Syntax - lists of adjectives with(out) καί

George F Somsel
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Re: Syntax - lists of adjectives with(out) καί

Post by George F Somsel » January 17th, 2015, 2:53 am

Waving my hands in the air. :D
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Syntax - lists of adjectives with(out) καί

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 17th, 2015, 5:48 am

Stephen Hughes wrote: I don't know why I didn't ask this question 30 years ago, and it has never been an issue, but anyway... What is the difference between a list of adjectives one after the other and a list with καί between them?
For what it's worth (and I know some would say "zero"), Bullinger handles these under ASYNDETON (no ands) and POLYSYNDETON (many ands). Personally I would skip his general claim: "Man may use these figures, however, without sufficient reason, and unwisely : but the Holy Spirit ever uses words in all perfection, and it behoves us carefully to note whatever He thus calls our attention to." (p. 208, polysyndeton.)

But then: "When He uses "No-ands," He does not ask us to stop and consider the various particulars which are enumerated, but to hasten on to some grand climax. In this case that climax which we read at the end, is the all-important matter on which the greatest emphasis is to be placed.
When he uses "many-ands," there is never any climax at the end. Instead of hurrying us on, breathlessly, to reach the important conclusion ; we are asked to stop at each point, to weigh each matter that is presented to us, and to consider each particular that is thus added and emphasized." See Luke xiv for his example of both, "in connection with precisely the same four words."

We could get a heated "style vs. meaning" discussion here, but it would never end. I just want to remind about difference between semantic and pragmatic meaning. There's no semantic difference between asyndeton and polysyndeton. But it doesn't mean there can't be pragmatic meaning. Compare this with modern cognitive explanations which may use cognitive "extra processing" as part of the explanation.
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