[b-greek] Smart's rule does not even work on "clear" examples

From: Mark Beatty (marksresearch@hawaii.rr.com)
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 04:01:33 EDT

Dan Parker originally wrote:

"In native KOINE Greek when the copulative KAI connects two titles of
personal description [viz. singular nouns, plural nouns, article noun kai
noun constructions (e.g. 1Th 3:11) or compound proper name (e.g. 2Th
2:16) which are both either articular or anarthrous] and a personal
pronoun in the genitive case modifies the first of the said titles, and is
repeated with respect to the second title, there are always two persons
(e.g. Jn 20:28; 1Th 3:11; 2Th 2:16;1Ti 1:1) or groups of persons (e.g. Mt
12:49; Mk 3:33-34) in view."

Call me Mary James. Why? According to Mt 12:49 and Mk 3:33-34 I can be BOTH
the mother and brother(s) of Jesus. These two versus are presented as
Smart's rule proof texts. In the Matthew passage the context is HOSTIS
POIHSHi "whoever does." In the Mark passage, the context is TIS ESTIN "who
is". Both phrases are singular, what does this mean? That these authors
are blending two domains of background knowledge, (1. the characteristics of
being Jesus' mother 2. the characteristics of being Jesus' brothers) and
making these the possible characteristics of one individual. That one
individual can have these characteristics is supported by the singular
pronoun and singular verb cited above.

Applying this to Smart's rule, as stated above, Smart apparently failed to
included discourse processes in his analysis. Yes, the two different nouns
are two different nouns-and this tautology is all one can really say about
reference. If I want to refer to my wife as "the sexy babe and the great
cook" then that is my prerogative and I can do so for discourse purposes.
The reference is ambiguous (it could apply to one or two people), but
through context I can make my intent clear. One way to make my intent clear
is to use singular pronouns, "she is a sexy babe and a great cook." I would
guess that Koine Greek is no different in this matter. If John writes
AUTWi, we can conclude that he intends us to interpret Thomas's comments as
referring to one person. If Mark and Matthew write singular pronouns and
verbs, we can conclude that they intend us to interpret Jesus' comments as
referable to one person. In other words, Jesus can be both Thomas's Lord
and Thomas's God. We all can be both Mary and James.

Mark Beatty

["Domain", "blend", and "background knowledge" are technical terms of
Fauconnier's Mental Space Theory (1994 and others). Much work has been done
on Mental Space Theory, however, and I would recommend it as an encompassing
discourse theory. I say this just so no one thinks my terminology and
approach is ad hoc. My goal is to account for the language in a principled
manner, whether in my syntax, semantics, or discourse analysis.]

[As to the use of English examples, one should consider a common sense
validity test: If a linguistic theory does not work on one's native language
where one has native speaker's intuitions, one should not expect it to work
on a foreign language?]

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