Greek Word Order & “Emphatic” Pronouns

I’ve started writing this initial post on “emphatic” pronouns at least twice now. First I thought I’d begin by dealing with the problematic pronouns themselves. Then I thought that a look at the clitic pronouns might be a better place to start.

It was during the second post that I had a true break through. Something clicked that I had been trying to figure out in Greek ditransitive clauses that simply made no sense to me at all. The good news is that what I had realized about the so-called “emphatic” pronouns is far bigger than I had initially thought. The concept

that explains their usage along with the clitic forms goes well beyond this issue of emphatic vs. non-emphatic.

The bad news is that Helma Dik is wrong about Greek word order – at least partially. There’s more to it than just pragmatics. There’s also more to it than that missing cognitive element too.

To truly understand why at times we have ἐμέ and other times we merely have με, you need to be able to recognize what these following bolded pronouns have in common:

Matthew 26:73 καὶ γὰρ ἡ λαλιά σου δῆλόν σε ποιεῖ

John 6:27 ἣν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑμῖν δώσει

Acts 25:11 οὐδείς με δύναται αὐτοῖς χαρίσασθαι

And then also what theses pronouns have in common:

John 6:45 πᾶς ὁ ἀκούσας παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μαθὼν ἔρχεται πρὸς ἐμέ

Acts 7:37 προφήτην ὑμῖν ἀναστήσει ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ὑμῶν ὡς ἐμέ.

1 Corinthians 4:3 ἐμοὶ δὲ εἰς ἐλάχιστόν ἐστιν

If you can figure it out. You will then be able to explain both the vast majority of Verb-Final Ditransitive clauses in Greek, as well as the alteration between clitic and non-clitic personal pronouns.

I’ll be posting the explanation soon.

This is the sort of thing that keeps me from accepting the idea of grammatical rules or even grammatical principles. Things like this are best explained by competing parallel constraints.

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