Re: Word Order: Mark 3.1 and beyond

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Fri May 14 1999 - 15:25:24 EDT


>From: "Carl W. Conrad"

>But as I did not add to George and should have,
>there is indeed something very right about reading the words as they come
>and linking them to each other BOTH syntactically AND morphologically

Thank-you, Carl ~

I was fearing for the baby in the bathwater!

>AND...this is a matter of experiential
>recognition rather than systematized principles... a matter of facts, as that a form of
>ESTI/HN, when it comes first in a sentence, tends to be existential, or
>that a predicate adjective construed with a noun in a copulative clause tends to precede the verb ESTI,


>or that (pace George) the strongest points
>of emphasis in a clause are the beginning and end rather than the center).

And perhaps we might refocus a bit here, for I have doubtless overstated the relative importance of the center ~ Better might be the focus that simply seeks to assign the functions of the various words as they appear in the sentence vis-a-vis their position, rather than inflame them, as I have been doing, with terms like "most important" etc. A pattern of positional functioning of words will either emerge, or it won't, on this more neutralized, [less rhetorical - Sorry for being so pushy!], approach.

Blessed are the peacemakers ~ "pace"makers?? :-)

>Clay is quite right that morphology and syntax by themselves are not
>sufficient to add up to ability to make sense of a Greek sentence (that
>requires the work of the Holy Spirit!--in one way or another--
>but I reveal my own bias thereby).

Not an unshared bias... :-)

>I've often thought that it would be a
>worthwhile exercise--something very easy to create with a computer
>program--to display sentences of Greek (or Latin or whatever >language) on a
>screen one word at a time beginning with the first word and then in successive screens cumulatively adding words or phrases--
>this as a device to facilitate learning to think in the alien >word-order.

The simplicity of this approach, and its utter groundedness in what actually occurs through the appearance of the words as they occur indeed has much to offer. I am a little abashed that it didn't occur to me previously.

>IF Greek--and
>any other language ever spoken--is/was primarily a spoken language, then
>the order in which words are HEARD is far more important than the order in
>which words are SEEN/ENVISIONED on a printed page.

AMHN to that! Let's see where it leads...

But later for me!!

George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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