Word Order in Matt 21:33

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2681
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 11th, 2016, 9:15 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:Actually there's no S here, φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν is O IO V, which really is statistically unusual, putting both objects before the verb.
OK. I think I now understand why you were bringing up SOV patterns into the discussion. Yes, φραγμόν is the object.
0 x


Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3428
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 11th, 2016, 10:05 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Actually there's no S here, φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν is O IO V, which really is statistically unusual, putting both objects before the verb.
OK. I think I now understand why you were bringing up SOV patterns into the discussion. Yes, φραγμόν is the object.
I was bringing up these distributions because I think they are at the heart of an approach to discourse analysis that I don't yet grok. I'm not yet convinced that there's a "default order", and discourse analysis sometimes seems to be based on that notion. The things I had been looking at involved SOV patterns.

I should probably ask some of this in a separate thread.

But sometimes I do suspect we can overinterpret word order. This sentence may be an example of that. I think the meaning of ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν is fairly obvious, and even though it may be statistically unusual, I think it's a natural way to express this meaning. I don't understand why we should assume that it has been changed from some default formulation, or that the word order was changed from Mark in order to make a point or under influence from Isaiah.

I agree with Tony that it makes sense for this to come first because when you fence something in, the fence is salient. It's a natural way to say this.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1244
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 11th, 2016, 11:50 am

Another possibility is that it simply sounded to the writer like the right way to do it, and he gave much less thought to it than the attention we are paying to it. I think discourse analysis is good and helpful, but I also think we sometimes overthink it.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3428
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 11th, 2016, 3:46 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Another possibility is that it simply sounded to the writer like the right way to do it, and he gave much less thought to it than the attention we are paying to it. I think discourse analysis is good and helpful, but I also think we sometimes overthink it.
Is there a difference between saying that and saying that the fence is salient? If so, what?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1244
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 11th, 2016, 4:50 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Another possibility is that it simply sounded to the writer like the right way to do it, and he gave much less thought to it than the attention we are paying to it. I think discourse analysis is good and helpful, but I also think we sometimes overthink it.
Is there a difference between saying that and saying that the fence is salient? If so, what?
I'm saying that the saliency we see may not be what the author saw. Sometimes speakers of a language say something in a particular way not because of any special emphasis or meaning on the exegetical or even perceptible level, but because it sounds right to them.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

cwconrad
Posts: 2109
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by cwconrad » February 11th, 2016, 4:51 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Another possibility is that it simply sounded to the writer like the right way to do it, and he gave much less thought to it than the attention we are paying to it. I think discourse analysis is good and helpful, but I also think we sometimes overthink it.
Is there a difference between saying that and saying that the fence is salient? If so, what?
At the very least, it means that the fence rises above other items within view. ;)
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2681
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 11th, 2016, 8:19 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Actually there's no S here, φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν is O IO V, which really is statistically unusual, putting both objects before the verb.
OK. I think I now understand why you were bringing up SOV patterns into the discussion. Yes, φραγμόν is the object.
I was bringing up these distributions because I think they are at the heart of an approach to discourse analysis that I don't yet grok. I'm not yet convinced that there's a "default order", and discourse analysis sometimes seems to be based on that notion. The things I had been looking at involved SOV patterns.
The SOV etc. distributions are at the heart of a much older approach to word order in Greek that hasn't really worked out. Mike and I aren't working in this approach, however.
Jonathan Robie wrote:But sometimes I do suspect we can overinterpret word order. This sentence may be an example of that. I think the meaning of ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν is fairly obvious,
In terms of truth-conditional semantics, yes, but that's not the whole story as far as meaning is concerned. Word order does pragmatic work in Greek.
Jonathan Robie wrote:and even though it may be statistically unusual, I think it's a natural way to express this meaning.
How can you possibly know this? Would it be less natural, then, if the order was περιέθηκεν αὐτῷ φραγμόν? Is that what you're saying?
Jonathan Robie wrote:I don't understand why we should assume that it has been changed from some default formulation, or that the word order was changed from Mark in order to make a point or under influence from Isaiah.
Putting the notion of "default order" aside, the word order is is different from the other clauses in the verse and from the source material in Mark. The difference sticks out. My question is "why?"
Jonathan Robie wrote:I agree with Tony that it makes sense for this to come first because when you fence something in, the fence is salient. It's a natural way to say this.
I didn't understand Tony to say that. In fact, he likes the allusion to Isaiah 5 you just doubted.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2681
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 11th, 2016, 8:21 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:I'm saying that the saliency we see may not be what the author saw. Sometimes speakers of a language say something in a particular way not because of any special emphasis or meaning on the exegetical or even perceptible level, but because it sounds right to them.
Do you have a theory of what "sounds right" or is this just completely circular?
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

MAubrey
Posts: 903
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by MAubrey » February 11th, 2016, 8:32 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:Maybe.... it would be nice if the fence figured in the plot more explicitly but it just seems mentioned and dropped.
I think what you need, Stephen, is more examples of word order patterns in procedurals. It's entirely possible that the initial step in a procedure always gets a fronted object. The more I look at it, the more I'm inclined to think that's what's going on.

I just had a chat with Steve Runge about this. He's suggesting that the clause should actually be treated as predicate focus with the fronted object as simply the dominant focal element of the larger focus structure. In that vein, then, the way Matthew has initiated the narrative requires an anchor of some sort. Because he's already introduced the vineyard in the relative clause that came before, φραγμὸν is then the logical anchor for what follows, all of which then takes the normal predicate focus structure (in the same way that if we were to say "put a fence around it" in English, the sentence accent wouldn't fall on "put").

Note that Mark introduces the parable slightly differently without the vineyard in a relative clause, but instead in a full independent clause. That, then, allows Ἀμπελῶνα to function as the anchor for the following procedure much more naturally and everything after that parallels Mark. So let's assume that Matthew has Mark and takes the procedural bit, but then he writes his own introduction. So now he's changed who the vineyard is introduced and he needs a way to anchor the procedure and he then chooses φραγμὸν to fill that role.

Luke drops the procedure entirely and just goes with the thetic: Ἄνθρωπός τις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα and leaves it at that, cutting the Gordian knot, as it were.
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:But why should it be "emphasized" at all?
Well, the short answer is that focus doesn't mean emphasis.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:I'm saying that the saliency we see may not be what the author saw. Sometimes speakers of a language say something in a particular way not because of any special emphasis or meaning on the exegetical or even perceptible level, but because it sounds right to them.
I'm not saying you're wrong, Barry, in fact, you're certainly right. My question is:what could motivate "right-sounding-ness" and how could we evaluate it? This isn't about overthinking the question. This is about asking the question: "Why would X sound right and Y sound wrong?" In my mind, simply stopping the discussion at "it sounds right to them" is ending things right when they're getting interesting!
Jonathan Robie wrote:I was bringing up these distributions because I think they are at the heart of an approach to discourse analysis that I don't yet grok.
I'd encourage you to read Steve Runge's review of Kwong. He deals with a lot of the statistics issues:
http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/5903_6264.pdf

I also talked about these things years ago while I was reading through Helma Dik's first monograph on Greek word order:
https://evepheso.wordpress.com/2009/05/ ... cal-koine/
0 x
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2681
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Word Order in Matt 21:33

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 11th, 2016, 9:04 pm

MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:Maybe.... it would be nice if the fence figured in the plot more explicitly but it just seems mentioned and dropped.
I think what you need, Stephen, is more examples of word order patterns in procedurals. It's entirely possible that the initial step in a procedure always gets a fronted object. The more I look at it, the more I'm inclined to think that's what's going on.
Yes, more examples would be great.
MAubrey wrote:I just had a chat with Steve Runge about this. He's suggesting that the clause should actually be treated as predicate focus with the fronted object as simply the dominant focal element of the larger focus structure. In that vein, then, the way Matthew has initiated the narrative requires an anchor of some sort. Because he's already introduced the vineyard in the relative clause that came before, φραγμὸν is then the logical anchor for what follows, all of which then takes the normal predicate focus structure (in the same way that if we were to say "put a fence around it" in English, the sentence accent wouldn't fall on "put").
I've thought about predicate focus too, but I don't have a good handle on when or if predicate focus can happen without the verb being first. And it's not clear why the hedge/fence would be more dominant than the action of enclosing the vineyard. (I've even thought of (pseudo?) noun incorporation so that φραγμόν would simply be the first part of a split verbal nucleus, but I'm a little worried about the "split" part.)

As for the relative clause, I read the relative clause as continuing through the end of the verse, so I don't quite get the "anchor" talk. Is the argument that the verse is mispunctuated and we should have a full stop after ἀμπελῶνα? If so, the καί bothers me.
MAubrey wrote:Note that Mark introduces the parable slightly differently without the vineyard in a relative clause, but instead in a full independent clause. That, then, allows Ἀμπελῶνα to function as the anchor for the following procedure much more naturally and everything after that parallels Mark. So let's assume that Matthew has Mark and takes the procedural bit, but then he writes his own introduction. So now he's changed who the vineyard is introduced and he needs a way to anchor the procedure and he then chooses φραγμὸν to fill that role.
The Markan introduction of ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπον ἐφύτεθσεν is its own level of interestingness. Thanks for pointing that out. Where can I read more about anchoring procedures?
MAubrey wrote:Luke drops the procedure entirely and just goes with the thetic: Ἄνθρωπός τις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα and leaves it at that, cutting the Gordian knot, as it were.
Yep, not bothered by Luke at all here.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Post Reply