[b-greek] Re: Word Order and Zero Anaphora

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 20:48:24 EDT

on 10/05/00 2:34 PM, Wayne Leman wrote:

> What Givon (who I have studied under) and other language typologists have
> noticed is that there is often a correlation between morphological
> positioning of pronominal affixes and other word order factors in a
> language.

Hi Wayne,

Has Givon ever been connected with SIL in any way or did you just happen to
study under him at U of Oregon? He sounds like a bible translator, that is
why I ask. There are a suspicious number of tribal languages in his examples
and then there is Biblical Hebrew.

> . . . I would
> definitely not want to call NT Greek an SV (or VS) language simply because
> it has pronominal suffixes instead of prefixes.

I totally agree. Givon is working with a model developed by Greenberg and
Givon doesn't claim that it has anything like universal validity. He
critques Greenberg's model on several points.

>I personally don't think NT
> Greek has any underlying *syntactic* word order . . .

This may be the case but if NT Greek does not have some sort of "unmarked
word order" were are you going to get your pragmatic marking for point of
departure and so forth? You cannot have "fronted" elements unless you have
an unmarked word order. It is like having black camels crossing a black
desert at night. You need to have a basic pattern or you have no marking at

>I do *know* that NT Greek has
> pragmatic word ordering where ordering of clausal elements is affected by
> discourse-pragmatic factors such as contrast, emphasis, focus, etc.

Agreed, see comments above.

Thanks Wayne,


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

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