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if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

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if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:35 pm

I like the idea of lateral paraphrases but have found that they are still a bit beyond me. Instead I have tried taking a Greek sentence and while keeping as far as possible the same syntax utterly change the meaning.
This is what I did with Lysias 1.7

In this sentence the husband tells the jury that his wife was at first the perfect wife but the point things began to go wrong with his marriage was the funeral of his mother. He will tell us in the next sentence that this was because it was he took his wife to the funeral and she was seen there by her future lover.
(I have to suspect if we were to hear the story of the wife, the husbands treatment of her is a more likely cause)

ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, πασῶν ἦν βελτίστη: καὶ γὰρ οἰκονόμος δεινὴ καὶ φειδωλὸς (ἀγαθὴ?) καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα διοικοῦσα: ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι ἡ μήτηρ ἐτελεύτησε, πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἀποθανοῦσα αἰτία μοι γεγένηται.


By contrast I imagined a Buddhist believer explaining how Asoka changed from a warlord to a man of peace. You recall that he was so horrified at the blood shed during his invasion of the Kalinga region that he from then on turned away from violence.

ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ πιστεύοντες, πάντων ἦν βιαιότατος: καὶ γὰρ στρατηγὸς δεινὸς καὶ τραχὺς καὶ σχετλιῶς τοὺς πολεμίους ἀναιρῶν: ἐπειδὴ δὲ τὸ αἷμα κατήχησε τοὺς λόφους τοὺς Δαυλιας, πάντων τῶν καλῶν ῥεῦσαν αἴτιον ἡμὶν γεγένηται.


λοφοι Δαυλια=Dhali hills. The bloodshed at the battle there led Asoka to turn to a policy of peace.

This is what I think the above says
In the early times, O' believers, of all he was the most violent and a deadly general and harsh and unflinchingly he killed the enemy, then blood flowing onto the hills of Dhali, all good things that have happened to us is caused by the flowing [of blood].


Doing this does seem to work in that you have to get far more up and personal with the syntax than just translating.
Last edited by daivid on Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:52 am

Excellent concept, David. First, let me offer some minor corrections to your text: This is based on my assumption that with this particular exercise (unlike a lateral paraphrase) you want the syntax, anyway, to be as close as possible to the original.

ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ πιστεύοντες, (1) πάντων (2) ἦν βιαιότατος: καὶ γὰρ στρατηγὸς δεινὸς καὶ τραχὺς καὶ σχετλιῶς τοὺς πολεμίους ἀναιρῶν: (3) ἐπειδὴ δὲ τὸ (4) αἷμα κατήχησε τοὺς λόφους τοὺς Δαυλιας, πάντων τῶν καλῶν ῥεῦσαν (5) αἴτιον (5) ἡμὶν γεγένηται.


1. plural in the original.
2. needs to be switched to masculine because Asoka was a man.
3. I think the participle should be retained.
4. The original has the article.
5. needs to be neuter agreeing with αἷμα.

Doing this does seem to work in that you have to get far more up and personal with the syntax than just translating.


Well, yes, from my perspective, it is better than translation because you don't have to leave the target language, and yes, it forces you to pay very close attention to the syntax without betraying it by putting it into meta-language terms. Rather, one is ENGAGING the syntax by substituting vocabulary and giving it your own meaning. The exercise is ACTIVE, which is good, and yet by retaining the syntactic skeleton you are working with and further internalizing real, presumably proper Greek, especially in the tricky area of word order and how sentences are constructed/linked. By choosing the original passage, and by choosing the meaning of your version, you can write about something which interests you, (as opposed the tedium of English-to Greek exercises) which SLA experts say is always an effective learning strategy.

Now, we must acknowledge that in switching the vocab (and the meaning!) we of course may well wind up producing something that would not sound quite right to native Ancient Greek ears. This is also a danger with paraphrase. But I think the pay-off is worth it. When you make the vocabulary switch, you will probably have to look up words and forms, which I think is a good thing, if you turn around and use that to actively produce the language. With this method, like the lateral paraphrase, you take real Greek and then cut-paste-adapt. This is less tedious, maybe, than starting from scratch, and again is grounded in real Greek. Your method reminds me of something Paul Nitz once said, that to really get something out of the Greek you read, you have to DO something with it.

We have to come up with a name for this method, the basic idea of which I think I had thought of before but never quite tried. It is close to what they call "semantic switch-outs," but there you change things like the tenses and persons to give practice for the forms.. Here, presumably, all the grammar remains the same, but the vocab is changed. Maybe we should call it "vocab switch-outs" or "syntactic skeletons."

Here is my own attempt at using your method. It does not change the original as much as yours, but I think it accomplishes the same pedagogical goal. The subject of the first two sentences is Lucifer:

ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ φίλοι, πάντων ἦν ἄριστος: καὶ γὰρ ἄγγελος καλὸς καὶ ὑπακουὸς καὶ καλῶς κατὰ πάντα δουλεύων: ἐπειδὴ δέ ἡ ὑπερηφανία ἐφάνη, πάντων τῶν κακῶν φανεῖσα αἰτία μοι γεγένηται.


I think you have picked a good sentence, because while the syntax is not overly complicated, it is representative of the type of the syntactic skeletons that English speakers need to not just read but somehow drive deeper into the hardwiring of their brains. It's also a nice piece of rhetoric.

You should try it with another few sentences. I will try to do the same.
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Re: lateral paraphrase a bit beyond you? -syntactic skeleto

Postby daivid » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:11 pm

Markos wrote:Excellent concept, David. First, let me offer some minor corrections to your text: This is based on my assumption that with this particular exercise (unlike a lateral paraphrase) you want the syntax, anyway, to be as close as possible to the original.
Thanks for the corrections. Some had me kicking myself, some needed a bit of thinking about but all were spot on. Yes keeping the syntax as close to the original is the idea
Markos wrote: Rather, one is ENGAGING the syntax by substituting vocabulary and giving it your own meaning. The exercise is ACTIVE, which is good, and yet by retaining the syntactic skeleton you are working with and further internalizing real, presumably proper Greek, especially in the tricky area of word order and how sentences are constructed/linked. By choosing the original passage, and by choosing the meaning of your version, you can write about something which interests you, (as opposed the tedium of English-to Greek exercises) which SLA experts say is always an effective learning strategy.
Yes active and engaging is where I see the value but also repetition. Reading original text when you read slowly means that your encounters with a particular form are often too rare for the forms to be internalized.
Markos wrote:Now, we must acknowledge that in switching the vocab (and the meaning!) we of course may well wind up producing something that would not sound quite right to native Ancient Greek ears..

Well no actual Greeks will be harmed in the making these clones through hearing their language mangled.
Doing these, you do have to think about whether you are really substituting things that really work the same way in Ancient Greek. Even if it is a question that can't be fully answered it is of value to think it over.
Markos wrote:We have to come up with a name for this method, the basic idea of which I think I had thought of before but never quite tried. It is close to what they call "semantic switch-outs," but there you change things like the tenses and persons to give practice for the forms.. Here, presumably, all the grammar remains the same, but the vocab is changed. Maybe we should call it "vocab switch-outs" or "syntactic skeletons."
I vote for syntactic skeletons.
Markos wrote:Here is my own attempt at using your method. It does not change the original as much as yours, but I think it accomplishes the same pedagogical goal. The subject of the first two sentences is Lucifer:

ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ φίλοι, πάντων ἦν ἄριστος: καὶ γὰρ ἄγγελος καλὸς καὶ ὑπακουὸς καὶ καλῶς κατὰ πάντα δουλεύων: ἐπειδὴ δέ ἡ ὑπερηφανία ἐφάνη, πάντων τῶν κακῶν φανεῖσα αἰτία μοι γεγένηται.

Excellent. And it was helpful for me to confront the syntax once again in a fresh form.

I think the extent of our changes are similar. I changed a good to bad contrast to a bad to good contrast but figure that it is the contrast that is important not the direction of change. But is it?
You have substituted an internal event (Lucifer's arrogance coming to the surface) for an external one as the cause. Again this probably is not an important change. But maybe it is?

I take it that the speaker is Jaweh. Surely noone else would use μοι in this context.
Markos wrote:
I think you have picked a good sentence, because while the syntax is not overly complicated, it is representative of the type of the syntactic skeletons that English speakers need to not just read but somehow drive deeper into the hardwiring of their brains. It's also a nice piece of rhetoric.

You should try it with another few sentences. I will try to do the same.

I intend to.

One thing I like one day to do is to do this on a complete story such as an Aesop's fable. Word order in Greek has so much to do with what is new and what has already been established that a single sentence doesn't really cover this. But for now that is too daunting.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Σαῦλος » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:36 pm


Structure Mimicry
ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ μαθηταί, ἐκ πάντων μαθητῶν ἦν σοφώτερος: καὶ γὰρ (ὡς) γραπτήρ (ἦν) δεινός καὶ φρόνισμος καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα μανθάνων: ἐπειδὴ δέ αὐτοῦ ἡ γυνή ἀπῆλθεν, πάντων τῶν κακοπραγίων ἀπελθοῦσα αἰτία αὐτῷ γεγένηται.

Simplified Paraphrase
μαθητής μου ἦν φρόνιμος. ὅτε ἡ γυνή αὐτοῦ απῆλεν ἤρξατο ποιεῖν χεῖρον.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:50 pm

Σαῦλος wrote:
Structure Mimicry
ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ μαθηταί, ἐκ πάντων μαθητῶν ἦν σοφώτερος: καὶ γὰρ (ὡς) γραπτήρ (ἦν) δεινός καὶ φρόνισμος καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα μανθάνων: ἐπειδὴ δέ αὐτοῦ ἡ γυνή ἀπῆλθεν, πάντων τῶν κακοπραγίων ἀπελθοῦσα αἰτία αὐτῷ γεγένηται.

Excellent! (However, I have only seen the form φρόνιμος rather than φρόνισμος)

Structure Mimicry is a good description. But for the moment my vote is still with syntactic skeleton as it conjures up for me a stronger image of what the method is about.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:07 pm

You will notice that today's weather posting is another syntax skeleton version of Lysias.

One side effect of this exercise is to throw into sharp relief how black and white Lysias' rhetoric is. Partly it was my shifting the structure to a planet wide scale that makes the lack of qualifications so stark. However, a jury today would I feel be uncomfortable listening to a defendant stating his case with such a lack of doubt.

Are we more skeptical than Athenians or is Lysias especially extreme in his contrasts?
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Σαῦλος » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:33 am

daivid wrote:Excellent! (However, I have only seen the form φρόνιμος rather than φρόνισμος)


ευχαριστῶ. χαίρω ὅτι συνῆκας μου το ρῆμα. ναι, ἔμιξα τὴν γραφήν τοῦ "σωφρονισμος" και τοῦ "φρονιμος."
Thanks. I'm chuffed you understood it. Yes, I mixed up the spelling with σωφρονισμος.

οὐκ καταλαμβανω καλῶς τοῦτο το ρῆμα·
I'm not fully understanding this line:
original... wrote:καὶ γὰρ οἰκονόμος δεινὴ καὶ φειδωλὸς (ἀγαθὴ?) καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα διοικοῦσα:


There's an implicit ἦν here, isn't there? "As a house manager SHE WAS wonderful, thrifty, managing everything accurately.

I will babble until I talk. ετι λαλαγω...
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:50 pm

Using the syntactic skeleton of John 3:16,

John 3:16: οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.


I change the vocab to summarize the plot of the Iliad.

οὕτως γὰρ ὠργίσθη ὁ Ἀχιλλεὺς τῷ Ἀγαμέμνονι, ὥστε τὸν πόλεμον αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀγαπητὸν ἀφῆκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ Ἕλλην μαχόμενος χωρὶς αὐτοῦ μὴ νικᾷ ἀλλὰ νικᾷται.

Σαῦλος wrote:
original... wrote:καὶ γὰρ οἰκονόμος δεινὴ καὶ φειδωλὸς (ἀγαθὴ?) καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα διοικοῦσα:


There's an implicit ἦν here, isn't there? "As a house manager SHE WAS wonderful, thrifty, managing everything accurately.


ναί.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:07 pm

Markos wrote:Using the syntactic skeleton of John 3:16,

John 3:16: οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

This is my first attempt:
Οὕτως γὰρ ἐφοβήσατο ὁ ποιμὴν τὸν λύκον ὥστε τὸν ποίμνιον ἀπελίπε, ἵνα πᾶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ μὴ βλαφθῇ ἀλλὰ διασῴζηται ἀεί καλόν.
Last edited by daivid on Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:18 am

daivid wrote:
Markos wrote:Using the syntactic skeleton of John 3:16,

John 3:16: οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

This is my first attempt:
Οὕτως γὰρ ἐφοβήσατο ὁ ποιμὴν τὸν λύκον ὥστε τὸν ποίμνιον ἀπελίπε, ἵνα πᾶσα ἡ σῶμα αὐτοῦ μὴ βλαφθῇ ἀλλὰ διασῴζηται ἀεί καλή.


Very well done, David. While it doesn't track the syntactic skeleton of the original 100% (and I'm not sure if this should necessarily be the goal of these exercises; mine didn't either) it is pretty darn close, and the resultant sentence does strike me as the kind of thing an Ancient Greek might have written, a pretty nice sentence in its own right. The only correction I see is that σῶμα is neuter--πᾶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ...ἀεὶ καλόν. Or you could use ἡ σάρξ.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:15 am

Another John 3.16:
Οὕτως γὰρ ἐφίλησε ὁ νεανίας τὴν κόρην ὥστε τὸν μαργαρίτην τὸν ἀποβαλόμενον ἐν τᾷ ὕλῃ ηὗρε, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ ὀλιγωρῶν αὐτὴν μὴ κακοῦ αὐτὴν ἔτι ἀλλὰ οἰδᾷ αὑτὴν εἶναι ἀληθῶς εὐφίλητην.

Markos wrote:Very well done, David. While it doesn't track the syntactic skeleton of the original 100% (and I'm not sure if this should necessarily be the goal of these exercises; mine didn't either) it is pretty darn close, and the resultant sentence does strike me as the kind of thing an Ancient Greek might have written, a pretty nice sentence in its own right. The only correction I see is that σῶμα is neuter--πᾶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ...ἀεὶ καλόν. Or you could use ἡ σάρξ.


Ooops yes thanks - I first thought that σωμα was first declension but when I realized it was third I forgot to consider that if it was third declension it had to be neuter. And yes σάρξ would fit too.

I agree that the point isn't to reproduce the skeleton 100% but it should be to get as close as possible. That way when you diverge a bit you keep in mind the extent you are diverging.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Σαῦλος » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:14 pm

I had a proposal to make about the Weather thread. But I don’t want to mess with the “magic” of that thread, so I’ll float this idea on this thread. It is an idea that is similar to this discussion of syntactic skeletons, but is maybe better described by a term like “structure mimicry.”

How about, on the Weather thread, we would agree together to concentrate on one language structure for a few posts, while still talking about the weather. Someone would make one post in English proposing a structure. Something like:

    Expressions of time: “for the whole day” “for three days” “three days ago” “for a while” etc. Distinguishing (by use) between Acc and Dative with time.

    Use of periphrastics: Try to use periphrastics (if I have the term right) to express thoughts about the weather (? ην βρεχων ???).

    Infinitives: especially the “foreign” sounding uses, like ωστε + Inf, του Infinitive, εις το... εν τῳ....

    Use of αυτός / αυτή ́/ αυτό as "same" or, with a different word order, as intensive.

Then, for a few posts, we'd try to talk about the weather using the target language structure. When anyone got tired of that structure, they would post a new targeted language structure to "over-use."

Just a thought.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:47 pm

Σαῦλος wrote:

How about, on the Weather thread, we would agree together to concentrate on one language structure for a few posts, while still talking about the weather. Someone would make one post in English proposing a structure.


I'm a little reluctant but perhaps without good reason. When I tried a weather thread syntax skeleton it did kind of work as a syntax skeleton but as a weather thread it was a bit of a parody.

The think is that the weather thread is supposed to be what is really happening and makes it more restrictive. Sometimes what seems to me to be the most important about the day's weather won't lend itself to using the infinitive say.

On the other hand I am influenced by what grammatical forms you all use. It would certainly be a good idea to do that more. Further, something more open as you are now proposing may well be a lot easier to work with than a syntax skeleton.

So in conclusion, I am a little cautious but willing to try it and will look out for a thread proposing something in the Agora
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:21 pm

Σαῦλος wrote:I had a proposal to make about the Weather thread. But I don’t want to mess with the “magic” of that thread, so I’ll float this idea on this thread. It is an idea that is similar to this discussion of syntactic skeletons, but is maybe better described by a term like “structure mimicry.”

How about, on the Weather thread, we would agree together to concentrate on one language structure for a few posts, while still talking about the weather...


I think this is a great idea, but I don't think we should do it on the weather thread itself. Like David, I want to keep the format there simple and conducive to quick, every day posts. I also want to keep English out of that thread as much as possible.

But we can and should do what you propose on another thread, either here or start a new on in Composition.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:17 pm

I did another syntax skeleton which I like better than my first effort because it is both more different in meaning and yet is somehow closer to the SPIRIT of the original syntax. It is tricky, because in the original, someone has done something in the past that unwittingly (and ironically) creates a new situation for someone else that exists in the present (thus the perfect for the final verb,) and this is hard to replicate. Complicated syntax really does limit the meaning you can put onto it. One of the things that doing these syntax skeletons accomplishes is that you have more respect for the original. I doubt any of our efforts can match the rhetorical impact of the original, but again, this for me is a good learning experience. I'm really glad David came up with the concept.

The speaker is one of the Greeks at Troy lamenting about how Achilles' wrath caused things to go south.

Lysias 1:7: ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, πασῶν ἦν βελτίστη: καὶ γὰρ οἰκονόμος δεινὴ καὶ φειδωλὸς καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα διοικοῦσα: ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι ἡ μήτηρ ἐτελεύτησε, πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἀποθανοῦσα αἰτία μοι γεγένηται.


Markos: ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ Ἀχαιοί, πάντων τῶν πολεμιστὼν ἦμεν ἄριστοι: καὶ γὰρ ἥρωες ἰφθιμοὶ καὶ ἀνδρεῖοι καὶ ἐν ἁρμονίᾳ μαχομένοι: ἐπειδὴ δέ ὁ Ἀχιλλεὺς ὠργίσθη, πολλῶν ἀλγῶν ὀργισθεὶς πηγὴν ἡμῖν δέδωκε.


In structure mimicry, you follow the word order of the original as closely as possible, presumably to teach you how the Greeks handled this. But since my own view is that word order is largely euphonic, dependent on neighboring syllables and an effort to create what I call "balanced sentences," when you change the vocab I think you may destroy the euphony. Not that I could necessarily come up with a more euphonic word order for my adaptation. Just a thought.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Cheiromancer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:59 pm

Markos wrote:my own view is that word order is largely euphonic, dependent on neighboring syllables and an effort to create what I call "balanced sentences,"

This sounds very interesting. I would love to read more about it. Has this idea been developed in another thread?
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:51 pm

I found two actual Greek sentences (one of which is very famous) which share the same BASIC skeleton (οὕτως plus past indicative...ὥστε plus past indicative...ἵνα plus present subjunctive:
John 3:16: οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

Lysias 1:10: καὶ οὕτως ἤδη συνειθισμένον ἦν, ὥστε πολλάκις ἡ γυνὴ ἀπῄει κάτω καθευδήσουσα ὡς τὸ παιδίον, ἵνα τὸν τιτθὸν αὐτῷ διδῷ καὶ μὴ βοᾷ.

What if you tried to preserve the same basic meanings, but tried to reverse the complete skeletons as much as possible?

οὕτως γὰρ συνείθισεν ἡ γυνὴ ὥστε ὡς τὸ παιδίον ἀπῄει, ἵνα διδῷ αὐτῷ τὸν τιτθὸν καὶ μὴ βοᾷ.

καὶ οὕτως ἤδη κεκυρωμένον ἦν περὶ τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἀγάπης, ὥστε πολλάκις ὁ υἱὸς ὁ μονογενὴς ἀπῄει κηρύξων ὡς τὸν κόσμον, ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον πάντι τῷ πιστεύοντι εἰς αὐτὸν διδῷ καὶ οὗτοι μὴ ἀπόληνται.

This barely works. As we said before, the more involved a skeleton is, the more limited is the meaning you can put on it. Switching the John quote to the imperfect changes the theological tone.

οὕτως...ὥστε is very common in Lysias 1.

Hi, Cheiromancer,

Cheiromancer wrote:
Markos wrote:my own view is that word order is largely euphonic, dependent on neighboring syllables and an effort to create what I call "balanced sentences,"

This sounds very interesting. I would love to read more about it. Has this idea been developed in another thread?


Not really, no. But let me give you a real time example from my Greek reading. Right now I am rereading Lysias 1. When Euphiletus discovers that his wife is cheating on him, he remembers a bunch of details that in retrospect reveal the cheating. He says
Lysias 1:17:ταῦτά μου πάντα εἰς τὴν γνώμην εἰσῄει...

Now, a semantic maximalist would say that the μου, "fronted" out of it's "default" position is "emphatic" or "salient" or a "focus" or a "topic" or some such similar meta-jargon. The presumption is that the word order conveys some meaning, or at least some emphasis in meaning. But what can it really mean to say that the μου is emphatic? MY mind as opposed to the mind of someone else? And how do you falsify whether something is "topic" or "focus?" No, rather, I just think that ταῦτά μου πάντα sounds good. But it only sounds good IN THIS SENTENCE. Maybe the μου was taken out because εἰς τὴν γνώμην εἰσῄει would sound less good if broken up into εἰς τὴν γνώμην μου εἰσῄει.

One thing I HAVE said elsewhere is that I make no claim that I can enunciate, let along reproduce, a euphonic word order. I think I recognize it when I hear it. Otherwise not much more can be said. But then semantic minimalists tend NOT to talk about stuff like this.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:04 pm

Markos wrote:
Not really, no. But let me give you a real time example from my Greek reading. Right now I am rereading Lysias 1. When Euphiletus discovers that his wife is cheating on him, he remembers a bunch of details that in retrospect reveal the cheating. He says
Lysias 1:17:ταῦτά μου πάντα εἰς τὴν γνώμην εἰσῄει...

Now, a semantic maximalist would say that the μου, "fronted" out of it's "default" position is "emphatic" or "salient" or a "focus" or a "topic" or some such similar meta-jargon. The presumption is that the word order conveys some meaning, or at least some emphasis in meaning. But what can it really mean to say that the μου is emphatic? MY mind as opposed to the mind of someone else? And how do you falsify whether something is "topic" or "focus?" No, rather, I just think that ταῦτά μου πάντα sounds good. But it only sounds good IN THIS SENTENCE. Maybe the μου was taken out because εἰς τὴν γνώμην εἰσῄει would sound less good if broken up into εἰς τὴν γνώμην μου εἰσῄει.

One thing I HAVE said elsewhere is that I make no claim that I can enunciate, let along reproduce, a euphonic word order. I think I recognize it when I hear it. Otherwise not much more can be said. But then semantic minimalists tend NOT to talk about stuff like this.


I find Helma Dik's suggestions very convincing even though I don't know Ancient Greek well enough to know whether she is correct. This is because I have seen this kind of thing in Serbo-Croat. For a long time I was puzzled that people would use the word for angry (ljut) where in English we would just use annoyed. However, there isn't really a word for annoyed. Then once I said "Ljut sam bio" ie "Angry I was" because it sounded better. I was asked if I really meant that. It turns out the conventional word order "Bio sam ljut" was the equivalent to "I was annoyed." in English. Reverse the order makes it far stronger and you get "I was angry."

I may have misunderstood you and in case I'm not fully up to speed on Ancient Greek enclitics but μου in that piece is unstressed. Isn't the second place position the only legal place? Even if that is not so, if has no tonal stress surely it is not stressed either for meaning.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby Markos » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:35 pm

daivid wrote:I may have misunderstood you and in case I'm not fully up to speed on Ancient Greek enclitics but μου in that piece is unstressed. Isn't the second place position the only legal place? Even if that is not so, if has no tonal stress surely it is not stressed either for meaning.


I think the "rule" is that enclitics cannot start a sentence. Yes, some people think that μου (unlike ἐμοῦ) cannot mark emphasis, although I happen to disagree with this. I think the expected word order would be ταῦτα πάντα εἰς τὴν γνώμην μου εἰσῄει... I'm not sure what Dik and other semantic maximalists would say about the word order here, do you?

I'm not denying that word order variation CAN be semantic. I'm just saying that more often than not it is euphonic. I can't really prove this.
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:05 am

Markos wrote:I found two actual Greek sentences (one of which is very famous) which share the same BASIC skeleton (οὕτως plus past indicative...ὥστε plus past indicative...ἵνα plus present subjunctive:
John 3:16: οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

Lysias 1:10: καὶ οὕτως ἤδη συνειθισμένον ἦν, ὥστε πολλάκις ἡ γυνὴ ἀπῄει κάτω καθευδήσουσα ὡς τὸ παιδίον, ἵνα τὸν τιτθὸν αὐτῷ διδῷ καὶ μὴ βοᾷ.

What if you tried to preserve the same basic meanings, but tried to reverse the complete skeletons as much as possible?

οὕτως γὰρ συνείθισεν ἡ γυνὴ ὥστε ὡς τὸ παιδίον ἀπῄει, ἵνα διδῷ αὐτῷ τὸν τιτθὸν καὶ μὴ βοᾷ.

καὶ οὕτως ἤδη κεκυρωμένον ἦν περὶ τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἀγάπης, ὥστε πολλάκις ὁ υἱὸς ὁ μονογενὴς ἀπῄει κηρύξων ὡς τὸν κόσμον, ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον πάντι τῷ πιστεύοντι εἰς αὐτὸν διδῷ καὶ οὗτοι μὴ ἀπόληνται.

This barely works. As we said before, the more involved a skeleton is, the more limited is the meaning you can put on it. Switching the John quote to the imperfect changes the theological tone.

οὕτως...ὥστε is very common in Lysias 1.
.

To do an exact reversial is quite hard and I think the trouble is that Lysias is being intentionally vague. This is my attempt to use the more straight forward structure of John to say what I assume Lysias carfully avoids spelling out.
οὕτος γὰρ συνείθισε ἡ γυνὴ τὸν ανδρον ὥστε πρόφασιν κτήσηται ἵνα ὅσπερ αὐτὴν ἐρῶν μὴ αὐτὴν ἀμελῆ ἀλλὰ ἀσπάσηται.

The odd thing about Lysias' construction is the way he avoids saying what had become customary and then says "as a result" and then describes what most translators assume to be the thing that has been made customary.

Maybe this shows I still haven't grasped how ὥστε is being used or maybe Lysias is doing something sneaky here (again :!: ).
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Re: if lateral paraphrases are a bit beyond you

Postby daivid » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:41 pm

Each time I looked at putting John's stance into Lysias' skeleton I convinced myself that it was impossible. For one thing Lysias is describing a repeated action while John is describing a single unique event. However, Lysias does have a aorist in the next phrase so I added that in.
I still have had to distort Lysias' skeleton a little and may even have thus added some mistakes in grammar but the end result does seem to me to reflect John's stance.

Lysias 1:10: καὶ οὕτως ἤδη συνειθισμένον ἦν, ὥστε πολλάκις ἡ γυνὴ ἀπῄει κάτω καθευδήσουσα ὡς τὸ παιδίον, ἵνα τὸν τιτθὸν αὐτῷ διδῷ καὶ μὴ βοᾷ. καὶ ταῦτα πολὺν χρόνον οὕτως ἐγίγνετο, καὶ ἐγὼ οὐδέποτε ὑπώπτευσα



καὶ οὕτως ἠγάπα τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε πολλάκις ὁ θεὸς ἐνενόει τους πιστεύοντας εἰς αὐτὸν ὡς βοηθεῖν, ἵνα μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον. καὶ ταῦτα πολὺν χρόνον οὕτως ἐγίγνετο, καὶ τέλος τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν.
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