From: c stirling bartholomew (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 26 2001 - 12:21:55 EDT
on 9/26/01 2:47 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:
> Just a couple of comments. I believe fronting a constituent is not just a
> matter of placing it before the verb. The word order is so flexible that the
> relative order of all the constituents in the clause as well as constituents
> in the phrase is important whether or not it involves the placement of the
I am not quite as impressed with the flexibility of Greek word order as you
are. However, you are correct that being in front of the main verb is not
always a sufficient condition for fronting, it must also be at the beginning
of the clause (an unstated assumption on my part).
If we take VSO as the default pattern (not every one will agree with this).
Then fronting is moving a constituent left of the V, as in SVO or OV or SV.
A fronted constituent will always be prior to the main verb, but if the main
verb is clause final and there are other constituents in front of the verb
then you are correct, being left of the main verb is a necessary but not a
I tend to think of the main verb as the structural anchor of the clause and
I think of other constituents in terms of how they are positioned relative
to the main verb.
> I know that Levinsohn and probably others have suggested that the final
> position can also be used to indicate prominence. I am sure this holds for
> English, but I don't think it is correct for Greek. I would like to see some
> solid arguments for such a hypothesis. It just doesn't sound correct that
> one can have both a general rule that moving constituents to the left
> indicates relatively more prominence and then at the same time that moving a
> constituent to the far right has the same function. So, I am not ready to
> join the guessing venture in your last paragraph.
Mk 1:9b reads: KAI EBAPTISQH EIS TON IORDANHN hUPW IWANNOU.
We could drop the whole clause final issue and still have hUPW IWANNOU be
more prominent than the pronominal ending of EBAPTISQH. This all depends on
how we construe KAI; is it linking two verbs with one subject? Or is it
starting a new independent clause? If it is starting a new clause then hUPW
IWANNOU seems to win out in the prominence competition without even
considering the clause final issue.
Let me add that I do NOT think an agentive prepositional phrase in clause
final position is MARKED by its position. So after thinking about it I would
drop the whole issue of being clause final in reference to hUPW IWANNOU in
Thanks for the discussion, always enligtening.
Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
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