A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Shirley Rollinson » June 25th, 2013, 10:40 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
David M. Miller wrote:It seems to me that there is a real need for an up-to-date intermediate grammar that gets at how Greek works, and that avoids categories based merely on English translation or on context. To be sure, we need a reference grammar as well http://hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2013/01/major-desideratum.html, but that sort of thing tends to be the work of a life-time; an intermediate level textbook is a more realistic option. Who is up for the challenge?


Well, the typical approach to making intermediate grammars is to abridge earlier reference grammars, so without any recent activity on the reference grammar front, I fear that new intermediate grammars are unlikely to be up-to-date. To make an up-to-date intermediate grammar, I think one would pretty much need to do the work for a real reference, so why not go for the big ring?

But while we're waiting for one to be produced, here we can at least speculate what should go into such a work.


I'm by no means up-to-date, but I'd be interested in working as part of a group of teachers, if we could get such a group together, to start on an intermediate grammar. If a group wanted to do an initial version as .pdf files online, I'd be willing to host it - or it could maybe be hosted on the B-Greek site ?
For a start, to get us thinking - what topics should be covered, and in what order ?

.
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Louis L Sorenson » July 2nd, 2013, 11:57 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote
I'm by no means up-to-date, but I'd be interested in working as part of a group of teachers, if we could get such a group together, to start on an intermediate grammar. If a group wanted to do an initial version as .pdf files online, I'd be willing to host it - or it could maybe be hosted on the B-Greek site ?
For a start, to get us thinking - what topics should be covered, and in what order ?


Why not start with something like HPV Nunn's A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek, (3rd edition 1920 = public domain), and then update it to fit modern linguistic terminology, (remove the Latin examples)? The Greek syntax section is about 103 small pages, and it is out of copyright and in the public domain. I've also always thought that an alternative to producing a new Koine Grammar would be to produce a supplemental sections to Smyth's 'A Greek Grammar,' giving Koine subsections to the already existing sections (Smyth is also in Public domain). Smyth is much more thorough than Nunn. Nunn is short and sweet; Smyth is comprehensive. Both have section numbers. A Smyth Wiki and a Nunn Wiki both could be possible and profitable. (Note that Funk's A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek has gone to the press and will be availabe in about a week or two (The appendixes are still being edited and will appear online). That book has a syntax section. I've also found Goetchius' "The Language of the New Testament" is very informative on various structures and on par if not better than Funk in some areas).
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 3rd, 2013, 11:29 am

Shirley Rollinson wrote:If a group wanted to do an initial version as .pdf files online, I'd be willing to host it - or it could maybe be hosted on the B-Greek site?


I could certainly host it, either on ibiblio.org where B-Greek is, or on bgreek.org. Ideally, I would like to see this be a joint project with B-Greek and biblicalhumanities.org.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 3rd, 2013, 11:33 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:Why not start with something like HPV Nunn's A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek, (3rd edition 1920 = public domain), and then update it to fit modern linguistic terminology, (remove the Latin examples)? The Greek syntax section is about 103 small pages, and it is out of copyright and in the public domain. I've also always thought that an alternative to producing a new Koine Grammar would be to produce a supplemental sections to Smyth's 'A Greek Grammar,' giving Koine subsections to the already existing sections (Smyth is also in Public domain). Smyth is much more thorough than Nunn. Nunn is short and sweet; Smyth is comprehensive. Both have section numbers. A Smyth Wiki and a Nunn Wiki both could be possible and profitable. (Note that Funk's A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek has gone to the press and will be available in about a week or two (The appendixes are still being edited and will appear online). That book has a syntax section. I've also found Goetchius' "The Language of the New Testament" is very informative on various structures and on par if not better than Funk in some areas).


One important aspect is finding a path that leads clearly in one direction so we can track progress. For instance, we could start by creating a wiki with the text of Nunn, and move sequentially through it from start to finish. For each section, we could:

  • Update the linguistic terminology
  • Add Robertson's examples, or others that come to mind

But there are whole topics Nunn does not address that we consider important today.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 3rd, 2013, 2:11 pm

Louis L Sorenson wrote:I've also always thought that an alternative to producing a new Koine Grammar would be to produce a supplemental sections to Smyth's 'A Greek Grammar,' giving Koine subsections to the already existing sections (Smyth is also in Public domain).


Yes, that would be great - we could use BDR to identify places where Smyth differs from Koine, and use Robertson for examples. But I'd pick one project to start with, not two, so that it's easier to get momentum.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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A Model for a New Koine Syntax?

Postby Louis L Sorenson » July 5th, 2013, 11:37 pm

I wonder if the Index structure of Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language
By David Holton, Peter A. Mackridge, Irene Philippaki-Warburton (2nd edition, 2012) could be a model or assist in the development of a new Koine syntax model. You can view the 1st edition's TOC on Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=yNMGojNLmacC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. Section III is on syntax. The syntax section is organized as follows:

  • The verb and the verb phrase
  • The noun and the noun phrase
  • The adverb and the adverb phrase
  • The preposition and the prepositional phrase
  • The Clause

If one looks at the topics discussed (I'll bet the 2nd edition may have some updated language, you can see the book uses modern linguistic terminology such as topicalization, dislocation, focusing, etc. It has a section on the syntax of linking (copular) verbs, and a number of other goodies I would like to see in a Koine syntax.
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Stephen Carlson » July 6th, 2013, 4:55 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:I wonder if the Index structure of Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language
By David Holton, Peter A. Mackridge, Irene Philippaki-Warburton (2nd edition, 2012) could be a model or assist in the development of a new Koine syntax model. You can view the 1st edition's TOC on Google Books at [url]http://books.google.com/books?


Nice idea, Louis.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Shirley Rollinson » July 8th, 2013, 8:11 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Louis L Sorenson wrote:I've also always thought that an alternative to producing a new Koine Grammar would be to produce a supplemental sections to Smyth's 'A Greek Grammar,' giving Koine subsections to the already existing sections (Smyth is also in Public domain).


Yes, that would be great - we could use BDR to identify places where Smyth differs from Koine, and use Robertson for examples. But I'd pick one project to start with, not two, so that it's easier to get momentum.


I can't imagine using Smyth's "Greek Grammar" as a textbook. I recommend it as a reference work as my students get more advanced (after maybe two years). But for a textbook I'd look for lots of "genuine" sentences (taken from original koine texts - not made-up synthetic stuff), plenty of vocabulary, and a step-by-step progress through increasing complexity e.g. Present Indicative Active - 2nd Declension Masculine - Contract verbs - 2nd Declension Neuter - 1st Declension - Future Indicative Active - etc. rather than Smyth's "All you ever wanted to know about -w verbs" followed by "all you ever wanted to know about -mi verbs", then "all you ever wanted to know about prespostions" (I don't have Smyth with me at present, so I don't know the exact order of topics) - but I know I'd never teach from it.
Also - it's very much "Attic" with references to Homer, but almost no references to koine, and so far as I can see, no citations from the GNT or LXX.
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 8th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Here's what I need to provide infrastructure for a project like this: two or more people who agree about what they want to do, and a realistic plan for how to get it done. I basically want to avoid starting projects that won't finish.

Given that, I'm happy to help set up infrastructure that suits the project, such as a Wiki, an XML schema, a github repository, or whatever. In general, I'm happiest if this means a joint B-Greek / biblicalhumanities.org project.

So find something that makes sense to you and make a proposal ... try to get at least one other person on board, preferably more than one.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Best Intermediate Greek Syntax

Postby Stephen Hughes » July 9th, 2013, 5:01 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:I wonder if the Index structure of Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language
By David Holton, Peter A. Mackridge, Irene Philippaki-Warburton (2nd edition, 2012) could be a model or assist in the development of a new Koine syntax model.

Grammars of modern languages sort of assume that people communicate (write and speak) in them.

How long has it been since someone "knew" Koine (or NT) greek and wrote a grammar?

Jonathan Robie wrote:For instance, we could start by creating a wiki with the text of Nunn, and move sequentially through it from start to finish. For each section, we could: Update the linguistic terminology Add Robertson's examples, or others that come to mind


Besides the issue of avoiding copyright law, is it generally agreed that Nunn and Smyth had mastered the language or did they just intelligently shuffle someone else's notes?
"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).
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