Prominence in Passive Construction with hUPO in Mk 1:9

Mark DelCogliano cassian at dellepro.com
Wed Sep 26 16:03:13 EDT 2001


Thanks to all who have offered their comments on this thread.

A few questions for Clay, and then a few further comments.

> Mk 1:9b reads: KAI EBAPTISQH EIS TON IORDANHN hUPW IWANNOU.
>
> We could drop the whole clause final issue and still have hUPW IWANNOU be
> more prominent than the pronominal ending of EBAPTISQH.  This all depends
on
> how we construe KAI; is it linking two verbs with one subject? Or is it
> starting a new independent clause? If it is starting a new clause then
hUPW
> IWANNOU seems to win out in the prominence competition without even
> considering the clause final issue.

Can a pronomial inflectional ending really be said to have prominence? The
grammatical subject of the verb can indeed be given prominence in various
ways through the use of explicit nominals; but since there is a close
connection between the main verb and inflectional ending (indeed, you can't
even have a verb without an inflectional ending), how could one give
prominence to a mere inflectional ending without giving it to the entire
verb?

> Let me add that I do NOT think an agentive prepositional phrase in clause
> final position is MARKED by its position. So after thinking about it I
would
> drop the whole issue of being clause final in reference to hUPW IWANNOU in
> MK 1:9.

I fear this a bit over me head. Could you explain to me what is meant by 'an
agentive prepositional phrase in clause final position is [not] MARKED by
its position'? Does this refer to some sort of 'default' positioning for
such a prep phrase?

BTW, I don't think the KAI that begins Mk 1:9b introduces an independant
clause.

As for the question whether the final position can give prominence, I'd like
to throw out a thought that may be entirely foolish. Is there a need for a
distinction between *grammatical* and *rhetorical* prominence? The
rhetorical techinique whereby the final element of a clause is given
emphasis is called climax. There is usually some sort of buildup to that
point. The example from Eph seems to fit into the category of rhetorical
climax. The issue that I raised, however, concerns the grammatical
prominence given or not given to the agentive prepositional phrase by means
of word order. Even if one were to say that the agentive prep phrase had
emphasis in the example from Mk, there is no sort of buildup to it. The
final position of the agentive prepositional phrase in Mk 1:9b, in the
context of 1:9-11, seems to (slightly) reduce its prominence--and I would
call this grammatical rather than rhetorical. But this whole comment of mine
may be moot because the notion of prominence does indeed belong to rhetoric.
Perhaps someone with more knowledge and experience than me can come up with
a better distinction than I have.

Thanks,
Mark DelCogliano




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