Stephen Carlson wrote:Welcome to the forum, Phillip! We have a practice of quoting the Greek text under discussion, so I'll do it now:Phillip Trees wrote:New to forum! Not too advanced but eager to learn.
Discovered you by searching for any info on why the word order of mou in John 11:21, 32 differs while most translations render it the same. But the context sure seems to imply that Martha and Mary would not say the identical thing. Thoughts? Is this an example of fronting?This is a very nice minimal pair. Thanks for pointing this example out.John 11:21, 31 wrote:21 εἶπεν οὖν ἡ Μάρθα πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν· κύριε, εἰ ἧς οὐκ ἂν ἀπέθανον ὁ ἀδελφός μου·
32 Ἡ οὖν Μαριὰμ ὡς ἦλθεν ὅπου ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἰδοῦσα αὒτὸν ἔπεσεν αὐτοῦ πρὸς πόδας λέγουσα αὐτῷ· κύριε, εἰ ἦς οὐκ ἄν μου ἀπέθανον ὁ άδελφός.
In my view, μου is a clitic and has little phonological weight of its own and tends to be pulled out of its canonical (or default) position to follow a highly phonologically prominent constituent. The further it has to move, the more prominent its host has to be. So v. 21 shows the default order, and Mary's statement in v.32 shows μου being attracted to an emphasized (and focal) οὔκ. In other words, Mary's statement has a stronger sense of denial that her brother would have died if Jesus had been there.
If I understand Iver's theory that all leftward movement of a constituent indicates additional prominence on that constituent, even if (or notwithstanding) it is an unaccented enclitic, then his theory (to the extent I understand it) would predict additional prominence on μου. (This would have to create an exception to the general rule that unaccented constituents are not prominent, and so in the big picture his theory is not really simple.) But I'm baffled why Mary would emphasize that Lazarus is her brother, when he is also Martha's brother and there's no other brother around in the context.
As you would expect, Stephen, I read this sentence with you. And like you ["attracted to an emphasized (and focal) οὔκ"], I must confess that the accentuation of οὐκ looks like it should be changed from its default "no accent". This could be similar, I would argue, to grave accents on pre-verb Focal words where I would assume the high tone (acute accent) was kept/added, but the medieval mechanical application of accent rules covered over the actual and natural reading by writing a grave (no tone). E.g. John 1:14 καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο should probably be read καὶ ὁ λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο
On the otherhand, we might preserve the accent system of οὐκ ἄν by assuming a fusion with ἄν where both the negative and the hypothetical particle receive Focus as a unit. Since I would want to minimally alter the received system, I would argue for a fused ουκ-άν. This also explains, among other reasons, why we don't have *οὔκ μου ἄν. Of course, the change of accent of οὐκ would not be a big deal, since we do the same when οὐ is alone: οὔ !
So in sum, I would leave the accent and reading of this verse as it is, οὐκ ἄν μου, and would say that the negative hypothetical οὐκ-ἄν has received heightened prominence, and should be read with Focal intonation.
PS: Oh yes, and the Focal οὐκ ἄν attracts the μου, not with any Focus on μου, just like this PS is not the focus of my posting.