[b-hebrew] Generation grammar and b-hebrew

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Sun Jun 20 07:02:25 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Christian" <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>
To: <dwashbur at nyx.net>
Cc: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 3:47 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Generation grammar and b-hebrew

> Hi Eric,
> in my honest opinion there is no such thing as a free word order language.
> Yes. It is true that when we compare English word order with that of Koine
> Greek then the Koine Greek does exhibit more 'freedom' in its word order.
> But just what exactly do we mean by 'freedom'. Were the composers of Koine
> Greek documents just randomly throwing out declined noun phrases? Hardly!
> There are clearly patterns which are more dominant and patterns which are
> less dominant and guided decisions were made when these documents were
> generated. We even see similar phenomenon in English, a language we 
> consider
> to not have free word order. Consider the following:

Both ancient Greek and Latin display certain combinations which rarely vary, 
such as postpositive particles and prepositional phrases, in the case of 
Greek, the placement of the article with regard to attributive or predicate 
positions.  Latin has a fairly fiixed (about 60 % of the time) prose word 
order subject-predicate-verb.  Greek doesn't really do this, but individual 
authors will often have a preferred order.  The result is that a great deal 
can be done with word order in terms of stylistic emphasis.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
(2010 Savatori Excellence in Education Winner)
Mentor, TNARS


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