Togetherness in Eph 3:6

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at
Tue Oct 30 00:55:43 EST 2001

on 10/29/01 4:46 PM, B. Ward Powers wrote:

>> Before I started looking over Ephesians today, I was reading a book on
>> Rhetorical Analysis* and for that reason I was perhaps looking for patterns
>> of interest when I came to Eph 3:6 where Paul is talking about togetherness
>> and uses 3 words: SUGKLHRONOMA, SUSSWMA, SUMMETOCA which start with SU.
> Actually, they all start with SUN, our old familiar preposition meaning
> "with" or "together with". When this preposition is compounded with a verb,
> the nu assimilates to the phoneme which follows it (or to being the same
> kind of phoneme, as in SUGKLHRONOMA, where the "G" is not a true gamma, but
> actually "enga", the "-ng-" sound as in our "sing", i.e. the palatal nasal
> liquid phoneme, because the following kappa is a palatal).
> We do the same kind of thing in English. For example, English has the
> negative prefix "in-" (as in "independent"), which has assimilated in our
> "illegal", "immobile", "irregular", etc. But it is "in-" each time, though
> in disguise.

Thanks Ward,

 for spelling out the details of how the NU assimilates, etc. My first draft
of this post said: "the are all prefixed by SUN" but for some reason I
didn't like wording it that way and changed it at the last minute to "which
start with SU."  This was a probably [not sure] a discourse strategy
decision based on the desire to put the morphological issue into the
background and focus on the semantic pattern of three "together" words. If
that was my intent (??) it backfired on me, since my final wording was a
little unorthodox which gave rise to a question about morphology. So my
discourse strategy had the opposite effect from what was intended, it
created an ambiguity which drew attention to the very thing that was being

Funny how this works (or doesn't work).

The parallels you mention in English are intriguing. Didn't know that N was
assimilated in "Illegal."

Thanks for explaining the mechanisms of phonology in this case. Always
amazes me that people can remember stuff like that.

warm greetings,



Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

More information about the B-Greek mailing list