mwh wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:35 pm
(I don’t have much Japanese, but I’d say a lot
like は; but what is Greek for が?)
Well, I'd direct everybody's attention here for a good description of both particles (better than I've seen in textbooks):
https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.co ... wa-ga.html
For example, look at "3. Universal Things".
ゆき は しろいです。
yuki wa shiroi desu
Meaning: Snow is white.
ちきゅう は まるいです。
chikyuu wa marui desu
Meaning: Earth is round.
That's because if you say ゆき が しろいです (yuki ga shiroi desu), it sounds like normally snow is in other colors other than white. This is incorrect. Therefore, for description of universal things that never change, use は (wa).
Let's say if something terrible happens one day and snow becomes red. In this case, you can say ゆき が あかいです (yuki ga akai desu - Snow is red) because this is new information that we don't know.
In Plato (far more sparing of δέ than Xenophon) I think that δέ tends to function more like this usage of が (ga).
Ἐκ ταυτησὶ δὴ τῆς ἐξετάσεως, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, πολλαὶ μὲν ἀπέχθειαί μοι γεγόνασι καὶ οἷαι χαλεπώταται καὶ βαρύταται, ὥστε πολλὰς διαβολὰς ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν γεγονέναι, ὄνομα δὲ τοῦτο λέγεσθαι, σοφὸς εἶναι· οἴονται γάρ με ἑκάστοτε οἱ παρόντες ταῦτα αὐτὸν εἶναι σοφὸν ἃ ἂν ἄλλον ἐξελέγξω.
Here, δὲ signifies that there is going to be new information about this ὄνομα, and not something that merely reinforces "πολλὰς διαβολὰς."
Before spending too much time on this parallel (though it might be interesting to translate all of the example sentences in the link) one big difference between Greek and Japanese is that は (wa) and が (ga) only go with nouns (I think). So in the end, the parallel can never be too close -- as you'll probably see from looking at the various usages in the link.
what constitutes “a single sentence,” for example, and to say that “the upcoming words aren't really subordinate” is either ill-defined or axiomatic.
I think this would be probably worth another thread (or a dozen). The way I've begun to think about it, which seems obvious, but I don't think I've seen discussion elsewhere, is that words in Greek (and other languages), have a set of necessary context that needs to be resolved. A transitive verb needs an object; if it is being used personally, it needs a subject as a referent somewhere, etc. And a sentence isn't generally complete until you have resolution (explicit or implicit) to all of the "promises" made by the foregoing words. Some words function equally well as promisers or resolvers, depending on where they come in a sentence, but others, generally the connectives, seem to be one or the other. ὥστε and γὰρ always promise something new, and require a back-reference, but they don't necessarily resolve a promise. Notice that the "·" soft stops in the Apology sentence above could both have been hard stops, serving as the end of the expression. And in theory, in spoken delivery they could have been, with ὥστε or γάρ added as an addendum rather than a planned continuation.