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Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

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Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:07 pm

Can anyone help me with Ar. Pl. 286. My Loeb gives

ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίοις ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι;
"You mean it's really possible for us to be wealthy?" (Loeb translation)

Why is πλουσίοις in the dative and not in the accusative?

I have two very tentative theories...
1) For some reason εἶναι here means to become, not to be, and thus can take the dative.
2) There is some kind of attraction because ἡμῖν ἅπασιν is in the dative. But this is not a relative.

Edit: A third possibility came to my mind.
3) πλουσίοις means among the wealthy, or the like.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:15 am

Very interesting construction. I'd look at it this way:

ἔστι is a copula with a recessive accent which gives you a couple of possible meanings:
1. to convey existence: there is, which can be immediately ruled out
since it more often than not would appear at the beginning of a clause/sentence.
2. as the shorter form of ἔξεστι to convey possibility or sometimes permission: it is allowed,
it is possible
.

The second possibility seems more in line with the nature of the question. One hint would be
the use of dative as the indirect object of this verb (it is allowed, possible for x) and that
would also explain πλουσίοις, serving as predicate of the complementary infinitive.

All that remains is the meaning of the word ἅπασιν and to which of the datives it relates.
One possible meaning is neuter, in all things, relying on the predicate.
Another is an emphatic use of πᾶσι, all of us, as going with the indirect object.
A third is some reservation on the meaning of wealth, and whether it can be acquired in full, also
going with the predicate: (to be) entirely/completely wealthy.

The Loeb translation seems to have done away with it. :?
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:27 pm

NateD26 wrote:Very interesting construction. I'd look at it this way:

ἔστι is a copula with a recessive accent which gives you a couple of possible meanings:
1. to convey existence: there is, which can be immediately ruled out
since it more often than not would appear at the beginning of a clause/sentence.
2. as the shorter form of ἔξεστι to convey possibility or sometimes permission: it is allowed,
it is possible
.

Thanks! I never noticed this meaning had a different accentuation.

(My first contact with Greek was the accursed old Teach Yourself book, which dispenses with accents altogether. I learnt the unfortunate habit to ignore accents, which I've been trying to correct for years. [The new Teach Yourself book is a completely different work and much better.])

The second possibility seems more in line with the nature of the question. One hint would be
the use of dative as the indirect object of this verb (it is allowed, possible for x) and that
would also explain πλουσίοις, serving as predicate of the complementary infinitive.

I agree it must be this use. But still, why is πλουσίοις in the dative? Why not ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίους ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι? By πλουσίοις serving as predicate, do you mean you would be literally translate "Is it really possible for us all to be among the wealthy"? (Depending on how you interprete ἅπασιν of course)
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:08 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:
NateD26 wrote:The second possibility seems more in line with the nature of the question. One hint would be
the use of dative as the indirect object of this verb (it is allowed, possible for x) and that
would also explain πλουσίοις, serving as predicate of the complementary infinitive.

I agree it must be this use. But still, why is πλουσίοις in the dative? Why not ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίους ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι? By πλουσίοις serving as predicate, do you mean you would be literally translate "Is it really possible for us all to be among the wealthy"? (Depending on how you interprete ἅπασιν of course)

No, Paul. I mean that in this construction, ἡμῖν is the subject of the dependent statement, and
indirect object of the verb ἔστι. The predicate must then also be in the dative. hence, πλουσίοις.

Is it really possible for all of us to be wealthy?
or
Is it really possible for us to be wealthy in all things?

Take δεινὸς λέγειν for example from that other thread.
In a line previous to the one quoted, we have this phrase in genitive (Pl. Ap. 17a-b):

μάλιστα δὲ αὐτῶν ἓν ἐθαύμασα τῶν πολλῶν ὧν ἐψεύσαντο,
τοῦτο ἐν ᾧ ἔλεγον ὡς χρῆν ὑμᾶς εὐλαβεῖσθαι μὴ ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἐξαπατηθῆτε
ὡς δεινοῦ ὄντος λέγειν.

I was particularly astonished by one of their many lies which they'd uttered,
(namely) that in which they'd urged you to be on your guard lest you be deceived
by me as if I am a skilled speaker.

Since Socrates repeated the warning indirectly and used the passive agent ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ
of ἐξαπατηθῆτε, any subsequent referrals to him must also be in the genitive.
Hence ὡς δεινοῦ ὄντος λέγειν. (ὡς + part. = as if, as though, etc.)
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:49 am

Thanks.

So ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίους ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι would be ungrammatical?

For some reason the parallel from Plato you gave with a genitive construction doesn't sound strange to me like the one from Aristophanes. Maybe it's less common with a dative, so I haven't encountered it?

So there's some kind attraction (I don't what's the correct term) between the subject and the predicate in the dependant statement when the copula is in the infinitive or participle. Are you aware of a discussion of the subject somewhere?
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:37 am

Take the regular copula. It serves as a linking verb between a subject and a predicate.

ὁ παῖς σοφός ἐστιν.

ἡ κόρη σοφή ἐστιν.

τὰ τέκνα καλά ἐστιν. (neut. pl. takes sg. verb)

In each of these sentences, the adjective, serving as predicate, must agree with
the subject in case, gender and number.

The same sentence dependent on a saying/thinking verb would require the accusative + infinitive
construction:

δοκεῖ μοι τὸν παῖδα σοφὸν εἶναι.

οἴομαι τὴν κόρην σοφὴν εἶναι.

εἶπε τὰ τέκνα καλὰ εἴναι.

The meaning of the sentence did not change when we subordinate it to a saying/thinking verb,
and the accusatives merely stand for the original nominatives and do not have a different meaning.

The same applies here. Since we ask whether it is possible for x (us) to be y,
y must be in the same case, gender and number of x. An accusative for the
predicate would be out of place and, if such a sentence is even grammatically possible,
would refer to some other subject unmentioned in this sentence.

See Smyth 925ff. on Agreement.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks a lot really! In this thread, you have taught me two important aspects of Greek.

Smyth §1062 seems to be the answer to the second problem.

"A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive." (my italics)

Two of the examples this section gives:

1) νῦν σοι ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γενέσθαι.
Now it is in your power to prove yourself a man X. A. 7.1.21

2) συμφέρει αὐτοῖς φίλους εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ πολεμίους.
It is for their interest to be friends rather than enemies (X. O. 11.23).

Example 1 is analogous, I think, to the original example; the unexpressed subject of the infinitive is σοι, a dative (unexpressed, because if it were expressed there would be two σοι).

In example 2, the unexpressed subject of the infinitive is αὐτούς, accusative although the predicate refers to αὐτοῖς, a dative; hence predicate in the accusative.

So, I'm left wondering whether my πλουσίους in the accusative would also be correct and grammatical. Like in example 2, couldn't you likewise imagine an unexpressed ἡμᾶς in the here and thus put the predicate in the accusative?

ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίους ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι;
Is it really possible for all of us to be wealthy?
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:44 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Thanks a lot really! In this thread, you have taught me two important aspects of Greek.

Smyth §1062 seems to be the answer to the second problem.

"A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive." (my italics)

Two of the examples this section gives:

1) νῦν σοι ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γενέσθαι.
Now it is in your power to prove yourself a man X. A. 7.1.21

2) συμφέρει αὐτοῖς φίλους εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ πολεμίους.
It is for their interest to be friends rather than enemies (X. O. 11.23).

Example 1 is analogous, I think, to the original example; the unexpressed subject of the infinitive is σοι, a dative (unexpressed, because if it were expressed there would be two σοι).

In example 2, the unexpressed subject of the infinitive is αὐτούς, accusative although the predicate refers to αὐτοῖς, a dative; hence predicate in the accusative.

So, I'm left wondering whether my πλουσίους in the accusative would also be correct and grammatical. Like in example 2, couldn't you likewise imagine an unexpressed ἡμᾶς in the here and thus put the predicate in the accusative?

ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίους ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι;
Is it really possible for all of us to be wealthy?

Thanks for these examples, especially the 2nd one. I was not aware of this possibility.
Accusative then would also be correct and grammatical as evident in example 2.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:46 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Smyth §1062 seems to be the answer to the second problem.

"A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive." (my italics)

Two of the examples this section gives:

1) νῦν σοι ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γενέσθαι.
Now it is in your power to prove yourself a man X. A. 7.1.21

2) συμφέρει αὐτοῖς φίλους εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ πολεμίους.
It is for their interest to be friends rather than enemies (X. O. 11.23).

Example 1 is analogous, I think, to the original example; the unexpressed subject of the infinitive is σοι, a dative (unexpressed, because if it were expressed there would be two σοι).

Just a correction. The unexpressed subject Smyth refers to here is in accusative in both sentences.
Infinitives take accusative as their subject, whether expressed or not.

I think your initial term of attraction is fitting here. Since the indirect object of ἔξεστιν is always
in the dative, even though the complementary infinitive γενέσθαι requires accusative σε as its
subject, and we also expect the predicate to be ἄνδρα, both were "attracted" to the dative
in the first example whereas in the second the predicate retained its expected case
with an implied αὐτούς.

I hope I'm not making things unnecessarily complicated.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:03 am

NateD26 wrote:I hope I'm not making things unnecessarily complicated.

You're not. Smyth is ;). Because he says expressedly "A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive."

I agree this is strange for the reasons you give, but I think this really means Smyth imagines an unexpressed dative subject in example 1. Of course this is a completely imaginary construction, as I imagine it would never ever be expressed. In example 1, according to Smyth, the unexpressed σε is attracted to unexpressed σοι.

I guess there might be a clearer way of treating this problem than positing unexpressed dative subjects - maybe just treat it a an instance of attraction. (§1060-§1062 is actually titled "Attraction of predicate nouns with the infinitive to the case of the object of the governing verb")
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:13 pm

A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive."


There seems to be a problem in understanding this sentence. I'm not a native English speaker,
and add to that the archaic usage of the 19th century. But if we do argue for complete attraction
in example 1, that is, of both subject and predicate,
then there cannot be an unexpressed subject in example 2, because we already have partial
attraction in αὐτοῖς.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:53 pm

NateD26 wrote:But if we do argue for complete attraction
in example 1, that is, of both subject and predicate,
then there cannot be an unexpressed subject in example 2, because we already have partial
attraction in αὐτοῖς.

I suppose I agree. Smyth's examples here are good but the argumentation here is not so lucid here in my opinion. There's no mention of attraction except in the heading, so the reader just has figure out himself whether attraction is present or no in each case. Or maybe we just don't get it, neither of us being native speakers of English ;). Anyway I'm happy, because I think I "got it", though I don't fully understand Smyth's logic here.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:13 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Can anyone help me with Ar. Pl. 286. My Loeb gives

ὄντως γὰρ ἔστι πλουσίοις ἡμῖν ἅπασιν εἶναι;
"You mean it's really possible for us to be wealthy?" (Loeb translation)

Why is πλουσίοις in the dative and not in the accusative?



Paul,

I also have problems with the language used by Smyth #1062. Cooper (1:55:2.5 V1 p774) cites your passage Ar. Pl. 286 [1] and explains it as follows:

When an idea associated with a verb which has a dependent infinitive is expressed in the dative or the genitive, and then the same idea occurs as the subject of a subordinate infinitive, it is likely to be expressed in this connection with the same case, dative or genitive, in which it was introduced with the principle verb. ... The dative is so used rather more often than the genitive, probably because the genitive is not construed with verbs as often as the dative and so simply occurs less often with the leading verbs than the dative.


Here are just a few citations from Cooper on this gleaned from vol 1 (1:55:2.5 V1 p774) and V3 2:55.2.4.A p2500. A few of Cooper’s citations S.Ai 1310,1328, S.El 74, ,S.Tr 454, E.Tr 1282, E.Or 715, E. {fragments} [N776], [N341], Ar.Pax 1082 ... many more

“Attraction” in my opinion is a description masquerading as an explanation. There is an important distinction between description and explanation. Cooper's “it is likely to be expressed in this connection with the same case” is a description. Simply tells us there is a pattern here that can be observed. Calling it attraction implies more than simple description.


[1] note, Ar. Pl. 286 does NOT appear in Cooper’s supposedly exhaustive citation index. I found this by cross-referencing topics between Smyth and Cooper, no simple task. Cooper is full of surprises like this. It appears that nobody was paid to check his many thousands of citations, errors abound.
Last edited by C. S. Bartholomew on Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:22 pm

Thank you C.S., that was real explanation.
C. S. Bartholomew wrote: “Attraction” in my opinion is a description masquerading as an explanation. There is an important distinction between description and explanation. Cooper's “it is likely to be expressed in this connection with the same case” is a description. Simply tells us there is a pattern here that can be observed. Calling it attraction implies more than simple description.

This is very true.

But pardon my ignorance, what is this Cooper book?
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:51 pm

Paul Derouda wrote: what is this Cooper book?


Greek Syntax: Volumes 1-4; Attic Prose, Early Greek Poetic, and Herodotean Syntax
by K. Kruger (Editor), Guy L. Cooper (Translator)

In this translation of K. W. Kruger's Griechische Sprachlehre, Guy L. Cooper III accepts Kruger's simple and transparent organization but greatly expands the earlier work by increasing the total number of citations to original texts. Research since 1875, especially the contributions of B. L. Gildersleeve, are incorporated so as to create a reference work in English that co...more
Hardcover, 3552 pages
Published January 21st 2003 by University of Michigan Pres


You know, I would have to take exception to the "simple and transparent organization", finding things in this work with no topic index is a pain. I have worked with it for a number of years and H. W. Smyth is still my first stop for syntax questions.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby NateD26 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:39 pm

NateD26 wrote:Take δεινὸς λέγειν for example from that other thread.
In a line previous to the one quoted, we have this phrase in genitive (Pl. Ap. 17a-b):

μάλιστα δὲ αὐτῶν ἓν ἐθαύμασα τῶν πολλῶν ὧν ἐψεύσαντο,
τοῦτο ἐν ᾧ ἔλεγον ὡς χρῆν ὑμᾶς εὐλαβεῖσθαι μὴ ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἐξαπατηθῆτε
ὡς δεινοῦ ὄντος λέγειν.

I was particularly astonished by one of their many lies which they'd uttered,
(namely) that in which they'd urged you to be on your guard lest you be deceived
by me as if I am a skilled speaker.

Since Socrates repeated the warning indirectly and used the passive agent ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ
of ἐξαπατηθῆτε, any subsequent referrals to him must also be in the genitive.
Hence ὡς δεινοῦ ὄντος λέγειν. (ὡς + part. = as if, as though, etc.)

Just popped in to correct my translation here. ὡς δεινοῦ ὄντος λέγειν here is another
part of the warning. The first ὡς presents their warning indirectly,
and the second is causal, at least according to the translations I've got.
ὡς δεινοῦ ὄντος λέγειν = (you should be on your guard lest you be deceived by me)
because/since I'm a skilled speaker.
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Re: Aristophanes, Wealth, line 286

Postby ximo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:29 pm

"Is it possible for all of us to be rich?" This would be the literal translation, in my opinion. It's an indirect object in dative case. Then πᾶσιν and πλουσίοις appear in the same dative case as ἡμῖν.
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