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μεγάλα: dual?

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μεγάλα: dual?

Postby pster » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:02 pm

...νομίζοντες οὐ μόνον πρὸς τὴν τῆς ἱστορίας σύνταξιν οἰκείαν εἶναι τὴν περὶ αὐτῆς ἐξήγησιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρὸς τὰς τῶν πολιτευμάτων διορθώσεις καὶ κατασκευὰς μεγάλα συμβάλλεσθαι τοῖς φιλομαθοῦσι καὶ πραγματικοῖς τῶν ἀνδρῶν.

Is μεγάλα dual feminine accusative here modifying the italicized items?
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby NateD26 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:28 pm

At first glance, it appears to be neut. pl. adj. used as adverb* to the infinitive,
which is the complement of νομίζοντες οὐ μόνον x ἀλλὰ καὶ y.

* I guess in some authors the sg. is more common than the pl. and in others,
such as (I assume) Polybius, the opposite applies.
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby pster » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:09 pm

That's what I thought. But how do we know that there is such an adverbial form? This isn't a superlative.
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby NateD26 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:17 pm

Why does it have to be a superlative?
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby pster » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:38 am

For any superlative adjective, the neuter plural gives you the superlative adverb. Now of course there are some non superlative adjectives for which the neuter plural and/or singular gives you an adverb. But this doesn't appear to be such a case. Unless I am misreading LSJ:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... =kataskeua\s&d=Perseus:text:1999.01.0233:book=6:chapter=1&i=1#lexicon

Wouldn't they have to list a plural neuter adverbial form if such a thing existed?
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby John W. » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:30 am

pster - any chance it could just mean 'contribute things of importance to ...', i.e. 'be very helpful to ...'?

Best wishes,

John
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby NateD26 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:25 am

I would argue that, by its very nature, this adjective already conveys a somewhat larger or greater
than normal quantity/quality and having it as superlative would probably suggest
some superfluous or over-abundant quantity/quality. It's like "fun". Even though I hear
people saying "funner" and (less common) "funnest" (which is a pet peeve of mine),
"fun" by itself would suggest a thing/an event/etc. was rather pleasent and enjoyable
more than was expected. That's just my humble opinion. I'm open to corrections.
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby pster » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:14 pm

John W. wrote:pster - any chance it could just mean 'contribute things of importance to ...', i.e. 'be very helpful to ...'?

Best wishes,

John


Thanks John. I think you are right.
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Re: μεγάλα: dual?

Postby John W. » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:24 pm

In working my way through Thucydides I've just come across this (6.64.1):

... τοὺς γὰρ ἂν ψιλοὺς τοὺς σφῶν καὶ τὸν ὄχλον τῶν Συρακοσίων τοὺς ἱππέας πολλοὺς ὄντας, σφίσι δ᾽ οὐ παρόντων ἱππέων, βλάπτειν ἂν μεγάλα, ...

'... since the Syracusans' cavalry, who were numerous while they themselves had none, would inflict great harm on their light-armed soldiers and camp followers, ...'

Smith says that μεγάλα here is cognate accusative; perhaps the same is true in your passage from Polybius.

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