cb wrote:hi, interesting about dik's tragic word order - after having studied her earlier paper giving stats on word shapes in iambic tri (oh, i was going to link to my site http://www.freewebs.com/mhninaeide where i summarised this info, but my site has been deleted apparently, oh well) i got really excited when i saw dik's book on tragic word order in a bookstore in rome - i bought it and soon was very disappointed. the whole topic/focus approach seemed to be able to explain any word order whatsoever and so it didn't seem helpful to me at all. i'm probably too old-fashioned, i prefer dover's grk word order over the new books - it gave hard stats, and said this type of formation is common and this isn't, using criteria that everyone would apply consistently (nouns, verbs etc), but apparently this new pragmatics/topic-focus stuff is the way to go in explaining word order...
i really wonder though, if you put a made-up sentence in front of the new wave of word order specialists -- by taking a real sentence and switching around the order of the elements, without telling them, and then asking them to review it -- whether the new guys or the old guys would do a better job in explaining whether the word order is typical or not. i can't myself give a firm view on this because i haven't worked all the way through the new pragmatics/topic-focus stuff -- it's like when you start watching a movie and then switch it off after 10 minutes because you can't get into it -- and so i haven't given it a real chance really. i'd be open to being persuaded otherwise about this if people are strongly of the new view!
I was mulling over some lines in Antigone this morning and comparing it to Elizabeth Wyckoff's translation. It seems to me that Attic Tragedy is a genre not well suited for the kind of textlinguistics expounded in Stephan Levinsohn's Discourse Features of NT Greek (2nd Ed SIL 2000). Helma Dik picked samples from Attic Tragedy and did a lot of hard work to explain how this methodology might be used for this genre. But I am not convinced that it is a good fit. Prose narrative is much better material for demonstrating word order patterns.
Sophocles might appear to some of us to be working by same rule that Hemingway used (eliminate everything that can be assumed). Sophocles pushes this principle much further than Hemingway. The result is cryptic. The translations must paraphrase, there is no alternative, nobody could read it otherwise.
I think this approach to word order analysis has served its purpose in bible translation. Steve Runge is the current guy pushing this framework for biblical studies. The framework is now quite old and I suspect it will be either discarded or enveloped by a new framework.
ΧΟ. Ἀλλὰ θεός τοι καὶ θεογεννής,
ἡμεῖς δὲ βροτοὶ καὶ θνητογενεῖς.
Καίτοι φθιμένῃ μέγ<α κ>ἀκοῦσαι
τοῖς ἰσοθέοις σύγκληρα λαχεῖν
ζῶσαν καὶ ἔπειτα θανοῦσαν.
ΑΝ. Οἴμοι γελῶμαι. Τί με, πρὸς θεῶν πατρῴ-
ων, οὐκ οὐλομέναν ὑβρίζεις,
Ὦ πόλις, ὦ πόλεως