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Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

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Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby garfield2244 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:09 am

Hello all,

Phaedo 58a:

οὐδὲ τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης ἄρα ἐπύθεσθε ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο;

The way I have it now is "And, [concerning] the matters of the trial, have you not learned [by inquiry] in which way it happened?" What's bothering me is the use of the relative pronoun in ὃν τρόπον. I know that the intent of the phrase is "the way in which," it being the adverbial accusative and all, but somehow my brain is very bothered by the use of a relative pronoun without any antecedent, explicit or implicit. It seems like there can't really be one, because you just can't make a phrase like that. What would you say? "In the way--in which way it happened" or something like that? I realize that this might just be a usage in Greek, but I want to know if anyone else is bothered by it, and if there is a simple explanation.

Thanks again,

-g.
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby NateD26 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:24 pm

Your translation is a bit off. You take τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης as if it weren't the direct object
of ἐπύθεσθε but as a paraphrisical perpositional phrase.

However, you are correct in wondering the role of ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο in the sentence.
In Wilhelm Wagner's commentary, you can see that τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης ἐπύθεσθε is "complete in itself"
to which ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο is added as an additional explanation, strengthened by the 1966 translation
at Perseus: Did you not even hear about the trial and how it was conducted?

I think then that the order is οὐδ' ἄρα ἐπύθεσθε τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης (καὶ) τρόπον ὃν [τοῦτον ὃς]
ἐγένετο; since grammatically, ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο doesn't seem to work.

Another point to discuss is why the prep. phrase within the direct object came in genitive and
not the usual accusative. According to another commentary I cannot find right now, it is attracted
to ἐπύθεσθε which takes genitive in this meaning.
Nate.
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby garfield2244 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:03 pm

Nate,

Thank you for your reply. You are right that I construed τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης that way, and that I did so out of concern for the sentence order. My only question is, out of sheer ignorance and not the least bit of presumptuosness: how do you know that it's incorrect? Regarding the Loeb translation (which is the one on Perseus), I don't think too much can be taken from it in terms of a literal breakdown of the Greek. My translation, as you saw, was quite awkward, and it is classic Loeb to go and write something much easier on the eyes. See, for instance, their translation of the preceding paragraphs.

As to the bit from Wagner, all he says is that it is complete within itself, and unrelated to ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο, which he presumably is doing in order to emphasize that ὃν does not take the first half of the sentence as its antecedent. Although your proposed order is certainly better, and one that I considered, it seems quite uncomfortable to have the relative pronoun coming out of order within the clause. Is this common in Greek?

As to your question, the prepositional phrase does not take the accusative when it is coming in apposition, only the main noun, τὰ, does.

Thank you for your help,

-g
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby spiphany » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:50 am

garfield2244 wrote:As to your question, the prepositional phrase does not take the accusative when it is coming in apposition, only the main noun, τὰ, does.

Not sure I follow you here. The nouns/modifiers governed by a preposition (here ἡ δίκη) have to be in whatever case is dictated by the preposition -- the role of said prepositional phrase in a sentence makes no difference whatsoever.

I believe the problem that Nate is referring to is that περί can take several cases (gen, dat, acc); when it's used with either the accusative or genitive it can mean "about, concerning" with a slight difference in meaning. The particular construction τὰ περὶ + acc (i.e., using the neuter plural article to make a substantive -- an abstract idea -- out of the prepositional phrase) is apparently a fairly common construction: τὰ περὶ τὰς ναῦς (things concerning the ships), τὰ περὶ τοῦς θεούς (the things concerning the gods) etc. so one might expect to see τὰ περὶ τὴν δίκην here.

However, when used with verbs of hearing or thinking περί will often be used with a genitive: ἄκουσα περὶ νόστου ("hearing about the homecoming") etc.

LSJ does give a couple of citations for similar substantive use with the genitive, however: τὰ περί τινος (his circumstances), ἀριθμοῦ πέρι (concerning the number)
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: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby annis » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:50 pm

garfield2244 wrote: but somehow my brain is very bothered by the use of a relative pronoun without any antecedent, explicit or implicit. It seems like there can't really be one, because you just can't make a phrase like that.


You can, in fact, make a phrase just like that. Granted, they're not very common in Ancient Greek. :) "ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο" looks an awful lot like what's known in the linguistics biz as an "internally headed relative clause." According to this presentation, this one should not exist, so I may contact the author just to see what she thinks about this example.

The independence of the clause seems to follow from the adverbial uses of acc. τρόπος (see LSJ for a nice long list of examples, including another ὃν τρόπον cite).
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby annis » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:04 pm

φεῦ! That's not an illegal example of an internally headed RC, I was just reading too quickly.
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby garfield2244 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:31 am

spiphany,

I am aware that the nouns governed by a preposition take its required case. Your take on his question, however, did not even enter my mind, as Hansen and Quinn present gen. as a standard use of περί, not less common than the acc. (though I don't remember if it was used as widely with τά). As such, I thought he must have meant that it should be acc. as the object of the verb, which, even though it struck me as a kind of odd question for someone who knows Greek, was all I could think of. Accordingly, I answered that when the entire phrase is attributive (which I called by its English equivalent), it does not take the same case as the object of the verb. But yes, you are probably right about the intent of his question.

annis,

Thank you for this excellent reference! I haven't read or understood it all just yet, but, basically... yeah. I guess that's just how it is, man.

Thanks to all again,

-g
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby pster » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:11 am

(sorry, I see LSJ has been cited already.)
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby annis » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:03 pm

Fauconnier gave me permission to quote a few paragraphs from email,

I hadn't come across an example of this use of ὃν τρόπον yet but I agree that it seems to be a clear example of an internally-headed RC.

My first thought would be to would analyze the RC as the direct object of the verb ἐπύθεσθε (have you heard [the way in which...]). The subject of ἐγένετο is τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης, then, but this has been moved out of the RC to the start of the sentence because it's the sentence topic. So a literal translation could look like this: "The matters of the trial, haven't you heard the way in which they happened?". Within the RC ὃν τρόπον is an adverbial accusative.

Alternatively, you could analyze τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης as the direct object of ἐπύθεσθε and ὃν τρόπον ἐγένετο as an RC with an adverbial function. This is what you would suggest, right? In this case, the subject of ἐγένετο would be left out because it's an anaphor for δίκη or τὰ περὶ τῆς δίκης. I think this is possible grammatically, but I find it doesn't make as much sense semantically: "Haven't you heard the matters of the trial, in the way they happened?" But of course this is open to discussion.


At this point I prefer her interpretation.
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby garfield2244 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:27 pm

annis,

First of all, to leave the formal tone behind for a second, I must thank you for your awesomeness. You found this random paper, e-mailed the author, and posted the reply--all way beyond any effort I would have been able to put in to the question.

Secondly, I'm a little bit confused here... how is that any different from what I first proposed? What's the difference between

garfield2244 wrote:"And, [concerning] the matters of the trial, have you not learned [by inquiry] in which way it happened?"


and

annis wrote:
"The matters of the trial, haven't you heard the way in which they happened?"


Is it because she's adding "way" as a noun and I left it as "in which way"?

Thanks again,

-g
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby garfield2244 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:45 pm

Wait, wait. I get it. I see the difference. She's making the subject τὰ and I was making it an implied δίκη. Okay.
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Re: Rel. pronoun with adverbial accusative, Phaedo 58a

Postby annis » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:17 pm

garfield2244 wrote:You found this random paper, e-mailed the author, and posted the reply--all way beyond any effort I would have been able to put in to the question.


Well, your question made me interested in the matter, too. I might as well share the work of my linguistic enthusiasms. :)
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