Volume 7 (2018)
Paul L. Danove
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
This article develops five features that describe the conceptualizations of the event of communication grammaticalized by New Testament verbs and uses these features to formulate a model of the observed New Testament usages of communication. The discussion resolves all NT occurrences of verbs that designate communication into one of twenty-one usages with distinct feature descriptions, offers guidelines for interpreting and translating verbs with each usage, and clarifies elements of the conceptualization of communication in relation to specific examples. (Article)
Keywords: Feature, communication, semantic, syntactic, verbal usage
Nicholas P. Lunn
Wycliffe Bible Translators, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK
The following aims to provide something lacking in the field of New Testament Greek studies, which is an overview of the various forms in which the logical relation of contrast may be realized in the surface structure of the language. Here seven distinct categories are described, illustrated, and differentiated, with regard to both their inherent relation and their respective connectors. Variations, where such exist, within each basic category are included, along with any sub-categories. A final section demonstrates the relevance of the presentation for the related tasks of translation and exegesis, offering analyses of several texts where there has been some confusion or misunderstanding with respect to the contrasting relation. (Article)
Keywords: Concession, replacement, exception, connector, translation
John J.H. Lee
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Ruqaiya Hasan’s Cohesive Harmony Analysis (CHA) is a useful tool to quantifiably predict the degree of the reader’s perception of the coherence of an English text. This work adopts and reconfigures her ideas to make them applicable to ancient Greek texts. This article then applies the modified version of Hasan’s CHA to investigate and compare the degrees of the perceived coherence of two family letters written in the second century AD. Based on the textual analyses, the conclusion is drawn that CHA is a promising tool to quantifiably predict the degree of coherence of ancient Greek texts. (Article)
Keywords: Cohesion, coherence, cohesive tie, cohesive chain, cohesive harmony analysis, ancient Greek
Ryder A. Wishart
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This paper explores linguistic monosemy and the methodological priorities it suggests. These priorities include a bottom-up modeling of lexical semantics, a corpus-driven discovery procedure, and a sign-based approach to linguistic description. Put simply, monosemy is a methodology for describing the semantic potential of linguistic signs. This methodology is driven by the process of abstraction based on verifiable data, and so it incorporates empirical checks and balances into the tasks of linguistics, especially (though not exclusively) lexical semantics. This paper contrasts lowest common denominator and greatest common factor methodologies within biblical studies, with three examples: (a) Porter and Pitts’s analysis of the semantics of the genitive within the Greek case system in regard to the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate; (b) disagreement between Ronald Peters and Dan Wallace regarding the Greek article; and (c) the Porter–Fanning debate on the nature of verbal aspect in Greek. Analysis of the Greek of the New Testament stands to benefit from incorporating the insights of monosemy and the methodological correctives it steers toward. (Article)
Keywords: Linguistic modeling, minimalism, traditional grammar, Saussure, Columbia School, semantics
Stanley E. Porter
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
In this paper, I revisit the question of the aspectual nature of the imperative, or rather, examine the aspectual nature of imperatives and some other forms that function alongside the imperative as forms of command and prohibition. I divide my comments into three sections: imperatives and the Greek mood system, verbal aspect and the imperative, and some abiding issues— three in particular—that continue to be raised, despite the discussion that has transpired over the last nearly thirty years. (Article)
Keywords: Imperative, aspect, mood, frequency
Joseph D. Fantin
Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX, USA
Compared to other grammatical phenomena, the Greek imperative mood has received minimal attention. This article will explore and evaluate the traditional approach to the meaning and usages of this mood. These having been found deficient, an alternate approach will be proposed. The imperative mood will indeed be found to mean “command”; however, a “command” can be understood as harsh and inappropriate in certain relational situations. It will be discovered that communicators use various strategies to nuance and in some cases weaken the force of the “command” depending on the intended purpose of the imperative and the relationships of the participants in a communication situation. Thus, degree of force is one way (among others) to classify an imperative. (Article)
Keywords: Imperative mood, command, neurocognitive stratificational linguistics, relevance theory
James D. Dvorak
Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, OK, USA
This article discusses the semantics of the imperative mood (directive attitude) in biblical Greek. The author leads into this discussion by first defining “semantics” (meaning) from the perspective of two major interpretive paradigms that are operative in current linguistic studies of biblical Greek: the logical-philosophical paradigm, which undergirds Chomskyan linguistic theory, and the ethnographic-descriptive paradigm, which lies behind Hallidayan Systemic Functional Linguistics. The semantics of the imperative mood is then discussed from each of these perspectives, and it is argued that an SFL approach to the imperative is the most linguistically defensible. Examples are provided from the New Testament. (Article)
Keywords: Systemic functional linguistics, SFL, context, context of culture, context of situation, semantics, directive attitude, imperative mood, command