Constituent Order: Acts 20:28 TOU IDIOU
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Oct 23 07:39:50 EDT 2002
At 9:58 AM +0300 10/23/02, Iver Larsen wrote:
>> I know that Iver will probably hold a different view on this, but for my
>> part, I don't think there's any significant semantic difference to the two
>> arrangementss of the attributive adjective; if there is any, I
>> would expect
>> that the placement of TOU IDIOU after TOU hAIMATOS would be a bit more
>Well, Carl, you almost invite me to chip in.
>I am not sure what you mean by the last statement. If there is a difference,
>are you suggesting that IDIOU or hAIMATOS bears the higher emphasis? I
>assume you mean that IDIOU then has more emphasis, and if so, you are
>correct in expecting me to disagree.
Yes, I meant that I believe that IDIOU in attributive position following
TOU hAIMATOS is likely to be somewhat more emphatic than in the more common
position sandwiched between the article and the noun. My disagreement with
Iver over the universal applicability of his doctrine of precedence
governing emphasis is as consistent as his application of it. I WOULD agree
with Iver, however, that understanding TOU IDIOU as a substantive DEPENDENT
upon TOU hAIMATOS changes the entire construction.
>My own understanding is that a word like IDIOS has a certain inherent
>lexical emphasis, which comes into play just by the author using the word.
>Because of that lexical emphasis the normal or default position is before
>the noun. Luke also has a slight preference for placing adjectives before
>the noun in an arthrous NP, but for IDIOS it is not a slight preference, but
>a very marked preference. Based on this I would not see any particular
>emphasis conveyed by the MT: DIA TOU IDIOU AIMATOS.
>However, in NA27: DIA TOU hAIMATOS TOU IDIOU
>the word IDIOU appears to be downgraded by being moved away from its
>expected position and towards the right.
>In other words, often the word "own" creates an expectation of a contrast,
>as in "his own language" (THi IDIAi DIALEKTWi, Acts 1:19, 2:6, 2:8)
>contrasted to someone else's language, or as in THi IDIAi EXOUSIAi, Acts
>1:7, or IDIAi DUNAMEI, Acts 3:12, or IDIAi GENEAi, Acts 13:36, or PERI THS
>IDIAIS DEISIDAIMONIAS, Acts 25:19. If such a contrast is present, the
>natural, expected order is for IDIOS to precede its noun.
>There are two places in Acts (none in Luke) where IDIOS follows the noun.
>The other instance is Acts 1:25 where Judas is said to have gone EIS TON
>TOPON TON IDION. It is not that he owns this place or that it is only for
>him in some way. But it is that horrible place where he fits.
>Likewise, in DIA TOU hAIMATOS TOU IDIOU it seems to me (and this is where
>Carl disagrees, I think) that there is relatively more focus on the blood
>that on whose blood it is. To put that into English: Put relatively more
>stress on the word "blood" than on "own", when you read "his own blood" and
>also do not stress "own" in "to his own place".
>All of this assumes, of course, that IDIOU modifies hAIMATOS and not a
>following hUIOU which might have dropped out of the text or might be
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
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