[B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios

Elizabeth Kline kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 23 11:55:39 EDT 2010

On Apr 22, 2010, at 12:00 PM, Dr. Don Wilkins wrote:

> I infer that you are presenting Carson as a representative NT scholar, and I'm sure you don't mean to imply that other NT scholars would necessarily agree with him on all points. But in any case this is an interesting discussion. Let me ask you to comment on Smyth's explanations of the phenomenon of the article with multiple nouns. In sections 1143 and 1144 of his Grammar he says the following:
> A single article, used with the first of two or more nouns connected by *and* [italic in Smyth], produces the effect of a single notion [several classical citations follow].... Rarely when the substantives are of different genders [another citation].
> [1144] A repeated article lays stress on each word: hO QRAiX KAI hO BARBAROS *the Thracian and the barbarian* D. 23.132 (here the subject remains the same), hOI STRATHGOI KAI hOI LOCAGOI *the generals and the captains* X.A. 7.1.13.
> I apologize for the transliterations and for not including the first citations. I think we're all familiar with the concept in 1143. Elizabeth, I again infer that you consider "scenario" a much better term than Carson's expressions, and if so, you probably also prefer it to Smyth's "single notion" (I don't think he meant that as a technical term). But this seems to me a matter of "semantics," i.e. more or less equal terms for the same phenomenon. I'm not sure what Hoyle adds to the basic concept, and perhaps I just need to read him. Would you say that Smyth's are good explanations couched in old-school terminology, or do you find them deficient? I certainly won't maintain that Smyth is perfect.


You said:

> But this seems to me a matter of "semantics," i.e. more or less equal terms for the same phenomenon.

I cannot agree. This is not a discussion about which term is best. I don't care in the least about this or that term. Carsons "package" [see --previous post--- below]  hints at what Hoyle and many others [frames/scenarios have been around for several decades] are saying but Carson doesn't develop a framework for dealing with a "package". It is the concept behind the terms frame and scenario that make it a useful metaphor.  

While I was out yesterday doing other things I used some idle moments to think about a metaphor that might help explain Scenarios/Frames. A metaphor that is accessible to a lot of people is found in page-layout or word-processing. Frames are like styles working with InDesign or what every you might use to create documents. Working with frames lets you define a complex semantic scenario and give it a label and store it. All you need is the label to activate the frame. In real world language use you don't always need the label. Some attributes in the definition of a frame are more or less uniquely identified with the frame so the mere mention of the attribute will be sufficient to activate the frame. For example, Synagogue might be a slot filler for the location slot in a frame titled Sabbath. By mentioning Synagogue the Sabbath frame is activated without mentioning it by name. In this particular case, the inverse is also valid. Sabbath could be a filler for the the time slot in a frame titled Synagogue. Other related  frame titles would include Torah, Rabbi, Pharisee, Scribe, etc.  

The fact that a slot filler, e.g., Sabbath in the frame Synagogue also functions as a frame title is very important for understanding how semantic relationships are modeled in a frame based approach. What you end up with as a complex network of frames connected to each other. For example a frame title Torah might be a slot filler in the Synagogue frame,  Synagogue a slot filler in the Sabbath frame, Sabbath a slot filler in the Judaism frame and so forth.  
Once again "Cognitive Frames or Scenarios are a formal approach to modeling referential complexity."  Smyth's "single notion" is fine as far as it goes but there is no structural metaphor behind it for modeling referential complexity. Carson's "package" is a little closer to what we are talking about but once again there is no systematic analytical method for doing semantics behind "package". The referent of Frame or Scenario is a systematic analytical method for doing semantics.  

Hoyle is saying something here that is important. Decades ago I worked in a big company which was only interested in making money. Several of my colleagues had been sent away and given a full year of training so that they could put these concepts to use. My work group had a full time consultant working with us daily to help us grasp and employ these concepts. These are not just idle speculations in academia.    

Elizabeth Kline
--previous post---

referential complexity: frames & scenarios:

One of the more enlightened linguist friendly NT scholars, D.Carson, is cited several times by Hoyle [1] under heading 8.2 Lexical doublets and scenarios. The citations from Carson show the difficulty that even the best Old School Grammar partitioners have when trying to discuss referential complexity. Caron uses expressions like "same thing", concept, entity, package and probably others. 

Cognitive Frames or Scenarios are a solution to this problem because they represent a formal approach to modeling referential complexity. A frame is something that can be encoded such that a computer can deal with it. It isn't some sort of vague idea like "package" or "concept". This vagueness plagues the discussion of the greek article with multiple substantives. Hoyle, in one of his more difficult to understand sections, "8.2 Lexical doublets and scenarios" sets out to restate the problem in terms of scenario theory. I had print this section so I could read it multiple times. I am still digesting it. Hoyle doesn't set out to disagree with Carson, but he uses a model that as far as I know Carson has not employed. 

An example that Hoyle cites from Carson is 

1Th. 2:12 παρακαλοῦντες ὑμᾶς καὶ παραμυθούμενοι καὶ μαρτυρόμενοι εἰς τὸ περιπατεῖν ὑμᾶς ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείαν καὶ δόξαν. 

Carson comments:

"we are not to understand that kingdom and glory are identical, but that “kingdom and glory” must be taken together as a package, in this case a package referring to the eschatological blessing comprehensively summarized by the two nouns in tandem."

Hoyle's response:

"I agree with Carson, and suggest that conjoined nouns with a single article always open up a single scenario which includes both concepts."

The difference between Carson and Hoyle is not just terminology. Carson's "package" is an ad hoc label whereas Hoyle's "scenario" points to a developed structured approach to semantic analysis. In other words, given some time and effort, the linguist can define the Scenario/Frame in a formal manner that could be used in an "expert system" (or whatever these are called now days) for dealing with NT semantics. Furthermore, the concept "scenario" once it is understood, will remove a lot of confusion from the discussion of how the greek article is used with complex referents. 

A second longer example from Hoyle p233f :

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For example, the Pharisees and Sadducees are mentioned together six times in the Gospels, all in Matthew. Only once do they have separate articles, where they are in different participant roles:

Matthew 22:34a
Οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ἐφίμωσεν τοὺς Σαδδουκαίους >>hOI DE FARISAIOI AKOUSANTES hOTI EFIMWSEN TOUS SADDOUKAIOUS<<

In all other cases they are combined as a single group, members of the main religious sects of Judaism, functioning together in the same role as “opponents of Jesus”, for example (referents bolded, evidence for combined role underlined):

Matthew 3:7: generation of vipers
Ιδὼν δὲ πολλοὺς τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων ἐρχομένους ἐπὶ τὸ βάπτισμα αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν >>IDWN DE POLLOUS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN ERCOMENOUS EPI TO BAPTISMA AUTOU EIPEN AUTOIS, GENNHMATA ECIDNWN<<

Matthew 16:1: testing, asking for a sign
Καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ Σαδδουκαῖοι πειράζοντες ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν σημεῖον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτοῖς >>KAI PROSELQONTES hOI FARISAIOI KAI SADDOUKAIOI PEIRAZONTES EPHRWTHSAN AUTON SHMEION EK TOU OURANOU EPIDEIXAI AUTOIS<<

Matthew 16:6: Beware the leaven
Ὁρᾶτε καὶ προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>hORATE KAI PROSECETE APO THS ZUMHS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<<. Matthew 16:11: Beware the leaven
προσέχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>PROSECETE DE APO THS ZUMHS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<<. Matthew 16:12: Beware the teaching
ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ τῆς διδαχῆς τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>ALLA APO THS DIDACHS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<<.

Carson (1984:85) cites Acts 23:7 as the only place this phrase τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<< occurs outside Matthew. Here again, although the following text emphasizes the dissension between the groups, they are introduced together in the same scenario role as “council members”, referring back to 23:1 “the council”. This passage contains the only other New Testament occurrences of Pharisees and Sadducees in the same verse, i.e. 23:6 and 23:8, where the two groups are explicitly contrasted.

Similarly, the scribes and the Pharisees are mentioned together 21 times in the Gospels. They are distinct in nature, one being an occupation, the other a religious sect, yet on three occasions, where there is emphasis on these people as the superreligious and hyperlegalistic types, they are conjoined:

Matthew 5:20: unless your righteousness exceeds
ἐὰν μὴ περισσεύσῃ ὑμῶν ἡ δικαιοσύνη πλεῖον τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων >>EAN MH PERISSEUSHi hUMWN hH DIKAIOSUNH PLEION TWN GRAMMATEWN KAI FARISAIWN<<

Matthew 12:38: we want to see a sign
Τότε ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ τινες τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων λέγοντες, Διδάσκαλε, θέλομεν ἀπὸ σοῦ σημεῖον ἰδεῖν >>TOTE APEKRIQHSAN AUTWi TINES TWN GRAMMATEWN KAI FARISAIWN LEGONTES, DIDASKALE, QELOMEN APO SOU SHMEION IDEIN<<.

Luke 14:3: Is it lawful?
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς νομικοὺς καὶ Φαρισαίους λέγων, Ἔξεστιν τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεῦσαι ἢ οὔ >>KAI APOKRIQEIS hO IHSOUS EIPEN PROS TOUS NOMIKOUS KAI FARISAIOUS LEGWN, EXESTIN TWi SABBATWi QERAPEUSAI H OU<<;

Matthew mentions scribes and Pharisees together in Matthew 23:2, 13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, as two distinct but known groups “the scribes and the Pharisees”, for example:

Matthew 23:2
Ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋςέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι >>EPI THS MWU+SEWS KAQEDRAS EKAQISAN hOI GRAMMATEIS KAI hOI FARISAIOI<<. Matthew 23:13
Οὐαὶ δὲ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί >>OUAI DE hUMIN, GRAMMATEIS KAI FARISAIOI hUPOKRITAI<<

One might have expected the scribes and Pharisees to be conjoined as a doublet with a single article in 23:2, since they are accused of the same sins. However, in Matthew 23:6 the Pharisees are accused separately, Φαρισαῖε τυφλέ >>FARISAIE TUFLE<< ‘Blind Pharisee’, which suggests that the two groups are not being treated as an undifferentiated whole.

All other references to scribes and Pharisees are as two groups, either both anarthrous Φαρισαῖοι καὶ γραμματεῖς, Φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι >>FARISAIOI KAI GRAMMATEIS, FARISAIOI KAI NOMODIDASKALOI<< (Matthew 15:1; Luke 5:17) or both arthrous. Here there is no set order for the two groups, i.e. Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 15:1; Mark 7:1, 7:5; Luke 5:17, 5:30, 7:30, 15:2), scribes and Pharisees (Luke 5:21, 6:7, 11:53).

The Pharisees are also mentioned with the Herodians (Mark 12:13, each noun with the article), and with the chief priests. In the latter case the order is always “the chief priests and the Pharisees” but both nouns have the article (Matthew 21:45; John 7:32, 11:47, 11:57, and 18:3) except for John 7:45 which has the one article τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ Φαρισαίους >>TOUS ARCIEREIS KAI FARISAIOUS<<. This, I propose, can be explained by the anaphoric reference to 7:32 where the two distinct groups, in cooperation, send attendants to arrest Jesus, and here those attendants report back to their senders, now conceptualized as a single group since they function together as opponents of Jesus in this paragraph.

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