Tyndale House Workshop in Greek Prepositions

Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Lexicography & Theology
30 June–1 July, 2017


Students and scholars of Greek have long wrestled with understanding the meaning of prepositions.

This challenge is partly the result of the centuries-old tradition in Greek lexicography of providing glosses (or translation equivalents) in the target language that fail to capture the meaning of a lexical item. Moreover, the semantics of Greek and English prepositions do not isometrically overlap, giving the misleading appearance of polysemy.

In an effort to address these challenges, this Workshop aims to approach semantic description of Koine prepositions from the perspective of cognitive linguistics and prototype theory.

Following the work of Silvia Luraghi (2003) and Pietro Bortone (2010) on Greek prepositions, there is growing consensus among scholars of Greek that the cognitive linguistic approach to meaning is the most promising way forward. Yet to date no concerted effort has been made towards applying this cognitive approach in a form that is accessible to non-specialists, which provides the occasion and motivation for our Workshop.

This Workshop will be cross-disciplinary, bringing together classicists, biblical scholars, linguists, and theologians.

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Linguists will offer an introductory overview to a metaphor-based model of cognitive semantics that will then be applied to the description of a selection of Greek prepositions on the first day (30 June). This will be followed the next day (1 July) by application of these descriptions to specific exegetical and theological issues, followed by responses from panelists representing the fields of Classics, lexicography, biblical theology, and cognitive linguistics. The workshop will conclude with a time for questions from and discussion with the audience.

Plenary Speakers

Dirk GeeraertsDirk Geeraerts
Linguistics, University of Leuven
Richrd RhodesRichard A. Rhodes
Linguistics, U.C. Berkeley
Jonathan PenningtonJonathan A. Pennington
New Testament, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Patrick JamesPatrick James
Classics, University of Cambridge
Steve RungeSteven Runge
Logos Bible Software
Randall ButhRandall Buth
Biblical Language Center

Full Schedule (PDF)


Conference registration is now closed for group class on how to make homemade sour cream from milk


Date 30 June – 1 July, 2017
Venue Tyndale House
Cost £50 Registration Fee
Housing Selwyn College, Cambridge
£72/night (incl. breakfast)

Accommodation is limited and will close on 30 May or when full, whichever is sooner. The earliest check-in time at Selwyn is 2pm on the day of arrival and latest check-out time is 9:30am on the day of departure.


Tyndale House

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