Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 5th, 2013, 5:15 pm

RandallButh wrote:
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.
...
Thank you. I quite agree that we are into subjective analyses here. The subjectivity is underscored by the fact that the Byzantine tradition has τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ in both places. If we assume that the NA text was original as the harder reading, someone felt that the other order would be better or more natural.
We clearly have a lexical contrast between bedrock and sand, so it does not have to be shown by word order. What is most salient or important? That, I think is subjective. The way I read the text, what is most important in the context is not rock or sand, but two different kinds of people, one obedient, the other disobedient. The obedient one is likened to a wise man who builds HIS house in a wise way. The other is likened to a folish man who builds HIS house in a foolish way. But I would say that the Byzantine reading is also well formed, and it does not make much, if any, difference for the final communication. The reason we tend to think that rock and sand are important is probably the Sunday School songs where focus is placed on the parable and the main point of the saying is more or less forgotten: A wise person obeys my words.
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 5th, 2013, 6:09 pm

Well, you can do a little test to see what is more important.

a. a wise man is one who builds his house ... and the storm does not hurt it
but a foolish man builds his house ... and the storm destroys it.

or b.
a wise man builds on bedrock ... and the storm does not hurt it
but a foolish man builds on sand ... and the storm destroys it.

which is clearer? Which is the better parable?

The parable itself signals the 'bedrock' (v. 26) as the main point, not that 'the house belonged to the wiseman'.
You will have found your salient information.

Thus, for me, the parable that illustrates the differences in building is the clearer.
To say that the wise man builds HIS house (rather than just 'a house'?), and the foolish one HIS (rather than 'another house'?) is insipid, almost tautalogous.

So I must read αὐτοῦ as merely tracking a participant but without any sense of marked saliency.

(And yes, this is a Greek structure and optional/pragmatic. Conversely, it is not a Hebrew structure, where the possessive must follow the noun and only an "ethical dative" לו 'for himself' could come up to the verb.)
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Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 6th, 2013, 2:43 am

RandallButh wrote:Well, you can do a little test to see what is more important.

a. a wise man is one who builds his house ... and the storm does not hurt it
but a foolish man builds his house ... and the storm destroys it.

or b.
a wise man builds on bedrock ... and the storm does not hurt it
but a foolish man builds on sand ... and the storm destroys it.

which is clearer? Which is the better parable?

The parable itself signals the 'bedrock' (v. 26) as the main point, not that 'the house belonged to the wiseman'.
You will have found your salient information.

Thus, for me, the parable that illustrates the differences in building is the clearer.
To say that the wise man builds HIS house (rather than just 'a house'?), and the foolish one HIS (rather than 'another house'?) is insipid, almost tautalogous.

So I must read αὐτοῦ as merely tracking a participant but without any sense of marked saliency.

(And yes, this is a Greek structure and optional/pragmatic. Conversely, it is not a Hebrew structure, where the possessive must follow the noun and only an "ethical dative" לו 'for himself' could come up to the verb.)
So, in your analysis the placement of the pronoun before the head noun is unexplainable. Maybe that is the best we can do. We don't know why. Maybe it is a mistake.
I agree that if you limit yourself to the parable, the difference in foundations is salient and cannot be left out. It is shown not by position, but by lexical choices and contextual contrasts. I was not looking at the parable, but what Jesus wants to compare and contrast: An obedient person (24a) and a disobedient person (26a). I would then take the pronoun αὐτοῦ which has no lexical differentiation in the two occurrences, only placement marking, to point back to and contrast the two different persons introduced at the beginning: The obedient person built HIS house on a solid foundation (obedience to God's words - like Abraham), while the disobedient built HIS house without a solid foundation (without obedience to God's words - unlike Abraham).
I am just trying to see if there is some explanation rather than giving up and say there is no explanation.
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 6th, 2013, 5:31 am

So, in your analysis the placement of the pronoun before the head noun is unexplainable. Maybe that is the best we can do. We don't know why. Maybe it is a mistake.
? ?


It's good Greek.

My model of language has room for "demotion" for highly topicalized, non-salient pieces of information. Different languages move these near to the verb.
One can distinguish four levels of saliency:
marked clause-level saliency [Focus], marked relevance to larger context though not-most-salient at clause level [Contextualization], demoted non-saliency (what we have in Mt 7.24-26 with αὐτοῦ), and default saliency (what we have with "bedrock" and "sand").
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Iver Larsen
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Iver Larsen » June 7th, 2013, 3:00 am

RandallButh wrote:
My model of language has room for "demotion" for highly topicalized, non-salient pieces of information. Different languages move these near to the verb.
One can distinguish four levels of saliency:
marked clause-level saliency [Focus], marked relevance to larger context though not-most-salient at clause level [Contextualization], demoted non-saliency (what we have in Mt 7.24-26 with αὐτοῦ), and default saliency (what we have with "bedrock" and "sand").
This is helpful for understanding your model. I am trying to understand what you mean by ."demotion" for highly topicalized, non-salient pieces of information.

I was looking at Levinsohn's Greek Discourse book to see if he had a comment on this verse, but he does not. However, he does comment on some of the other examples we have discussed, so it may be useful to hear what he has to say. I am quoting a reformatted portion from his section 4.5 Preposing in the Noun Phrase: The Genitive:

Thirdly, pronominal genitives may sometimes be preposed when the referent of the pronoun is thematically salient (i.e., the center of attention). While the referent of the pronoun may or may not also be the propositional topic, there is a sense in which the rest of the sentence is organized around that referent and is a comment about it. In such instances, the placement of the reference to the ‘topic’ before its noun head is analogous to ordering principle 3 (sec. 3.3), which states that it is normal for a propositional topic to precede the comment about the topic.
This is illustrated in Matt. 2:2. The question of v. 2a establishes ‘king of the Jews’ as the center of attention. The rest of the sentence concerns this king of the Jews and, in v. 2b, αὐτοῦ precedes τὸν ἀστέρα as a comment is made about him.

(2a) Ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ τεχθεὶς βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων;
(2b) εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ.
(2c) καὶ ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτῷ

See also:
Matt. 8:3 καὶ εὐθέως ἐκαθαρίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα. (‘and immediately was.cleansed his the leprosy’)
Matt. 9:2 and 5 ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι. (‘are.forgiven your the sins’)
Matt. 24:48 Χρονίζει μου ὁ κύριος (‘is.lingering my the master’)
Matt. 26:43 ἦσαν γὰρ αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ βεβαρημένοι. (‘were for their the eyes weighed.down’)
John 3:33 ὁ λαβὼν αὐτοῦ τὴν μαρτυρίαν (‘the.one having.received his the testimony’)
Rom. 14:16 μὴ βλασφημείσθω οὖν ὑμῶν τὸ ἀγαθόν (‘not let.be.spoken.against your the good’)
Gal. 2:13b ὥστε καὶ Βαρναβᾶς συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει. (‘so.that also Barnabas was.carried. away.with their the hypocrisy’)
Tit. 1:15c μεμίανται αὐτῶν καὶ ὁ νοῦς καὶ ἡ συνείδησις (‘has.been.defiled their both the mind and the conscience’).

End of quote.

I am wondering whether Matt 7:24,26 could fit here in his analysis, i.e. thematically salient (propositional topic?). Is this the same as your "highly topicalized, non-salient" or different?
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 7th, 2013, 4:05 am

Yes,

I THINK that 'thematically salient' may be equivalent to my "highly topicalized".
Unfortunately Stephen L. has used a term that is not used prototypically for "highly topicalized". Salient tends to refer to the SIGNIFICANT NEW information while thematic can refer to 'topicalized/contextualizing' within the theme/rheme framework.

However, the point that I am making is that these pre-posed pronouns are not placed up in the clause-level pre-core (i.e., pre-verb for Greek) slot for full Topicalization/Contextualization. It is a lesser fronting and it can remove the pronoun from being viewed saliently, as part of the new, significant information. I use the term "demotion" to refer to its lowering of saliency and heightening of 'taken-for-granted-ness'.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 7th, 2013, 4:54 am

I think with αὐτοῦ we have these possibilities (V= verb, NP = noun phrase whose head αὐτοῦ modifies):

1. V NP αὐτοῦ
2. NP αύτοῦ V
3. αὐτοῦ V NP
4. V αὐτοῦ NP

Starting from the least controversial:

#1 is the default order; nothing is particularly marked.
#2 has the NP w/ αὐτοῦ marked.
#3 just has αὐτοῦ marked (other personal pronouns would have the so-called "emphatic pronouns" here: ἐμοῦ, σοῦ).
#4 is the rub. Iver says αὐτοῦ is marked but Randy says the V is marked.

One example that supports Randy is Gal. 2:13b ὥστε καὶ Βαρναβᾶς συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει. The most salient piece of information is καὶ Βαρναβᾶς (even Barnabas) followed by what he did συναπήχθη (got caught up with). I cannot see how αὐτῶν is particularly salient in this context. It's not as if there are two different hypocrisies in view and Barnabas chose one hypocrisy and not the other.
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RandallButh
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by RandallButh » June 7th, 2013, 5:13 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:I think with αὐτοῦ we have these possibilities (V= verb, NP = noun phrase whose head αὐτοῦ modifies):

1. V NP αὐτοῦ
2. NP αύτοῦ V
3. αὐτοῦ V NP
4. V αὐτοῦ NP

Starting from the least controversial:

#1 is the default order; nothing is particularly marked.
#2 has the NP w/ αὐτοῦ marked.
#3 just has αὐτοῦ marked (other personal pronouns would have the so-called "emphatic pronouns" here: ἐμοῦ, σοῦ).
#4 is the rub. Iver says αὐτοῦ is marked but Randy says the V is marked.

One example that supports Randy is Gal. 2:13b ὥστε καὶ Βαρναβᾶς συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει. The most salient piece of information is καὶ Βαρναβᾶς (even Barnabas) followed by what he did συναπήχθη (got caught up with). I cannot see how αὐτῶν is particularly salient in this context. It's not as if there are two different hypocrisies in view and Barnabas chose one hypocrisy and not the other.
That is good, Stephen C., except that it seems to equate "marking" with Focus. I distinguish Focal/Salient Marked structures from Contextualized/Topicalized non-salient marked structures. Thus, your #2 is ambigous as to whether the αὐτοῦ was dragged along by the noun phrase or whether it was specially marked in its own right. Also #3 could potentially be read with two different intonations, one Focal. (Though I would expect that most of such order were Focal. (Do you have a list of any MOY in such clauses?) However, #4 would be read with a non-Focal intonation. I would say that #4 is a marked construction, it's just not marked for Focal, salient information. As such, one would expect many MOY and few EMOY. (Yeah, that last one alliterates and adds assonance.)
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MAubrey
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by MAubrey » June 7th, 2013, 7:32 pm

RandallButh wrote:Also #3 could potentially be read with two different intonations, one Focal. (Though I would expect that most of such order were Focal. (Do you have a list of any MOY in such clauses?)
Here are some nice ones:
Matt 12:50 ὅστις γὰρ ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς αὐτός μου ἀδελφὸς καὶ ἀδελφὴ καὶ μήτηρ ἐστίν.
Mark 5:30 τίς μου ἥψατο τῶν ἱματίων;
Luke 10:29 καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον;
Luke 19:8 ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσιά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, κύριε, τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι

In all of these the enclitic is attaching to a phonological word outside its syntactic constituent.

I'm sorry I've been away from this. The past two weeks have been a rush in thesis work--I think I owe a few people some substantive responses in a couple threads at this point...

On that front: here's some data that was instrumental for my change in perspective away from an approach similar to Iver's toward the one I have now. The relative prominence approach depends centrally upon there being a contrastive alternative for the pronoun (Iver mentioned 2 Tim 3:10 and suggested the contrastive focus reading "MY teachings, etc. as opposed to other teachers." But that doesn't work super well for imperatives.

Matt 17:15 κύριε, ἐλέησόν μου τὸν υἱόν
Mark 9:24 βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ.

More often than not a pronoun is pulled forward and no contrastive alternative is available (there's only one son being talked about and one person's belief being talked about). At the same time demotion makes a whole lot of sense. These imperative forms come with significant emotional force on the petitioned act: HAVE MERCY, HELP. Incidentally, I'd say that these two clauses are good examples of instances where Stephen's #4 *can* be viewed as marking Focus. Randall, if you say this ordering (V αὐτοῦ NP) is a marked construction, but not marked for focus, then what is it marked for? Incidentally, I don't think I've ever seen an ἐμοῦ ordered like V αὐτοῦ NP, only the enclitic μου.
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Re: Word Order of Genitive (Enclitic) Pronouns

Post by MAubrey » June 7th, 2013, 7:56 pm

RandallButh wrote:However, #4 would be read with a non-Focal intonation. I would say that #4 is a marked construction, it's just not marked for Focal, salient information. As such, one would expect many MOY and few EMOY. (Yeah, that last one alliterates and adds assonance.)
Follow up...

I just did a search in Logos across Josephus, Philo, NT, AF, LXX, and the OTP for what forms of first person singular genitive pronouns appear directly following indicative verbs. I got seven hits (including three false ones) with ἐμοῦ out of 228 total hits.

Here's are the non-false hits:

Following εἰμί:
Ezekiel the Tragedian 1.64–65 ἄρχει δὲ πόλεως τῆσδε καὶ κρίνει βροτούς ἱερεύς, ὅς ἐστʼ ἐμοῦ τε καὶ τούτων πατήρ.
Matthew 16:23 Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ· σκάνδαλον εἶ ἐμοῦ
Functioning as a direct object:
Antiquities 6.104 ὑπολαβὼν δὲ ὁ Σαμουῆλος ἀλλὰ σύγε, φησίν, εἰ δίκαιος ἦσθα καὶ μὴ παρήκουσας ἐμοῦ μηδ ̓ ὧν ὑπέθετό μοι περὶ τῶν παρόντων ὁ θεὸς ὠλιγώρησας ταχύτερος
Genitive Agent:
Life 289 τοῖς δ ̓ οὔτι μετρίως συνεχύθησαν αἱ γνῶμαι μὴ κατεργασαμένοις ἃ διενοήθησαν ἐμοῦ τοῖς ἐπιχειρήμασιν αὐτῶν ἀντιστρατηγήσαντος.

These are all functioning as arguments, however. None of them are syntactically internal to a NP like the kinds of examples that we've been discussing. I'd say these are a very different animal than what we've been talking about, where the clitic pronoun is modifying a head noun...and I'd be inclined to say that their information structure is different two, i.e. with intonation stress on the verb that marks the focus of the assertion.
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