Luke 23:43 σημερον and Wackernagel's Law

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Scott Lawson
Posts: 363
Joined: June 9th, 2011, 6:36 pm

Luke 23:43 σημερον and Wackernagel's Law

Post by Scott Lawson » August 13th, 2011, 11:51 pm

Luke 23:43 ...Αμην σοι λεγω σημερον μετ εμου εση εν τω παραδεισω.

Hypothetically, if Luke had wanted to include σημερον within the amen phrase at Luke 23:43, would Wackernagel's Law make it impossible for it to be in a focal position between the clitic σοι and λεγω leaving his options limited either to put it in 2nd position relative to λεγω or position it after αμην? If the latter, does the adverb of time σημερον have enough independence to stand between αμην and σοι?

T. Scott Lawson
Last edited by Stephen Carlson on August 15th, 2011, 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added citation to title
0 x



Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2846
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: σημερον and Wackernagel's Law

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 14th, 2011, 9:54 am

Stripping the punctuation, Luke 23:43 reads
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ἀμήν σοι λέγω σήμερον μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ
There are probably two clitics here, σοι and αὐτῳ, though the latter is not graphically accented as one in critical editions. Wackernagel’s Law tells us that they should be found in "second position" of their intonation units, so καὶ=εἶπεν is the beginning of an intonation unit, and ἀμήν begins an intonation unit. This segmentation of the verse much is well-accepted.

Unfortunately, there is no other clitic later in the verse (the adverb σήμερον is not a clitic), so there’s nothing else to trigger Wackernagel’s Law and thereby tell us whether the adverb σήμερον goes with λέγω or ἔσῃ.

Stephen
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Scott Lawson
Posts: 363
Joined: June 9th, 2011, 6:36 pm

Re: σημερον and Wackernagel's Law

Post by Scott Lawson » August 14th, 2011, 11:36 am

While it is true that I am interested in ultimately divining whether σημερον modifies λεγω or εση I would first like to start by eliminating or at least finding any factors that may have limited the author from positioning σημερον earlier in the sentence for greater focus.

1.) και ειπεν αυτω Αμην σημερον σοι λεγω μετ εμου...
2.) και ειπεν αυτω Αμην σοι σημερον λεγω μετ εμου...

As I've looked at examples of σημερον in the NT and LXX it seems to have independence enough to be prepositive as well as postpositive in relation to the verb it modifies. In the example of Luke 23:43 I'm wondering how prosody may have affected the author's choice of position for σημερον assuming he intended it to modify λεγω. How do the two examples above affect the intonation units? Would the phrases delightfully trip off the tongue or do they twist the tongue just enough so that the most felicitous position for σημερον to modify λεγω is just where we find it in the text?

T. Scott Lawson
0 x
Scott Lawson

Post Reply

Return to “New Testament”