Prominence in Passive Construction with hUPO in Mk 1:9

Mike Sangrey msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Wed Sep 26 09:42:05 EDT 2001


On Wed, 2001-09-26 at 05:47, Iver Larsen wrote:

> 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
> convinced.
> 

Well... there's norml.

Then there's the exception.  The quality of exception brings out
prominence.

Then there's the exception to the exception.  Which is meant to startle,
to entertain, to grab the attention.

A word order example which might show this is Eph 2:1ff.  The word
order, as one reads through the sentence, leaves one hang in mid-air 
until the author settles the anticipation.  I don't think our being
sinners is the prominent concept; I think it is the freely given
salvation.

Also, exceptions are exceptional and exceptions to the exceptions are
very, very exceptional.  In other words, one should not expect to see
the later cases; and, therefore, should not only exhaust the other
possibilities, but there should be little ambiguity (if any) when
confronted with the exception to the exception.  That is to say that the
exceptionalness should be quite obvious.

One last illustration:  It is normal to not end an English sentence with
a preposition.  However, sometimes prepositions are something people end
they're sentences with.  But then again, ending a sentence with a
preposition is something up with which I will not put.

The first sentence sounds just fine.  The second sounds somewhat awkward
but also has a colloquial sound to it.  The last sentence meets the
rule, but sounds VERY awkward.  And that's the point (I think) that
Winston Chruchill meant when he said something very similar.  The
exception to the exception draws the attention to something deeper and
more profound.

-- 
Mike Sangrey
msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."




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