Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: tc-list Syriac and the Greek Article +

Expand Messages
  • Valentin Jean
    ... To Gary Dykes and Pete Williams. Back home after a busy week-end I have read your posts and feel I have to add a few remarks. I agree with Mr Williams for
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 31, 1969
    • 0 Attachment
      >I agree with you, Syriac can elicit a
      >type of determination, it is Valentin who must respond to our observations.

      To Gary Dykes and Pete Williams.

      Back home after a busy week-end I have read your posts and feel I have to add a few remarks.
      I agree with Mr Williams for the fact that, even though the emphatic state alone is not sufficient in Syriac to express determination, phenomena like those he alludes to exist and are correctly interpreted by him. I would nevertheless observe that the adjunction of a "hw" corresponding to the Greek article is much more frequent in litteralistic translations, like the Harklean of the NT, than in more idiomatic translations like the vetus syra - the peshitto holding an in-between position. I can't speak for the Old Testament books as I almost exclusively work on the Gospels: Mr Williams probably will probably know studies which have been done for the OT, which aim at demonstrating the variety of translation techniques and the different degrees of revision for each book. I have here a book on the Peshitto of II Samuel which begins by a survey of such studies.

      This said, I think I should place this discussion on determination and indetermination in the context in which it originated. Mr Dykes and I had this discussion (part of which was off-line, and that's probably why we have to come back to the context) because we were talking about my work on an Arabic version of the Gospels. One of the characteristics of that version is that it shows traces of being translated from Syriac, one of which traces is the fact that it quite often disagrees with the Greek as to the determination/indetermination of nouns. This feature - and others about which we might talk if Mr Dykes and/or Mr Williams are interested - forced me to try to find an explanation. Why is this Arabic version in disagreement with the Greek in so many passages? Why has it an article where Greek doesn't, and conversely? My hypothese was that it was translated, not directly from Greek, but from another language in which the expression of determination and indetermination was le!
      ss precise, due for example to the lack of an article. Two candidates are theoretically possible: Latin and Syriac. Of course, as we are in the East _and_ as there are other features which Syriac explains while Latin doesn't, I chose to work on the Syriac hypothesis. And I repeat: this is only one of the features that led me to developing that scenario for the origins of my Arabic version. By the way - but just by the way - it is the same feature that leads me to think that the Hebrew version of Matthew of Ms Paris hebrew 132 (the so-called Du Tillet ms) was translated from Latin.

      This is the proper context in which to understand our discussion on determination and indetermination in Syriac. I would add that, when coming to the variants, those lead me clearly to an Old Syriac type, even to one that was more "western" and "harmonized" than the two Old Syriac mss that we have (sys and syc). This is another story, except for the fact tha tthe Old Syriac version is much more idiomatic that the later, scholarly and hellenizing versions in which it is quite evident that the phenomena signalled by Mr Williams are often pushed into the extreme. Even several Syriac liturgies seem to have been translated from Greek in this Harklean-like style - I remember having met, in such texts, with several examples of "hw" used apparently as an article in such texts, or, to name another characteristic of translation Syriac, even the preference for the separate possessive adjective (dhil-) instead of the possessive suffix, which is also met in the Harklean version of the NT.

      I hope that with all this I have made it clear what aspect of determination and indetermination interest me in Syriac. Perhaps I stated too boldly that "Syriac cannot express..." the nuances expressed by the absence or presence of an article in Greek and I understand that such a general statement is in fact wrong when we study translation Syriac. It is indeed correct, I think, to state that generally, the emphatic state in Syriac doens't express determination like it does, for example, in Syropalestinian where the difference between absolute and emphatic state is clearly that between indetermination and determination. This was, in fact, my point. Syropalestinian clearly expresses determination in that way. Syriac, on the other hand, has to use several devices to indicate determination in a "Vorlage", in the extent that we are dealing with a translator whose preoccupation is to be grammatically precise and literal. But this preoccupation of Syriac translators seems, at least fo!
      r the NT (what about the OT, Mr Williams? Have you noticed a similar trend?) to be growing with time as we go from the quite free Old Syriac to the literalistic Harklean, in which the translator aims at rendering every detail of the Greek.

      I would like to continue that discussion. I think it is useful to many of us to answer to this question: how does one recognise the language of a "Vorlage"? What method should we use in order to reconstruct the history of a version: was it translated directly from Greek, or through the intermediary of another version? These are the questions that interest me the most for the work I'm doing, and I 'm sure that, while working on 1 Kings in the Peshitta, Mr Williams had also to ask himself such questions. Is it enough to study the variants? Can't this be misleading? What characteristics of the source language can influence the target language?

      I stop here for today and feel it's time to apologise for that long post!

      Jean V.

      _______________________________________________________________
      Dites-le avec des mots. Ca coƻte moins cher.
      _______________________________________________________________
      Jean Valentin - 34 rue du Berceau - 1000 Bruxelles - Belgique
      e-mail : jean.valentin@... / skavoovee@...
      _______________________________________________________________
    • Mr. Gary S. Dykes
      J. Valentin asked that I more forcibly state that the Syriac does NOT possess an article, nor means of direct determination (as does the Hebrew and Arabic).
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 22, 1999
      • 0 Attachment
        J. Valentin asked that I more forcibly state that the Syriac does NOT
        possess an article, nor means of direct determination (as does the Hebrew
        and Arabic). Earlier I postulated (incorrectly) that the "emphatic state" in
        Syriac can show or indicate the presence of an original Greek article.

        However, I suspect that it is true that when a Greek article is present in
        the underlying Greek original, that no other state is used in the Syriac,
        other than the emphatic. But again this is no assurance that an article is
        present as the emphatic state is the usual state used in Syriac.

        In my work in I Corinthians, I have found an instance in which the Syriac
        scribes did attempt to render a Greek article. In I Corinthians 1:11, we
        have the Greek UPO TWN XLOHJ, which would be "via (primary source) those
        of Chloe" or "by those from Chloe". A genitive, and in Indo-European
        senses, an agentive-genitive, which can include possession, definition or
        description, source, et cetera.

        At any rate, the Syriac, and only the Syriac (as my research thus far shows)
        translates the above as "from house of Chloe". Obviously they interpolated
        the article (which they recognized as a type of demonstrative pronoun here).
        Basically they still did not illustrate an article precisely, but they did
        reflect a function of a Greek article, and this particular function is not
        truly as a determiner. Just thought I would throw this out.

        Additionally, I need to upgrade my percentage of errors in Dr. Swanson's
        work (see the URL link below). He has a higher rate in the fragmentary
        materials; (than what I earlier boasted about), and in his minuscule
        citations, my examination thus far, shows about 2 errors per MS per chapter
        of text. Equating to (for example) 120 errors per chapter -- if 60 MSS are
        used. This is only a preliminary estimate at this stage, as the list of
        errors is in its very early stages.

        at your service,
        Mr. Gary S. Dykes
        visit this site:
        http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/yhwh3in1/
      • Pete Williams
        ... I find myself disagreeing with the idea that Syriac has no means of expressing determination. In my research on the Peshitta of 1 Kings I found that the
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 22, 1999
        • 0 Attachment
          > J. Valentin asked that I more forcibly state that the Syriac does NOT
          > possess an article, nor means of direct determination (as does the
          > Hebrew and Arabic). Earlier I postulated (incorrectly) that the
          > "emphatic state" in Syriac can show or indicate the presence of an
          > original Greek article.

          I find myself disagreeing with the idea that Syriac has no means of
          expressing determination. In my research on the Peshitta of 1 Kings I
          found that the Peshitta has a number of ways of expressing determination.
          It may add a demonstrative where none is in its Vorlage. This entails a
          degree of determination. Furthermore, the systems of agreement pronouns
          in

          bayteh d-gabra' = 'the house of the man'

          kul(l)eh bayta' 'all the house'

          qatleh l-gabra' 'he killed the man'

          all mark determination determination to some extent.

          > However, I suspect that it is true that when a Greek article is present
          > in the underlying Greek original, that no other state is used in the
          > Syriac, other than the emphatic. But again this is no assurance that an
          > article is present as the emphatic state is the usual state used in
          > Syriac.

          I would entirely agree that the translators of NT Peshitta did not
          consciously try to imitate the use of the definite article in Greek. In
          fact, even the Syro-hexapla did not attempt to do this. However, there
          may be some cases where the translators give away whether they read the
          Greek phrase as semantically definite, and thereby we can have some sense
          of what they read in their Vorlage. However, such retroversion needs to be
          handled with greater care than has been done in NA27.

          Best regards,

          Pete

          --------------------------------------
          Dr Pete Williams, Research Fellow *
          Tyndale House, Cambridge, CB3 9BA *
          emoi gar to zen Christos *
          kai to apothanein kerdos - Phil 1.21 *
          --------------------------------------
        • Maurice A. Robinson
          On Fri, 22 Oct 1999 00:31:28 -0700 Mr. Gary S. Dykes ... errors per MS per chapter of text. Equating to (for example) 120 errors per chapter -- if 60 MSS
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 22, 1999
          • 0 Attachment
            On Fri, 22 Oct 1999 00:31:28 -0700 "Mr. Gary S. Dykes"
            <yhwh3in1@...> writes:

            >Additionally, I need to upgrade my percentage of errors in Dr. Swanson's
            >work . . . .

            >in his minuscule citations, my examination thus far, shows about 2
            errors per MS >per chapter of text. Equating to (for example) 120 errors
            per chapter -- if 60 MSS
            >are used. This is only a preliminary estimate at this stage, as the list
            of
            >errors is in its very early stages.

            Examples please!

            The quantity of errors claimed seems unduly high. Should this be correct
            (and I have not tried to verify it with the minuscules), then Swanson
            actually would come off far worse than the percentage of errors in
            Comfort/Barrett. If such errors exist in quantity, they need to be
            verified and corrected quickly; else there will not only be a problem in
            any use of Swanson as a source, but Baker would seriously err in picking
            up a book which might have even worse problems than appeared in the
            Comfort/Barrett book.

            In my own use of Swanson, where I have verified against photographs
            (mostly uncials, but with some minuscules in selected portions), the
            errors have been extremely few. It would be helpful to know what type of
            errors are being found, whether they appear in the main text or
            apparatuses, and how these might impact the text or attestation by the
            MSS transcribed therein. Please provide some samples which can perhaps
            be checked by someone on the list.

            ==============================================
            Maurice A. Robinson
            Professor of NT and Greek
            Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
            Wake Forest, North Carolina.

            ___________________________________________________________________
            Get the Internet just the way you want it.
            Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
            Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.
          • Mr. Gary S. Dykes
            ... Perhaps you did not read my whole message, nor the earlier posts betwixt myself and J. Valentin. In the post you quote, I do show an instance wherein the
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 22, 1999
            • 0 Attachment
              Dr. Pete Williams wrote, in part:
              > I find myself disagreeing with the idea that Syriac has no means of
              > expressing determination. In my research on the Peshitta of 1 Kings I
              > found that the Peshitta has a number of ways of expressing determination.
              > It may add a demonstrative where none is in its Vorlage. This entails a
              > degree of determination. Furthermore, the systems of agreement pronouns
              > in
              >
              > bayteh d-gabra' = 'the house of the man'
              >
              > kul(l)eh bayta' 'all the house'
              >
              > qatleh l-gabra' 'he killed the man'
              >
              > all mark determination determination to some extent.


              Perhaps you did not read my whole message, nor the earlier posts betwixt
              myself and J. Valentin. In the post you quote, I do show an instance wherein
              the Syriac DOES attempt to render a function of the Greek article. So the
              question is -- what value is your "disagreement"? You may also want to
              define your use of "determination". I agree with you, Syriac can elicit a
              type of determination, it is Valentin who must respond to our observations.
              But I do have one question in your samples above, why not "he killed a
              man"???


              at your service,
              Mr. Gary S. Dykes
              visit this site:
              http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/yhwh3in1/
            • Pete Williams
              Hi Gary, Sorry, as a new to tc-list I had not followed the earlier thread. My problem with your message was its denial of a means of direct determination. As
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 25, 1999
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Gary,

                Sorry, as a new to tc-list I had not followed the earlier thread. My
                problem with your message was its denial of a means of direct
                determination. As we both agree Syriac can render the Greek def. art. in
                some cases, witness not only your 1 Cor. 1:11 example but also the Luke 3
                genealogy, which in P goes *bar A bar B bar C* etc. but the Greek uses
                *tou*. Similarly P has explicitly the 'WIFE of Uriah' in Matt. 1:6.

                > You may also want to define your use of "determination".

                I work with 'presumed identifiability by the text recipient' and, of
                course, acknowledge that determination admits degrees, so that the Syriac
                construction *breh d-X* 'son of X' does not necessarily involve complete
                identifiability since X may have had more than one son. My point is that
                with the Agreement Pronouns in Syriac, one of the main functions of these
                in the language is to provide an element of determination, which is not in
                any way to preclude their serving an anaphoric function. I guess therefore
                I am using the term 'determinate' as a semantic category.

                > But I do have one question in your samples above [qatleh l-gabra - PJW],
                > why not "he killed a man"???

                Joosten (** below, p. 40) says of *qatleh l-X* in Matthew's gospel 'This
                type is attested only (with one doubtful exception -- 1:25C) with a
                definite object'. C = Curetonian of Old Syriac. In discourse *qatleh l-X'
                is usually used when X has been mentioned previously, and thus is more
                identifiable. More evidence is needed before we can conclude that this
                construction could occur with an indeterminate object.

                **Joosten, Jan

                The Syriac language of the Peshitta and Old Syriac versions of Matthew:
                Syntactic structure, inner-Syriac developments and translation technique

                Leiden: Brill, 1996, xii,219p; 25cm.

                [Series title: Studies in Semitic languages and linguistics; 22]


                With very best wishes,

                Pete

                --------------------------------------
                Dr Pete Williams, Research Fellow *
                Tyndale House, Cambridge, CB3 9BA *
                emoi gar to zen Christos *
                kai to apothanein kerdos - Phil 1.21 *
                --------------------------------------
              • Pete Williams
                ... There have not been many studies trying to synthesise Syriac translation technique as a whole in the OT. There are a couple of unpublished doctoral theses
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 26, 1999
                • 0 Attachment
                  Jean Valentin wrote:

                  > I can't speak for the Old Testament books as I almost exclusively work
                  > on the Gospels: Mr Williams probably will probably know studies which
                  > have been done for the OT, which aim at demonstrating the variety of
                  > translation techniques and the different degrees of revision for each
                  > book.

                  There have not been many studies trying to synthesise Syriac translation
                  technique as a whole in the OT. There are a couple of unpublished doctoral
                  theses on the subject:

                  Iddo Avinery, Syntaxe de la Peshitta sur le Pentateuque (in Hebrew),
                  Jerusalem, 1973.

                  P. J. Williams, Studies in the Syntax of the Peshitta of 1 Kings,
                  Cambridge, 1997.

                  Sections of Avinery's thesis appear as articles in English, French and
                  Hebrew (11 in total) in the 1970s and early 80s.

                  As to whether Syriac translation technique for the OT develops over time,
                  it is more difficult to construct a chronology than for NT translations.
                  The late M. P. Weitzman in _The Syriac version of the Old Testament_, CUP,
                  1999, constructs an internal chronology for the translation of various
                  books of the OT Peshitta, but in his reconstruction, earlier books are
                  'conservative' and later ones 'modern', where 'conservative' may be
                  characterised by more etymological lexical equivalents in translating the
                  Hebrew, and 'modern' by more idiomatic Syriac. This spreads roughly from
                  AD 150-200 according to him. Thus, according to Weitzman's theory, the
                  tendency to literalism is different at the earlier stage than say the time
                  of the NT translations (though dates of OT and NT Syriac translations can
                  be debated easily). Having said that Weitzman's approach is much more
                  lexical than, say, that of S. P. Brock (OCA 221, pp. 1-14), who, if I
                  remember rightly, observes an increase with time in syntactical
                  literalism, but bases this mainly on NT translations.

                  Best wishes,

                  Pete

                  --------------------------------------
                  Dr Pete Williams, Research Fellow *
                  Tyndale House, Cambridge, CB3 9BA *
                  emoi gar to zen Christos *
                  kai to apothanein kerdos - Phil 1.21 *
                  --------------------------------------
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.