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Postpositives with Prepositional Phrases

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Postpositives with Prepositional Phrases

Postby jaihare » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:35 pm

Just a quick question...

Do postpositives regularly break up prepositional phrases, or do they have to follow the object of the preposition?

I ask because I've run across the fact that δι᾿ ὀλίγου is not broken up. We have to write δι᾿ ὀλίγου δὲ rather than *διὰ δὲ ὀλίγου.

I wanted to write:
ἔστι μὲν ἐν Ἰσραὴλ ἀκτὴ μακρά, ἐν δὲ Μισσοῦρι (Missouri) οὔκ ἐστιν.
"In Israel there is a long seashore, but in Missouri there isn't."

First off, can δέ appear in the middle of the preposition like that?
Secondly, is there a better way to make this statement?

Thanks!

Ἰάσων τοῦ Ἰωάννου
Jason Hare
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Re: Postpositives with Prepositional Phrases

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:19 pm

They certainly don't have to follow the object. According to Kühner, postpositives frequently break up the prepositional phrase, and my own impression
is that it's regular for them do to so.

About your sentence, in case it's not a typo, it should be οὐκ ἔστιν. Also, I think it'd be more comment to have the two clauses more parallel, so ἐν μὲν Ἰσραὴλ..., ἐν δὲ Μισσοῦρι...
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Re: Postpositives with Prepositional Phrases

Postby spiphany » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:58 pm

I suspect the reason δι᾿ ὀλίγου is not broken up is because it's a fixed expression. Idioms like this will sometimes behave like a single unit, even if they're made up of multiple words. (This is purely theoretical; I'm not experienced enough composing Greek that I could say when this happens or in what expressions, I just know that it's a fairly normal linguistic phenomenon.)
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Postpositives with Prepositional Phrases

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:21 pm

I agree with spiphany's explanation. And looking up a number of such phrases like ἐπὶ πλέον or διὰ μέσου, they seem to always force the postpostive after the full phrase.
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Re: Postpositives with Prepositional Phrases

Postby jaihare » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:27 pm

Great responses all around. Thanks a lot, guys! That got to the issue.
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