My Photo
Location: United States

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2 Thess 2:15 εἴτε δι' ἐπιστολὴς ἡμῶν (part 3)

At the end of part one of this series I raised a question:

So if we follow Hoyle[1] in 2 Th. 2:15 ... εἴτε διὰ λόγου εἴτε δι᾿ ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν both λόγου and ἐπιστολῆς would be marked as salient. I have one little problem with this. According to the traditional grammar framework nouns in prepositional phrases can be definite with out an article and furthermore nouns with possessives ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν are definite without an article. So I would ask Hoyle, is ἐπιστολῆς marked salient by being anarthrous even when a article isn't required to make it definite? I suspect the answer is "no".

As Stephen C. Carlson pointed out in a comment,  the answer should be “yes”.  On page 155 Hoyle[2] says:

if a Discourse-old and Discourse-recent item lacks the article it marks salience, and says “hey, pay special attention, even though I’m Hearer-old”. For example, Macedonia in Acts 16:10 (already mentioned in 16:9):

Διαβὰς εἰς Μακεδονίαν βοήθησον ἡμῖν
having-crossed into Macedonia help us
εὐθέως ἐζητήσαμεν ἐξελθεῖν εἰς Μακεδονίαν
immediately we-sought to-depart into Macedonia

Macedonia is a destination of God’s specific choosing. The text is explicit that the Holy Spirit prevents them from going to Asia (16:6) and to Bithynia (16:7), and Paul has a vision which he and his companions interpret as a clear call from God (16:9–10). Also Macedonia is the location of the next stretch of discourse 16:11–17:15. I, therefore, argue that Macedonia is semantically salient, and the absence of the article for this Discourse old referent marks that salience grammatically.

At this point Hoyle does not comment on the fact that Μακεδονίαν is in a prepositonal phrase. However, in apendix L page 669-689 Hoyle gives a detailed account with numerous examples demonstrating his thesis about salience and how it applies to the use of the article with place names in prepositonal phrases.

[1] Hoyle, Richard A. Scenarios, Discourse, and Translation  ©2008 SIL International, p.154.

[2] ibid, p. 155


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home