Textkit Logo

Genitive with verbal nouns.

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.

Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby madhg » Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:19 pm

I'm confused by the following passage from Carl Ruck's Ancient Greek, in the chapter on the genitive case (2nd Ed. p.41).

He defines a verbal noun as a noun with the same root as a verb, such as βασιλεύς. Then he says:
Therefore the phrase βασιλεύς ἀνδρῶν could mean either "men's king" (the possessive idea) or "king of men" (the adverbial idea that occurs in the sentence βασιλεύω ἀνδρῶν, "I rule men as their king".


I don't understand that last sentence, or the difference between "men's king" and "king of men". Clearly missing something, and would appreciate any comments.

(On the other hand, I do understand his introduction (p. 12) of the accusative case in terms of a suffix that makes a noun modify the meaning of a verb, like an adverb. e.g. φιλοσοφίαν μανθάνομεν, we learn, and our learning is about philosophy. )
madhg
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:08 pm

C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1247
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby madhg » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:36 pm

Thanks for the links. I wasn't aware of the b-greek forum. It seems to be a complicated topic. I'll read what Carl Conrad has to say.
madhg
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:51 pm

Yes, Carl's comments are worth considering. However, to explain what Ruck meant, he's talking about what is normally called the objective genitive. This occurs when the verbal idea contained in a noun takes a genitive in Latin or Greek that is best rendered with "of" or "for" in English. Ruck's example might not be the best.

"Her love of money was evident." In Greek "love of money" might be rendered φιλία τοῦ ἀργυρἰου (1 Tim 6:10, it's actually a noun φιλαργυρία). It's clear that the if the the noun were converted into a verb, the genitive would have to be the direct object (hence, "objective" genitive), φιλεῖ τὸ ἀργύριον... "love of money" and "money's love" are not convertible statements!

Does that clarify a bit?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby jeidsath » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:36 pm

At the risk of turning this into a Koine forum thread, this touches on something that I've been wondering about since last week. Romans 8:12

ὅτι καὶ αὐτὴ ἡ κτίσις ἐλευθερωθήσεται ἀπὸ τῆς δουλείας τῆς φθορᾶς εἰς τὴν ἐλευθερίαν τῆς δόξης τῶν τέκνων τοῦ Θεοῦ.

τῆς δουλείας τῆς φθορᾶς is a clear example of the objective genitive, I assume.

But what about τὴν ἐλευθερίαν τῆς δόξης? Is it a subjective genitive with ἐλευθερόω, set free? Is it objective and influenced by the passive form earlier in the sentence? The reading at Church that brought this to my attention had it as "glorious freedom," which didn't feel right to me.

(IMO, it feels like the idea of δουλεύω is somehow carrying over to ἐλευθερίαν -- something like "freedom in service of glory". But I don't have a grammatical justification for that.)
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
 
Posts: 2554
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby madhg » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:48 pm

Thank you Barry, that's very helpful. The phrase "love of money" carries the idea of loving money. That's where the "verbal noun" bit comes in.

There's a similar example further down in Ruck: τοῦ ὕδατος ἐπιθυμία. His βασιλεύω ἀνδρῶν example is not so straightforward because the verb and the noun correspond to different English words, king and rule. Well, that's how I see it now.

Thanks again,
David
madhg
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby mwh » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:50 pm

David,
It’s quite understandable that you find that bit of Ruck confusing: it’s misleadingly put, and many people get confused about the distinction he’s making. And I doubt that you’ll find those b-greek posts very helpful. Here’s my attempt at explaining what Ruck’s getting at:

An example of a verbal noun is φιλία, “friendship” or “liking” or “love.” φιλία has a corresponding verb, φιλέω (be a friend of, love, like).
Now here’s the tricky bit:
φιλία μητρός (μητρός genitive of μήτηρ “mother”) could mean (1) “a mother’s love” as in “a mother’s love for her children”
or it could mean (2) “love of a mother” as in “the children's love of their mother.”

In the first case, grammarians classify the genitive μητρός as a “subjective” genitive. If the “loving” idea were expressed by the verb instead of by the noun, the construction would be μήτηρ φιλεῖ, “a mother loves (her children)”: the mother is the grammatical subject.
In the second case, the genitive is “objective.” μητέρα φιλοῦσι, “(the children) love their mother”: the mother is the grammatical object.
The labels are just a conventional way of defining the function of the genitive in a given context. In formal terms φιλία μητρός is ambiguous. But in practice the relationship of the genitive to the noun is usually clear from the context.

The genitive has a good number of other syntactical functions too (“possessive” is one, as in “the mother’s children”), and as you get further along in Greek you may find it useful to sort them all out.

I don’t know if you’ve reached the definite article yet, so I haven’t used it in my Greek examples above, but proper Greek would.

And finally, if this is too confusing at this stage, don’t worry about it. It will all make sense in time.

jeidsath, I do think your post would be better dealt with in the NT forum, so I’ll address it there.

PS @David, Yes τοῦ ὕδατος ἐπιθυμία is a straightforward example of an objective genitive, "desire for water." But if it referred to "water’s desire" for something, as grammatically it could, it would be a subjective genitive. But such labels are only for analytical purposes, and you shouldn't get hung up on them, as too many students do. It's best to see what the Greek means (which usually is not difficult to do) and then translate accordingly, rather than going by English translation. Once you learn how Greek works, you'll be able to dispense with translation altogether.
mwh
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby madhg » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:05 am

Thanks for your helpful reply mwh. Your explanation of subjective and objective genitives puts Barry's mention of the term objective genitive in context. I think I understand this now, and am getting on with the rest of the chapter and the exercises.

best wishes,
David
madhg
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:53 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Yes, Carl's comments are worth considering. However, to explain what Ruck meant, he's talking about what is normally called the objective genitive. This occurs when the verbal idea contained in a noun takes a genitive in Latin or Greek that is best rendered with "of" or "for" in English. Ruck's example might not be the best.


Conrad is trying to liberate us from all this "how do we say this in English" nonsense. Really need to get past translation driven syntax analysis. How we say it in English is irrelevant.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1247
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Genitive with verbal nouns.

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:32 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Yes, Carl's comments are worth considering. However, to explain what Ruck meant, he's talking about what is normally called the objective genitive. This occurs when the verbal idea contained in a noun takes a genitive in Latin or Greek that is best rendered with "of" or "for" in English. Ruck's example might not be the best.


Conrad is trying to liberate us from all this "how do we say this in English" nonsense. Really need to get past translation driven syntax analysis. How we say it in English is irrelevant.


Nice thought, really nice thought. In the meantime, students using less enlightened textbooks still need explanations.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm


Return to Learning Greek