Re: Meaning of TE (long)

From: Paul_O'
Date: Fri May 31 1996 - 13:31:55 EDT

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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