Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 9th, 2013, 7:37 pm

Dear Friends,
IDOU e.g. sets the Focus on the Proposition and highlights the following Information. But are there grammaticalized devices, e.g. words doing the exact opposite by making Information less important? We have some in our German language, called "Abtönungspartikel" (halt, eben, mal), but are there such devices in Greek ? An English equivalent could be *just", as in "it's just me, Darling!".
Your help is highly appreciated !
Yours
Peter, Germany
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Stephen Carlson » June 12th, 2013, 3:42 am

I think the English term for Abtönungspartikel is shading particle. A Greek example would be the particle γε.
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 12th, 2013, 4:31 am

Dear Stephen,

wonderfull - a good hint for me ! Would it somehow be possible to add an clarifying example within the NT ? I'd be highly interested and want to learn more. An example would be beneficial for me.
Thank you
Yours
Peter, Germany
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Stephen Carlson » June 12th, 2013, 4:56 am

Two examples from Luke listed in BDAG are:
Luke 11:8 wrote:λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ, διά γε τὴν ἀναίδειαν αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει.

Luke 18:5 wrote:διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον τὴν χήραν ταύτην ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν, ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με.
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 12th, 2013, 5:07 am

Dear Stephen,
two wonderful examples ! Great ! Thank you. I've appreciated your assistance.
Yours
Peter
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Tony Pope » June 13th, 2013, 10:16 am

I can see that γε may qualify as a particle that shades the meaning of an element in Greek, but I don't see how it "makes Information less important" or has "de-focusing force". The grammars seem to either profess to see no difference in meaning (BDF §439) or rather say the opposite (C F D Moule, Idiom-Book, p.164), and in Luke 11.8 and 18.5 it looks as though the phrase introduced by διά is made more prominent thereby. (Not to mention that the concept of a clitic highlighting the preceding word might furnish grist to the mill of some who have been discussing recently on a different thread ...)
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Stephen Carlson » June 13th, 2013, 10:20 am

Yeah, I agree that "de-focusing" is not a good characterization of Abtönungspartikel, but it looks like that latter rather the former was sought.
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 14th, 2013, 11:55 am

Dear friends,
ok so far, but how would Koine-Greek speakers or writers express sentences like these:
"I'm just kidding - it's not serious".
"It's just a promoter on the phone - not an important person"

Would GE in each cases do it ?
Yours
Peter
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 15th, 2013, 6:51 am

Peter Streitenberger wrote:ok so far, but how would Koine-Greek speakers or writers express sentences like these:
"I'm just kidding - it's not serious".
"It's just a promoter on the phone - not an important person"


I haven't thought of this category of word before. It's not clear to me that 'just' operates the same way as 'halt', 'eben', or 'mal' - can you construct a phrase equivalent to "I'm just kidding" with one of these words? Part of my block may come from trying to find a German equivalent to the English 'kidding', but to my non-native ear, 'just' negates what is being said, 'halt' or 'mal' makes it milder so you aren't hitting the other person over the head with it, 'eben' feels like it does something else, it seems to focus more than to defocus.

Just feels more like 'halt' or 'mal' to me in sentences like "just take another piece", or "I'd just like a hug".

Is there a good article on these kinds of words in English and or German? This book seems to go into this in a helpful manner, but I can only see the Amazon previews.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Words/Particles with De-Focusing force ?

Postby David Lim » June 15th, 2013, 7:25 am

Peter Streitenberger wrote:ok so far, but how would Koine-Greek speakers or writers express sentences like these:
"I'm just kidding - it's not serious".
"It's just a promoter on the phone - not an important person"

In English we can quite accurately replace "just" with "only". The other language I know is Chinese, where it is similar:
"我只开玩笑啦!没什么。" / "我开玩笑而已!没什么。" = "I am/was only making a joke! It's nothing."
"只是销售员,不是任何重要的人。" = "It is/was only a salesperson, not any important person."
It appears that "μονον" in Greek can be used in the same manner, as in Matt 8:8, 10:42, 17:8, 21:19, Mark 5:36, Rom 3:29, ...
δαυιδ λιμ
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