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internal accusative/object

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internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:00 pm

Since I failed to find anywhere an explicit definition of the concept in the subject line, I am attempting to provide my own, based on the examples kindly supplied in response to my previous posting, and am inviting your criticisms.
Here it is: an internal object is an object that can be inferred from the meaning of a verb and designated by a noun not necessarily cognate with that verb.
E.g., τυπτειν πολλα. I was taught to translate this as "to strike many times" *(thus rendering πολλα by an adverbial phrase). But there is another way, as I now see, to look at it. The "external" object of the verb "to strike" is the thing stricken. But to strike, actually, means to incur a blow (to the thing stricken). τυπτειν πολλα thus can be looked at as meaning to "incur many blow."
Comparing the two English renditions of τυπτειν πολλα in English, namely, "to strike many times" and "to incur many blows," one can observe the following:
(1) their respective meanings totally coincide with one another;
(2) the second rendition includes two sememes that have no exact equivalent in the original, namely, "to incur" and "a blow," while having no exact equivalent of the sememe expressed in the original by τυπτειν.
(3) the first rendition has only one sememe added for explication, namely, the one expressed by "times".
Given this, I would prefer the first rendition as being more faithful to the way the meaning is expressed in the original.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:05 am

This uses Latin examples. Substitute Greek if that is more to your taste:

Internal Accusative: Another important usage for the accusative case is the Internal Accusative. The Internal Accusative is any accusative that names or modifies the action of the verb. The Cognate Accusative is the easiest form of the internal accusative to identify; it is called a "cognate accusative" because the noun in the accusative case uses a same linguistic stem or root as (in other words, it is cognate with) the stem or root of the verb. I sing a song = intransitive verb, "I sing", + accusative that simply renames the activity of singing, "a song." This cognate (internal) accusative can be modified by adjectives: I sing a loud song. But notice what happens if we leave off the noun: I sing loud. Suddenly, the adjective becomes an adverb (the very adverb our third grade teachers told us not to use). This "adverbial accusative" is almost always an "internal accusative" -- that is, an accusative object that renames the action of the verb, even when it is not in any way a cognate accusative. Consider: cano nihil = I sing no song = I don't sing. loquitur multum = he talks much talking = he talks a lot. Thus, you can have a transitive verb ("Im gonna hit your face" = ego faciem tuam icturus sum) with an internal accusative (ego faciem istam multum percussurus sum. = "I'm gonna hit your face big-time" or "I'm gonna smash your face" or "I'm gonna hit your face a lot.").

https://classics.osu.edu/Undergraduate- ... ative-case
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:17 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:notice what happens if we leave off the noun: I sing loud. Suddenly, the adjective becomes an adverb (the very adverb our third grade teachers told us not to use).
Thank you so much! This confirms that I was taught correctly :)
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby dikaiopolis » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:33 am

Tugodum, I think you’re getting hung up on whether you should translate the internal object into English with an adverb. That’s a separate issue. And I’m afraid the description Barry posted isn’t helping you on this point. You might find Mastronarde’s fuller description helpful (or look in just about any Greek grammar other than Smyth). Here are some quick pointers.

For the internal object, remember that it reiterates or modifies the action of the verb, and the object doesn’t exist apart from the action (unlike an external object).

Think of some examples:

“he lived a long life” (internal and cognate)

“she ran a fast race”

τύπτει πληγήν (he strikes a blow).

You often find the internal object with an adjective. E.g., διπλῆν πληγήν τύπτει (he strikes a double blow).

Or with just an adjective, as in your example. Here you have to supply an understood noun in English. More idiomatically, you can often use an adverb in English. But if you want to express your knowledge of the Greek as closely as possible, stick with an English adjective.

τύπτει πολλά: he strikes many (blows/strikes)

ἀγαθὰ ποιεῖ: she does good (doings)

You also commonly find transitive verbs with both an external and internal object:

τύπτει με πολλά: he is striking me (with) many (blows)

τοὺς πολίτας ἀγαθὰ ποιεῖ: she is doing good things (for) the citizens.

Note again that you often have to use different things in English like prepositions or adverbs to idiomatically translate the Greek. For the above, you might say "he is striking me a lot" or "she benefits the citizens." But the construction is the same in Greek—focus on that for now.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:00 am

dikaiopolis wrote: if you want to express your knowledge of the Greek as closely as possible, stick with an English adjective
What does it mean--"to express [my] knowledge of the Greek"? What I really want is to understand the meaning of a Greek phrase in its particular context. And this implies being able to translate it as faithfully as possible into English (or any other modern language in which I am fluent), doesn't it?
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:14 am

p.s.
English is not my native language, so I might be totally off the mark, but "he strikes many (blows/strikes)" does not sound as a good English to me, whereas "he strikes many (times)" and "he is striking me (with) many (blows)" (both with adverbial phrases) seem fine. I don't understand why it is better to translate Greek into bad English (if my assessment of the English of those variants is correct).
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:22 am

p.p.s.
I am not preparing to any test in which I need to prove to an examiner that I know that the grammatical forms in the original Greek are not adverbs but adjectives (if this is what you mean by "expressing my knowledge of the Greek").
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:54 pm

I think how you translate the Greek cognate accusative depends on the audience you're translating for:
Those who don't understand Greek, but do understand English will appreciate a less stilted expression employing an adverbial phrase, as opposed to an adjectival phrase. Those who do understand Greek will appreciate that you understand the construction being used if you use the adjective. Personally, and I may well be wrong (for I'm no grammarian), I think the most common English expression for "τίπτει πολλά" would be "he strikes a lot (with "of blows" implied)".
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:24 pm

I like "he strikes a lot" a lot--both for its English (mine is enough to recognize its elegance) and for it perfect (in my view) faithfulness to the grammar and semantics of the Greek. Thanks!!!
What I still do not understand is that
Aetos wrote:Those who do understand Greek will appreciate that you understand the construction being used if you use the adjective.
How can my using an adverbial phrase, rather than an adjective (with an added noun), in my translation possibly make one think that I do not understanding the construction being used in the Greek? What assumptions are they to have about me to infer that much?
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:19 pm

I don't believe that using the adverbial phrase in this case would infer anything about one's understanding of the construction. Someone familiar with Greek reading the translation would simply assume that the translator chose not to make a literal translation; conversely, if this person saw the literal translation, i.e. the adjectival phrase, he would conclude that the translator was trying to remain faithful to the original wording and allowing the reader to reinterpret the expression for himself within his own cultural framework. If you want to experience "free translation" at its finest, check Robert Graves' translation of the Iliad.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:29 pm

Aetos wrote:would simply assume that the translator chose not to make a literal translation
Do you believe "he strikes a lot" is a less literal translation for "τίπτει πολλά" than "he strikes many blows/strikes"? If so, I do not understand why. The second translation (1) has one extra sememe as compared to the original and (2) is a bad English (please correct me if I am mistake on this point), whereas the original is a good Greek.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:33 pm

p.s.
By "literal", I mean a translation as faithful to the original as possible. I am wondering what you mean by "literal", if not this.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:51 pm

Here's another example of what I'm trying to say. In French, there is an expression that goes like this: J'en ai vu trente-six chandelles! Literally translated into English, it would mean "I've seen thirty six candles". Of course you'll never hear that in English; instead, in that same situation you would hear: "I saw stars". Now you could translate the French expression literally and one might conclude that you are French and you viewing the situation as a Frenchman would (Honestly, I've seen French comedies where the actor gets knocked on the head and the next thing you see are candles rotating around his head!). Or you could use an English idiomatic phrase that conveys the same idea, and one would conclude that not only do you understand the meaning of the French expression, but you understand the best choice of expressions to convey it in another language.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:04 pm

This illustrates the idea well but, then, a literal translation of "τίπτει πολλά" would be "he strikes many things," which seems to make as little sense in English (given the context) as does "I've seen thirty six candles" in your example. A literal translation thus would be the one produced by an application like Google translator. Does Google translator demonstrate a good knowledge of Greek?
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:22 pm

Hi,
I just saw your following posts. When I say "literal", I mean word for word and faithful to the original text. In the original expression "τίπτει πολλά", we have a verb in the 3rd p. singular, followed by a plural neuter adjective. Now if I were a 4th century B.C. Greek, upon hearing this phrase, I would visualize someone striking many blows. Fast forward to the 21st century, London (or New York). One would hear "he hits a lot". In this case, the English expression is not literal; instead of an adverb or an adjective, a noun is employed (lot) and "of blows" is implied. It is an equivalent expression, but not truly literal.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:35 pm

"Of blows" is only implicit, not explicit, in the original "τίπτει πολλά" as well. If one translates, in order to gain in literalness, πολλά by an adjective ("many"), one has to make "blows" explicit, thus losing in literalness. So there is no gain overall, if one goes by "word for word" criterion.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:42 pm

Tugodum wrote: A literal translation thus would be the one produced by an application like Google translator. Does Google translator demonstrate a good knowledge of Greek?

I'm guessing that's a "rhetorical question". As with any translation aid, Google translate or for that matter any bilingual dictionary must be used with care. Whenever I have to look up a word, I look at all the possible choices available in the target language, then check the translation of each choice back into the source language. Wherever possible, I use a dictionary/lexicon in the target language, e.g. French=Petite Larousse, Modern Greek=Babiniotis, German=Duden to verify the meaning of a given word. Google Translate is getting better, but it's still far from perfect.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:49 pm

Aetos wrote:I'm guessing that's a "rhetorical question".
You're right, it my way to express a surprise that anyone might consider literalness as an expression of "viewing the situation as [a Greek person of Antiquity]," given that it is something a software program routinely demonstrates.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:52 pm

By the way, would you believe this use of the neuter accusative plural still exists in Modern Greek? In the Pontian dialect, if you want to say "very much" or "a lot", you use "πολλά". In the primary dialect, one uses--you guessed it! -- an adverb "πολύ".
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby mwh » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:06 pm

Be warned. This thread takes up another thread (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=68464&p=199047) that I had just brought to an end by saying
This is getting us nowhere, and could go on for ever. I’m sorry, Tugodum, my efforts at elucidation are at an end. I hope what I've written may be of help to someone, if not to you.

Here is just one excerpt from my fruitless replies on this issue:
Tugodum, you say you were taught to translate a construction like μεγαλ’ αμαρτανειν as “to err greatly.” Leaving aside that “err” is not in current use (except in translations from Greek or Latin!), translation can conceal as much as it reveals. In this and comparable cases, it conceals the fact that μεγαλα is not an adverb (as you are well aware) but an inner accusative (as perhaps you are also aware). Smyth’s “to commit grave errors” is better, or “to make serious mistakes." The construction is the same as e.g. πολλὰ αμαρτανειν, to make lots of mistakes, as distinct from πολλαχως αμαρτανειν, to be wrong in all sorts of ways.

If any progress is to be made, the only productive route I can think of, if the fixation on translation is incurable, is for Tugodum to be asked if he sees any difference between use of the adjective and the adverb. Good luck.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby RandyGibbons » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:12 pm

Tugodum, do you know the American idiom "Declare victory and get out"? :lol:
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Aetos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:14 pm

I'm running out of time, my friend. I have to go perform more mundane tasks, like washing dishes, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, etc.. I've enjoyed our little chat and hope that sharing my views on the question will perhaps give you something else to consider as you gain an understanding of this particular construction.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby dikaiopolis » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:44 pm

Wow… this is really running in circles. I repeat what I said at the beginning of my post: “I think you’re getting hung up on whether you should translate the internal object into English with an adverb.” If you want to understand this grammatical construction, I suggest focusing on the Greek grammar in that post, or the descriptions you received in the Apology thread, or (again) just about any Greek grammar (perhaps one not in English?). But that’s enough from me.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:16 pm

Thanks everybody. I see now from a number of reactions that translation is off-topic on this forum. Learning Greek does not include learning how to translate Greek. I will keep this in mind.
mwh wrote: for Tugodum to be asked if he sees any difference between use of the adjective and the adverb
I sure do. I also see that the use of either of them differs from language to language.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby mwh » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:11 pm

I meant in Greek, as between μεγαλα αμαρτειν and μεγαλως αμαρτειν, for instance. But never mind.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:29 pm

mwh, but this is a very subtle difference! I had been seeing it vaguely before, I am seeing it a bit clearer after this discussion, but to really "see" the difference" for me means to be able to define it. I am not yet there. Are you?
Last edited by Tugodum on Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:40 pm

p.s.
I was assuming you meant a difference in meaning. The grammatical one I can define all right.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:19 pm

p.p.s
The knowledge of the sheer fact that there is a difference (which I never doubted) is, in my view, useless unless one knows, also, what the difference is.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:32 pm

I don't see how this discussion could have gotten anywhere in the first place without copious Greek examples, or by bringing in other sources. There is no way to reason oneself into being a better translating.

Anyway, I think that this may interest Tugodum: https://books.google.com/books?id=d-UIAQAAMAAJ

If you can't read German, of if you can only half-read it like me, you may still find the Greek examples useful.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:34 pm

Thanks a lot, Joel!
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:39 pm

If you come across anything on the difference in meaning between locutions like μεγαλα αμαρτειν and μεγαλως αμαρτειν, this will be highly appreciated too!
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:49 pm

Well, Kühner makes some references to the adverbial character of that sort of usage here, but I'm don't see (after a quick scan) that he makes any absolute prescriptions:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D410
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:14 pm

I don't see there any comparison between such usage of accusatives and the use of adverbs (which is what I am interested in).
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:26 pm

You'll have to make your own investigation of that, I think. But the examples in Anmerk 5. are pretty useful. For example, "θυγάτηρ ἄνανδρος πολιὰ παρθενεύεται" from Helen. I don't think that a good translation of that into English would use adverbs.
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Re: internal accusative/object

Postby Tugodum » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:09 am

35 a5: θαυμασία...ἐργαζομένους
Burnet's note ad loc.: 'going on in an extraordinary way'
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