Re: The Purpose of Syntactical Categories

From: Daniel L Christiansen (
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 11:42:32 EST

Tony Stark wrote:
> Greetings to all.
> This may be a simple question for most on this list,but I need to ask this
> question anyway.
> What is the purpose for the numerous syntactical categories in
> advance grammar? For example:
> 1.Descriptive Genitive
> 2. Genitive of Content
> 3. Genitive Absolute
> 4.Dative of Sphere etc.
> I Know they describe part of the greek sentence, but why are they used? Why
> memorize them?
> Can someone explain their use for exegesis or why it is taught in advance
> courses? ETC.

        None of these categories are correct . . . they all are, however,
possibilities. If you memorize and understand all the categories, you
are then able to take the next step: forget them! By that time, you
will hopefully be gaining a feel for "how the language speaks." Then,
the categories are useful as a shorthand for communicating with others
who ask about the language.
        I know that is vague, and it always frustrates my students; but, I do
think that this is the manner in which Grammar should be approached.

Daniel L. Christiansen
Department of Bible
Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR  97220
(Also Portland Bible College, Prof of Biblical Languages)

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