Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More on grammar and diagramming

I have posted previously on sentence diagramming (here and here), and still more possibilities have emerged.

Jim McDaniel, as part of a thread on the Logos newsgroup, has given me permission to post a view of how he diagrams using MindManager.

It has some limitations, but Jim has found a way that is helpful to him. As he and other have regularly noted, however, one problem with diagramming is that obscures the original word order. One simple solution I have used (and Robert Pavich on the Logos newsgroup indicates that Bill Mounce does something similar) is simply to set out the text in order, use line breaks to organize, and then indent the text to show various components. Here is the example I used earlier, Mark 6.34:

The idea is to keep subject and verb (which I bolded) to the left and indent subordinate elements. This is a quick way to see that the participle at the start is only providing a circumstance for the primary action.

Mike over at εν εφέσω has been thinking about this stuff a lot, especially from a linguistic perspective. I'm working through quite a few of his posts, but check out this one on "Working through Ephesians 4 Redux" where he deciphers a particular difficult passage, Ephesians 4.16. He offers a couple possibilities, but here is what one of them looks like. (This is a direct link to his site. Click to enlarge.)

This looks rather complicated, but there is good sense to it, and it does preserve word order.

What we may all really be hoping for is something that Steve Runge described recently on the Logos Bible Software Blog where he discusses a work in progress, the Lexham Discourse New Testament and the companion Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. What does it do?

It catalogs and graphically identifies all occurrences of a specific set ofdevices, like backgrounding, that the biblical writers used, but which arelargely invisible without knowledge of Greek.
It will be very interesting to see what this looks like.

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