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relative pronoun/accents/middle voice

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relative pronoun/accents/middle voice

Postby bacon » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:56 am

1. 1 Jn 1: 5a "και εστιν αυτη η αγγελια ην ακηκοαμεν απ' αυτου..."
My question concerns the case of the relative pronoun, ην. Since it refers back to αγγελια I would have expected the pronoun to be in the nominative case since its referent is nominative. The only way I can make a little sense of it is to say that it is the direct object of ακηκοαμεν, but I'm guessing. What's dictating the case of ην?
2. Why does the lexicon put accents over the connecting vowel in some cases when the connecting vowel does not appear when the word is actually used? example: αγαπα'ω when the word would be αγαπω (circumflex on ω, sorry, I don't know how to get my word processor to accent properly)
3. I'm trying to understand the middle voice better. Mounce says the "...verb in the middle voice in some way affects the subject." Does any action done by the subject to itself require a middle voice?
for example: I hit the ball (active)
I hit my foot (middle?)

also, perhaps related to this; Mounce " In the majority of cases, the middle has the same meaning as the active. Either they are deponents, or their middle meaning is active to the English mind." Can any one elaborate on this to help me understand how the English mind might view the middle differently than the Greek mind?
Thanks for all responses.
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Postby calvinist » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:16 am

Hi bacon, I'm studying Latin right now, but I went through Basics of Biblical Greek about a year and a half ago. Although I've forgotten alot of what I learned (I was seduced into Latin and put Greek on the back burner for now), I know that a relative pronoun only needs to agree in number and gender with its antecedent, and not case (in both Latin and Greek, or English for that matter). Take this sentence: "I was talking to my friend, who likes to study Greek, when my phone rang." 'who' is a relative pronoun referring back to 'my friend'; 'my friend' is the indirect object of the verb 'was talking', yet 'who' is the subject of the verb 'likes' in its clause (it would be 'whom' if it were the object). So the case of a relative pronoun is decided by its function within its clause.

Someone else can answer #2 since my Greek is way too rusty.

As far as the middle voice is concerned I wouldn't worry about it too much. If I remember correctly the middle voice was used alot more in say Attic Greek, but by Koine Greek was dropping out of usage. Plus, as Mounce says, most middles are deponents which just means that they are active verbs using passive forms.

I hope this helps some, hopefully someone with more knowledge and experience can give some input.

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Re: relative pronoun/accents/middle voice

Postby jjhayes84 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:59 pm

1. The relative pronoun goes into the case of how it is acting in the relative clause, not the main clause. It will match in gender and number but NOT always in case. The same is true in English: John(nom.) whom(acc.) I saw the other day is nice. Pete(nom.) to whom(dat.) I spoke today is mean.

2. That is done because the root includes the vowel which contracts. Maybe that isn't a real explanation, but that is how it's done.

3. The middle voice, usually, tries to indicate that an action happened without specifiying anthing about the actor. So The dish broke. This is the "middle voice" in English. We're not saying anything about how it happened or who broke the dish, merely that the dish broke. It isn't active, but it isn't passive either (which would be: The dish was broken by John.) There are other ways in which the middle voice functions, but this understanding might be the best starting point.
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Postby IreneY » Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:32 pm

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