Split Constituent in John 2:11

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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 6th, 2017, 8:38 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
April 6th, 2017, 12:23 pm
Here is another nice one to substitute for your lack of happiness.
John 4:54 wrote:Τοῦτο πάλιν δεύτερον σημεῖον ἐποίησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἐλθὼν ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.
Thanks! Here's a list of about 640 instances of split focus in Levinsohn's analysis:

https://github.com/biblicalhumanities/l ... _Focal.xml
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » April 8th, 2017, 1:49 pm

Robert Crowe wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 6:25 am
The more I learn about Discourse Analysis the less I am enthused about. It appears to lack a rigorous methodology. Fundamentally, it would be necessary to establish that Greek has a default word order.
Text Linguistics isn’t just about word order; Textuality, Cohesion, Foreground, Background, Anaphora, Participant Reference ... someone else can complete the list. The study of Text Linguistics has accidental benefits. You learn a lot about how texts function and in the process you learn a lot of other things about the language.

Where you begin the analysis is optional. Just because you start with clause (Helma Dik) or colon (Frank SCHEPPERS) or sentence or paragraph, doesn’t mean that you will not be looking at higher or lower levels. Long time ago I got was introduced to "discourse" studies by Robert Longacre who taught me how to read a narrative.

Last few days I have been reading selections from SCHEPPERS, F. (2011)[1] who argues that we should begin analysis with intonation units IU and/or colons rather than clauses or sentences. I don’t think colon identification will revolutionize text linguistics. On the other hand, the author has some interesting observations about alternating participles and finite verbs in narratives which go beyond foreground and background. I am reading this book for the accidental benefits.

[1] SCHEPPERS, F. (2011), The Colon Hypothesis : Word Order, Discourse Segmentation and Discourse Coherence in Ancient Greek (Brussels)
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 8th, 2017, 5:47 pm

Stirling - could you take a text, perhaps John 2:1-11, and show us how you would apply these different levels to interpret it? That might be best in a separate thread.
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Robert Crowe
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Robert Crowe » April 8th, 2017, 7:03 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 1:49 pm
Text Linguistics isn’t just about word order; Textuality, Cohesion, Foreground, Background, Anaphora, Participant Reference ... someone else can complete the list.
Surely it is possible to recognise these features apart from Text Linguistics. This being the case much of its jargon amounts to mere clutter.

I find some of the basic principals grandiose. Levinsohn,'Discourse Features of the New Testament Greek, p.viii' states 'One basic principal is that choice [of phrase order] implies meaning.' This he claims is always an informational nuance. I don't accept this; but, if it is true, a serious analysis should then include degrees of nuance. It might be important or less so.

I can accept this kind of study as a working hypothesis, whereby theories are made in conclusion by way of yes accidental benefits, and not claimed preposterously beforehand.
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 8th, 2017, 7:26 pm

Robert Crowe wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 7:03 pm
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 1:49 pm
Text Linguistics isn’t just about word order; Textuality, Cohesion, Foreground, Background, Anaphora, Participant Reference ... someone else can complete the list.
Surely it is possible to recognise these features apart from Text Linguistics. This being the case much of its jargon amounts to mere clutter.
To me, one of the basic questions is this: at what point do we leave the world of syntax-wrote-large - including syntax of colons or passages or whatever - and enter the wild and wooly world of interpreting passages based on themes and setting and character and all that, and how much of this can linguistics help us with? I really don't have a good answer, just a question. To use an analogy from painting, color and perspective are important tools for a painter, but interpreting a painting is not as cut and dried as these things, and is done in a different domain. On the other hand, a solid grasp of technique will help you interpret a painting.

I do think that some of the discourse features that Levinsohn and Runge identify are helpful for noticing some ways that context and focus are established, and I suspect we have a lot to learn from them. At this point, I suspect it might be useful to look at John 2:1-11 in a separate thread, look at what Levinsohn has said about it in his discourse features, and think about what it teaches us. I'll start that soonish.
Robert Crowe wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 7:03 pm
I find some of the basic principals grandiose. Levinsohn,'Discourse Features of the New Testament Greek, p.viii' states 'One basic principal is that choice [of phrase order] implies meaning.' This he claims is always an informational nuance. I don't accept this; but, if it is true, a serious analysis should then include degrees of nuance. It might be important or less so.
Less so would still mean that it implies meaning, but not much meaning. I'm not sure if every choice implies meaning, I suspect that native speaker might sometimes notice very little or no difference between alternate formulations. On the other hand, some choices usually imply a significant amount of meaning.

For an English speaker, there is very little difference between these sentences:

- I went to the store today.
- Today, I went to the store.

But I do think there is arguably a difference in focus. The second one puts the focus on "today".
Robert Crowe wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 7:03 pm
I can accept this kind of study as a working hypothesis, whereby theories are made in conclusion by way of yes accidental benefits, and not claimed preposterously beforehand.
I think we've seen discourse oversold sometimes. And perhaps more so in its early days than today. I don't think we can scientifically derive the correct interpretation by the mathematical calculation from discourse features, and I don't think discourse grammar is the same thing as discourse analysis.

But maybe we should take a look at some passages in detail and see what it buys us?
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MAubrey
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by MAubrey » April 10th, 2017, 1:50 pm

Robert Crowe wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 7:03 pm
I find some of the basic principals grandiose. Levinsohn,'Discourse Features of the New Testament Greek, p.viii' states 'One basic principal is that choice [of phrase order] implies meaning.' This he claims is always an informational nuance. I don't accept this; but, if it is true, a serious analysis should then include degrees of nuance. It might be important or less so.
It's actually quite mundane. Linguistic choice isn't authorial choice. It's is rarely interpretatively interesting. There's little grandiose about the basic principles.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 10th, 2017, 2:55 pm

MAubrey wrote:
April 10th, 2017, 1:50 pm
Robert Crowe wrote:
April 8th, 2017, 7:03 pm
I find some of the basic principals grandiose. Levinsohn,'Discourse Features of the New Testament Greek, p.viii' states 'One basic principal is that choice [of phrase order] implies meaning.' This he claims is always an informational nuance. I don't accept this; but, if it is true, a serious analysis should then include degrees of nuance. It might be important or less so.
It's actually quite mundane. Linguistic choice isn't authorial choice. It's is rarely interpretatively interesting. There's little grandiose about the basic principles.
Can you say more about linguistic choice vs. authorial choice, and how you interpret Levinsohn's principle in that light?

I think a lot of contradictory and sometimes overblown claims have been made by some people who talk about discourse analysis (don't ask me how that makes discourse any different from other areas of Greek language study ...). I'm slowly beginning to see through all that fog, but I suspect you are way ahead of me.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » April 10th, 2017, 4:20 pm

RE: choice implies meaning

That is M.A.K. Halliday. See:

Discourse Analysis: A Theoretical Introduction and Practical Application to the New Testament
Hallam Willis  McMaster Divinity College, New Testament, Graduate Student
 
http://www.academia.edu/9659004/Discour ... _Testament
 
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MAubrey
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by MAubrey » April 10th, 2017, 11:53 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 10th, 2017, 2:55 pm
Can you say more about linguistic choice vs. authorial choice, and how you interpret Levinsohn's principle in that light?
There's a section from a book that I could pdf and share that lays out linguistic choice very nicely.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Split Constituent in John 2:11

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 10th, 2017, 11:58 pm

MAubrey wrote:
April 10th, 2017, 11:53 pm
Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 10th, 2017, 2:55 pm
Can you say more about linguistic choice vs. authorial choice, and how you interpret Levinsohn's principle in that light?
There's a section from a book that I could pdf and share that lays out linguistic choice very nicely.
What's the cite for that? I don't think I've read anything that quite puts it so pithily as you do.
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