Re: A syntactical database of the NT

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Thu Nov 19 1998 - 13:19:28 EST

Randy LEEDY wrote:
> I would
> put together a document setting forth the working principles to govern
> the tagging so that there is a consistent approach throughout the NT.
> I would want feedback on the scope and validity of the tagging scheme
> to insure the widest possible acceptance of the final product.

> If there is significant interest in this idea, I may put together a
> draft of the "working principles" document over Christmas vacation.
> Enthusiasm for this idea from across a spectrum of Greek students and
> teachers such as B-Greek represents would do a lot to confirm my
> potential sponsor's willingness to proceed with the work. If, on the
> other hand, good reasons can be put forth why the idea is unworkable,
> then I'll drop it with no further waste of resources.


The goal of aiming at the "the widest possible acceptance of the final
product" may actually work against you. The Syntax Functional Model that would
be greeted warmly by the large majority of users would be one which attaches
functional information to existing morphological categories. This would be
accepted readily because it corresponds to the way NT Greek is presented in
the traditional grammars. I think this sort of Syntax Functional Model would
satisfy a lot of folks but over time as linguistics continues to encroach on
NT Greek Grammar the deficiencies of this approach will become apparent.

I think the most difficult part of your task will be to clearly define a
Syntax Functional Model. One of the things that will make this difficult is
the plethora of schools of linguistics. It is difficult for people to talk
about this sort of stuff because you will have Systemic Functional people
trying to converse with Psycho-linguists and Post-Chomsky types and Eclectics
and Mavericks and people who simply have no exposure whatsoever to
linguistics. Getting all of these types to converse intelligibly about a
Syntax Functional Model will be challenging.

The biggest danger in this sort of project is to rush ahead into
implementation before you have hammered out an adequate Syntax Functional

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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