Re: Meaning of TE (long)

Fri, 31 May 1996 12:31 -0500 (EST)

In addition to Carl Conrad's well informed diachronic perspective (I really
appreciate that aspect of your background Carl!), Stephen Levinsohn of the
Summer Institute of Linguistics has written some good material on TE from a
discourse grammar perspective. The following is from "Discourse Features of New
Testament Greek", 1992, Summer Institute of Linguistics, pp.54-5 (italics are
surrounded by asterisks):

TE Solitarium

The form of TE that I am discussing in this section occurs by itself
without any subsequent corresponding KAI or TE, hence *solitarium*. It is
to be distinguished from the correlative TE (i.e., TE used in the
combinations TE...KAI and TE...TE and traditionally translated
'both...and', 'not only...but also').

My purpose here is to briefly review the basic function of TE solitarium
and to comment on the pragmatic effects of using it in certain contexts. A
detailed analysis of TE solitarium is found in Levinsohn 1987:121-36.
("Textual Connections in Acts", Society of Biblical Literature, Monograph
Series, Number 31)

Almost all of the occurrences of TE solitarium in the New Testament are in
Acts and Hebrews. The other occurrences are in Matt. 28:12, Luke 14:26 and
24:20, John 4:42, John 6:18 and six in the Epistles (according to Moulton,
Geden, and Moulton 1978).

The most natural translation of TE solitarium is 'also, in addition'. It is
an *additive* conjunction (Winer 1882:542). As such, "it indicates a 'close
affinity' between the sentences it links (because the events described are
similar ... or even the same)" (Levinsohn 1987:122). For example, in Acts
12:17, a second speech by the same speaker is added to the first one:

(17a) beckoning DE to.them with.the hand 3S.related to.them how
the Lord him 3S.led.out from the prison

(17b) 3S.said TE, 'Tell this to James and to the brethren.'

Other examples are in Acts 5:41-42 and Actos 20:7. In the former, a second
response is added by TE to the initial one, both being contrary to the
intentions of the authorities. In the latter, TE appends a second aspect of
the same event.

The principles of Relevance Theory imply that, when a speaker chooses to
use a (marked) additive conjunction such as 'also', even though an
(unmarked) coordinative conjunction such as 'and' would apparently have
been appropriate, "he must have intended to convey special contextual
effects" (Gutt 1991:103 - "Translation and relevance: Cognition and
context." Oxford: Basil Blackwell). Such is true of TE.

Frequently, in Acts, a clause introduced by TE follows one or more
introduced by KAI, as in 12:10-12 [omitted for brevity]. Typically, the TE
clause introduces the *specific lead-in* to the next development in the
storyline (see v.13). In other words, the presence of TE, following a
series of events introduced with KAI, seems to anticipate the next
development of the incident, which will build specifically on the event
introduced with TE.

Because of such examples, the old Greek grammarians suggested that elements
linked by TE were not "homogenous" (Winer 1882:542), in the sense that they
were not of equal importance. However, such a feature is probably not part
of the *inherent* meaning of TE (nor of "also"). Rather, the *pragmatic
effect* of adding the last event of a series or of adding an event that is
dissimilar to the previous one, instead of merely conjoining it with KAI,
is to indicate that it is of greater significance for what follows.

Among other examples of this use of TE is Acts 28:2a [omitted]. The
sentence introduced with KAI in the preceding verse gives background
information of a general nature, whereas v.2a presents the specific lead-in
to the development of v.3.

Hope this adds a little more "spice" to the discussion...

Paul O'Rear

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