[b-greek] Re: GAR (previously 1JN 1:4)

From: Moon-Ryul Jung (moon@sogang.ac.kr)
Date: Wed Mar 20 2002 - 01:16:58 EST


> Moon wrote:
> <<As my previous post indicates, I have no problem with 4.8 even
> though I think here that GAR connects the whole 4.8 to 4.7b. You
> said this about GAR previously. If the GAR clause explains what
> was stated in the previous sentence, we should say that the GAR
> clause "deveops or explains the idea of the whole sentence". Quite
> a long time ago, we talked about what the negative particle OU
> negates. You said OU negates a particular constituent
> of the sentence. I said that OU negates the "focused proposition",
> the proposition that focuses a particular constituent. You eventually
> agreed with me, because we were talking about the same thing.
> How about GAR? Shouldn't GAR also develops or explains the
> focused proposition of the previous sentence? For a proposition
> always has the focus.>>
> Moon, I confess that I couldn't give you a good definition for
> "focused proposition," but it seems to me that GAR can be used to
> develop or explain any part of the foregoing context, depending on
> the writer's desire.

 Levinsohn says, "For example, GAR contrains
> the reader to interpret the material it introduces as _strengthening_
> an assertion or assumption that has been presented in or implied
> by the immediate context."(1)

I am sorry, Jonathan, for the confusion I created. I agree with the quoted
statement. In fact, a GAR clause may explain what is claimed or implied
by the acculation of preceding sentences, rather than a single preceding
sentence. The sentences in a paragraph accumulates ideas piece by piece.
When the author tries to explain something by a GAR clause, that would be
the net result of the preceding paragraph.

When I said "A GAR clause explains the focused proposition" to Iver, it
because I used this nonstandard expression during a discussion with him.
When I said it, I had in mind only a sequence of two sentences: S1, GAR
S2 explains S1. That is right as far as it goes. But a sentence always
tries to claim something, which is called the focus. The focus is often
expressed by word order. In English, it is most often conveyed by
stress. Suppose S1 = "Mary is ill". It may convey (a)
the fact that it is Mary who is ill or (b) the fact that what has happened
to Mary is illness. (a) is the proposition with focus on Mary. (b) is the
proposition with focus on illness. "A focused proposition" is the
proposition with its focus identified. When I try to explain S1 by using
S2, the content of S2 will be different depending on whether (a) is meant
by S1 or (b). But that does not mean that GAR S2 picks up a particular
constituent from the previous
sentence and explains it. That is what I tried to say to Iver. It is
particular claim (with focus) that is explained, but not a particular


> To limit GAR to developing only "the focused proposition of the
> previous sentence" seems too restrictive of its usage.

You are right. See the above.

> You'll have to explain your understanding of "focused proposition.
> For example, what is the "focused proposition" of the long
> sentence comprising Philippians 1:3-8? In Phil. 1:8 (MARTUS
> SPLAGCNOIS CRISTOU IHSOU), the GAR introduces a further
> explanation of the phrase DIA TO ECEIN ME EN THi KARDIAi
> hUMAS from v. 7. Is that phrase the "focused proposition" of the
> sentence?

The GAR statement in 1.8 further explains what Paul said in 1:3-7,
In fact. 1:3-7 is a single sentence. The GAR statement strengthens
of the main claim of the preceding sentence, which is a more complex
idea than just DIA TO ECEIN ME EN THi KARDIAi hUMAS from v. 7.

Moon R. Jung
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea

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