Monday, June 29, 2015

λαλέω (LALEW)-A Few Remarks on Speaking

I remember seeing the verb form EIPON come up every now and again while studying Homer. The work "Homeric Vocabularies" (compiled by William B. Owen and Edgar J. Goodspeed) provides the gloss: "spoke, said" for EIPON. BDAG (as usual) also has a helpful entry for LALEW:

"In older Gk. usu[ally] of informal communication ranging from engagement in small talk to chattering and babbling, hence opp. of LEGW; in later Gk the trend, expressed esp. in the pseudepigr. and our lit., is toward equation with LEGW and broadening of earlier usage" (582).

From a historical or diachronic point of view, LALEW appears in the writings of Sophocles. In Jn 12:49, it could mean to speak or express oneself (an act), though it might refer to the content of speaking. See BDAG 583.

Moulton-Milligan also contains these comments based on the ancient papyri:

"The above exx. all bear out the usual distinction that, while LEGW calls attention to the substance of what is said, the onomatopoetic LALEW points rather to the outward utterance . . . With LALEW, 'I make known by speaking' with the further idea of EXTOLLING, as in Mt 26:13 al., cf. the inscr. with reference to a mother and brother-hWN KAI hH SWFROSUNH KATA TON KOSMON LELALHTAI (Archiv v. p. 169, No. 24:8). M Gr LALW (-EW), 'speak.'"

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