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epi + genitive

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epi + genitive

Postby Thucydides » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:36 pm

epi + genitive

How can this logically denote motion towards a place? The genitive case took on the ablative I thought...

The only suggestion I've heard is that this use is like the use of the genetive to show something that somebody touches, aims for etc. The cases of epi + genitive I've come across have to a certain extent had a sense of making for the place (ep' oikou for instance)

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Postby Paul » Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:34 am

Hi Thucydides,

How can this logically denote motion towards a place? The genitive case took on the ablative I thought...


I take it that you are concerned about the seeming contradiction between the ablative's sense of 'motion from' and the 'motion towards' sense of [face=SPIonic]e)pi/[/face] + genitive?

Yes, the IE ablative was largely subsumed by the genitive. But the genitive has many other functions. Among these is a kind of 'local' force, not unlike the locatival dative. With verbs of motion the sense is just as you say, 'making for the place' - motion towards.

'Motion towards' is usually constructed with the accusative. Some authorities believe that [face=SPIonic]e)pi/[/face] + accusative means the motion is complete, that is, the destination has been reached.

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:58 am

My school grammar book (Ars Graeca) says that epi + genitive is a Genitivus loci and that this is derived from the IE ablative. I'm afraid it doesn't go into much detail on that, it just states that it's from the ablative :( .
It says that these functions of the Genitive are derived from the IE Genitive:
Genitivus temporis - loci
Genitivus possessoris, subiectivus and objectivus
Genitivus quantitatis (partitivus)
Genitivus qualitatis

And from the Ablative it has these functions:
Genitivus loci (by geographical locations)
Genitivus tomporis
Genitivus originis
Genitivus separativus
Genitivus comparationis
Genitivus pretii
Genitivus causae
Genitivus materiae
+ Genitive with verbs (remember, see, feel, think... those sort of verbs)

it doesn't mention the IE dative at all, but loci is the first thing they mention when talking about the IE ablative.

ep' oikou doesn't sound much like an ablative, so I'm confused too. All the other praepositions like para and pros are motion away from something when with the genitve :? . epi definitely has this motion to bit in it though epigignesthai for example... hmmm...
sorry i can't really help, all i could do is guess :wink:
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Postby Thucydides » Thu Apr 01, 2004 5:21 pm

Hmmmm.

This is very hard to explain, but in my mind I see the dative like two pencils being held with the tips together, whereas the genetive is more like somebody laying their hand flat on the floor. The dative seems to express a really precise motion, and a precise sense of closeness. The genitive seems like a fairly sort of blanket motion (hence my hand analogy) usually away (but sometimes to) something. Presumably this comes from the ablative.

Epi the dative seems to mean going to a specific space. I put it that epi plus the genitive indicates motion towards somewhere but only in a general, vague, "blanket" sort of way. Hence epi + genitive, as in ep' oikou denotes general movement towards a vague place such as "home". I'll have to look for some more examples...

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Postby chad » Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:33 am

hi thucydides, do you mean [face=SPIonic]e0pi/[/face] + the accusative (rather than the dative) is the precise motion?

Thompson's Greek Prose Usage says that [face=SPIonic]e0pi/[/face] +

the acc. means "towards, against, for, after, on to"
the gen. means "on, in the time of, in charge of, in the direction of"
the dat. means "after, on condition, in addition to, in the power of, for the purpose of, on (uncommon)".

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Thucydides » Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:50 am

the gen. means "on, in the time of, in charge of, in the direction of"
the dat. means "after, on condition, in addition to, in the power of, for the purpose of, on (uncommon)".


Very interesting! See how all the genitive relations are vague imprecise relations, whereas the dative ones are all precise?

I actually meant genitive as opposed to either dative or accusative, though, as you say, in this context accusative makes more sense.
Last edited by Thucydides on Sun Apr 04, 2004 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Paul » Sun Apr 04, 2004 6:27 pm

Hi,

Contrary to what Ars Graeca says, I can find no compelling evidence that the local force of [face=SPIonic]e)pi/[/face] + genitive has its origins in an ablatival genitive.

In fact, Smyth's discussion of the ablatival genitive (1391-1411) does not include any reference to such usage being ablatival. Smyth also points out that it is often very difficult to determine whether a particular usage is a 'true genitive' or an ablatival genitive.

Leonard Palmer seems to place such local usage in the realm of the true genitive. He suggests that such genitives, before the addition of a preposition, may have had their origin in the genitive's partitive function (a 'true' genitive).

In support of this partitive origin, I find interesting Sihler's conjecture that in the latin 'antonymic pair' optimus/pessimus, the root of pessimus may be *ped- (foot) and that the op- of optimus would mean 'head' or 'top'. Because op- is considered cognate with [face=SPIonic]e)pi/[/face], he says the latter may have been the locative singular of a root noun. But its local force and construction with the genitive would thus be rooted in a kind of partitive function, that is, to denote the part 'head' or 'top'.

Enough conjecture on my part. :D

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Thucydides » Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:49 pm

in a pregnant sense, denoting the goal of motion (cf. ei)j A.1.2 , e)n A.1.8 ), nh=a . . e)p' h)pei/roio e)/russan drew the ship upon the land and left it there, 1.485; pera/an nh/swn e)/pi carry to the islands and leave there, 21.454, cf.22.45; e). th=j gh=j katapi/ptein X.Cyr.4.5.54 ; a)nabh=nai e). tw=n pu/rgwn ib.7.1.39; e)p' )Abu/dou a)fikome/naij Th.8.79 (v.l.); freq. of motion towards or (in a military sense) upon a place, protre/ponto melaina/wn e). nhw=n Il.5.700 ; tre/sse . . e)f' o(mi/lou 11.546 (but nh/sou e)/. Yuri/hj ne/esqai to go near Psyria, Od.3.171); e)p' oi)/kou a)pelau/nein, a)naxwrei=n, a)poxwrei=n, homewards, Hdt.2.121.d/, Th.1.30,87, etc.; also with names of places, i)e/nai e). Kuzi/kou Hdt.4.14 ; plei=n e). Xi/ou Id.1.164 , cf. 168; a)poplei=n e)p' ai)gu/ptou ib. 1; a)palla/ssesqai e). Qessali/hj Id.5.64 ; o( ko/lpoj o( e). Pagase/wn fe/rwn the bay that leads to Pagasae, Id.7.193; h( e). babulw=noj o(do/j the road leading to B., X.Cyr. 5.3.45, cf.An.6.3.24.
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