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linguistic model behind Greek syntax


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#21 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 01:33 PM

Well, I thought about saying something like that, but I woke up on the diplomatic side of the bed this morning.
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#22 MattChristian

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 06:41 PM

Word order is a complex topic. It requires a rigorous theory of syntax that incorporates information structure. Very few studies in BH word order begin with a robust theory of syntax. From very quick surveys a few years ago, my impression is the same for koine Greek studies. BH is either an SVO language (as I have argued) or a V2 language with very specific V1 constructions (a view I am open to, and does not stand in deep contrast to my SVO argument).

That said, I'm not sure how this thread switched to word order. The NT syntax database uses the basic scheme of the Hebrew ones, but departs in specific ways. You'd need to ask Marco for a full accounting.

LOL- totally my fault but a good discussion. I was just thinking in terms of the head of a clause being the constituent piece in BH syntax and that I have read many works that push for SVO in BH with waw pushing V to the head of the clause due to syntax needs (and some other variations)- which pushed me to think of Koine syntax which is (for the most part) dealing in SVO. Just a glimpse at my brain and how it's like a bag of cats.

I am still working through general linguistics myself and am pretty open to most theories and experimenting. It is a growing discussion and worth every word.


Cheers,

 

Matt C


#23 rwrobinson88

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:35 PM

I for one wouldn't characterize the names I used earlier as linguistically ignorant (Levinsohn's Ph.D. is in linguistics for goodness sakes, not theology or Greek studies). What Robert said as a progression is exactly what some of them have consulted me in doing. They just don't have a specific model they *only* adhere to. They've been influenced by functional grammar but now primarily focus on Cognitive Linguistics and it's submodels (whether construction grammar, cognitive grammar, etc.) However, must cognitive linguists recognize that functional approaches aren't opposed to cognitive approaches. They (Cognitive linguists) are just approaching language with a different question.

 

Anyways. I know we are way off course here. However, I just wanted to put it out there that I didn't think it was fair to paint some of the names mentioned earlier as linguistically ignorant. Especially since the advice given by Robert was identical to what those people have told me (I have heard Runge literally say the same thing -- Read Linguistics proper - then a lot of what the classicists are putting out - Don't read much of what is NT/Koine applications of linguistics today)

 

If I'm misunderstanding the comments, I'm sorry for my misreading. 



#24 A. Smith

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:16 PM

I for one wouldn't characterize the names I used earlier as linguistically ignorant (Levinsohn's Ph.D. is in linguistics for goodness sakes, not theology or Greek studies). What Robert said as a progression is exactly what some of them have consulted me in doing. They just don't have a specific model they *only* adhere to. They've been influenced by functional grammar but now primarily focus on Cognitive Linguistics and it's submodels (whether construction grammar, cognitive grammar, etc.) However, must cognitive linguists recognize that functional approaches aren't opposed to cognitive approaches. They (Cognitive linguists) are just approaching language with a different question.
 
Anyways. I know we are way off course here. However, I just wanted to put it out there that I didn't think it was fair to paint some of the names mentioned earlier as linguistically ignorant. Especially since the advice given by Robert was identical to what those people have told me (I have heard Runge literally say the same thing -- Read Linguistics proper - then a lot of what the classicists are putting out - Don't read much of what is NT/Koine applications of linguistics today)
 
If I'm misunderstanding the comments, I'm sorry for my misreading.


Since I made the comment, I’ll respond. The names mentioned do not fall into that category. I’ve got humility and generosity left in me that I would not call someone out by name like that. Truth be told, guys like Levinsohn and Runge, to name a few, have done heaps to pull New Testament studies into account for its theoretical sloppiness.

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#25 rwrobinson88

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 06:25 AM

Now I think I'm picking up what you're putting down, and I agree. :)

 

And just so Robert can be at peace (in part), I've personally been following that advice from Runge. For example. I'm presently working through Van Valin's book on Syntax (that's why I said in part  :) ). My linguistics book collection has been growing more and more, it just tends to fall on the CL/Functional side more. Maybe I need to be convinced otherwise on that.  ;)


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#26 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 08:53 AM

Besides the question of which linguistic theory appeals to you in terms of presentation, etc., the deeper question that *ought* to guide one's choice is whether the philosophy of language, mind, and human underlying the theory is compatible with your own philosophical positions. For instance, I once had a very prominent functionalist (now deceased) tell me that "it's all about materialism" (of the mind, of the human, of language as impulses that are reactions to stimuli). This is the contemporary revival of Skinner's behaviouralism. The linguist was trying to convert me, in a friendly way, since I was the lone generativist in that linguistics department. He did quite the opposite, since while some of Chomsky's linguistics are also based in materialism, the essential mentalism of the model accords better with my Christian anthropology, even if I may interpret mentalism in a way that Chomsky would likely disapprove. Other topics that are relevant are the issues of innateness and human nature. 

 

Before dismissing Chomskyan generative linguistics, I suggest reading one or both of these two books: 

Snith, Neil. 2004. Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McGilvray, James A. 2013. Chomsky: Language, Mind, and Politics. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.


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#27 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 10:08 AM

Hi Robert,

Still working on all of this, but very slowly. On one front I started reading An Introduction to Language, with a view to continuing with Syntax, a Generative Introduction. On another front, I'm going through the MIT online course. Finally, on a third front, I started reading Sailhamer's notes, with a view to continuing in your Manual. Hopefully, work on the other two fronts will help me understand the similarities in his and your analyses, and the philosophical basis for a few differences. This is all with a view to make better use of your database. Notice though, I used the word "started" quite often. I/we've had our busiest year on record, and I also committed to a paper/workshop on something entirely different. I just hope that by the time I am making significant progress in this area that you will still be a regular contributor to this Syntax Forum. :)

Regards,

Michel

 

Edit: This summer I spent a lot of time reading product manuals, e.g., for a new air tool or a welder, and I have to say, these manuals, which are often very poorly written, are a vast, untapped area for illustrating some beginning concepts in linguistics, especially the most basic ones about parsing a stream of words. For example, the MIT course used Carroll's Jabberwocky to illustrate open and closed-class items. Sometimes these manuals seem to be written in the same way.


Edited by Michel Gilbert, 13 December 2018 - 10:42 AM.

  


#28 A. Smith

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 11:20 AM

I think all who study syntax must pass through the gate of Chomsky, whether they decide to stay there or move on to more functional landscapes. 


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#29 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 11:40 AM

Not always. I started with Functional Grammar.

And the question is this -- do they reflect on the philosophical implications? Or is it simply a case of moving to something more accessible?

Edited by Robert Holmstedt, 13 December 2018 - 01:24 PM.

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#30 MattChristian

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 11:39 PM

Not always. I started with Functional Grammar.

And the question is this -- do they reflect on the philosophical implications? Or is it simply a case of moving to something more accessible?

Probably accessibility. The desire to work with a dead language without native speakers first drove a functional approach. Now that we are starting to comprehend language theory and how living languages change through grammaticalization, we start apply that to dead languages. Couple that with a growing corpus (manuscripts, inscriptions, etc), change starts to become more measurable. It opens up a whole new can of worms so to speak


Cheers,

 

Matt C


#31 A. Smith

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:43 AM

Not always. I started with Functional Grammar.

And the question is this -- do they reflect on the philosophical implications? Or is it simply a case of moving to something more accessible?

 

 

Probably accessibility. The desire to work with a dead language without native speakers first drove a functional approach. Now that we are starting to comprehend language theory and how living languages change through grammaticalization, we start apply that to dead languages. Couple that with a growing corpus (manuscripts, inscriptions, etc), change starts to become more measurable. It opens up a whole new can of worms so to speak

 

 

I don't know if it's a concession to accessibility or a desire to get to the practical results. Of course a theory of UG and the rest is important and ultimately behind it all, but for most of us the need is to explain the text. For all its strengths, Chomskyan syntax (whether TG, MP or whatever) is less than intuitive and functional approaches easily sidestep the question to focus on the text at hand. 


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#32 דָנִיאֶל

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 12:36 PM

I don't know if I would consider SFL more accessible than TG, to be honest. I found Syntax Structures a good read. I'm having more difficulty with Halliday and Matthhiessen. Somehow I find the more mathematical formulation more accessible. And the tree structures seem more straightforward. (That said finding a decent explanation of EPP has been a challenge. I think Carnie should be good though.) Part of the problem is getting through to a full formulation of various "systems". Of course, Hallidayan FG isn't the only FG formulation.

 

And to the implications for cognitive models I haven't really got to much yet, but It's one of the prime reasons for going back to the original papers and publications as much as you can. Such papers tend to expose more of the original motivations which are valuable for gaining a basic understanding of the orientation for the models.

 

Thx

D


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#33 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 03:57 PM

I don't know if I would consider SFL more accessible than TG, to be honest. I found Syntax Structures a good read. I'm having more difficulty with Halliday and Matthhiessen. Somehow I find the more mathematical formulation more accessible. And the tree structures seem more straightforward. 

 

 

Welcome to a very strange and small club, then (at least in biblical studies).


Edited by Robert Holmstedt, 23 December 2018 - 03:57 PM.

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