5th PGN meeting
On April 14, 2023, the
5th meeting of the Postclassical Greek Network (PGN)
Septuagint and New Testament Greek
will take place.
The full programme can be found here. The meeting will be held online. In order to receive the Zoom link for attending the meeting, please sign up to our Postclassical Greek mailing list:
We look forward to welcoming you there!
Still at the Crossroads? LXX-Language Studies in the Twenty-First Century (T.V. Evans, Macquarie University, Sydney)
The LXX is an impressively large corpus of early Koine Greek. It ought accordingly to be a major focus of research for linguists keen on exploring the history of the language in the post-classical period. Up until recent times, however, linguists have with rare exceptions tended to avoid it. The principal reason for this common aversion has been the perception that the LXX is so heavily influenced by the underlying Hebrew (or in a few places Aramaic) that it cannot provide much or even any authentic information about the development of the Greek language.
Over the last half-century that perception has begun to change. A succession of studies have effectively contextualised the language of the LXX and closely analysed the methods of the translators. They are allowing us to establish the nature, extent, and significance of the Hebrew influence. As a result we are able to see that the LXX’s evidence is in many respects not compromised at all and has much to tell us about post-classical Greek. Important benefits are already accruing for the study both of the LXX and ancient Greek in general.
Nevertheless, much current research still relies on old tools, ignores fresh data, and fails to engage with the recent intellectual breakthroughs. Conservative LXX scholars are proving slow to embrace developments and to develop their own skill-sets in order to interpret the material constructively.
This presentation will offer an overview of the key advances in analysis of LXX language and the state of the research field in the early twenty-first century. It will also consider what might be the most promising paths towards advancing our understanding of the subject further, including the breaking down of artificial barriers between classics, LXX studies, and papyrology and epigraphy.
On participial syntax in New Testament Greek (Liana Tronci, Università per Stranieri di Siena)
This presentation focuses on two usages of the participle in New Testament Greek, which were very rare, if not totally lacking in previous stages of Greek. In both usages, the participle refers to the subject of the clause and correlates with the main verb of the clause in two different ways. In the first type, the participle belongs to a closed class (verbs of motion and posture), occurs before the main verb of the clause and is usually contiguous to it, and displays syntactic and semantic restrictions. In this type, the participle and the main verb form a morphological unit, i.e. a multiverb construction in which the participle provides deictic and/or aspectual information. In the second type of construction, the participle co-occurs with the existential-locative verb ‘be’ but does not form any morphological unit with it. In this type, the participle is the main semantic predicate of the clause, while the finite verb ‘be’ functions as a focaliser of the subject or another constituent of the clause. The co-occurrence of the finite verb ‘be’ and the participle serves the purpose of focalisation, including the presentative type.
In several studies devoted to these structures in recent years, attention was paid, on the one hand, to the influence of Semitic languages (Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic) and, on the other hand, to the registers of language in which they were used. In this presentation, I would like to explore the relation between these constructions and some structural aspects of the diachrony of Greek, such as the restructuring of the aspectual system and the differences that emerged in the informational structure in Postclassical Greek.