The Criticality of Greek Paratactic Intersentence Conjunctions (smiling)

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Denise | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Sep 30 2019 12:47 PM

I couldn't resist that terrible title.

https://www.logos.com/product/9413/sentence-conjunctions-in-the-gospel-of-matthew-kai-de-tote-gar-sun-and-asyndeton-in-narrative-discourse 

This Logos resource popped up in a thread last week-ish, on determining what meaning was derived from starting the greek sentence with a conjunction.

If you already have this book, but it looked too threatening, the first chapter is easy-going, especially to put your greek discourse analysis to improved use. I thought some might enjoy a few of the interesting points.

- Basically we're talking about the little connectors at the start of sentences (in english a no-no) such as καί, δέ, οὖν, γάρ etc

- In Matthew, 70% of all the sentences starting off this way.

- Narrative type sentences in Matthew starting off 92% of the time this way (Matthew had connective-itis).

- Looking at the issue of a synchronic approach to language (as spoken at one point in time) over a diachronic approach (across time). This author is strictly synchronic ... Barr re-stated linguistically.

- Commentaries and works on biblical theology generally showing less acquaintance with twentieth-century developments in linguistics.

And what I've always wondered, myself:

"We may wonder how Matthew could have kept all these details in his head, as he combined the various stories into one coherent narrative."

Worth a second-look anyway.


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 1:51 PM

Denise:

- Basically we're talking about the little connectors at the start of sentences (in english a no-no) such as καί, δέ, οὖν, γάρ etc

- In Matthew, 70% of all the sentences starting off this way.

Is this typical of all Greek or is this an indication of the Hebraization of the Greek?

Genuinely interested as I am a strongly diachronic in bent. Most of what I know of Greek is based on PIE.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 3:06 PM

MJ. Smith:

Is this typical of all Greek or is this an indication of the Hebraization of the Greek?

Genuinely interested as I am a strongly diachronic in bent. Most of what I know of Greek is based on PIE.

She said each greek writer varied, but spoke to the percents as the importance of multi-sentence structure (instead of Matthew in particular). Although it does seem high. Notice my sentence connector (!).

I theorize diachronic also, but for religious groups that develop a 'badge' of communication structure that is multi-generational (DSS a good example). The COC had one.  One time, I visited a COC my father preached for decades earlier, and I purposely shifted my sentences. They were visibly suspicious.

A story. When I was researching neural nets to validate authorship (greek, and then hebrew), in greek, the nets were sloppy if I retained these sentence connectors in the data. But if I stripped them, the nets could easily nail the author signature. That seemed odd, since nets are adept at dumping confusing data.  The most I could figure was the connector 're-channelled' the other information (similar to verbal stress confusing meaning). Only greek had this problem.


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 4:20 PM

Denise:
The COC had one.  One time, I visited a COC my father preached for decades earlier, and I purposely shifted my sentences. They were visibly suspicious.

You naughty girl. I did the same thing at the funeral of my eldest brother in the COC where my father was still an elder. Wink

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 9:30 PM

Interesting work.  I am wondering if Matthew’s strong sense of logical inference lingo. was due to his attempt to convince the Jews that Jesus was indeed their long-awaited Christ (?).  

I have noted Paul’s strong habit of using the same methodology—which would be intriguing in light of Matthew’s propensity to use connectors, also considering his staunch Hebraic background.

As an aside, Denise, what is a neural net?  Sounds interesting.

I also think diachronic analyses makes the best sense for linguistic research (although I CAN see the importance of synchronic research also for a particular period, e.g., Koine’-Hellenized era).

Oh, and if by COC y’all mean the movement I think you do—I have fussed with them for years and years now (even formally in polemic platform)🤪!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 9:46 PM

Puddin’:
what is a neural net?

A basic mathematical model that is the basis of much language analysis, picture recognition and certain artificial intelligence computer applications. https://skymind.ai/wiki/neural-network provides a very minimal introduction.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 9:48 PM

Puddin’:
As an aside, Denise, what is a neural net?  Sounds interesting.

Short for neural network. In theory it attempts to learn, similar to the brain, through 'neuron' connection creation. Examples are fed into the network, and it slowly learns any available patterns for later regurgitation. Since the patterns are full of variants, it places greater weights on those that are clearer (more predictive).

It's most valuable in situations with high combinatorial relations ... where normal statistics begins to fail. In the case of language, it's especially good at context. For example, it can learn what greek forms an author would normally choose in a specific context, and then highlight where the manuscript shows a deviation.

And since language patterns shift over time (diachronic), it can 'date' a writing pattern better than traditional statistical methods.

Oops ... MJ, didn't see your post!


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 10:04 PM

Denise:
Oops ... MJ, didn't see your post!

Hey, I like the contrast in our answers - you at least show him how to recognize a fish, I just tell him to go fishing. Geeked

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 30 2019 11:51 PM

MJ. Smith:

Denise:
Oops ... MJ, didn't see your post!

Hey, I like the contrast in our answers - you at least show him how to recognize a fish, I just tell him to go fishing. Geeked

Ahhh, Grasshopper, but y’all did not show him HOW to fish🙏🏼🤓!

Seriously, I will look into the link above, but this sounds like something I would love to learn how to conduct myself.

For ex. (a little off topic), the cantillation trees are VERY interesting to me, but I generally cannot follow the syntactic relationships - nor can I seem to copy-paste.  For that matter, I cannot even get them to download onto my iPad Pro (from which I conduct most of my research).

I am intending to pick writing back up the first part of next year (i.e., journal papers) and am currently conducting some preliminary tools research for formatting, diagramming, exegesis, etc.—and you two seem to really know your stuff in this vein (I read virtually every post I see of yours for this very reason).  Would really love to use cantillation trees in Kindle format for Amazon.

Sorry to hijack your thread Denise😏!  

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 1 2019 12:29 AM

Puddin’:
, but this sounds like something I would love to learn how to conduct myself.

Coursera has some introductory courses that will get you going ... textbooks were costly but the classes were free as I didn't need credit or certificate.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 1 2019 12:37 AM

MJ. Smith:

Puddin’:
, but this sounds like something I would love to learn how to conduct myself.

Coursera has some introductory courses that will get you going ... textbooks were costly but the classes were free as I didn't need credit or certificate.

Ok, will look into it.  That link was very informative.  Will definitely be digging into this soon.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 6 2019 2:28 PM

Denise:

- Basically we're talking about the little connectors at the start of sentences (in english a no-no) such as καί, δέ, οὖν, γάρ etc

- In Matthew, 70% of all the sentences starting off this way.

A Syntax Search (Cascadia) shows that 366 sentences start with a conjunction and 817 don't i.e. 31%

Another Syntax Search (Lexham Syntactic GNT) has 282 vs 687  i.e. 29%

Apart from different ideas about sentences, they agree that c. 30% of all sentences start with a conjunction; a long way from 70%!

Dave
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Windows & Android

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 6 2019 2:50 PM

MJ. Smith:

Denise:
The COC had one.  One time, I visited a COC my father preached for decades earlier, and I purposely shifted my sentences. They were visibly suspicious.

You naughty girl. I did the same thing at the funeral of my eldest brother in the COC where my father was still an elder. Wink

I've been struck in recent years by the extent to which church jargon divides us.  At times it may be used as a way of distinguishing between "us" and "them." Many times though, perhaps most of the time, I think it's something much simpler - we just don't fully understand each other.  I'm getting better at understanding more church "dialects" - attending a seminary outside my own faith tradition was a huge help in that - but I'm still amazed at times by how much of a practical barrier these dialects can be to understanding between believers who've grown up in different traditions.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 6 2019 4:27 PM

Dave Hooton:
a long way from 70%!

He included implied (ellipses)... I over-simplified. We're talking inter-sentence ... mea culpa.

Related (not from the book):

Mat 26:52 I was looking at the 2nd part of the verse, specifically what to do with most translations 'take up'. But it's arguable whether the verse is one or two sentences, relative to 'yap'. Several translations move the phrasing, while Harwood kind of grabs the double-edge sword the hard way.


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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 6 2019 4:40 PM

EastTN:
I'm still amazed at times by how much of a practical barrier these dialects can be to understanding between believers who've grown up in different traditions.

Well, there you go. 'Traditions'. A sure clue of not recognizing 'the Truth'.  Smiling and illustrating.  Every word has implications. I sure hope I don't hear organ music playing there in the background (or deeper in Tartarus, a guitar).


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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 6 2019 6:23 PM

Denise:

EastTN:
I'm still amazed at times by how much of a practical barrier these dialects can be to understanding between believers who've grown up in different traditions.

Well, there you go. 'Traditions'. A sure clue of not recognizing 'the Truth'.  Smiling and illustrating.  Every word has implications. I sure hope I don't hear organ music playing there in the background (or deeper in Tartarus, a guitar).

Actually, that's a good example of the point I'm trying to make. I'm simply trying to find the word that will be least offensive to the greatest number of people while still getting that point across. The congregations I grew up in certainly didn't describe themselves as one "tradition" among many - there was too much of a sense of our doctrinal correctness relative to the other groups around us. But whether you call the groups that Christians have organized themselves into (either formally or informally) "churches", "denominations", "faith traditions", "fellowships", "brotherhoods" or (pick your favorite term), the terms we use and the ways in which we talk about church things tends to perpetuate and deepen those separations.

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