 24 λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου.

In the last sentence there is no textual uncertainty. I was not suggesting that an uncertain reading is not good Greek, but it is interesting to try to understand why copyists might have changed to default NP order in the first sentence, but not in the second.

Iver Larsen
I would say that the second μου strengthens the γεύσεταί by being attracted to it and doubling its accent, by being light-weight and manipulated by other elements, while the "no one ..." is focal within the sentence.

From the other side, one may also say that the identity/owner of the house and dinner are being "assumed" (demoted prominence), it is the-filling-of-a-house that is prominent and the not-tasting-dinner that is prominent. the owner is more-assumed, more-given information and the pronoun gets attracted to the verb in a non-prominent position.

Finally, one should also point out that γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου should be read without a pause between phonological verb and phonological object because MOY would sound like the object if one paused at that point.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 3rd, 2013, 8:30 am

While I still think the placement of the genitive pronoun in a noun phrase needs further study, I would like to leave aside the enclitic ones and look at examples with a fronted AUTOU which are unusually common in John, but not exclusive to him:

Mat 2:2 εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ
Mat 7:24,26 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν
Mat 8:3 καὶ εὐθέως ἐκαθαρίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα.
Mat 13:25 ἐν δὲ τῷ καθεύδειν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἦλθεν αὐτοῦ ὁ ἐχθρὸς
Mat 26:51, Mrk 14:47 πατάξας τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον. (But compare Luke 22:50: καὶ ἀφεῖλεν τὸ οὖς αὐτοῦ τὸ δεξιόν)
Mat 28:9 αἱ δὲ προσελθοῦσαι ἐκράτησαν αὐτοῦ τοὺς πόδας

Mrk 7:35 καὶ ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί (NLT: Instantly the man could hear perfectly)
Mrk 14:3 συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς.
Mrk 14:65 Καὶ ἤρξαντό τινες ἐμπτύειν αὐτῷ καὶ περικαλύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσωπον
Mrk 15:19 καὶ ἔτυπτον αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν καλάμῳ

Jhn 1:27 οὐκ εἰμὶ [ἐγὼ] ἄξιος ἵνα λύσω αὐτοῦ τὸν ἱμάντα τοῦ ὑποδήματος.
Jhn 2:23 πολλοὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ θεωροῦντες αὐτοῦ τὰ σημεῖα ἃ ἐποίει·
Jhn 3:21 ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα φανερωθῇ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα ὅτι ἐν θεῷ ἐστιν εἰργασμένα.
Jhn 3:33 ὁ λαβὼν αὐτοῦ τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἐσφράγισεν ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀληθής ἐστιν.
Jhn 4:34 Ἐμὸν βρῶμά ἐστιν ἵνα ποιήσω τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πέμψαντός με καὶ τελειώσω αὐτοῦ τὸ ἔργον.
Jhn 4:47 ἠρώτα ἵνα καταβῇ καὶ ἰάσηται αὐτοῦ τὸν υἱόν
Jhn 6:53 ἐὰν μὴ φάγητε τὴν σάρκα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πίητε αὐτοῦ τὸ αἷμα
Jhn 9:6 ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς
Jhn 9:14 ἀνέῳξεν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς
Jhn 9:21 τίς ἤνοιξεν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἡμεῖς οὐκ οἴδαμεν
Jhn 12:16 ταῦτα οὐκ ἔγνωσαν αὐτοῦ οἱ μαθηταὶ τὸ πρῶτον
Jhn 13:1 εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἦλθεν αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα ἵνα μεταβῇ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου
Jhn 15:15 ὁ δοῦλος οὐκ οἶδεν τί ποιεῖ αὐτοῦ ὁ κύριος
Jhn 18:10 ἔπαισεν τὸν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως δοῦλον καὶ ἀπέκοψεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον τὸ δεξιόν
Jhn 19:2 οἱ στρατιῶται πλέξαντες στέφανον ἐξ ἀκανθῶν ἐπέθηκαν αὐτοῦ τῇ κεφαλῇ
Jhn 19:34 εἷς τῶν στρατιωτῶν λόγχῃ αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευρὰν ἔνυξεν
Jhn 21:24 οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς αὐτοῦ ἡ μαρτυρία ἐστίν.

Acts 12:7 ἐξέπεσαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἁλύσεις ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν (KJV: And his chains fell off from [his] hands. RSV: And the chains fell off his hands.)
Acts 23:2 ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς Ἁνανίας ἐπέταξεν τοῖς παρεστῶσιν αὐτῷ τύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ στόμα (English versions all say "strike him on the mouth" rather than "strike his mouth".)

2 Cor 2:11 οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὰ νοήματα ἀγνοοῦμεν.

1Jn 2:5 ὃς δ᾽ ἂν τηρῇ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον
3Jn 1:10 ἐὰν ἔλθω, ὑπομνήσω αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα ἃ ποιεῖ

Does the high frequency in Matthew, Mark and especially John suggest Semitic influence? Is it relevant that the pronoun is primarily a personal pronoun that also functions as possessive? Does the fronting from the default position serve to focus on him as a person and less on the part of his body referred to or the actions he did or were done to him? Something similar seems to happen in English with "Strike him on the mouth".
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 4th, 2013, 5:18 am

Iver Larsen wrote:While I still think the placement of the genitive pronoun in a noun phrase needs further study, I would like to leave aside the enclitic ones and look at examples with a fronted AUTOU ...
...
Mat 7:24,26 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν
While we can be pretty sure that this started out in Hebrew at one time, by the time it reaches Matthew it is recorded with Greek word order. The has not been fronted as Focus or Contextualization but it looks exactly like the enclitic movements to the verb.
Mat 8:3 καὶ εὐθέως ἐκαθαρίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα.
This fronting seems to be strengthening the verb like an enclitic. In addition, 'leprosy' is not a prototypical sense of possession nor does it need identification and differentiation from leprosy of other people.
... Mat 26:51, Mrk 14:47 πατάξας τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον.
(But compare Luke 22:50: καὶ ἀφεῖλεν τὸ οὖς αὐτοῦ τὸ δεξιόν) ...
Jhn 18:10 ἔπαισεν τὸν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως δοῦλον καὶ ἀπέκοψεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον τὸ δεξιόν
Now there is your classic Hebrew structure! אוזנו הימנית
Where?
In Luke.
τὸ οὖς αὐτοῦ τὸ δεξιόν

I know that that doesn't agree with what introductions say about the gospels. That's their problem.
Jhn 9:6 ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς
This one is more interesting because of the distance that it is separated from the head noun. The αὐτοῦ seems to have been attracted to ἐπέχρισεν rather than simply fronted before the head noun.
Jhn 21:24 οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς αὐτοῦ ἡ μαρτυρία ἐστίν.
Acts 12:7 ἐξέπεσαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἁλύσεις ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν (KJV: And his chains fell off from [his] hands. RSV: And the chains fell off his hands.)
2 Cor 2:11 οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὰ νοήματα ἀγνοοῦμεν.
Interesting. J21.24 may be strengthening ἀληθὴς or avoiding the Focal enhancement from ἐστίν, leaving μαρτυρία for that. My personal way to make ἀληθὴς focal would have been ἀληθής ἐστιν ἡ μαρτυρία αὐτοῦ.
Ac12.7 both 'chains' and 'hands' were candidates for the possessive.
2Cor 2.11 the αὐτοῦ is fronted before the verb. Should we read as Contextualization or Focus? I would go Focus, for rhetorical repetition. Clausal focus, noun phrase focus, or both?

Does the high frequency in Matthew, Mark and especially John suggest Semitic influence?
No. Certainly not this feature.
See Luk 22.50 above.

In fact, John especially is actually quite smooth Greek. There are some very interesting Jewish cultural connections but the language is Greek, and close to natural, mother-tongue Greek. It's just very simple, unprententious, and repetitious.
Is it relevant that the pronoun is primarily a personal pronoun that also functions as possessive? Does the fronting from the default position serve to focus on him as a person and less on the part of his body referred to or the actions he did or were done to him? Something similar seems to happen in English with "Strike him on the mouth".
Yes, it brings the person more into the clause relationally, which is why it can give "middle/benefactive" strengthenings if pulled into a verb.

Thank you, Iver.
I especially liked this long list of examples. Together they make a strong case that many Greek users were treating αὐτοῦ like an enclitic. It wasn't their fault that later systematizers decided against allowing αὐτοῦ to drop its accent in written Greek.
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Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 5th, 2013, 6:11 am

RandallButh wrote:
Iver Larsen wrote:While I still think the placement of the genitive pronoun in a noun phrase needs further study, I would like to leave aside the enclitic ones and look at examples with a fronted AUTOU ...
...
Mat 7:24,26 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν
While we can be pretty sure that this started out in Hebrew at one time, by the time it reaches Matthew it is recorded with Greek word order. The has not been fronted as Focus or Contextualization but it looks exactly like the enclitic movements to the verb.


Thank you for the clarification about Hebrew. So, we have a Greek construction here that is not a reflection of Hebrew word order.
I am not satisfied that there is a movement or attraction to the verb whether the pronoun is enclitic or not, and I do not see in what sense this strengthens the verb. So I prefer to explore alternative possible explanations. Basically, I think the fronting of a possessive personal pronoun from its default position in a noun phrase puts some form of relative prominence on the person it refers to. I prefer to avoid using the terms Focus and Contextualisation.
I gave two references, but I should have quoted both for the contrast to be seen more clearly. I think it is important to look at the whole context to get a better feel of what the author is communicating with these slight nuances of meaning:
Mat 7:24 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν
Mat 7:26 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν ἄμμον
One person builds HIS house on the rock, the other builds HIS house on the sand.
Mat 8:3 καὶ εὐθέως ἐκαθαρίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα.
This fronting seems to be strengthening the verb like an enclitic. In addition, 'leprosy' is not a prototypical sense of possession nor does it need identification and differentiation from leprosy of other people.
Here it is instructive to see how Mark and Luke wrote about the same incident:
Mrk 1:42 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα, καὶ ἐκαθαρίσθη.
Luk 5:13 καὶ εὐθέως ἡ λέπρα ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ
The fronted αὐτοῦ in Mat appears to give the sense of this person being released from leprosy or the leprosy leaving him. The focus is not on the leprosy, but on him being free from it. It looks like the fronted genitive αὐτοῦ is closely related in meaning to the prepositional phrase ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ.
... Mat 26:51, Mrk 14:47 πατάξας τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον.
(But compare Luke 22:50: καὶ ἀφεῖλεν τὸ οὖς αὐτοῦ τὸ δεξιόν) ...
Jhn 18:10 ἔπαισεν τὸν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως δοῦλον καὶ ἀπέκοψεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον τὸ δεξιόν
Now there is your classic Hebrew structure! אוזנו הימנית
Where?
In Luke.
τὸ οὖς αὐτοῦ τὸ δεξιόν

I know that that doesn't agree with what introductions say about the gospels. That's their problem.
The verb here is like ἀπῆλθεν above in that it has the same prefix. Let me quote two other examples with the same verb:
Luk 10:42 ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται αὐτῆς
Luk 16:3 Τί ποιήσω, ὅτι ὁ κύριός μου ἀφαιρεῖται τὴν οἰκονομίαν ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ;
The object that is removed is in the accusative (or nominative if verb is passive) and the person from whom it is removed is either in the (partitive) genitive or with a preposition repeating the prefix. So, could we look at the fronted genitive im Mat, Mrk and Jhn to be similar to: the ear was removed/cut off from him?
Jhn 9:6 ἐποίησεν πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος καὶ ἐπέχρισεν αὐτοῦ τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς
This one is more interesting because of the distance that it is separated from the head noun. The αὐτοῦ seems to have been attracted to ἐπέχρισεν rather than simply fronted before the head noun.
Let us compare with the only other example in the NT using the same verb with the EPI prefix:
Jhn 9:11 Ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰησοῦς πηλὸν ἐποίησεν καὶ ἐπέχρισέν μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς
The verb governs genitive to show the place where the anointing was applied. So, I am wondering whether a free translation like the following would catch the intending meaning of the fronting: He made some mud from the spittle and he anointed him with the mud on the eyes.
Jhn 21:24 οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς αὐτοῦ ἡ μαρτυρία ἐστίν.
Acts 12:7 ἐξέπεσαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἁλύσεις ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν (KJV: And his chains fell off from [his] hands. RSV: And the chains fell off his hands.)
2 Cor 2:11 οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὰ νοήματα ἀγνοοῦμεν.
Interesting. J21.24 may be strengthening ἀληθὴς or avoiding the Focal enhancement from ἐστίν, leaving μαρτυρία for that. My personal way to make ἀληθὴς focal would have been ἀληθής ἐστιν ἡ μαρτυρία αὐτοῦ.
Ac12.7 both 'chains' and 'hands' were candidates for the possessive.
2Cor 2.11 the αὐτοῦ is fronted before the verb. Should we read as Contextualization or Focus? I would go Focus, for rhetorical repetition. Clausal focus, noun phrase focus, or both?
For John 21:24 the context allows for some prominence on the pronoun. Not just "his testimony" but "HIS testimony". Focus on the person and his reliability, not necessarily a contrastive focus..
For Acts 12:7 The verb has the same prefic EPI as above with genitive. Compare with:
Gal 5:4 κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ Χριστοῦ, οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε, τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε. (You have fallen down from (the) grace)
2Pet 3:17 ἐκπέσητε τοῦ ἰδίου στηριγμοῦ (You have fallen down from your own stability.)
Since this verb governs the genitive, it may be possible to understand Acts 12:7 as: the chains fell down/off from him from the/his hands. The primary focus is on him as a person being released and secondarily where the chains fell from.
For 2 Cor 2:11 we agree on focus or prominence.

I am still wondering why John uses this kind of fronting so much more than the others. But does John not have a tendency to use personal pronouns more than the other gospels? At least he uses the first person pronouns almost as many times as the other 3 gospels put together. Maybe he is just more person oriented?
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 5th, 2013, 6:49 am

Iver Larsen wrote:...
Thank you for the clarification about Hebrew. So, we have a Greek construction here that is not a reflection of Hebrew word order.
...
I prefer to avoid using the terms Focus and Contextualisation.
I gave two references, but I should have quoted both for the contrast to be seen more clearly. I think it is important to look at the whole context to get a better feel of what the author is communicating with these slight nuances of meaning:
Mat 7:24 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν
Mat 7:26 ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν ἄμμον
One person builds HIS house on the rock, the other builds HIS house on the sand.
This illustrates a couple of problems. One, of course, is ambiguity or subjectivity. Yes, someone may read the sentences with HIS focal. Then the second question arises whether that is a good reading. does it help the audience process the communication or does it distract or confuse by mis-implication?

I would argue, perhaps strongly, that the most salient, meaningful, important pieces of information are "on bedrock" and "on sand". Neither one of those phrases "rock" or "sand" is specially marked by word order though both are in the default position for salient word orders. This is helpful because as soon as we recognise "rock" and "sand" as most salient, then the 'his' becomes less salient and also justifies the differences between demotion, Contextualization, and Focus. In fact, "his" could be dropped from both of the sentences and there would not be any loss of meaning. The "his" would become implicit information and would require a little bit of extra processing energy. The important point is that "his" in this context is a singularly bad candidate for a Focal reading even though it has been moved from its default position after the noun head. I would call "his" demoted and the "fronting" not to be like a fronting that would be put before a verb for either Contextualization or Focus, but it is very much like a demotion where a word or phrase is placed after the verb and before default positions of Subject or Object.
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