Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anaphora in Mark 11:2, and other fun with transference

Paul Danove in Filología Neotestamentaria(pdf):

In usages of transference, the verbs’ three required arguments receive lexical realization as their three required syntactic complements. Koine grammar, however, provides three mechanisms that permit the omission of one or more of these complements in specific circumstances. First, Anaphora permits the omission of one, two, or all three syntactic complements when the context specifies their definite semantic content. Such “definite null” complements are bracketed in the concluding clause of the following example:

Go into the town opposite you, and immediately on entering into it you will find tied a colt on which no human being ever sat: untie it and [you] bring [the colt] [to me / Jesus] (Mark 11,2)

῾Υπάγετε εἰς τὴν κώμην κατέναντι ὑμῶν, καὶ εὐθὺς εἰσπορευόμενοι εἰς
αὐτὴν εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς οὔπω ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν·
λύσατε αὐτὸν καὶ φέρετε.

Second, Passivization permits the omission of the Agent complement even when its definite semantic content cannot be retrieved from the context. Such omissions, however, introduce the possibility of polysemy or multiple interpretations. This receives further consideration below. Third, Generalization permits the omission of a Theme complement whose definite semantic content is not specified in the context and
assigns to such “indefinite null” Theme complements the general but circumscribed interpretation, “whichever entities that appropriately may be transferred in the manner designated by the verb”:

And I will give to each of you [what is appropriate] according to your works (Rev 2,23)

καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν.

Paul Danove, "Verbs of Transference and Their Derivatives of Motion and State in the New Testament: a Study of Focus and Perspective." Filología Neotestamentaria, Vol.19(2006) 53-71

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