From: Moon-Ryul Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 09:22:47 EST
let me take this opportunity to ask you a question on your view of
word order in Greek. The following statements reveal what your position
> The text says:
> DIDASKEIN DE GUNAIKA OUK EPITREPW OUDE AUQENTEIN ANDROS, ALL' EINAI EN hHSUCIA
> The focus is first on teaching, secondarily on women doing it and thirdly on
> this not being allowed. This is then complemented by AUQENTEIN which probably
> does not refer to a proper execution of rightful authority, but rather to an
> imposing of oneself as an authority in a situation where one has not been given
> such authority.
But I happened to read the following book review. Here the author of the
seems to claim that the classical Greek word order is as follows:
[T][F] V X.
Here T= topic, F=focus, V=verb, X=everything else.
T and F are optional. Topic=the things about which the sentence
talks about. Focus=the new information that the sentence tries to
introduce or confirm.
It means that the sentence-initial may not be the focus of the
sentence but the topic, typically the old information. But your scheme
seems to say a different thing.
Can you clarify your position?
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
Helma Dik, Word Order in Ancient Greek: A Pragmatic Account of Word Order
Variation in Herodotus. Amsterdam Studies in Classical Philology 5.
Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1995. Pp. xii + 294. f. 143.10. ISBN
Reviewed by David Sansone, University of Illinois
The approach taken by Dr. Dik in this, her dissertation at the University
of Amsterdam, is one that was not available to Dover in 1960. Her approach
is that provided by Functional Grammar, which was developed, beginning in
the 1960s, by Simon Dik, whose recent and untimely death represents a
great loss to the community of linguists. (Helma Dik, I am told on good
authority, is not related to Simon.) Most Hellenists will not be familiar
with Functional Grammar, but that is no impediment to the appreciation of
this lucid study, for Dr. Dik is a remarkably accommodating companion. In
addition to writing in flawless and idiomatic English, she keeps technical
terms to a minimum. Her definitions of such technical terms as are
necessary for her presentation are models of clarity and concision, and
the reader is further helped by a convenient "Index of Terms" that makes
it easy to locate those definitions. The two most important terms in her
discussion denote the pragmatic functions of Topic and Focus, which are
defined and illustrated on pp. 24 ff.: "In the theory of Functional
Grammar, we can identify the notion of Topic with the information that
serves as a point of orientation, and Focus with the most salient piece of
new information in a clause." The main purpose of the book is to make
sense of the distribution of Topic and Focus within the clause, and the
pattern that Dik proposes (p. 12) is as follows: P1--PŘ--V--X. In this
pattern, "P1" = the slot for Topic; "PŘ" = the slot, immediately preceding
the verb, for Focus; "V" = the "default position for the verb" in those
cases where the verb has neither Topic nor Focus function; and "X" = the
slot for everything else (i.e. those non-verbal elements that are not
assigned a pragmatic function). This scheme is illustrated and defended in
brilliant fashion from the text of Herodotus. Naturally, there is a danger
in confining oneself to an examination of the language of a single author:
The possibility exists that what Dik has discovered is not a pattern of
Greek word order, but a pattern of Herodotean word order. But this can be
tested. The testing will need to be done over an extended period of time
and using a variety of texts. My own preliminary (and rather desultory)
investigations reveal that, at the very least, this pattern holds for
Xenophon and Lysias as well. In other words, there seems to be a good
possibility that Dik has described for the first time the character of
ancient Greek word order. This is no small feat, particularly when one
considers the fact that grammarians have been attempting to do this very
thing since the time of Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
> We should also remember that "teaching" in the NT is not primarily a
> pedagogy, but a question of discerning true teaching from false teaching.
> Those were my thoughts,
> Iver Larsen
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