[b-greek] Re: Case System

From: Joseph A. Weaks (j.weaks@student.tcu.edu)
Date: Tue Feb 27 2001 - 21:38:45 EST

>...the arguments I use against assigning semantic significance to
>the Hellenistic Greek case forms.
>When you hear someone talking about the semantic force of the dative case
>(or any case) they will almost always end up inserting the phrase "from the
>context" toward the end of their discussion. What this little phrase tells
>us is that the case form in itself does not convey semantic information.

The logic here is flawed and the conclusion is folly. Reference to
context for the purpose of clarity does not demand that the case
itself bares no semantic information. Very often, we find synonymous
structures where the only difference is case (are we describing the
river... or listing its contents, etc.)
Using the above logic, I would have to conclude that words themselves
convey no semantic relationships as well. Consider even the silliest

Luke 11:7b

In painting the narrative/semantic picture, whether we're speaking of
the master's slaves/servants or his little Alex and Christie (ie. his
children), can only be determined by context. (Often the semantics of
theologically important words rely so heavily on context, cf.

Suffice it to say that the importance of context does not negate that
the morpheme or the case usage conveys semantic information.

Joe Weaks
Brite Divinity School, TCU
Fort Worth, Tx

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