Wes Wood wrote:composing in koine greek and thought that book would allow me to learn related vocabulary by substituting unfamiliar words for well learned ones
When you are approaching composition and want to use less familliar words those words fall into two general categories.
[list]1)Those that can be substituted the one for the other fairly easily because they more or less mean the same thing - good to break monotony like in our own languages, but in Greek sometimes repeating a word is good style (not like your grade 2 or 3 teacher told you for English)
2) Those with a technical meaning in a special case and don't really fit when you use them with other things - makes you seem like you have a better mastery of the nuances of the language and is great in the pursuit of excellence[list]
For a given word, you will probably be able to make an educated guess as to which one is which. Generally speaking, the more prepositions on the front the more specialist the meaning, but not always - there are words with a technical meaning in some circumstances, as indeed in our own native languages. Louw and Nida will help you greatly in this regard if you use it intelligently relating it to the text - as you already do. They won't help you with how to put the word together with other words in the ordinary ways. BADG supplies quite a lot of date for that, and your own familiarity with the useages that you have collated will help - I have heaps of those such list and stuff too around the place. I find extracting levels of detail fun and useful too. "Open the door" = "walk to the door - grap the handle - pull the handle down - pull back on the handle - push the door to the wall", then when you are composing you can beef things out with detail. The way that I have written the stuff like >>...|| is always like a never finished set which I use to record data - primarily from looking at the text - in a way that I can use it for composition.
Wes Wood wrote:I ... listed... all of their occurances in englishman's concordance and read and copied the texts involved from my GNT into a word document with enough extra text to allow for comparison of their contexts.
Beyond the word level, there are familiar phrases that are used over and over again. They will become more readily recognisable from your experience and engagement with the text. I suggest you go beyond the popular parsing that you are probably familiar with and look at sentence patterns in addition to the parsing. Familiarity with those sentence patterns will be very useful for composition as you go on.
Wes Wood wrote:you once said that you are an intuitive learner. I seem to be as well.
I think you could say that I don't think in grammatical words as I read the Greek. I like to recite a few passages or phrases from time to time. I rarely get to the point of full memorisation, but rather to the point of close familiarity. Language is not often produced well when it is based on (even very good) rules, but rather some very good examples. After so long, naturally, I don't so often look to reference books to give me knowledge, but to check that I think I know to see whether it is true or not. Composition and extensive vocabulary learning are both not very popular, but I find them useful to be able to assay what the writers did not say, and to recognise in what ways the chose not to express themselves, and so to be able to understand what something says from what it does not say.
Wes Wood wrote:I say all this to indicate that I have a tendency to work backwards.
I think most people do naturally work back in that you get the whole of the bit of the language on board then put it all together. Comprehension comes in steps, while language enters the brain in a line. That creates somewhat of a conundrum during the period when you are getting your fluency up. You need to get to the end before really understanding the beginning, but it all happens so slowly that you have "forgotten" so much from your working memory before you get 2 words further on. Within each sense unit you can usually build up from the right and eventually reach the left where it all starts. Reading backwards - reverse order reading whole words - is helpful training for reading fluency. I find that in the second language you need to train your mind to do the review the meaning stage at the end of each phrase - it doesn't come easily or naturally.
Anyway, try your best.
"αἴκα" (The Spartan Ephors' reply to Philip II of Macedon) is even better than "nuts" (General Anthony McAuliffe reply to General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz).