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Having trouble with the word-order!(and other things)

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Having trouble with the word-order!(and other things)

Postby enomisavtok » Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:21 am

Hello!
I've just started my Greek studies (I'm all on my own...no teachers) and I have some questions:

When translating (for example "small armies") where should the adj. be placed? Before or after "armies"?

The preposition ")en" (par. 40), when in a sentence preceeding the dative; how exactly does it translate to english...does it become something like "within"?

If anyone has any useful tips on wordorder in general, I would appreciate it!

Thanks! Great Forum!
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Postby bingley » Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:48 am

(a) [face=SPIonic] oi( stratoi\ mikroi/ [/face] and (b)[face=SPIonic] oi( mikroi\ stratoi/ [/face] are both correct, but the meaning would be different.

(a) would mean 'the armies are small', while (b) would mean 'the small armies'. The trick is to look for the article. If it comes just before the adjective it means adj noun, while if the article comes just before the noun it means the noun is/are adj.

You could also put [face=SPIonic] oi( stratoi\ oi( mikroi/ [/face] which would mean something like 'the armies which are small'.

yes, [face=SPIonic]e)n[/face] = dative usually means in/inside/within. As a general rule, prepositions with dative give position, prepositions with accusative give motion towards, and prepositions with genitive give prepositions give motion from.
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Confused over wordorder

Postby enomisavtok » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:40 pm

Thankyou...that makes perfect sense!

But I have another question: The Present Indicative Active, should it be translated to "I am (sending)" or "I (send)".

And then an other thing about the word-order...how do you know where to place for example the "it was" in a sentence? For example: There was frigthful outcry in the villages...is there some rule that states that it has to be at the end ?
I'm getting a bit confused because I've seen it placed differently in different sentences!

I appreciate an answear! Thanks...
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Re: Confused over wordorder

Postby annis » Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:50 pm

enomisavtok wrote:But I have another question: The Present Indicative Active, should it be translated to "I am (sending)" or "I (send)".


Both are correct. Just pick the one that makes the best sense in English.

And then an other thing about the word-order...how do you know where to place for example the "it was" in a sentence? For example: There was frigthful outcry in the villages...is there some rule that states that it has to be at the end ?
I'm getting a bit confused because I've seen it placed differently in different sentences!


Greek word order is quite free. Bingley's post shows that there are some rules, of course, but even so, it's pretty hard to make firm rules much of the time.

Unlike Latin, Greek has no particular urge to put the verb last. In fact, SVO (Subject Verb Object), like English is probably acceptable for basic sentences. It's certainly fine for English to Greek exercises, though you have to be prepared for quite different orders in real Greek.

Greek word order appears (I'm reporting on other scholar's work that is still somewhat new) to decide word order not by parts of speach or by roles (subjects first, objects last, as in English), but by importance. So the most important part of the sentence - quite often new information - is usually going to be first. This is called the Focus. Whatever it is you're talking about, if you need to restate that, will come next. This is the Topic. Then the verb. Then everything else.

English: Subject Verb Object (grammatical role determines default order)
Greek: Focus Topic Verb X (salience determines default order).

This all explodes once you get to enclitic particles and pronouns, which have very particular places they have to go. :) But you can cross that river when you get to it.
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Re: Confused over wordorder

Postby Bert » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:25 pm

annis wrote:
...Greek word order appears (I'm reporting on other scholar's work that is still somewhat new) to decide word order not by parts of speach or by roles (subjects first, objects last, as in English), but by importance. So the most important part of the sentence - quite often new information - is usually going to be first. This is called the Focus...

William, I have also read that the last word in the sentence can indicate prominence (if this is not were you would expect to find that particular word.)
So first the verb and object plus all the modifiers and then finally at the end of the sentence the subject.
What is your opinion about that?
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Postby chad » Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:00 am

hi, the only thing i'd add to bingley's explanation is that, when "small armies" is the object of a verb (the accusative case), the adjective can be put in the position of his example (a), and still mean "the small armies" (rather than "the armies are small", as it means in the nominative case). so e.g.

[face=SPIonic]ble/pw tou\j stratou\j mikrou/j[/face]

I see the small armies.

In North & Hillard's Greek Prose Composition (on Textkit), page 4, they call this adjective a "fresh predicate".

cheers, chad. :)
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Re: Confused over wordorder

Postby annis » Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:20 am

Bert wrote:William, I have also read that the last word in the sentence can indicate prominence (if this is not were you would expect to find that particular word.)
So first the verb and object plus all the modifiers and then finally at the end of the sentence the subject.
What is your opinion about that?


I don't think I'm ready to have an opinion about this yet. :)

I've certainly seen it said that the last word in a line of verse can be emphatic, but I've never heard this before. Can you cite where you saw this?

But I'll pay attention to the final position the next time I hit some running Greek prose.
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Postby chad » Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:04 am

this is just another impression about greek word order i have... do you think that the greeks avoided long sequences of adjacent grave-accented words?
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Re: Confused over wordorder

Postby Bert » Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:37 am

annis wrote:
Bert wrote:William, I have also read that the last word in the sentence can indicate prominence (if this is not were you would expect to find that particular word.)
So first the verb and object plus all the modifiers and then finally at the end of the sentence the subject.
What is your opinion about that?


I don't think I'm ready to have an opinion about this yet. :)

I've certainly seen it said that the last word in a line of verse can be emphatic, but I've never heard this before. Can you cite where you saw this?

But I'll pay attention to the final position the next time I hit some running Greek prose.

I read it in a discussion on B-Greek (a Biblical Greek discussion group), but there is definitely not a consensus. I have not been able to find the specific discussion again but if I do find, I'll post a link.
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adjective word order

Postby Geoff » Wed Jan 28, 2004 3:06 am

Bingley Said: You could also put [face=spionic] oi( stratoi\ oi( mikroi/ [/face] which would mean something like 'the armies which are small'.


Thanks Bingley, I had previously thought of that construction as identical with [face=spionic] oi( mikroi/ stratoi\ [/face] I can see how this makes more sense. I really wonder at these multiple constructions which supposedly have the "same meaning".

Chad said: [face=spionic]ble/pw tou\j stratou\j mikrou/j [/face]

I see the small armies.


Chad, is it possible that in this construction the entire clause could retain its meaning, as in the nominative, but the entire clause would be the object?

meaning,

I see that the armies are small

Just asking here, Thanks a bunch
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Postby chad » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:21 am

hi geoff, to get the meaning "i see that the armies are small" you have to do a little more tinkering, because there you'd be reporting something you see, so you'd have to add in the word "being" somewhere (the participle of "they are"), i.e. "i see the armies being small"...

or you could put in the word "that" after "i see", and change "the armies" to nominative... "i see that the armies are small"...

if you're interested in this, open up your grammar to the syntax section and look for "indirect speech"... there'll be a section explaining this.

on its own tho,

[face=SPIonic]ble/pw tou\j stratou\j mikrou/j[/face]

means "i see the small armies".

hope that helps :)
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Accusative clause

Postby Geoff » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:57 pm

Thanks Chad

I looked that up in a couple of different sources and saw immediately what you were talking about. I'd give an example, but I couldn't remember the correct participle :cry: . I'll have to look it up later for kix :)

Very Helpful
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