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Substantive adj. not agreeing with rel. pronoun, Phaedo 57a

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Substantive adj. not agreeing with rel. pronoun, Phaedo 57a

Postby garfield2244 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:00 pm

Hello all,

As this is my first substantive (I'm sorry, I kill myself) post at TextKit, please discipline me accordingly. That being said...

Phado 57a: τί οὖν δή ἐστιν ἅττα εἶπεν ὁ ἀνὴρ πρὸ τοῦ θανάτου;

The way I'm translating it now I have τί as a substantive, so it should read something like: "What, then, is that which the man spoke before his death?" I'm bothered, however, that ἅττα, which I think is being used as a rel. pro. without the "whatever" sense, is plural. Is this a regular usage?

Thanks for your help,

-g
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Re: Substantive adj. not agreeing with rel. pronoun, Phaedo

Postby pster » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:24 am

garfield2244 wrote:Hello all,

As this is my first substantive (I'm sorry, I kill myself) post at TextKit, please discipline me accordingly. That being said...

Phado 57a: τί οὖν δή ἐστιν ἅττα εἶπεν ὁ ἀνὴρ πρὸ τοῦ θανάτου;

The way I'm translating it now I have τί as a substantive, so it should read something like: "What, then, is that which the man spoke before his death?" I'm bothered, however, that ἅττα, which I think is being used as a rel. pro. without the "whatever" sense, is plural. Is this a regular usage?

Thanks for your help,

-g


Neuter plural nouns take singular verbs. ἅττα is neuter plural. I studied Greek for a year and a half or more before I realized I had overlooked this quirk. Presumably the neuter plural was originally thought of as a general idea. I'd like it better if Plato did't use the singular τί , but it doesn't surprise me. If you dig around in Smyth, you might find something more detailed.
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