[B-Greek] French?

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Jul 10 07:14:38 EDT 2007

On Jul 10, 2007, at 6:17 AM, Jonathan Robie wrote:

> I'm reading "The Relevance of Greek Discourse Studies to Exegesis", by
> Stephen H. Levinsohn, Journal of Translation, Volume 2, Number 2  
> (2006).
> This surprised me:
>> As an aside, what I found interesting, as I prepared for a  
>> workshop on
>> 1 Corinthians in Papua New Guinea,
>> was the frequency with which the Frenchman Frédéric Louis Godet  
>> (1886)
>> had something valuable to say
>> about discourse-related features of the Greek. Why? Probably because
>> his mother tongue, though a
>> Romance language, evidences more Greek influence than Germanic  
>> ones do.
> Can anyone help me understand in what way it can be said that French
> shows more Greek influence than Germanic languages? The highly  
> declined
> nature of German, and its freedom in word order, have always made  
> German
> feel more similar to Greek to me, but he must be thinking of other
> characteristics of the languages.

Well ... for one thing, there's the double negative:

John 15:5 ...  χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε  
ποιεῖν οὐδέν.
" ... hors de moi vous ne pouvez rien faire." (French Jerusalem Bible)

I'm told than an older Latin version once had "... sine me non  
potestis facere nihil" which is so literal that it's wrong, whereas  
the Clementine Vulgate has " ... sine me nihil potestis facere."

Of course I don't really think this accounts for what is said about  
Godet. I think it more likely that Godet had been soundly steeped in  
Greek and understood it well and that any comparability of French to  
Greek is of little or any importance.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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