[b-hebrew] "Species" of the Genitive Waltke/O'Connor

C. Stirling Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 27 13:34:10 EDT 2004

On 8/27/04 7:13 AM, "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:

> The brand of transformational-generative grammar that I use has been calling
> for a clear separation of syntax and semantics for decades...I quite agree
> that the kind of move seen in W/O (and not just in this one category) tends
> to muddy the waters and reduce the effectiveness of their grammar project.


You are right, Chomsky '59-'65 already had this nailed down. This is not a
new idea. However, the cognitive school (Relevance Theory RT*, etc.) has
gone beyond to mostly negative statements of early-Chomsky on semantics to
fully explore the relationship between "the code" and meaning.

In the case of the genitive, the semantic payload triggered by "the code" is
non-deterministic. This payload is supplied by the instantiations of the
slots in the cognitive frame of the recipient (auditor). The RT* terms for
this are "inference" and semantic "enrichment."  This is a long way from

> Since I'm going to be team teaching a Greek class this Fall, which grammars do
> you consider "of dubious merit" on this basis?

Most of them :-)) Generally speaking quality is inversely proportional to
length. The so called "exegetical" grammars are the most linguistically
misleading. Best bet is to pick a text your students can live with and use
it critically, which I am sure you will do :-)

Clay Bartholomew 
*Blakemore, Diane. 1992. Understanding Utterances. Oxford: Blackwell.

Carston, R. 2002. Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit
Communication. Oxford: Blackwell.

Gutt, Ernst-August 1992.  Relevance Theory: A Guide to Successful
Communication in Translation, Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and
New York: United Bible Societies.

Gutt, Ernst-August 2000. Translation and Relevance: Cognition and Context ,
Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing (2 nd edition). 

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