Exceptions to a rule

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Oct 31 06:38:17 EST 2001


At 6:22 AM -0500 10/31/01, Harry W. Jones wrote:
>Dear Carl,
>
>My question is, how would
>OU MONON TOIS DESPOTAIS vs TOIS DESPOTAIS OU MONON change the
>meaning of the phrase in question?

My sense is that the Greek-speaking reader/listener would be looking for
something additional besides the masters for the slaves to be subject to;
i.e. the OU MONON ... ALLA are ordinarily positioned immediately before
what they govern. It seems to me that you're trying to "engineer" the Greek
phrasing so that it better corresponds to English word-order. You are (I
think) assuming that the sense of OU MONON TOIS DESPOTAIS TOIS AGAQOIS KAI
EPIEIKESIN ALLA KAI TOIS SKOLIOIS would be "... not only to good and
generous masters, but also to perverse ones"--but that makes sense in
English only because English puts those adjectives "good and generous"
BEFORE the noun. What your re-engineered phrasing would look like to the
Greek-speaking reader/listener, I believe, is: "... not only to masters,
good and kind ones, but also to crooked ones." Putting the "not only" in
front of "masters" raises the expectation that a second noun corresponding
to "masters" will be highlighted by the conjunction ALLA.

>At 5:41 AM -0500 10/30/01, Harry W. Jones wrote:
>> >Dear Mark,
>> >
>> >I believe that you have made a very valid point on this.
>> >I'm self studying NT Greek from an engineering point of
>> >view with a guiding principle of KISS. That's why I would
>> >take ... TOIS DESPOTAIS OU MONON TOIS AGAQOIS KAI EPIEIKESIN...
>> >in 1Pet. 2:18 and reengineer it into
>> >...OU MONON TOIS DESPOTAIS TOIS AGAQOIS KAI EPIEIKESIN...
>> >Then things are quite clear. That's why I'm inclined to
>> >agree with that the exceptions are part of the rule in NT Greek.
>>
>> But if you look at the whole construction, the position of the OU MONON is
>> clear and appropriate: hOI OIKETAI hUPOTASSOMIENOI EN PANTI FOBWi TOIS
>> DESPOTAIS, OU MONON TOIS AGAQOIS KAI EPIEIKESIN ALLA KAI TOIS SKOLIOIS. OU
>> MONON ... ALLA marks off the the attributive phrases describing the
>> alternative characterizations of masters: "slaves submitting with all
>> reverence to their masters, not only the good and generous ones, but also
>> the perverse ones." Of course, in English, we can do as you're suggesting
>> ("slaves submitting with all reverence not only to good and generous
>> masters, but even to perverse ones." But the difference lies in the
>> characteristic structure of English and Greek word-order and the patterns
>> by which it stresses what it intends to stress. Here the pattern is
>> carefully structured:
>> 	basic assertion "slaves subject with all reverence to masters"
>> 	emphatic qualification: "whether they should be good and kind
>> 				or even if they should be perverse"
>>
>> I won't say that the word-order in Greek can't vary, because it certainly
>> can, but in a text which shows itself in other respects to be composed by a
>> careful writer it would be a mistake to assume that the word-order is
>> arbitrary.
>>
>> >That would go for M/P cases too. One of the reasons that I like
>> >Wallace more and more is that a he really believes in cutting to the
>> >chase.
>>
>> I am not one of those who finds GGBB unhelpful. While there are some points
>> in it with which I disagree, I think his perspectives and judgments are
>> generally pretty good and helpful. The one quality that I've consistently
>> remarked upon is his tendency to create new grammatical subcategories that
>> are based upon diffferentiations not clearly present in the Greek but
>> rather in conversion to the target language's patterns.
>> --
>>
>> Carl W. Conrad
>> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
>> Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
>> cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
>> WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
>
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-- 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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