CanIL EWP Volume 3 2017
Click on an article below to view a link to download a PDF version as well as view the abstract.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between tense and aspect? Did you know that linguists distinguish between grammatical aspect and lexical aspect? Ever been confused as to why someone can stare at a bomb for 10 minutes and defuse it in 2 minutes, but not stare at a bomb in 10 minutes and defuse it for 2 minutes? Let Aktionman explain as we follow him on a mission to defuse a bomb!
Keywords: aspect, state, activity, accomplishment, achievement, semelfactive, bomb
Some interpretations of the Tower of Babel story convey diverse languages as the result of God’s punishment for humanity’s pride. Along with variations of this story found in other cultural mythologies, an underlying archetype exists that casts diverse languages as an outcome of disobedience or the fall of humanity — a hindrance to be overcome. This unconscious paradigm permeates many aspects of Bible translation ministry including our recruitment messaging for personnel and funding, and how we operate and interact with one another as we carry out this ministry. Linguists and Bible translators often exist in dissonance with this archetype, seeing diverse languages not as God’s rod of discipline, but as a rich expression of God’s creation and an opportunity to communicate the heart of God.
In this paper, I articulate a theology of languages, starting in Genesis where we examine God’s invitation to enter into covenant through the gift of language. We examine the evidence and propose an interpretation of Babel that God intended diverse languages from the beginning as a means to express aspects of creation, the Creator and our diverse experiences and understandings in the covenant between humanity and God. We show how this is affirmed in the Gospels and Acts and then consummated fully in the book of Revelation. Having dismantled the unconscious punishment archetype, we then examine how an intentional and conscious application of seeing diverse languages as God’s blessing enhances how we relate to languages, to one another, and to God, as the body of Christ gives testimony and carries out the ministry of Bible translation.
Keywords: missiology, Babel, origin of languages, language diversity, Genesis 11
Nicolle, Steve. Sequentiality and conditionality as temporal and logical contingency: Clause combining in Digo (Bantu E.73)
In the eastern Bantu language Digo, clauses that describe sequential events contain the verbal prefixes chi or ka in each clause that follows the initial clause. In an interesting case of isomorphy, the same verbal prefixes chi or ka occur in the protasis (the if-clause) of reality and predictive conditional sentences (hypothetical and counterfactual conditionals are marked with a different construction). I argue that the verbal prefixes indicate that there is a contingent relation between two clauses, whilst the syntactic frame in which these morphemes occur determines whether this contingency is temporal or conditional in nature.
Keywords: Bantu, conditionals, consecutive, sequential, clause combining