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Smyth 2510

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Smyth 2510

Postby pster » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:16 pm

Smyth 2510:

In general statements in the subjunctive with ἄν or the indicative, the relative, referring to a person, is often without an antecedent and has the force of εἴ τις. In such cases the main clause contains a substantive or a neuter adjective with ἐστί (which is commonly omitted), and the relative is the subject of the sentence or in apposition to it.

συμφορὰ_ δ', δς ἂν τύχῃ κακῆς γυναικός it is a calamity if a man gets a bad wife E. fr. 1056, καὶ τοῦτο μεῖζον τῆς ἀληθεία_ς κακόν, ὅστις τὰ μὴ προσόντα κέκτηται κακά and this is a misfortune exceeding the reality, if a man incurs the blame for evils that are not his doing E. Hel. 271, ὅστις . . . πρὸς θεῶν κακοῦται, βαρύ if a man suffers ill-usage from the gods, it is grievous E. Hel. 267.

...

In light of the examples cited--perhaps the bolded being easiest to examine--what does "relative" mean? Relative pronoun? Or relative clause?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Smyth 2510

Postby John W. » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:10 pm

pster wrote:Smyth 2510:

In general statements in the subjunctive with ἄν or the indicative, the relative, referring to a person, is often without an antecedent and has the force of εἴ τις. In such cases the main clause contains a substantive or a neuter adjective with ἐστί (which is commonly omitted), and the relative is the subject of the sentence or in apposition to it.

συμφορὰ_ δ', δς ἂν τύχῃ κακῆς γυναικός it is a calamity if a man gets a bad wife E. fr. 1056, καὶ τοῦτο μεῖζον τῆς ἀληθεία_ς κακόν, ὅστις τὰ μὴ προσόντα κέκτηται κακά and this is a misfortune exceeding the reality, if a man incurs the blame for evils that are not his doing E. Hel. 271, ὅστις . . . πρὸς θεῶν κακοῦται, βαρύ if a man suffers ill-usage from the gods, it is grievous E. Hel. 267.

...

In light of the examples cited--perhaps the bolded being easiest to examine--what does "relative" mean? Relative pronoun? Or relative clause?

Thanks in advance


pster - I assume (rightly or wrongly) that he means the relative pronoun as used in such instances (though they are of course in relative clauses as well). There are a few examples in our old friend Thucydides, including one in Pericles' funeral oration (2.44.1):

τὸ δ᾽ εὐτυχές, οἳ ἂν τῆς εὐπρεπεστάτης λάχωσιν, ὥσπερ οἵδε μὲν νῦν, τελευτῆς, ὑμεῖς δὲ λύπης, καὶ οἷς ἐνευδαιμονῆσαί τε ὁ βίος ὁμοίως καὶ <εὖ> ἐντελευτῆσαι ξυνεμετρήθη.

'... and there is good fortune if any are allotted, as in the case of these men, a most glorious death, or, as in your case, a most glorious grief, and also for those to whom life has been measured out sufficiently to live well in and likewise to die well in.'

In his commentary on this passage, Rusten (who cites your extract from Smyth) calls this a 'generalising relative clause', and refers to other examples in Thucydides at 2.62.4, 6.14, 6.16.3 and 7.68.1.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Smyth 2510

Postby pster » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:09 pm

Smyth continues: "the relative is the subject of the sentence or in apposition to it".

What does Smyth mean by "sentence" here? Doesn't he mean main clause? If he does mean main clause, then aren't you comitted to saying that the relative pronoun is the subject of both the relative clause and the main clause? (Leaving apposition aside.) But how can that be correct? In the Thucydides quote, τὸ εὐτυχές is neuter and singluar while the relative is plural and masculine. In the bolded quote, βαρύ is neuter, but the relative pronoun is masculine.
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Re: Smyth 2510

Postby John W. » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:16 am

pster wrote:Smyth continues: "the relative is the subject of the sentence or in apposition to it".

What does Smyth mean by "sentence" here? Doesn't he mean main clause? If he does mean main clause, then aren't you comitted to saying that the relative pronoun is the subject of both the relative clause and the main clause? (Leaving apposition aside.) But how can that be correct? In the Thucydides quote, τὸ εὐτυχές is neuter and singluar while the relative is plural and masculine. In the bolded quote, βαρύ is neuter, but the relative pronoun is masculine.


I too am somewhat confused by Smyth's comment here. Like you, I presume he means 'main clause' rather than sentence, but the 'subject' bit puzzles me too. Is he working back from his idea that the relative is in (a sort of) apposition to the main subject, and then going further by identifying the two? Does the German grammar I think you're using shed any light, or give any clues to what exactly Smyth means?

John
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Re: Smyth 2510

Postby pster » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:40 pm

Well, I think he has to mean "relative clause". It looks like there is a parallel with the first half: "In such cases the main clause..., and the relative [clause]..." So the whole relative clause is the subject of the entire sentence.

For the bolded example:

ὅστις . . . πρὸς θεῶν κακοῦται is the subordinate clause. Call it S.

S [esti] βαρύ is the sentence. The predicate is neuter because the subject is abstract.

My German is minimal. The typeface is disorienting. And the index wasn't up to my expectations. So, unfortunately, I won't be referring to the German grammar any time soon.
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