Throw the grammars away ...

Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
Post Reply
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1257
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Throw the grammars away ...

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:42 am

... and use **TLG. I have been reading lightly thorough The Birds in the recent Harvard Ed. Today I ran across Τύχη δὲ ποία κομίζει ποτ' αὐτὼ πρὸς ὄρνιθας ἐλθεῖν[1]. I was curios about the word order Τύχη δὲ ποία so I looked in the grammars. Found nothing.

TLG at least gives you instant evidence that patterns like Τύχη δὲ ποία are found in Tragedy and Aristophanes, probably elsewhere. So with very little work you have a known pattern. You don't need a trip to the grammars to tell you this. I thank Iver Larsen (SIL, Denmark, East Africa) for enlightening me on this subject decades ago. We were discussing something in one of the recently published NT Grammar Text Books. Iver Larsen's response was he did not own the book and didn't generally consult grammars since it was his habit to just do the research himself. I had multiple shelves filled with reference grammars. Iver's idea was liberating. It was time to start looking at the texts and just let the grammars sit. But grammar look up is habit forming and I haven't totally abandoned them.

[1]Aristophanes Aves
Line 410
Ἰώ, ἔποψ, σέ τοι καλῶ.
{ΕΠ.} Καλεῖς δὲ τοῦ κλύειν θέλων;
{ΧΟ.} Τίνες ποθ' οἵδε καὶ πόθεν;
{ΕΠ.} Ξένω σοφῆς ἀφ' Ἑλλάδος.
{ΧΟ.} Τύχη δὲ ποία κομί-
ζει ποτ' αὐτὼ πρὸς ὄρ-
νιθας ἐλθεῖν;
{ΕΠ.} Ἔρως
βίου διαίτης τέ σου
καὶ ξυνοικεῖν τέ σοι

**Postscript:
The TLG abridged is open to the public without subscription.
http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/abridged.php
C. Stirling Bartholomew

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3255
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Throw the grammars away ...

Post by mwh » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:26 am

What’s at issue there, Stirling, is not grammar as such but the effect of meter on word order. You won’t find much about that in standard grammars. That’s no reason to throw the grammars away. You just need to learn to make proper use of them.

Still, I agree the TLG is an extremely useful resource—though not ideal for searching for “patterns like Τύχη δὲ ποία,” whatever you mean by that.

Michael

marxbert
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 8:08 pm

Re: Throw the grammars away ...

Post by marxbert » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:34 pm

can you explain this resource a bit more. I have signed up for TLG abridged. I see that line 410 has a highlight, and I can look at individual words--but not line or any phrases, it seems. I cannot find the instant evidence of patterns in other tragedy or Aristophanes that you mention. If I search the phrase "Τύχη δὲ ποία" in TLG, only the Aristophanes quote appears. Are you finding these patterns by using TLG to go to lexicon links for individual words and looking at the lexicon's examples, or is there some function with TLG I don't know how to access?

thank you for any direction.

User avatar
ἑκηβόλος
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:19 am
Location: Nanchang, PRC
Contact:

Re: Throw the grammars away ...

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:04 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:TLG at least gives you instant evidence that patterns like Τύχη δὲ ποία are found in Tragedy and Aristophanes, probably elsewhere. So with very little work you have a known pattern. You don't need a trip to the grammars to tell you this.
What is the "pattern" being discussed here?

Did the TLG search bring up
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 196f wrote:Χορός

πάντ᾽ ἐκκάλυψον καὶ γέγων᾽ ἡμῖν λόγον,
ποίῳ λαβών σε Ζεὺς ἐπ᾽ αἰτιάματι,
οὕτως ἀτίμως καὶ πικρῶς αἰκίζεται:
δίδαξον ἡμᾶς, εἴ τι μὴ βλάπτει λόγῳ.
for what cause?
Aristophanes, Clouds, 685 wrote:Σωκράτης

ἄρρενα δὲ ποῖα τῶν ὀνομάτων; 685
What are the names of the males?
Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 1164 wrote:Χορός

χρείᾳ δὲ ποίᾳ τόνδ᾽ ἐπεσφέρεις λόγον;
And what impels you to make these overtures?
Demosthenes, On the Liberty of the Rhodian 15.34 wrote:[34] ἀλλὰ γὰρ οὐχ ὅ τι τις κατηγορήσει τούτων ἢ τοῖς ἄλλοις ὑμῖν ἐπιπλήξει χαλεπὸν εὑρεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ ἀφ᾽ ὁποίων λόγων ἢ πράξεως ποίας ἐπανορθώσεταί τις ἃ νῦν οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἔχει, τοῦτ᾽ ἔργον εὑρεῖν. ἴσως μὲν οὖν οὐδὲ τοῦ παρόντος καιροῦ περὶ πάντων λέγειν: ἀλλ᾽ ἐὰν ἃ προῄρησθε δυνηθῆτ᾽ ἐπικυρῶσαι συμφερούσῃ τινὶ πράξει, καὶ τἄλλ᾽ ἂν ἴσως καθ᾽ ἓν ἀεὶ βέλτιον σχοίη.
by what course of action[?]
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:I thank Iver Larsen (SIL, Denmark, East Africa) for enlightening me on this subject decades ago. We were discussing something in one of the recently published NT Grammar Text Books. Iver Larsen's response was he did not own the book and didn't generally consult grammars since it was his habit to just do the research himself.
A trained field linguist, with a background in Greek and many years of experience in translation, no doubt. Moreover, the material covered in "textbooks" is usually a significant, but nevertheless eclectic subset of the grammar of the language. If he, or you, are saying that at somepoint, the language itself becomes the grammar, then, I think that goes without saying.

In the passing generation, there were a measure of people, who might say that they never read about "such" things in the books that they'd read, while for the present generation they might say that they never encountered "such" things in their electronic game worlds. Whether taking one's nose out of the book or peeling one's face off the computer screen, real world experience us more than abstracted constructs based on observable rules. Grammars, no matter how comprehensive they claim to be are a finite set of rules, which won't measure up to all the features in all the texts. The illusion of adequacy that grammars give us is often because they are efficient at categorising and naming, rather than explaining in high-order (Why .. ?) terms. At any point, the grammar only leads us by the hand so far, after that it is personal engagement.
mwh wrote:What’s at issue there, Stirling, is not grammar as such but the effect of meter on word order. You won’t find much about that in standard grammars.
The Demosthenes passage quoted suggests that it may not only be for the sake of the metre, but in as much as the metre might be a stylised derivative of one or various patterns of prosody, it could be a feature of prosody.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Throw the grammars away ...

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:09 pm

mwh wrote:What’s at issue there, Stirling, is not grammar as such but the effect of meter on word order. You won’t find much about that in standard grammars. That’s no reason to throw the grammars away. You just need to learn to make proper use of them.

Still, I agree the TLG is an extremely useful resource—though not ideal for searching for “patterns like Τύχη δὲ ποία,” whatever you mean by that.

Michael
This forum really needs a like button. Grammars may not tell you everything, but they really help with grammar... :lol:
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

marxbert
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 8:08 pm

Re: Throw the grammars away ...

Post by marxbert » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:03 pm

ἑκηβόλος - my TLG search did not bring up any of these, but perhaps it was due to searching entire phrase.

I'm not going to throw out my grammars, but being able to find patterns across literature is extremely useful. Unfortunately, I still am unable to really determine how any patterns are found through TLG. Any help on this resource at the phrase/line/sentence level would be welcome.

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3255
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Throw the grammars away ...

Post by mwh » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:36 pm

εκηβολος is quite right to point out that it’s not just a matter of meter. Interrogatives normally come in first position but not always, and most of the passages he quotes illustrate conditions under which they don’t.

ἄρρενα δὲ ποῖα τῶν ὀνομάτων; comes from that bit in Aristophanes’ Clouds where Socrates is testing his would-be pupil Strepsiades:
(Soc.) ἔτι δή γε περὶ τῶν ὀνομάτων μαθεῖν σε δεῖ,
ἅττ᾽ ἄρρεν᾽ ἐστίν, ἅττα δ᾽ αὐτῶν θήλεα.
(Streps.) ἀλλ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἔγωγ᾽ ἃ θήλε᾽ ἐστίν. (Soc.) εἰπὲ δή.
(Streps.) Λύσιλλα Φίλιννα Κλειταγόρα Δημητρία.
(“You still have to learn about nouns/names, | which of them are masculine/male and which feminine/female.” | “I know the fem. ones.” “Tell me.” | “Lysilla, Philinna, Clitagora, Demetria, …”
(Soc.) ἄρρενα δὲ ποῖα τῶν ὀνομάτων; (Streps.) μυρία·
Φιλόξενος Μελησίας Ἀμυνίας ...

ποῖα δ’ ἄρρενα would not be metrical (just as ποία δὲ τύχη in Stirling's passage would not be metrical). But there’s more to it than that. ἄρρενα in first position, displacing ποῖα, is what linguists have taken to calling salient. Strepsiades has provided examples of “feminine nouns”/”female names” and Socrates now asks him “And masculines, what sorts of nouns are they?” or “And what sorts of nouns are masculine?” The word order would be acceptable even in prose.

Similarly with χρείᾳ δὲ ποίᾳ τόνδ᾽ ἐπεσφέρεις λόγον; Here ποίᾳ δὲ χρείᾳ would in fact be metrical (though it would be less imitative of tragic diction), but χρείᾳ is fronted (i.e. put up front), so that's where the weight of the question falls.

Demosthenes’ ἀφ᾽ ὁποίων λόγων ἢ πράξεως ποίας is more unusual, and interesting, but not too easy to explain briefly. He is transitioning from words to action (note τινὶ πράξει below). While ποίας is grammatically necessary (either that or ὁποίας, but the direct form has more punch), the fronting of πράξεως gives the noun significant prominence.

Stirling hasn’t said what kind of “pattern” he had in mind (deferment of the interrogative, perhaps?), but for it to be linguistically interesting it would have to include other interrogatives besides ποῖος, and I’m sorry to say the TLG is of limited use in finding such patterns.

As Barry says, grammars don’t tell you everything, far from it, but only an idiot would throw them away. Grammars and the TLG have completely different functions, and neither can substitute for the other.

Post Reply