[B-Greek] A Greek Pedagogical Question

R Yochanan Bitan Buth ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
Thu Jul 21 16:56:49 EDT 2005


Eipen Mitch
>Was it not Dr. Buth who advised us to begin with
>STRUCTURE first?

 

Some of the discussions are discussing different skills. When
analyzing and trying to explain why or what a structure may be, then
one would usually start by defining the structure on its own terms
rather than a foreign semantic grid. Reference grammars, linguistic
theories, and histories and excellent for this sort of thing. 

But learning and thinking in a language is a different process. Adult
speakers and learners of a language usually do both to some degree,
though linguists can attest that much of what speakers say 'about' a
language is not often valid when it comes to explanation. The bizarre
side appears when an adult language user can give either a theoretical
or a popular explanation about a structure but cannot fluently use it
or understand it when hearing it at normal conversational speeds. I
don't advocate analyzing a structure as a doorway into fluency. 

 

When a person speaks a language they are usually not concious of which
structures they are using until someone stops them and asks a
question: is AMPELOS arsenikon h qhliakon (masculine or feminine)?
Then a person must stop and say to themselves something like 

AMPELOS    KALH KAI FEROUSA KARPON KAI POIOUSA STAFULAS, 

-ee-, DOKEI MOI OTI QHLIKON ESTIN TO GENOS THS AMPELOU. 

 

 (while adding the accent marks in the writing system is very much a
pure analytical process, hopefully based on correctly pronounced
syllables. Corrections welcomed.) 

A'MPELOS    KALH` KAI` FE'ROUSA KARPO`N KAI` POIOU~SA STAFULA'S, 

-ee-, DOKEI~ MOI O'TI QHLIKO'N ESTIN TO` GE'NOS TH~S AMPE'LOU. 

 

KALH`N NU'XTA

 

 

Randall Buth, PhD

Director, Biblical Language Center

www.biblicalulpan.org

and Director, Biblical Studies in Israel

Hebrew University, Rothberg International School

ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il

 




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