Default word order in Greek

Peter Streitenberger
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Default word order in Greek

Post by Peter Streitenberger » July 27th, 2012, 5:01 am

Dear Friends of Greek,

is there a consensus that the Default word order in Greek is verb-subject-object (direct-indirect) ?
This question is important - I think - because all deviation from that order would indicate a special meaning (e.g. emphasis).
Thank you for any comments
Yours
Peter

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 27th, 2012, 8:39 am

Don't know about a "consensus," but that's what Stephen Levinsohn basically claims in his book, Discourse Features of New Testament Greek.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Peter Streitenberger
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by Peter Streitenberger » July 27th, 2012, 9:04 am

And I think Steve Runge has accepted this view as well.
Peter

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 27th, 2012, 11:05 am

I think that's right, but Steve could comment if he's not too busy.

My view is that Greek is an non-configurational language, so its word order relating to the verb and its arguments is not syntactic but pragmatic. So, it makes more more sense for me to talk about pragmatically unmarked word orders, and sentences with explicit subjects are not pragmatically unmarked. In other words, I'd say that the unmarked word order is V-O, with a zero-anaphora (or implicit) subject.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

RandallButh
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by RandallButh » July 28th, 2012, 1:27 am

Yes, the underlying word order is V-S-O which is also the conclusion of Helma Dik in her works.

that being said, there is a lot of front positioning in Greek for many reasons and many resulting SOV examples.

Peter Streitenberger
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by Peter Streitenberger » July 28th, 2012, 8:50 am

Yes, that's my impression as well. If one doesn't accept a default word order, it's not possible to catch marked position (e.g. left dislocations, casus pendens) and draw pragmatic conclusions. The same in Hebrew, where Moshavi proved the default VSO order as well.
Yours
Peter

David Lim
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by David Lim » July 28th, 2012, 9:06 am

RandallButh wrote:Yes, the underlying word order is V-S-O which is also the conclusion of Helma Dik in her works.

that being said, there is a lot of front positioning in Greek for many reasons and many resulting SOV examples.
I thought I might add that interrogatives tend to come first, whether they are the subject or the object. Sometimes there are syntactical constraints also such as for the relative pronoun, "ος". And then there are various idioms like "ο δε ειπεν".
δαυιδ λιμ

ed krentz
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by ed krentz » July 28th, 2012, 11:37 am

Peter Streitenberger wrote:Dear Friends of Greek,

is there a consensus that the Default word order in Greek is verb-subject-object (direct-indirect) ?
This question is important - I think - because all deviation from that order would indicate a special meaning (e.g. emphasis).
Thank you for any comments
Yours
Peter
There is a good book by Dover, Greek Prose. He discusses word order, inter alia, mainly about classical Greek, not literary or non-literary koine.
Edgar Krentz
Prof. Emeritus of NT
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Peter Streitenberger
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Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by Peter Streitenberger » September 16th, 2012, 10:50 am

Dear Ed,
thank you - I'm interested in this book. Could you name the title ?
Yours
Peter, Germany

D Ryan Lowe
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Joined: June 25th, 2012, 1:45 am

Re: Default word order in Greek

Post by D Ryan Lowe » June 12th, 2013, 3:04 pm

Peter Streitenberger wrote:Dear Ed,
thank you - I'm interested in this book. Could you name the title ?
Yours
Peter, Germany
Hmmm, this question never got answered. I think Ed is referring to "The Evolution of Greek Prose Style," by Sir Kenneth Dover.

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