Linguistics

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Here's what you will find on this page:

General
Historical & Comparative Linguistics
Phonology
Morphology
Syntax
Semantics
Discourse Analysis
Blogs
Websites
Journals

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General

Black, David Alan. Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek: A Survey of Basic Concepts and Applications
This book that I wrote introduces Greek students to the field of linguistics and shows you how its findings can increase your understanding of the New Testament.
Black, David Alan. "Select Bibliography for New Testament Greek and Linguistics"
This bibliography was compiled for my doctoral seminar "Advanced Greek Grammar." Here you will find numerous resources for all areas of Greek language study.
Cottrell, Peter, and Max Turner. Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation
Elsewhere I've written, "In a sense this book could be called a popularization. It seeks to bring linguistics within the grasp of educated people in general rather than leave it in the possession of a closed and mysterious community. The authors have selected the thinkers in the field who have good judgment, and their own comments are accurate and clear as well."
Levinsohn, Stephen. "The Relevance of Greek Discourse Studies to Exegesis"
Stephen Levinsohn explores three areas (constituent order, the presence and absence of the definite article, and the significance conjunctions), which he says "tend not to be handled satisfactorily in many commentaries." This article was published in the Journal of Translation in 2006. This work is also available in Spanish here.
Palmer, Michael. A Comprehensive Bibliography of Hellenistic Greek Linguistics
Michael Palmer has developed this bibliography of works dealing with Hellenistic Greek linguistics. Many of the works he has listed are linked to in the bibliography.
Thomas, Robert L. "Modern Linguistics Versus Traditional Hermeneutics"
In this journal article, Robert Thomas challenges the emerging field of modern linguistics as it is applied to the study of biblical languages. He forcefully argues that the incorporation of modern linguistical study devolves into subjectivity and is a "hindrance to accurate interpretation of the biblical text" (pp. 44-45). He further argues that the tried and true historical-grammatical hermeneutic will produces both accurate and objective results.
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Historical & Comparative Linguistics

Joseph, Brian D. "Greek, Ancient"
This is Brian Joseph's article on Ancient Greek from the Encyclopedia of the World's Major Languages (1999) posted at Ohio State University's Department of Linguistics web site.
McCall, Betsy. "Metathesis, Deletion, Dissimilation and Consonant Ordering in Proto-Greek"
This paper examines changes that occurred in sequences of stops and sequences of nasals, including metathesis, deletion, assibilation and assimilation. Beginning with the historical, reconstructed changes of Proto-Greek, this paper follows two processes through time and examines the synchronic impact on various stages of Greek, and the status of the consonant-ordering process into the Modern language.
Palmer, Michael. A Concise Overview of the History of the Greek Language
This page offers only a very brief introduction to the basics of the history of the Greek Language.
Rydbeck, Lars. "The Language of the New Testament"
This article, written by Lars Rydbeck, was published in the Tyndale Bullentin (1998). It discusses the Greek language and how the Koine developed and how it compares to the different dialects historically.
Treat, Jay. "Differences between Classical and Hellenistic Greek"
Jay Treat discusses the differences between Classical and Hellenistic Greek. He concentrates on orthography, vocabulary, accidence, and syntax.
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Phonology

Bluedorn, Harvey. "Comparison of Greek Pronunciation Systems"
This article, written by Harvey Bluedorn, explains the reasoning behind the pronunciation he uses in his Alphabetarion. His article compares the various pronunciation systems that exist, and defends the use of the Erasmian pronunciation.
Caragounis, Chrys C. "The Error of Erasmus and Un-Greek Pronunciations of Greek"
This article, written by Chrys C. Caragounis, was pubished in Filología Neotestamentaria (1995). He discusses the origins of Erasmian pronunciation and evaluates its validity.
Palmer, Michael. "Greek Alphabet"
This page from Palmer's Greek Language and Linguistics website compares the modern, Koiné, and classical pronunciation of the Greek letters. There is audio that accompanies the explanation, and some helpful resources listed at the bottom of the page.
Streett, Daniel R. "The Great Greek Pronunciation Debate"
Streett, an advocate of the living language approach to teaching koiné Greek, blogs here about the debate over how Greek pronunciation that was held at the 2011 meeting of SBL. The two questions to be addressed were 1) how was Greek pronounced in the first century?, and 2) which pronunciation should be taught to students of biblical Greek? He summarizes the presentations and offers some thought of his own.
The Institute for Biblical Greek. "Guide to Greek Pronunciation Conventions"
This page, hosted by The Institute for Biblical Greek, gives the history of Greek pronunciation, a chart comparing the major ways of pronouncing the Greek letters, and gives external links to other websites that have resources on topics related to pronunciation.
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Morphology

Highlighting Greek Sentences
This document is a great introduction to basic morphological analysis of simple Greek sentences. It could be profitably used when introducing the case system and the second declension. It was developed by the folks at Friendly Avenue Baptist Church.
Whitacre, Rodney A. "Basic Hellenistic Greek Morphology"
This handout consists of a review of Greek Morphology, including charts of the most important forms and brief explanations. He also has a helpful one page summary, as well as a review of the third declension and a few other resources.
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Syntax

Burk, Denny. Articular Infinitives in the Greek of the New Testament
Denny Burk answers the question "What does the article contribute to the total linguistic meaning of the infinitive in the Greek of the New Testament?" This book uses modern linguistics to address the question.
Kelley, Noah. "Transformational Generative Grammar and Biblical Studies"
Noah Kelley explains Noam Chomsky's theory, how it has been utilized in biblical studies, and suggests some benefits and cautions for its use in the study of biblical languages.
Koffi, Ettien. "Logical Subjects, Grammatical Subjects, and the Translation of Greek Person and Number Agreement"
Ettien Koffi investigates the concept of "logical subject" and "grammatical subject" with respect to verbs in Greek. Examples are provided from Galatians, Thessalonians, and Colossians. This article was published in the Journal of Translation in 2005.
Levinsohn, Stephen. "Adverbial Participial Clauses in Koiné Greek"
Stephen Levinsohn begins by distinguishing adverbial participial clauses in the Greek New Testament that have the same subject as their nuclear clause from those that have a different subject. He then attempts to show that: (1) prenuclear participial clauses typically are backgrounded with respect to the nuclear clause, whereas postnuclear ones often fall within the focal domain of the nuclear clause; (2) most participial clauses make comments about topics (they have predicate focus), but some are thetic (they have sentence focus); and (3) the variations in constituent order within participial clauses are significant in understanding the text.
Levinsohn, Stephen H., and Anthony G. Pope. "τις Noun Order as an Anchoring Device in Luke-Acts"
This paper argues that the reason for the indefinite adjective preceding a head noun in the same case is to provide an "anchor" to something that already appears in the context.
McCall, Betsy. "On the Rise of Periphrasis in the Greek Perfect Medio-Passive"
Betsy McCall uses this analysis of the perfect to identify how phonological changes can impact syntax.
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Semantics

Joseph, Brian D. "On Some Control Structures in Hellenistic Greek: A Comparison with Classical and Modern Greek"
This is an essay by Brian D. Joseph in the Linguistic Discovery inaugural issue (2002). In this contribution to the historical syntax of Greek, an analysis is offered of control structures in Hellenistic Greek, tracing the transition from the Ancient Greek type to the Modern Greek type. Based on the evidence of these three stages of Greek and the developments that the language shows with regard to innovations in the form and properties of control structures, an argument is put forth in support of the view that control is not a purely syntactic phenomenon but rather derives from the lexical semantics of the predicates involved.
Robertson, A. T. Word Pictures in the New Testament
A.T. Robertson, a renowned scholar of the Greek New Testament, takes readers through the New Testament, verse by verse, painting word pictures from the Greek to bring to light the words and actions of Jesus and the early Christians. A hard copy can be purchased here.
Schenck, Ken. Word Study Tips
Schenck provides his top five word study tips (so you don't make him angry).
Silva, Moisés. Biblical Words and their Meaning
Silva's book is a helpful introduction to the concept of lexical semantics—the branch of linguistics that has to do with words and "how" they mean—geared toward the student of biblical languages. Elsewhere I've written, Moisés Silva's introduction to lexical semantics "is a retreat from the radicalism of an earlier generation of New Testament teachers that believed in 'Holy Ghost' Greek. Silva's exegetical acumen fitted him well for writing a book on lexicography. This book inveighed me into actually delving into linguistics myself, and when eventually I produced my own book on linguistics it was Silva who agreed to write the preface."
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Discourse Analysis

Dooley, Robert, and Stephen H. Levinsohn. Analyzing Discourse: A Manual of Basic Concepts
Dooley and Levinsohn have provided us with an introductory manuel for those interested in Discourse Analysis. Levinsohn advises we read the first 7 chapters of this manuel before working in his Discourse Features of New Testament Greek. Lucky for us, the book is available in .pdf format free of charge.
Guthrie, George, and Russell D. Quinn. "A Discourse Analysis of the Use of Psalm 8:4-6 in Hebrews 2:5-9"
On the heels of Stanley Porter's petition for the advances in Discourse Analysis, George Guthrie and Russell Quinn apply the method to the author of Hebrews' use of Psalm 8:4-6.
Hoopert, Daniel A. "Verb Ranking in Koine Imperativals"
Why does Paul shift between the first and second person in 1 Cor. 10:6–10? Daniel A. Hoopert suggests that the use of the different persons is to indicate an increase in marked prominence in the discourse.
Hudgins, Thomas. "An Application of Discourse Analysis Methodology in the Exegesis of John 17"
This study applies discourse analysis methodology to the study of the seventeenth chapter of John. Instead of adopting the typical three-fold division of Jesus' prayer based upon the three referents (Jesus, the immediate disciples, and future disciples), greater attention is given to Jesus' requests and final commitment, the mainline verbs. By giving more structural significance to the mainline verbs, the structural division and natural outline of Jesus' prayer become more evident.
Kelley, Noah. "Discourse Analysis and the New Testament: Introduction with Illustrations from Colossians"
In this essay, Noah Kelley gives a brief overview of the discipline of discourse analysis including definitions, concepts, schools of thought, and a tentative methodology which he demonstrates on the book of Colossians.
Levinsohn, Stephen H. Self-Instruction Materials for Discourse Analysis
The files on this page were originally created during ‘Discourse for Translation’ workshops run under the auspices of SIL International in various parts of the world. National and expatriate participants in the workshops were first taught how to analyse texts in the languages they were studying (the receptor languages), while learning how the source languages handled the same discourse tasks. These lectures have been adapted to serve as self-instruction materials for two areas of discourse analysis: narrative and non-narrative.
Lexham Discourse Greek NT | Symbols
This pdf contains an easy to use chart of 31 of the Lexham Discourse Greek NT categories and the symbols to denote those categories. This method of notation is most notably used in Steven Runge's Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament.
Black, David Alan, Katherine Barnwell, and Stephen Levinsohn, eds. Linguistics and New Testament Interpretation: Essays on Discourse Analysis
This book I edited with Katherine Barnwell and Stephen Levinsohn is an introduction to Greek discourse analysis with special emphasis on its practical application to the language of the New Testament. Part I of the book introduces some fundamental principles of discourse analysis. Part II analyzes the discourse features of selected New Testament texts.
McDill, Matthew D. "Discourse Analysis and Hermeneutics"
McDill uses Robert Thomas' article "Modern Linguistics Versus Traditional Hermeneutics" as a basis for his discussion on the role of hermeneutics in the study of discourse analysis. McDill's essay mainly consists of a point-by-point interaction with Thomas.
McDill, Matthew D. "New Testament Discourse Analysis: Definitions and Approaches"
Matthew McDill, in this essay on Discourse analysis, builds a foundation for potential students of Discourse Analysis. McDill highlights and defines the major concepts, informs us of the key players, and delineates the various schools in the field of Discourse Analysis. This is a good starting place for the novice.
McDill, Matthew D. "Methods in New Testament Discourse Analysis"
McDill picks up where he left off in "New Testament Discourse Analysis: Definitions and Approaches." In the previous essay, he provided a sketch of the various schools of discourse analysis. This essay discusses the methods and approaches used by these schools in greater depth.
Niccacci, A. "Marked Syntactical Structures in Biblical Greek in Comparison with Biblical Hebrew"
Niccacci explores the markedness of nominal clauses in both biblical Hebrew and biblical Greek. Both languages exhibit proclivities towards verb-subject-complement as normal sentence order. When this is altered, these exceptions must be further explored.
Poythress, Vern S. "Hierarchy in Discourse Analysis: A Revision of Tagmemics"
Poythress uses Mark 4:30-32 as an illustration of discourse analysis as it specifically relates to hierarchy. Poythress believes that hierarchy is "a stable starting point from which to generate later into semiotics."
Poythress, Vern S. "The Use of the Intersentence Conjunctions De, Oun, Kai, and Asyndeton in the Gospel of John"
This article was published in Novum Testamentum 26/4 (1984). Vern uses the findings of Discourse Analysis, particularly the work of Robert Longacre, to analyze John's use of those conjunctions mentioned in the title of this work.
Runge, Stephen. Publication Page
This page contains a wealth of information. Many of Steven Runge's presentations and articles can be found there. Papers included are: "The Discourse Function of Left-dislocation Constructions and their Contribution to Information Structure," "'I Want you to know...' The Exegetical Significance of Meta-Comments for Identifying Key Propositions," and "The Exegetical Significance of Prospective Demonstrative Pronouns in Luke's Gospel." This is only a sampling!
Varner, William. "A Discourse Analysis of Matthew's Nativity Narrative"
William Varner believes that the use of Discourse Analysis is capable of shedding light on Matthew's purpose in the way he structured the nativity narrative.
Varner, William. "The Main Theme and Structure of James"
Varner has published this article in the Spring 2011 Master's Seminary Journal as a work of appreciation for the ministry of Dr. John MacArthur. He argues that the discourse structure of the book of James centers on the idea "authenticity of saving faith."
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Blogs

Koine Greek: Studies in Greek Language and Linguistics
Mike Aubrey, the Greek Languages and Linguistics Moderator for B-Greek Forum, posts his thoughts and ideas on Hellenistic and koine Greek. His page "Greek Linguistics" has a number of helpful posts.
NT Discourse
Steve Runge’s blog concentrates on discourse grammar and the New Testament. While he hasn't posted since fall 2014 (perhaps busy writing something?), he has written a number of helpful things there that are still available.
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Websites

Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics Journal
Hosted by McMaster Divinity College, the Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL) is an international journal that exists to further the application of modern linguistics to the study of Ancient and Biblical Greek, with a particular focus on the analysis of texts, including but not restricted to the Greek New Testament.
Greek Language and Linguistics
In addition to tools to support learning Ancient Greek, the page provides resources to encourage the study of various forms of linguistics and their application to Ancient Greek. Their primary objective is to foster the application of research methods from the field of linguistics to the study of Hellenic and Hellenistic Greek.
OpenText.org
The OpenText.org project is a web-based initiative to develop annotated Greek texts and tools for their analysis. The project aims both to serve, and to collaborate with, the scholarly community. Texts are annotated with various levels of linguistic information, such as text-critical, grammatical, semantic and discourse features.
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Journals

Neotestamentica
"Neotestamentica is an academic journal published under the auspices of the New Testament Society of South Africa." The link above will take you to JSTOR, which will allow you to view Neotestamentica articles for free once you register for an account. you can also find articles at the African Journal Archive. The journal covers most every topic in New Testament Studies, including Discourse Analysis and other ares of Linguistic studies.