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Saturday, August 29, 2009

constituent order & textual cohesion in 2Cor 5:1

This morning while I was reading Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians when I happened upon some fronted accusatives in 2Cor 5:1:

2Cor. 5:1 Οἴδαμεν γὰρ ὅτι ἐὰν ἡ ἐπίγειος ἡμῶν οἰκία τοῦ σκήνους καταλυθῇ, οἰκοδομὴν ἐκ θεοῦ ἔχομεν, οἰκίαν ἀχειροποίητον αἰώνιον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

2Cor. 5:1 ¶ For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [NRSV]

My question: What should we make of the clause initial OIKIADOMHN οἰκοδομὴν and OKIAN οἰκίαν?

Perhaps calling OKIAN οἰκίαν ... a clause will bother some people, perhaps we should say that it might be analyzed as a deep structure clause. Even that will bother some people. Let's do and end run on that one and just look at clause initial OIKIADOMHN οἰκοδομὴν. What can we say about the position of this word?

I'm thinking about it ....

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Anonymous Mike Aubrey said...

hmmm, the very concept of "Topic" itself is significant for textual cohesion above the clause level. I'd suggest you go back through Dik's book. Fronted Topics (and for Dik all Topics are "fronted") by definition influence the cohesion of a text.

12:11 PM  
Blogger C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Hi Mike,

Fancy meeting you here. I decided to omit the comments on H.Dik and just focus on the issues. We can talk about H.Dik's treatment later if you like.

greetings, CSB

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Mike Aubrey said...

Regarding οἰκοδομὴν, its fronted to increase its saliency as contrastive Focus with the other kind of house: ἡ ἐπίγειος ἡμῶν οἰκία τοῦ σκήνους.

As for οἰκίαν ἀχειροποίητον αἰώνιον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, that's a bit harder. I'd say its a appositional phrase to restrict the referent of οἰκοδομὴν ἐκ θεοῦ.

3:59 PM  

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