Prominence in Passive Construction with hUPO in Mk 1:9

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Wed Sep 26 05:47:23 EDT 2001

> hUPW IWANNOU is in the clause final position which can be used for the
> purpose of increased prominence. Fronting a constituent (placing
> before the
> main verb) is not the only position of marked prominence within a clause.
> If we compare the prominence level of a subject that his reduced to a
> pronominal verb inflection with an agent like hUPW IWANNOU in clause final
> position, I would venture to guess that hUPW IWANNOU is the more prominent
> of the two.

Just a couple of comments. I believe fronting a constituent is not just a
matter of placing it before the verb. The word order is so flexible that the
relative order of all the constituents in the clause as well as constituents
in the phrase is important whether or not it involves the placement of the

I know that Levinsohn and probably others have suggested that the final
position can also be used to indicate prominence. I am sure this holds for
English, but I don't think it is correct for Greek. I would like to see some
solid arguments for such a hypothesis. It just doesn't sound correct that
one can have both a general rule that moving constituents to the left
indicates relatively more prominence and then at the same time that moving a
constituent to the far right has the same function. So, I am not ready to
join the guessing venture in your last paragraph.

Would you or others like to defend the hypothesis that clause final position
can be used to show prominence in Greek? I am listening, but need to be

Iver Larsen

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