Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 2nd, 2020, 7:58 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
August 2nd, 2020, 7:51 am
Here's some clarification for my earlier thought:
The referent is certainly the same -- all the dead people. But think about it this way: we have verbs and they have aspect. We can refer to same events using different aspects. One has all the event in the view. The other views it without referring to the endpoint.
definite_indefinite.png
I like this way of expressing it. I would add that Greek does not have the same implicatures that the English has in chosing the open (imperfective) way of referring to the set of entities, in particular the implicature that an anarthrous reference (as a prepositional object) does not exclude a refer to all members of the set. It's just that when the issue of all or some of the set isn't relevant, Greek is perfectly fine with not marking the object as definite.

(I believe that English's implicature arises from the fact it has indefinite determiners (a, an, and some), which have not (yet) been grammaticalized in Greek.)
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 6th, 2020, 3:22 am

Next we will look at Stéphanie Bakker's study, The Noun Phrase in Ancient Greek: A Functional Analysis of the Order and Articulation of NP Constituents in Herodotus, AMCP 15 (Leiden: Brill, 2009). Though not a grammar, it is a grammatical study of the ancient Greek noun phrase, and in my opinion, one of the best out there. Let's see what she has to say.
Bakker 2009:172 wrote: Around six percent of the referential NPs in my corpus does not conform to the general rule for the use of the definite article set up in the previous section in that the article is absent although the referent can be related unequivocally to an available cognitive structure, or is present although the referent cannot be related to an available cognitive structure. Fortunately, more than a third of these exceptions can be explained by one of the five further refinements of the general rule that will be discussed in this section.
Bakker 2009:174 wrote: The second refinement of the general rule is that NPs consisting of a preposition and a noun that form a fixed adverbial expression (e.g. κατὰ ῥόον ‘downstream’ or κατὰ δύναμιν ‘according to ability’)⁴⁷ generally omit the article, even if the noun refers to an unequivocally relatable entity:⁴⁸
Bakker ex 52.png
Bakker ex 52.png (31.95 KiB) Viewed 266 times

⁴⁷ Of course, it is difficult to draw a line between fixed adverbial expressions and common prepositional phrases, especially on the basis of this (relatively) small amount of data. My data do make clear, however, that the absence of an article is only possible with non-modified nouns (e.g. κατὰ δύναμιν ‘according to ability’, but not *κατὰ δύναμιν τοῦ βασιλέος ‘according to ability of the king’) in prepositional phrases that occur regularly.

⁴⁸ That the article can be omitted in NPs containing a preposition is noted by all grammars (cf. Gildersleeve 1900: 230, Goodwin 1879: 208, Kühner-Gerth 1904: I 605, Smyth 1956: 289 and Schwyzer-Debrunner 1950: 24). Kühner-Gerth, however, are the only ones who ascribe the absence of the article to the ‘adverbialen Charakter’ of the expression in question. Goodwin’s explanation (1879: 208) that the article may be omitted in familiar expressions of time and place, because these expressions are probably older than the Attic use of the article might seem attractive, but is problematic in that the absence of the article in fixed adverbial expressions is also usual in other languages,which do not have a preceding stage without an article, cf. English ‘at anchor’, French ‘en route’ (lit. on way) and Dutch ‘van begin af aan’ (lit. from very beginning).
Bakker 2008:174 wrote:The article is present, however, if the NP is a common prepositional phrase instead of a fixed adverbial expression (at least, if the referent is identifiable).⁴⁹
Bakker ex 53.png
Bakker ex 53.png (28.9 KiB) Viewed 266 times

⁴⁹ The difference between the lack of the article in the fixed adverbial expressions and the presence of the article in common prepositional phrases seems comparable to the difference between the accusative of respect with and without article in examples (35) and (36) above. Whereas the road in the common prepositional phrase in example (53) is presented as unequivocally relatable to the knowledge of the addressee, the road in example (52) is not presented as referring to the—unequivocally relatable—road between Persia and Athens or Sparta, but as referring to an unrelatable ‘road in general’.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 12th, 2020, 11:03 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 3:22 am
Next we will look at Stéphanie Bakker's study, The Noun Phrase in Ancient Greek: A Functional Analysis of the Order and Articulation of NP Constituents in Herodotus, AMCP 15 (Leiden: Brill, 2009). Though not a grammar, it is a grammatical study of the ancient Greek noun phrase, and in my opinion, one of the best out there. Let's see what she has to say.
Not just your opinion:

https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2010/2010.05.17/

Nice to see some actual discussion and not simply bare description.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 13th, 2020, 7:49 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
August 12th, 2020, 11:03 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 3:22 am
Next we will look at Stéphanie Bakker's study, The Noun Phrase in Ancient Greek: A Functional Analysis of the Order and Articulation of NP Constituents in Herodotus, AMCP 15 (Leiden: Brill, 2009). Though not a grammar, it is a grammatical study of the ancient Greek noun phrase, and in my opinion, one of the best out there. Let's see what she has to say.
Not just your opinion:

https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2010/2010.05.17/

Nice to see some actual discussion and not simply bare description.
Yeah, and the reviewer Philomen Probert is a really heavy hitter too. I do have a few quibbles with the book, but it is mostly in terms of lost opportunities to deliver even more clarity.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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