Re: Asyndetische Parataxe?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu May 08 1997 - 20:26:32 EDT

At 1:59 PM -0500 5/8/97, Rod Decker wrote:
>I'm not sure if this is a Greek grammar question or a German question.
>(Maybe it's a German grammar question!)
>I've been working through Reiser's _Syntax und Stil des Markusevangeliums_
>and have run into his phrase "asyndetische Parataxe" (esp. in ch. 5)--which
>seems contradictory to me. Perhaps I just don't understand what that means;
>I've assumed that it is roughly "asyndetic parataxis." But asyndeton refers
>to stringing clauses together _without_ a connective, and parataxis refers
>to stringing clauses together with KAI. Both can't be true at the same time.
>The first place where I noticed this phrase (p. 138) comments that
>asyndetische Parataxe "...belongs to the spoken language, while [the use
>of] conjunctions [Konjunktionen] is a characteristic of the written
>language...." That seems to treat a.P. as equivalent to what I would call
>simply asyndeton.
>[The text of the statement above, with a bit fuller context: Auch im
>Griechischen geho"rt also die asyndetische Parataxe der gesprochenen
>Sprache an, wa"hrend Konjunktionen ein Charakteristikum der Scriftsprache
>sind und ihr, ...]
>Could anyone straighten me out on this one?

Rod, all my reference books are in the hands of UPS right now so I can't
check, but what occurs to me immediately is something like AFES APELQW for
"Let me depart" (imperative); in normal written prose I think you'd expect
something like AFES ME hINA APELQW (if not AFES ME APELQEIN), but the
omission of a conjunction in that construction leaves it as "Allow! Let me
leave!" Another one is that Q passage somewhere in Lk and perhaps also in
Mt: OUK ECW POU THN KEFALHN QW. Here you could argue that POU really stands
for hOPOU and we have an indirect question, POU THN KEFALHN QW being a noun
clause the object of OUK ECW--but on the other hand, you might argue that
here is parataxis:a deliberative clause: "Where shall I lay my head?" and
then a simple negative assertion: "I don't have (it)."

As Harry Golden, the Carolina Israelite of blessed memory, used to say,
this is "for 2 cents plain."

P.S. Thanks, Rod, for the dissertation abstract. When I reached the
Carolina promised land Saturday (God willing), I'm gonna read it. Can't get
enough of them "a-a-a-a-speck-t blues!"

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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