[B-Greek] Genitive Absolute - a fresh look
kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 1 14:12:20 EST 2006
On Nov 1, 2006, at 9:22 AM, Elizabeth Kline wrote:
> I am not convinced that a fronted genitive participle construction is
> more prominent ...
It might be better to simply rest with the idea that fronted genitive
participle constructions (subsequently GPC) are a narrative
transition device without introducing the idea of relative
prominence. First of all we need to ask, prominent in relation to what?
"The use of the Genitive Construction (GC) is often a grammatical
strategy for bringing an element of background information into
prominence as a piece of necessary prior knowledge, and alerting the
that this information is important for understanding the impact of the
rest of the sentence or even the paragraph or discourse."
Fuller appears to be suggesting that a GPC marks information as
prominent relative to other information within the narrative segment.
She also appears to be suggesting that the use of the genitive
participle makes the construction more prominent than similar
constructions in other cases. Lets examine the first claim that a GPC
marks information as prominent relative to other information with the
MATT. 26:26 ESQIONTWN DE AUTWN LABWN hO IHSOUS ARTON KAI EULOGHSAS
EKLASEN KAI DOUS TOIS MAQHTAIS EIPEN: LABETE FAGETE, TOUTO ESTIN TO
Is ESQIONTWN DE AUTWN particularly crucial or new information? It
doesn't seem like it. We already know that they are having a meal.
The following LABWN hO IHSOUS ARTON is both new and more significant.
MARK 10:17 KAI EKPOREUOMENOU AUTOU EIS hODON PROSDRAMWN hEIS KAI
GONUPETHSAS AUTON EPHRWTA AUTON: DIDASKALE AGAQE, TI POIHSW hINA ZWHN
Here EKPOREUOMENOU AUTOU EIS hODON provides a transition and gives
information required to make sense out of PROSDRAMWN hEIS. The GPC is
important as a framing device but since Jesus is regularly found
EKPOREUOMENOU EIS hODON it hardly qualifies as prominent or
LUKE 4:42 GENOMENHS DE hHMERAS EXELQWN EPOREUQH EIS ERHMON TOPON: KAI
hOI OCLOI EPEZHTOUN AUTON KAI HLQON hEWS AUTOU KAI KATEICON AUTON TOU
MH POREUESQAI AP' AUTWN.
GENOMENHS DE hHMERAS anchors the scene in the narrative sequence.
Other than that the information isn't a prominent aspect of the story.
ACTS 14:20 KUKLWSANTWN DE TWN MAQHTWN AUTON ANASTAS EISHLQEN EIS THN
POLIN. KAI THi EPAURION EXHLQEN SUN TWi BARNABAi EIS DERBHN.
Here is an example where the GPC introduces a highly significant
aspect of the story. KUKLWSANTWN DE TWN MAQHTWN doesn't introduce a
new scene but it does announce a significant transition, moving from
one location to another.
ACTS 23:12 GENOMENHS DE hHMERAS POIHSANTES SUSTROFHN hOI IOUDAIOI
ANEQEMATISAN hEAUTOUS LEGONTES MHTE FAGEIN MHTE PIEIN hEWS hOU
APOKTEINWSIN TON PAULON.
Again the GPC is a temporal marker, otherwise not crucial to the story.
I included the ACTS 14:20 to illustrate what I would consider a GPC
with significant information prominence, the other GPC examples do
not appear to highlight anything in the story.
Prominence is a subjective attribute which is very difficult to prove
one way or another without a lot of rigorous qualification. Take for
example the ongoing argument about fronted constituents.
More information about the B-Greek