Re: Anarthrous Subject with Articular Predicate

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Fri Sep 05 1997 - 23:57:28 EDT

At 09:25 PM 9/4/97 -0700, I wrote:

>>Personally, I think the whole matter of which noun is the grammatical
>>subject is of little relevance to the translation issue. What is much more
>>important is that the the article seems to show which noun should NOT be
>>taken as the logical predicate.

At 2:26 AM -0400 9/5/97, Jonathan Robie responded:

>Phrasing the rule this way means that Carl's example MEGA BIBLION MEGA KAKON
>is not a counterexample.

>I wrote:

>>This approach is consistent with the view that the ABSENCE of the article
>>is often a marker of salience--a discourse issue rather than a strictly
>>syntactic one.

And Jonathan responded:
>Does this view say that dropping the article is a way of emphasizing the
>substantive? Sure sounds simpler than Colwell's rule ;->

It doesn't exactly mean that. Salience is not equivalent to emphasis. It
includes other issues such as the first mention of a character in a
narrative text (which may be quite unemphatic) as well as emphasis.

I am glad to answer this question, but I do not want to get a theoretical
discussion of salience started on the list (unless, of course, we can find
a way to tie it directly to specific Greek texts).

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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