Textkit Logo

Beginning vs Ending of Clause

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.

Beginning vs Ending of Clause

Postby mahasacham » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:40 am

Occasionally it is asserted that a word in a clause is placed at the begining or the end because the author is trying to highlight the word.

My question is which holds more weightiness? The front or the back of the clause? Also why would you choose one or the other?
User avatar
mahasacham
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Beginning vs Ending of Clause

Postby mwh » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:39 am

Whatever significant word comes first naturally has salience. Beyond that, it’s always a matter of relative placement, of where a word comes in relation to the other components of the clause or sentence or larger structure. A word in final position packs punch if we’ve been kept waiting for it or if it’s unanticipated.
mwh
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 2670
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Beginning vs Ending of Clause

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:49 am

The greatest difficulty with the definition of a "clause" is recognising when an adverbial (eg. circumstantial) participle is grouped with or separated from the finite verb.
The child is the father of the man.
(W.W., 1802)
User avatar
ἑκηβόλος
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:19 am
Location: Nanchang, PRC

Re: Beginning vs Ending of Clause

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:05 pm

Here are some keywords you can use to find discussions of this topic:

"word order" salience marking functional grammar Prague school

The various schools of functional grammar (M. A. K. Halliday, Simon Dik, Talmy Givon) have attempted to demonstrate that fronting (placing a constituent before the main verb) is a form of salience marking. They make a distinction between salience and focus. Focus constituents may be postponed or fronted. The main verb is the the anchor of the clause and position of other constituents are described relative to the main verb.

I've never been overwhelmingly impressed with these arguments. For example, circumstantial participles are not "fronted." They precede the main verb for reasons unrelated to salience marketing.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1223
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Beginning vs Ending of Clause

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:34 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:They precede the main verb for reasons unrelated to salience marketing.
They succeed for reasons unrelated to salience too, I might add.

I haven't noticed yet which period or genre of Greek that mahasacham's inclined towards, but in any case, here is a New Testament chiasm exemplifying that lack of salience:

Mark 8:11 wrote:Καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, καὶ ἤρξαντο συζητεῖν αὐτῷ, ζητοῦντες παρ’ αὐτοῦ σημεῖον ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, πειράζοντες αὐτόν.

And another linear example too:
John 21:8 wrote:Τοῦτο ἤδη τρίτον ἐφανερώθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ, ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν.
The child is the father of the man.
(W.W., 1802)
User avatar
ἑκηβόλος
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:19 am
Location: Nanchang, PRC


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 58 guests