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Grammatik allgemein

Abstract: Feeling down or in a tight spot? How do we know what someone means when they tell us how they feel? How could we go further and explain how emotions are understood across cultures? This article looks at three approaches—the use of physiology, of key words, and of metaphors. This is followed by a demonstration of the insights from the metaphorical approach as applied to Anglo emotions. Applying this metaphorical approach to biblical Hebrew (where there is no access to native speakers) is much more difficult than to a living language. However, application of the Cognitive Linguistics of George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, Raymond Gibbs, John Taylor and others allows the construction of a methodology to give evidence for what emotions the Hebrew authors felt. This methodology is applied to Hebrew descriptions of distress to show how such emotions are conceptualised. The article also explains how this methodology can be applied more widely, to evaluate others’ claims about how the ancient Israelites thought and felt. Finally, some implications are given in the areas of Hebrew exegesis, cultural anthropology, and for the translation of “emotional” texts.
  • Knechtges, Martin (1999): Gebrauchte Namen. [= Linguistische Dissertation zum Thema „Eigennamen“.]
Abstract: This paper presents a modification of the types of supportive information that Breeze (1992) identified for hortatory discourses as a basis for bringing out the mismatches that are most likely to occur when translating from a verb-object (VO) language to an object-verb (OV) language. Earlier sections review the factors that underlie Longacre's (1996) classification of texts into four broad categories and outline what characterizes mainline information for each genre. They are followed by illustrations of deductive and inductive reasoning from Koiné Greek and Ancient Hebrew, since deductive reasoning tends to correlate with instructional exhortations and inductive reasoning with attempts to persuade.
Abstract: At least three discourse-related areas of exegesis tend not to be handled satisfactorily in many commentaries: the order of constituents in the clause and sentence, the presence versus absence of the article with nouns, and the significance of the conjunctions used. This paper first shows how insights from the work of Simon Dik, Jan Firbas and Knud Lambrecht have contributed to our understanding of the significance of variations in constituent order. Other insights that bear on constituent order are the Principle of Natural Information Flow and the distinction between default versus marked ordering. The paper then outlines how recent insights about the presence versus absence of the article may help us to choose between alternative exegeses of the same passage. The final section shows how insights from the work of Diane Blakemore and Reboul and Moeschler have revolutionized our understanding of the most common conjunctions used in the New Testament.
Abstract: I argued in Levinsohn 2000a that Ancient Hebrew uses seemingly redundant nouns to refer to active subjects not only in connection with a change of time or location or when the speech or action performed by the subject is to be highlighted, but also to mark story development. Cross-linguistically, development may be marked on two axes: the linkage axis and/or the agent axis. Many verb-final languages mark development along both axes, as do some Bantu languages. Koiné Greek and English mark development primarily along the linkage axis by means of appropriate conjunctions. Ancient Hebrew and other Bantu languages mark development primarily along the agent axis. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these differences for translation.
Abstract: I have five goals for this paper. First, I will demonstrate the influence that the understanding of metaphor has had on the praxis of translation. Second, I will introduce and apply more recent insights in human conceptual processes, in particular those of image-schemas, conceptual metaphors and conceptual blends. Third, I will introduce optimality principles and relate them to the suggested conceptual blends. Fourth, I will present some translations of conceptual blends and then suggest optimality principles for translating conceptual blends and evaluate the translations by them. Finally, I will suggest areas that require further research. This study is exploratory and suggestive. Hopefully, readers will wish to broaden their understanding of cognitive linguistics and refine what is presented here.
  • Schwaika, Oksana (2002): Wortfeldkonzeptionen: Darstellung und Kritik am Beispiel deutscher Verben der Geldbeziehungen. [Dissertation, enthält eine recht ausführliche Darstellung der Wortfeldtheorie.]
Abstract: In this exposition I seek to provide a theoretical background to support the notion of "frames of reference" as used in contemporary Bible translation studies. I begin by presenting an overview of "frames" from the perspective of various linguistic and literary scholars as well as a number of experts in the field of communication technology. This leads to my own development of the frames approach through a specification into ten "mini-frames" that may be used in the analysis of biblical (and other) texts. I further elaborate this concept in the area of figurative language by means of the model proposed in mental space theory. My preliminary, more technical discussion is then exemplified with reference to an analysis of John the Baptist's call to "Behold the Lamb of God!" in John 1:29. Throughout this study, various applications to the theory and practice of Bible translation are made, including its organizational aspects as well as methods of subsequently communicating the translated texts of Scripture today.

Grammatik Hebräisch

Abstract: Most languages have a wide variety of strategies for communicating politeness, however these are always highly culture-specific and relate closely to broader cultural norms that affect the application of Grice’s maxims, for example.
Focus strategies include the use of greetings, modal particles, and various forms of participant reference. Typical initial greetings may take the form of wishes or blessings in biblical Hebrew but questions in West African languages (which reserve wishes and blessings for leave-taking and thanking); therefore, more literal translations may invite misunderstanding. Pragmatic particles in biblical Hebrew are often misunderstood. West African languages may lack these altogether, and so they have to resort to longer idiomatic expressions. Participant reference in biblical Hebrew may involve metaphors from service or kinship terminology; these may combine with special uses of grammatical person in honorific addressee-reference and deprecating self-reference. Some of these observations may shed light on features of the Psalms which have traditionally been read more as poetics than as pragmatics.
Indirection strategies may be employed in the form of euphemisms or Indirect Speech Acts, the most common form of which in biblical Hebrew is the rhetorical question, which may have a range of pragmatically-defined functions, though the forms may differ from those of West African languages.
The two primary biblical Hebrew verbal conjugations also have special pragmatically-defined functions, including the restriction of deontic use of qat?al (the ‘precative perfect’) to human address of God, restriction of deontic use of yiqt?ol (the ‘preceptive imperfect’) to divine address of humans, and the use of yiqt?ol in questions. West African languages may need to resort to a wide variety of strategies to express such modal nuances.
These notes raise questions as to the extent to which translators may “Africanize” the speech of actants in biblical narratives.

Grammatik Griechisch

Abstract: Participles in the Greek NT have a great variety of meanings or functions. One important meaning is to express a circumstance: the aorist tense expressing a circumstance prior to the action of the leading verb; the present tense, a circumstance concurrent to or occasionally subsequent to that of the leading verb. Unfortunately, various grammars fail to distinguish the circumstantial function from other functions. English versions of the NT likewise often render participles incorrectly. The present article seeks to clarify these distinctions and to enable the reader of the Greek NT to determine the function of the participles he encounters.
Abstract: This article proposes a cline of Greek imperativals, that is, a progressive ordering of Greek imperativals from a totally unmitigated command to a highly mitigated exhortation. It grows from a study of 1 Cor. 10:6–10. In this passage, the Apostle Paul shifts from a first person form of the verbal construction to a second person form, then to two first person forms, and finally back to a second person form. I did not find the explanations in the commentaries for these usages to be satisfactory. I accordingly propose that the use of the different persons is to be seen as part of an increase in marked prominence.
Along with the change in persons in the imperatival forms, there is a change in the imperativals themselves, going from a purpose clause to the imperative ?i´?es?e ‘be’ used with a substantive, to two uses of the hortatory subjunctive, followed by a second person imperative form of the verb. This, along with an increase in marked prominence in this passage, suggests a cline of mitigation for Greek imperativals. In the passage in 1 Corinthians, the imperativals proceed up the cline from a highly mitigated exhortation to a totally unmitigated command.
I followed material written by Neva Miller on imperativals in Romans 12, work done by Robert Longacre on 1 John, on Biblical Hebrew and on discourse in general, and work done by Ernst Wendland on 1 Peter. This article also examines an increase in marked prominence in the text in 1 Corinthians, and uses this to support the thesis of a perceived decrease in mitigation in the imperatival forms.
Included in this article in particular is the proposal that the imperative of ?i´??µa? ‘be’ plus a substantive occupies a place in a cline of imperativals below (more mitigated than) hortatory subjunctives. It also proposes that the switch from a first person form to a second person form, back to first person forms, and then to a second person form, is to be understood as a part of an increase in marked prominence. Thus, all of the imperativals in this passage can be perceived as exhortations directed to the Corinthians.
Abstract: In Greek as well as in many languages, the verb agrees with its subject in number and in person. Such an agreement is reflected morphologically on the verb through suffixation. If the subject is a compound noun phrase, that is, NP + NP, the general tendency for Greek verbs is to agree with the NP closest to them. However, agreement can also be controlled by the logical subject, or the grammatical subject, or both. The present article argues that the failure to clearly identify the controller of agreement in Greek has led to translations that are exegetically and theologically questionable. This point is proven by the analysis of three key texts from the Greek New Testament and their translation into English, French, Spanish, and a number of African languages. The passages studied in this article are Galatians 1:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 and Colossians 2:1–2.