Monday, May 1, 2017

Semantics And The Greek New Testament (Part 2)

Part 1 is available here.

AP and TWH: In this post, and in recognition of the forthcoming publication of the works of Mateos and Peláez in English, we want to set forth the methodology developed and outlined by Juan Mateos in his Método de análisis semántico aplicado al griego del Nuevo Testamento (Cordoba 1989). This is probably going to be the first time many of you have seen this described in English. That's all the more reason that we are excited about its publication and Peláez's Metodología del Diccionario griego-español del Nuevo Testamento by De Gruyter (from what we understand before the end of the year for sure).

For semantic analysis, Mateos began with determining five semantic types. These are: (1) Entity, (2) Attribute, (3) Fact, (4) Relation, and (5) Determination. He classifies lexemes associated with these types and establishes different types of semantic formulas, simple or complex, according to whether the lexemes include one or more types, distinguishing in the formulas the denoted elements from the connoted ones.

By doing this, the semantic formula is established as the point of departure for the development of the semic nucleus. According to Mateos, this intermediate step between the lexeme and its semic development allows one to know the precise realm where there semes must be found, avoiding dispersion and the danger that the analysis will remain incomplete. At the same time, when adjusting the formulas to certain paradigms applicable to various lexemes, the formation of semantic fields is facilitated.

To deduce the first nuclear semes of the formula, the author has continued the line begun with the semantic types, proposing semantic correspondences also for the grammatical categories (genre, number, mode, time, aspect, and voice). During the analysis, the semantic categories are applied to the lexematic, morphmatic, or contextual or syntagmatic level.

Comparison with related lexemes permits the determination of the specific or differential semes of each lexeme and establishes with sufficient accuracy its semic nucleus. The elements are thus obtained which compose the lexeme at the semiological level or the level of language, and using these as support, one can proceed to its definition.

Here are the steps for semantic analysis set forth by Juan Mateos:
1. Determine the semantic type to which each lexeme belongs: Entity, Attribute, Fact, Relation, or Determination. 
2. Establish the semantic formula (denotation and connotation). 
3. Develop the formula specifying the semes of each denoted or connoted semantic type. 
4. Offer an abstract definition of the lexeme. 
5. Verify the definition. Addition, substitution, or omission of semes of the lexeme in abstract = sememe or sense. 
We'll pick up here next.

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