Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.

Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 5th, 2013, 7:35 am

πόρρωθεν (occurring twice), is listed in BDAG only as an ADV-PL. and it is inferred that that is the case in the LXX too. In the classical (Attic) literature it also used in the sense of an ADV-T. I think that it is more easily taken as an ADV-T in Heb.11:13. It is possible that, at Jer.38:3 it IS an ADV-T, but within the methodological choice of BDAG, the LXX is not counted as a Christian book (written by v. used by as a primary reference work -- of course the list of authours cited as having used the word too doesn't imply that they only use the word in the same sense as in the NT).
Looking at the meaning of πόρρω in Greek, it would be something like ὃ διαφέρει πολύ ἢ ἔχει μεγάλην ἀπόστασιν (and I guess that according to the traditional glosses that LSJ has the ἀ. could be τοπ. and χρον.). And in BDAG, as for πόρρω, πόρρωθεν seems to limited to an ADV-PL and T sense. If we wanted to understand the -θεν in Greek, we would probably use add an ἀπὸ τινός to the above meaning. It seems to me that a temporal separation between the prophets and the promise is intended by the πόρρωθεν in Heb.11:13. Considering that it has a possible LXX precedent and classical examples, I scratch my head and ask myself why is that sense not in the lexica (Thayer / BDAG)?
It is my conjecture that the thinking that has been followed to exclude the ADV-T from the definition / a form of logic that could have been used that would exclude it would be something like this: In the time of the patriarchs they saw the promised land from afar πόρρωθεν, the prophets continued that language with a sense like that when we would put in inverted commas viz. "from afar" (to quote the patriarchs or follow in their sense of the word). If we keep it in THEIR frame of reference (which is the precursor to the later framework, but with limited pre-Christ event revelation) "from afar" of Heb.11:13 was referring to a meaning carried on in the prophetic tradition being the successors of the patriarchs.
BUT in the new testament (the Christian dispensation), the writer of the Hebrews (I think it seems from the gospel message and Christian tradition) in keeping with the cosmic reorientation of revelation that happened at the incarnation of the person of Christ, used the words of the prophets in a sense that they did not realise fully to say that you were not just following the tradition of the patriarchs looking for the promised land, you were actually looking forward to Jesus and the kingdom of God - the Church. Without including the ADV-T the overall sense of the change of Christian revelation is a little more difficult to see.
Now, I am not suggesting that a new sense of the word should be introduced to fit a theological idea, but seeing that being an ADV-T is something that does come naturally to πόρρωθεν, it would be good if readers were able to see from a reference work that translating πόρρωθεν temporally ADV-T is a possibility when it looks obvious from the verse that a temporal sense is a logically possible way of taking it.
Any thoughts or wisdom?
Stephen Hughes
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby cwconrad » May 5th, 2013, 12:09 pm

You say that the temporal sense does come naturally for πόρρωθεν, but I wonder why not. It's metaphorical, of course, but it seems to me a common thing to envision temporal differences spatially. Con Campbell even argues that remoteness is a factor in the aspectual difference between imperfective and aorist aspects. Quite apart from that, there's a Platonic framework in Hebrews, it would seem, such that the Age-to-come already exists at the heavenly level and can be envisioned from afar at points within This-age.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 6th, 2013, 5:05 am

Such astuteness in tracing my thoughts back to the boffin Campbell !!
Taking the semantic - pragmatic distinction to a logical outcome,a civil war within the kingdom of grammar will shortly ensue and we will find that Verb will be forced to abdicate and Adverb (formally one the advisors and most direct contextuliser to the king) emerging as the most easily recognisable leader of the Contexts, is crowned the new king of grammar - the one who would lead the kingdom forward. Finding that having been crowned, he is an unefficacious ruler (only able to set conditions but without the power of affirmation / no power to make meanings real), he appoints the true power mover in the kingdom, our old familiar ex-king Verb, as governor of the realm to work freely within the scope of his decrees / policy decisions. Or another metaphor, that there is a board of directors - GM type distinction in making decision about how we understand passages with Contexts (to a large extent adverbials) being the final determining factor in how far verbs with all their well known to us skills are free to act (answerable to the board). In any case, after the linguists went into the cave and looked at what makes the shadows that we currently call grammar, we must understand ADVs better and more dynamically as determining contexts for the verbs we currently give preeminence to. From what I have read, the adverb and narrative aorist seem to be the points where the shadows most clearly represent the figures that cast them.
[If we are to follow the linguists lead and bring their ideas into the classroom, then one of the other two things that are logically lacking in the transference of learning from traditional grammar in teaching to the Semantic - Pragmatic model, the individual characteristics and properties of verbs is well under discussion with much interest elsewhere in the forum. The third one, a taxonomic arrangement of verbs to understand imperfective aspect - "look up close, look on the inside", will be obvious when the class smart aleck says, "What, so you want me to sit and stare at this word for a few minutes?" or "A word is 2-D, how am I going to look inside it? If I look on the other side of the paper and I see a different word". I think that after the verbs have been taxonomically arranged (walk - move the feet, pass people and things, push through the crowd) then the discussion of the perfect being either imperfective, stative or perfective could take another direction. That is to say that wehn one looks at a verb up close then the other verbs implied in the taxonomy can be thought of with greater clearness and it would be imperfective, if one looks too closely then the action is devoided from its taxonomical context and appears perfective, and if it no longer takes verbal validity from the action of verbs that are taxonomically arranged to be its components then it becomes a state without the power to be an efficacious verb. Anyway all these things are fun and useful.]

I agree with the implication that an ADV needs to be clearly marked as (contextually) "remote" or "non-remote". And this one - here at Heb.11:13 with remote forms is on that is obviously "remote" and, I think, therefore a good place to begin understanding about remoteness in ADVs. I think that if brain boxes could list clearly what ADVs create what context, the theories would be more useable in teaching.

Metaphors take different forms for different people. For some people, in some cultures, at some educational "levels" (or having followed some learning methods) thinking metaphorically or analogously is possible. For others (who learn by rote and the teachers power is over-arching) it does not come easily.

The pivot of the platonic-like distinction in Heb.11:13 seems to be the word τὰς ἐπαγγελίας "promises". Promises are by their nature for a future time - that is to say that ἐπαγγελία has a temporal component in its meaning, and "seeing" ἴδοντες is by nature spatial, but here it is referring to something other than an earthly promised land. Who understands ἐπαγγελία as what? The revelation of what was meant by promises is the point of the paragraph. The earthly land for the people of God to call their own, to live in and bury their dead (Gen23:4), or the heavenly kingdom where the dead will live forever?
Stephen Hughes
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby cwconrad » May 6th, 2013, 8:41 am

I think we have difficulty (I do, at any rate) talking about such matters as these and making ourselves readily understood to each oher. I've had to read through these messages several times before feeling confident that I've got the gist of them. I have harangued about the linguistic Tower of Babel where metalanguage about language tends to be, shall we say, acoustically -- and semantically -- foggy; more recently I have come to prefer a different classical analog, the labyrinth wherein we (I) lose our way as we try to read, reach a point where we realize we've lost our way, and find we must go back to a point earlier in the discurse we've been reading and pick up the thread at a point when we were last sure we were understanding the point.

I'm not sure of this, but it appears that the questions raised here have a pedagogical focus. That is to say, the concern is the question, how are we to make clear in the classroom the nuances of meanings that an adverb like πόρρωθεν may take. Is there a sharp distinction between a spatial and a temporal sense of this adverb? Are the spatial and the temporal usages of πόρρωθεν distinct? Or are they at ends of a continuum of nearness and remoteness stretching from the immediate vicinity of the beholder to a point on or even beyond a horizon? Personally I have no problem with metaphor; without it language wouldn't be a very useful instrument of communication at all. For that reason I don't find it at all odd that expressions of nearness and remoteness should fall into both spatial and temporal usages: "here" and "now" have their polar opposites, "there" and "then." It seems easy and common enough that we may use "here" for "now" and "there" for "then."

Toward the end of a 40-year academic teaching career I became convinced that understanding of a spoken utterance or written text must precede any complete grammatical or linguistic analysis; that's why the grammar-translation pedagogy for languages cannot by itself bring students to successful learning of a language. There's a difference between knowing what an utterance or text means and how it is structured. I suspect that recognition of metaphorical usage must play a major role in the cognitive process of language-learning. I don't know much about how we discern metaphorical usage, but it's obvious that we do discern it -- sometimes, at least. Certainly we laugh at jokes based on cognitive misfiring -- failure to discern that expressions are beng used meaphorically.

Yes, the context in which we are discussing the temporal and spatial senses of πόρρωθεν is that of faith held in the present and fulfillments expected or "looked forward to" in the future. It seems to me that it doesn't make much difference whether we are considering earlier versions of Israel's faith and hope in a future fulfillment on earth or in a future fulfillment in a restored creation or a heavenly realm. In every instance the prospect is toward a fulfillment that is far away on the horizon or even beyond it. Faith is a vision of what lies far away from what the eye can see but the believer is fully confident that what is beyond the horizon of his eyes is surely real and worthy of every risk. Yes, we are talking about ἐπαγγελία, a "promise" that is also a proclamation. A promise is accepted on the basis of faith, which is commonly described in terms of "vision" -- vision of a future which is distant. The passage from Heb.11 under discussion is one of the classic formulations of this "vision." Another NT classic formulations of this vision is 1 Cor 13:12 βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον· ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην. In 1 Cor 13, the adverbial markers are clearly temporal: ἅρτι and τότε, but the visual experience appealed to in the description of faith is clearly comparable. One of the classic blended expressions of this understanding of faith as at once temporal and spatial is in the refrain of a gospel song:

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 7th, 2013, 5:28 am

I'm sorry that I have not expressed my ideas very clearly and you had to read them a few times over. I realise that I am not a good communicator.

I think that the expression of the meaning is itself an interpretation into either a Spatially, Temporally or Conceptually convenient (English) adverbial form. I think the Greek itself is not tied to one or the other. It is different from a simple statement of distance (ἀπὸ) μακρόθεν. I think that that sense is also a desire for what is better or what has been lost, like a simple from a distance (ἀπὸ) μακρόθεν and it is appropriate that it has been used with ἐπαγγελία, i.e. it also has an implied meaning of προσδέχεσθαι. I feel that the meaning "with a feeling of distance (and longing for something better)" sounds too bland with "at a distance".

Let's look at the classical examples that I looked at before posting:

Consider Demosthenes, Fourth Philippic 46
τῶν δὲ παρόντων πραγμάτων καὶ τῆς ταραχῆς πολλὰ πόρρωθέν ἐστι τὰ αἴτια: ἃ εἰ βουλομένοις ὑμῖν ἀκούειν ἐστίν, ἐθέλω λέγειν.
Of our present difficulties and of the existing confusion the causes are many and of long standing, but if you are willing to hear them, I am ready to speak.
Wherein he is longing for a time when things were better, and hopefully they will be better again. There is a temporal and conceptional difference between the way things are and the way that D. wants them to be. The dictionary lists it as a ADV-T, but it is more than that.

Euripides, Hippolytus 831
αἰαῖ αἰαῖ, μέλεα μέλεα τάδε πάθη: 830
πρόσωθεν δέ ποθεν ἀνακομίζομαι
τύχαν δαιμόνων ἀμπλακίαισι τῶν
πάροιθέν τινος.
[830] Alas! Alas! Terrible, terrible are my sufferings! I am reaping the stroke of the gods because of the sin of someone before me, someone in time now gone.
Here there is obviously a time sense and obviously an emotional attachment to what is now not.

Plato, Charmides 155a
τοῦτο μέν, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ὦ φίλε Κριτία, πόρρωθεν ὑμῖν τὸ καλὸν ὑπάρχει ἀπὸ τῆς Σόλωνος συγγενείας.
That, my dear Critias, I said, is a gift which your family has had a long while back, through your kinship with Solon.
Here it is clearly temporal, but the gift of oratory is also a desirable thing.

Plato, Charmides 153b
[153b] εἶδον εἰσιόντα ἐξ ἀπροσδοκήτου, εὐθὺς πόρρωθεν ἠσπάζοντο ἄλλος ἄλλοθεν:
[153b] appear thus unexpectedly, they hailed me from a distance on every side.
Here it is spatial, but a greeting is always heartfelt and full of the expectation of a meal, some news, or the renewal of past happy times.

Plato, Republic 368d
οἵανπερ ἂν εἰ προσέταξέ τις γράμματα σμικρὰ πόρρωθεν ἀναγνῶναι μὴ πάνυ ὀξὺ βλέπουσιν,
with not very keen vision, were bidden to read small letters from a distance,
Distance is the obvious sense here, and he wishes he would be able to do it as well as when they were up close.

Euripides, Ion 586
οὐ ταὐτὸν εἶδος φαίνεται τῶν πραγμάτων 585
πρόσωθεν ὄντων ἐγγύθεν θ᾽ ὁρωμένων.
ἐγὼ δὲ τὴν μὲν συμφορὰν ἀσπάζομαι,
πατέρα σ᾽ ἀνευρών:
[585] Matters do not have the same appearance from far off as when seen close up. I welcome my fortune, finding my father in you.
Here the opposed to ἐγγύθεν it is "obviously" spatial, but taken with the next lines, it is also heartfelt.

Isocrates, Panegyricus 4 23
[23] ὅσῳ γὰρ ἄν τις πορρωτέρωθεν σκοπῇ περὶ τούτων ἀμφοτέρων, τοσούτῳ πλέον ἀπολείψομεν τοὺς ἀμφισβητοῦντας.
[23] for the farther back into the past we go in our examination of both these titles to leadership, the farther behind shall we leave those who dispute our claims.
Obviously temporal, but also used when (here) he wants to separate feelings from it.

Isocrates, Archidamus 6 16
διὰ τοῦτο δὲ προλήψομαι πορρωτέρωθεν, ἵν᾽ ἐπίστησθε ὅτι ταύτην ὑμᾶς τὴν χώραν ἐπιχειροῦσιν ἀποστερεῖν, ἣν ὑμεῖς οὐδὲν ἧττον ἢ τὴν ἄλλην Λακεδαίμονα κέκτησθε δικαίως.
And the reason why I shall go back to remote times is that you may understand why your enemies are trying to rob you of this country, which you acquired, no less than Lacedaemon itself, with a just title.
Here with a temporal sense.

Isocrates, Panathenaicus 12 120
[120] διὰ τοῦτο δὲ προειλόμην πορρωτέρωθεν ποιήσασθαι τὴν ἀρχήν, πρῶτον μὲν ἡγούμενος προσήκειν τοῖς ἀμφισβητοῦσιν ἀρετῆς εὐθὺς ἀπὸ γενεᾶς διαφέροντας εἶναι τῶν ἄλλων, ἔπειτ᾽ αἰσχυνόμενος εἰ περὶ ἀνδρῶν ἀγαθῶν μὲν οὐδὲν δέ μοι προσηκόντων πλείω διαλεχθεὶς τῶν μετρίων περὶ τῶν προγόνων τῶν τὴν πόλιν κάλλιστα διοικησάντων μηδὲ μικρὰν ποιήσομαι μνείαν,
[120] I have chosen to begin with a period rather remote for these reasons: first, because I consider that those who lay claim to superior excellence ought from the very beginning of their race to be distinguished above all others, and, second, because I should be ashamed if, having spoken at undue length of men who, though noble, are nowise akin to me, I should not even briefly mention those of our ancestors who most excellently governed our city,
Temporal, trying to go back in time to a "golden age" / "paradise lost"

Isocrates, On the team of horses 16 4
οἳ τῶν μὲν πραγμάτων ὕστεροι γεγόνασι τῶν δὲ διαβαλλόντων πολλάκις ἀκηκόασι, πορρωτέρωθεν ἄρξομαι διδάσκειν.
but for the benefit of the younger men, who have lived after the events and have often heard the slanderers, I will begin my exposition from an earlier time.
Temporal, in that he wants to before the slanderers to a better thing.

From those examples, it is clear to see that the possible sense of the Greek is not only spatial, but also temporal, as I first asserted / suggested. In addition, there is also an emotional feeling of the word. I hope you can understand me better by examples then my poor explanations.

------------------------------
As for the other things we are discussing which are not really related to the topic...
The way things are discussed within a subject are always changing. I studied Computer systems engineering back when it was part of Electrical engineering and we built cards to put into computers, there was no windows, and we programmed the computer using numbers (including a few letters of the alphabet). The PDP-11 developed by steps up to a 286 and the instruction set got more complex and using it became easier. The hydra now has more heads, but it is still the same beast. What was then is still valid then is still good now - Chen's entity relationship model is still good, although there are now alternatives and developments.
I don't have much of a problem with metalanguage and linguistic concepts. I am a language teacher. Campbell and others are the ones putting the meat into the grinder. I just reheat and serve the pies to students. The helicopter and the parade analogy is more like a spring roll than a pie - full of wholesome ingredients but dressed up to a minimum. Okay as a side dish, but not as a meal (as I assume it was intended).
I don't think that the discussion about linguistics is part of the (overly) analytical way that the corpus of New Testament texts is usually treated, if that is what you are feeling.
I have only done a simple 4 years of classical Greek, and that is nothing compared with the 40 years of your research, reading, teaching et al., but even I (we) notice a really big difference between the way that texts are approached. I read Plato with H Tarrant, who later went and succeeded Godfrey Tanner, whom I only met briefly over dinner at a Byzantine studies confrence, where he mostly talked about social issues. Tarrant's usual response to our explanations about grammar was, "Ehh, well it might be, but you can't be too sure." (Or something to that effect). I read the Republic with Evans, who will be remembered (it seems) for his contribution to aspect, used to always ask, "Can you see the beauty in the Greek, boys?". I remember having lunch at his parents home, then spending the afternoon reading the section about Uylsses return, he was genuinely touched by the emotion and human beauty and pain of the moment when the Argus recognised his old master then dies.The reading in all cases almost completely lacked grammatical disection. The only places where the text was read slowly was when we were reading Sappho's Lesbian poetry, and when one lecture with a Scottish accent was trying to explain why Iambi were funny. Of course it is not bad to understand a text to the nth degree, but it is also good to appreciate it as a text and just read it.
I think that bringing linguistics into Greek is a good thing. My main point in all that is that the attitude to reading and understanding is quite different. I think that having alternative grammatical reference systems is a good thing.
In my other field of interest, Hieroglyphics, every grammar it seems has a different set of terminology and especially a different way of understanding the verb. But still, the text gets read and translated and it is useful for historians and researchers. In studying Coptic too, we were encouraged to diversify and look at grammar from as many of the modern schools as possible, or which seemed suitable. Developing grammatical flexibility and creativity was seen as a good thing.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby cwconrad » May 8th, 2013, 9:49 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:I'm sorry that I have not expressed my ideas very clearly and you had to read them a few times over. I realise that I am not a good communicator.


I think it was just that your message seemed to me to jump back and forth. The points raised certainly made sense enough.

Stephen Hughes wrote:I think that the expression of the meaning is itself an interpretation into either a Spatially, Temporally or Conceptually convenient (English) adverbial form. I think the Greek itself is not tied to one or the other. It is different from a simple statement of distance (ἀπὸ) μακρόθεν. I think that that sense is also a desire for what is better or what has been lost, like a simple from a distance (ἀπὸ) μακρόθεν and it is appropriate that it has been used with ἐπαγγελία, i.e. it also has an implied meaning of προσδέχεσθαι. I feel that the meaning "with a feeling of distance (and longing for something better)" sounds too bland with "at a distance"

... From those examples, it is clear to see that the possible sense of the Greek is not only spatial, but also temporal, as I first asserted / suggested. In addition, there is also an emotional feeling of the word. I hope you can understand me better by examples then my poor explanations..


I think this is nicely put, especially the implicit overtone/hint in your cited passsages of a wistful longing, a sort of sadness like Heine's associated with "ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten." And I think you're right on target with the comment that any distinction between a temporal and spatial sense for this adverb and its cognates has more to do with how it's translated than with any real semantic distinction in Greek usage. One of our recurrent complaints in discussions here is about Wallace's GGBB with its umpteen subcategories of usage that are based on how a Greek construction is translated into English rather than on any Greek speaker's or author's perception of distinction.

------------------------------
Stephen Hughes wrote:I don't have much of a problem with metalanguage and linguistic concepts. I am a language teacher. Campbell and others are the ones putting the meat into the grinder. I just reheat and serve the pies to students. The helicopter and the parade analogy is more like a spring roll than a pie - full of wholesome ingredients but dressed up to a minimum. Okay as a side dish, but not as a meal (as I assume it was intended).

I don't think that the discussion about linguistics is part of the (overly) analytical way that the corpus of New Testament texts is usually treated, if that is what you are feeling.

I have only done a simple 4 years of classical Greek, and that is nothing compared with the 40 years of your research, reading, teaching et al., but even I (we) notice a really big difference between the way that texts are approached. I read Plato with H Tarrant, who later went and succeeded Godfrey Tanner, whom I only met briefly over dinner at a Byzantine studies confrence, where he mostly talked about social issues. Tarrant's usual response to our explanations about grammar was, "Ehh, well it might be, but you can't be too sure." (Or something to that effect). I read the Republic with Evans, who will be remembered (it seems) for his contribution to aspect, used to always ask, "Can you see the beauty in the Greek, boys?". I remember having lunch at his parents home, then spending the afternoon reading the section about Uylsses return, he was genuinely touched by the emotion and human beauty and pain of the moment when the Argus recognised his old master then dies.The reading in all cases almost completely lacked grammatical disection. The only places where the text was read slowly was when we were reading Sappho's Lesbian poetry, and when one lecture with a Scottish accent was trying to explain why Iambi were funny. Of course it is not bad to understand a text to the nth degree, but it is also good to appreciate it as a text and just read it..


Well, after half a century of living with ancient Greek literary texts, my experience has certainly encompassed two very different sorts of deeply gratifying experience: the richly-rewarding human encounter with the literary texts of Aeschylus and Homer and Plato and others, as well as the fascinating exploration of linguistic archaeology in the Homeric poems and the Lesbian Aeolic poets, the sort of things that have found dealt with in the more unusual commentaries such as Fraenkel's on Aeschylus' Agamemnon or Barrett's on Euripides' Hippolytus.

Stephen Hughes wrote:I think that bringing linguistics into Greek is a good thing. My main point in all that is that the attitude to reading and understanding is quite different. I think that having alternative grammatical reference systems is a good thing.
In my other field of interest, Hieroglyphics, every grammar it seems has a different set of terminology and especially a different way of understanding the verb. But still, the text gets read and translated and it is useful for historians and researchers. In studying Coptic too, we were encouraged to diversify and look at grammar from as many of the modern schools as possible, or which seemed suitable. Developing grammatical flexibility and creativity was seen as a good thing.


I've learned much from what reading of done in academic linguistics that's clarified a number of issues concerning which traditional grammar is clearly inadequate. My struggle in reading the linguists is fundamentally with inconsistent usage of terminology -- jargon that seems to be the bane of many of the social sciences.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 8th, 2013, 3:05 pm

My two cents are that I'm a little disappointed that BDAG doesn't list the temporal meaning of πόρρωθεν as a possibility, particularly since it is well attested already in classical Greek and would fit the context.

There is something in the linguistics literature called the "localist hypothesis" that many abstract meanings (especially temporal) originate in expressions of location. There's really nothing unusual going on with this word.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala
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Re: Should πόρρωθεν also be an ADV-T?

Postby Stephen Hughes » May 11th, 2013, 6:02 am

Carl Conrad wrote:your message seemed to me to jump back and forth

Yeah, I see that. Let me explain what I mean by the meaning triangles, then maybe it will be a little clearer.

(I don't know how to include graphics so let me try this - they are supposed to look like the wholesome eating food triangles that do not describe my diet. I have used the little dots to try and circumvent the HTML automatic formatting that tips the triangles over.)

It seems to me, after reading Campbell's little book, that to work with the idea of proximity, students / and those helping them learn, need to think about verbs in a way something like this (I don't have the book with me, so I'm not 100% sure of his terminology):

............................/ \ ...................remoteness / non-proximity (helicopter view)
........................../ eat \..................(only mention in passing)
......................../-----------\
......................./put food to\
...................../ mouth, take \..........proximity / non-remoteness (street view)
.................../ some food..... \........(expect the hearer to think about the major actions)
................./---------------------------\
.............../ Chew, swallow, burp \ ...heightened proximity (almost getting run-over view)
............./ select food, us a k&f,.. \...(expect the reader to thinking about the details)
.........../ with whom? context?.......\
........../-----------------------------------------\

I've tried that with my intermediate level (English) language students this term and it seems productive. With advanced ones, I have introduced a number of variables other than "tense".

Formality of the relationship

.............................../ \...................Remoteness / non-proximity
............................/ go. \.................For an adult
........................../... to ...\
......................../.. sleep... \
....................../-------------------\...........Proximity / non-remoteness
..................../ brush teeth, .. \.........For a child / someone very close
................../ wash face..........\
................/-------------------------------\......Heightened proximity
............../......not mentioned....... \.....Details are not normally mentioned
............/--------------------------------------\

Who is the verb about? (1st person, a known / unknown 2nd or 3rd person)

.............................../ \....................remoteness / non-proximity
............................/ run \.................(an unknown 2nd or 3rd person might do this)
........................../-----------\
......................../move from\
....................../ A to B on....\...........proximity / non-remoteness
..................../ foot quickly....\.........(someone you know well)
................../---------------------------\
................/ lift up legs, sweat,...\......heightened proximity
............../ pant, wear trainers etc \....(naturally the 1st person would feel this)
............./ feel pain and dizziness..\
.........../ shortness of breath, etc.....\
........./--------------------------------------------\

The extended definitions in BDAG sort of fit into the second tier of my triangles.

For doing the same thing in Greek, it is more difficult, but would probably be rewarding and useful, but would take effort and time, and would be useful for intermediate students. I think that it is something that will need to be done, so that - despite the shuffling terminology - the ideas about aspect can be more useful for learners and more useable for teachers.

For this little word,

.............................../ \
............................/ ... \
........................../... be ...\.............Not paying too much attention to the meaning's context
......................../ different. \
....................../-------------------\.
..................../ come before, .. \.........looking at the meaning in a context
................../ not be the same,.\
................/ .be a long way from-\
............../--------------------------------- \
............/...feel longing for, since it \.....Feel the unspoken details
.........../ always leads up to a fixed .\
........../ point in space, time or sit-...\
........./ uation - it can show us that ....\
......./ situation is different now, or the ..\
....../ promise is fulfilled (narrative) now .\
...../----------------------------------------------------\

For the other things,

Carl Conrad wrote:One of our recurrent complaints in discussions here is about Wallace's GGBB with its umpteen subcategories of usage that are based on how a Greek construction is translated into English rather than on any Greek speaker's or author's perception of distinction.

I haven't seen those discussions yet, but I will say that, second year classical Greek was like that too. I think that that sort of hyer-grammatical treatment is useful for students learning their first four or five languages. It is good to unsettle what is generally accepted as "normal" or taken for granted in language. It doesn't need to be so extensive in a second language of the same family, but when changing language families completely it needs to be done again. Unfortunately, not a lot of students see the differences between their own native language and the one that's language is being described with grammatical precision as systematic. Most labour under the impression that the new language (or culture actually) is a series of distinct grammatical points, rather than a functioning living, expressive whole. Using a book like Wallace's GGBB in conjunction with very extensive reading. In vocabulary, it also needs to be done, like "new" is not "new", it is "new" and "another" is not "another" it is "another", or "holy" is not only "holy", it is actually "holy".
The learning process is usually gotten through principle by principle. Like that the word "and" can have different forms (between verbs / between adj.s / between nouns). When a student starts asking, how would they say ...., in this language, then that is the start of seeing the system as a whole. In my teaching experience, it is not always the sharpest tool in the shed that asks the best questions - it is often the most personable people that look for those answers. It doesn't seem like that Wallace's GGBB is aiming to answer the system wide questions, but rather to prompt students to ask them - which I think is really good and necessary. Perhaps some people are feeling let down, because the questions are left seemingly unanswered. I think that seeing what a good role Wallace's book could play in the learning process, and paying more attention to reading over a long while would help that.
Carl Conrad wrote:the sort of things that have found dealt with in the more unusual commentaries such as Fraenkel's on Aeschylus' Agamemnon or Barrett's on Euripides' Hippolytus.

I haven't seen those particular ones, and I don't have access to a library these days, but I have seen very insightful commentaries. The skill and knowledge to deal with the sort of grammatical points dealt with in commentaries seems to have been left till much later according to my experience in Classical studies. Third year students, fourth year honours students and post-graduate students who were by that stage qualified for initiation in to the mysteries, where the secret truths of grammar could be revealed, so to speak. It is definitely a big ask for someone to study from a book like Wallace's GGBB after reading Greek for just 2 semesters. Could you imagine being given Buck (Dialects) to read as a textbook, after reading a few plays of, say, Sophocles, a book or two of Homer, and number of inscriptions. I think that doing that would be a comparable level of abstraction and with the plethora of forms that (at first) seemingly have no pattern, rhyme or reason. I couldn't imagine a classical Greek student with 18 months of learning getting very far with that.

But, I don't think that the role of Theological education is primarily to teach Greek, it is to dissect (rightly divide) and to search the scriptures. That is an important part of our Biblical tradition. I do think that more skill in Greek is a good thing for getting that done.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
Stephen Hughes
 
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