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Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusion

Summary and Conclusion

In sum, the minimal discussion in grammars regarding the problematic nature of subject determination involving anarthrous proper nouns and articular nouns in Koine Greek equative clauses has now been replaced with an exhaustive cataloguing of this target cluster. However, given the tight parameters assigned to this investigation, more work remains to be done in the core case form, the nominative case. For example, the behavior of verbal ellipses with proper names and articular nouns is of particular interest. In theory, they should follow the same unmarked word order pattern of the target cluster. Another area ripe for research pertains to the relationship of the anarthrous proper noun to adjectival and participial articular substantives. Preliminary examinations indicate that they possess the same unmarked word order pattern.1 The research has yielded several helpful results and observations.

First, the analysis has shown that subject-predicate nominative (SPN) constructions involving a proper noun are very rare. The 75,918 matches examined for the period 400 B.C. to A.D. 300 yielded less than .2% instances involving proper nouns. SPN constructions involving an anarthrous proper noun and an articular noun occur even less frequently, less than .1% of the data qualified as a target cluster. This should caution exegetes from overstressing any of the observations and conclusion(s) of this study.

Second, the most common structural type employed for SPN constructions is ST3 (proper noun, verb, articular noun). This benefited my study of the exegetically and theologically significant passages because most of them are an ST3 target cluster. The data from this structural type alone is enough to confirm the presence of an unmarked (i.e., normal) word order pattern. The preponderance of this syntactical configuration across the three tenses allows one to make additional observations based on the tense of the verb. The percentages of unmarked patterns ranged from 100% in the imperfect tense to 70% in the future tense, which leads to the next observation. Third, the six syntactical configurations of the target utilize the present tense twice as many times as either of the other two tenses. The future tense consists almost exclusively of clusters involving the articular o[noma noun and the imperfect tense never deviates from normal word order, tentatively suggesting that time and aspect may limit an author’s use of the marked word order pattern. Fourth, convertible propositions are just as common as subset propositions. However, the concentration is higher for target clusters split by the verb.2

In conclusion, the analysis did in fact verify the falsifiable hypothesis. All but six of the 73 clear examples functioned with an unmarked word order pattern. The proclivity of authors to place the subject before the predicate in Koine Greek equative clauses involving proper nouns and articular nouns serves as a starting point for subject determination in analogous clauses. But exegetes are reminded that in thematically front-loaded semantic situations, the stage may be set for surprise.


1 Twenty six clusters consisting of an anarthrous proper noun and an articular participial or adjectival substantive were examined for the purpose of corroboration. As with the target cluster, the majority are ST3-P. In all but one, the first substantive was the same as or similar to the semantic subject. The majority are in the imperfect tense. Imperfect Tense = 21/26; Present Tense = 9/26; Future Tense = 0. See table two in appendix four.

2 The marked examples have a ratio of three to three and the unmarked examples have a ratio of 37 convertible to 30 subset. The percentage of convertible propositions rises and falls when viewed according to structure—ST1 = 20%, ST2 = 56%, ST3 = 62%, ST4 = 70%, ST5 = 50%, and ST6 = 37%.

Related Topics: Grammar