PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Stephen Carlson
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 27th, 2019, 2:52 am

Matthew Longhorn wrote:
May 26th, 2019, 12:53 pm
I just stumbled across the PhD thesis of Michael Allan Rudolph and have marked it for holiday reading starting next weekend.
Two questions:
1. Beyond identifying that the author has a phd and therefore presumably the work was considered good enough, I am guessing that not all phd theses are of the same quality. Is there any way to identify whether a thesis was marked out for being above average or any other indicator of quality?
Thanks for the link to Rudolph's and as well as to Casson's thesis. I have saved them for further study later.

As to your question, yes, obviously Ph.D. theses are not of the same quality. There's no real shortcut other than reading them and having the background to evaluation. Nevertheless, some heuristics are: (a) the school, (b) the advisor, (c) the theoretical approach. In this case, Rudolph's was produced at SEBTS under David Alan Black. As far as a Greek thesis is concerned, I would expect one produced there to be reasonably competent. The other dissertation was produced at KCL under Edward Adams. His name didn't ring a bell but his publications look legit. So no red flag there either.

You can learn a little more looking at the table of contents, and it looks like both of them discuss and apply Relevance Theory to the discourse marker. This is currently a hot topic in the field (as far as these things go) so what you're looking at are two theses applying the latest theory. Naturally, if you're not a fan of RT, you might not be impressed, but as far as these go, I would expect to make similar, if somewhat modest, contributions of relevance (heh) to the current field. But there's no real substitute than reading the dissertations, and even then you need to have the appropriate background.

Even if two works are covering similar different ground, I would still read them both. Their explanations will be somewhat different and occasionally one will turn on the light bulb in your head. For example, I didn't really get aspect theory until I read Corien Bary's doctoral dissertation. Now, I would certainly not recommend it to a beginner--it way too heavily invested in a particular formalism and the thesis was never published--but I was in the right place and time to receive her explanations of aspect, even though that was not really the aim of the dissertation. Indeed, I often find master's thesis a bit more accessible than the doctoral ones, because they are more concerned about demonstrating mastery over the theory than finding some original contribution.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Matthew Longhorn » May 27th, 2019, 5:45 am

Thanks for all the input, that had been helpful for me.
Stephen, great tips re looking at school and supervisor, I will store that for future.
I am very interested in relevance theory (although not as exclusively as I once was), so these fit right into my current reading habits. It was one of the things that got me excited when I found them.

Robert and James, thanks for the guidance. I didn’t think of using google scholar, and also missed the upcoming publication of Casson’s work - I will definitely be getting that for ease of future reference. That said, I will read the thesis as well
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 27th, 2019, 12:57 pm

Robert Emil Berge wrote:
May 26th, 2019, 7:32 pm
The best place to check if an academic work is cited is https://scholar.google.com

If you search for "Reclaiming Γάρ" there, you'll get two hits, the thesis from 2014 and a book chapter by the same author from 2017. None of them have any citations (although the book chapter should have cited the thesis, I assume). I guess the book chapter is a shorter, more readable and more developed version of the thesis, but I haven't looked at any of them.

Here's a link to the google books page for the book, pointing to the chapter:

https://books.google.no/books?hl=no&lr= ... 22&f=false
Robert,

You said: "I guess the book chapter is a shorter, more readable and more developed version of the thesis, but I haven't looked at any of them."

I read the article. I have no problem with Relevance Theory. It seems to me that Matthew would not be at risk of missing something important in Relevance Theory if he gave the thesis a pass. I agree with a number of things the author says but they have been said before by others.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 27th, 2019, 3:53 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 12:57 pm
I agree with a number of things the author says ...
On the other hand, his comments on Ferdinand de Saussure left me baffled. Isn't the first time I have run into this. Lots of people have made strange comments about Saussure. For example late '70s literary criticism, See Paul H. Fry's excellent lectures at Open Yale.

https://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-300

I apply a relevance test to academic monographs: Obfuscation is not equal to profundity. If the cost of processing is not justified by the new insights then I don't proceed to study the author. A high percentage of academic monographs fail this test.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Matthew Longhorn » May 28th, 2019, 3:36 am

Hi Stirling, can you expand on the issues you have with his discussion of Saussure? What I read in Rudolph’s thesis made sense to me at that point but it would be good to know where he may be inaccurate. Unfortunately I am not going to have time to get to watch those lectures
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MAubrey
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by MAubrey » May 28th, 2019, 1:21 pm

Robert Emil Berge wrote:
May 26th, 2019, 7:32 pm
The best place to check if an academic work is cited is https://scholar.google.com

If you search for "Reclaiming Γάρ" there, you'll get two hits, the thesis from 2014 and a book chapter by the same author from 2017. None of them have any citations (although the book chapter should have cited the thesis, I assume). I guess the book chapter is a shorter, more readable and more developed version of the thesis, but I haven't looked at any of them.

Here's a link to the google books page for the book, pointing to the chapter:

https://books.google.no/books?hl=no&lr= ... 22&f=false
Google Scholar is the best, but only because it is effectively the only means of doing this. Google does not actively maintain its though, so its value continues to decrease with time.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Matthew Longhorn » June 2nd, 2019, 5:18 am

Ok, maybe I get a bit obsessive... that’s not necessarily a bad thing...
Another paper on γαρ, this time by Bentein and focusing on Greek papyri and
https://www.persee.fr/doc/rbph_0035-081 ... _94_1_8875
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Matthew Longhorn » June 2nd, 2019, 5:52 am

And another relevance theory one by Zakowski this time
https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/851 ... 519290.pdf
Zakowski also has a shorter article which can be found here focusing on Mark 5:42 https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/591 ... 203193.pdf
I will stop here. Figured I had better try to get more sources to keep me going
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: PhD thesis - Rudolph - Reclaiming γαρ

Post by Matthew Longhorn » June 11th, 2019, 2:53 pm

So I am finally going through Zakowski’s thesis and am comparing against Casson’s and Rudolph’s views as I go. Zakowski references Heliodorus of Emesa in the Aethiopica and his translation doesn’t really fit for Rudolph’s view (roughly that gar signals the presence of a response to a perceived question raised in the mind of the audience resulting from what has been mentioned and which, without resolution, may hinder the acceptance of what has just been said)
Thesis, page 61 https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/851 ... 519290.pdf

"However, there are also instances where the ‘explanatory’/’elaboration’ hypothesis seems problematic – especially in my corpus of texts:
(5) Τῆς δὲ Χαρικλείας ἐκπεπληγμένης καὶ «πῶς ἦν εἰκός, ὦ Κνήμων,» εἰπούσης «τὴν ἐκ μέσης τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐπ’ ἐσχάτοις γῆς Αἰγύπτου καθάπερ ἐκ μηχανῆς ἀναπεμφθῆναι; πῶς δὲ καὶ ἐλάνθανεν ἡμᾶς δεῦρο κατιόντας;» «Ταῦτα μὲν οὐκ ἔχω λέγειν» ἀπεκρίνατο πρὸς αὐτὴν ὁ Κνήμων· «ἃ δ’ οὖν ἔχω γινώσκειν ἀμφ’ αὐτῇ τοιάδε ἐστίν· Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἡ Δημαινέτη μετὰ τὴν ἀπάτην εἰς τὸν βόθρον ἑαυτὴν ἀπεκρήμνισεν, ὁ δὲ πατὴρ ἐξήγγειλε τῷ δήμῳ τὸ γεγενημένον, παρὰ μὲν τὴν πρώτην ἐτύγχανε συγγνώμης, καὶ αὐτὸς μὲν ὅπως ἂν κάθοδον ἔμοιγε λάβοι παρὰ τοῦ δήμου καὶ κατὰ ζήτησιν ἐκπλεύσειε τὴν ἐμὴν διετίθετο, […]. (Hel. Aeth. 2.8.3.1-2.8.4.5)
[Chariclea is asking who the girl was whom Theagenes mistook for her. Cnemon says it’s Thisbe, which causes consternation.] Chariclea was astonished and said: ‘How was it likely, Cnemon, that a woman from the middle of Greece should be transported to the ends of Egypt as if by a stage-machine? And how too did we not see her as we came down here?’ ‘These things I cannot say’, Cnemon answered her, ‘but what I do know about her is the following (τοιάδε). When [gar], after she had been beguiled, had flung herself into the pit [i.e., had committed suicide, SZ], and my father reported what had happened to the people, he first obtained their exoneration, and he himself procured from the people the grant of my recall and of his going to sea in search of me, […].’” "

I have highlighted the relevant bit in bold above, and I think that there is an alternative translation of this text possible that does make Rudolph’s view plausible. That would be something like (keeping his translation as much as possible) "but what I do know about her is the following, for when, after she was first beguiled she threw herself into the pit, my father reported what had happened to the people. ...". Here gar would be responding to a perceived question of "how do you know what you are about to tell us" and would be an example of gar used to introduce text that aims to overcome the audience’s epistemic vigilance and thus be more inclined to accept the truth of what is about to be said
Without the wider Greek text it is hard to compare this and the text doesn’t really fit well which ever way I try to spin it as the portion cited doesn’t move on to actually state what he knows about her. There is an English translation available here http://www.elfinspell.com/HeliodorusBk2.html

Any thoughts?
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