Textkit Logo

Dative of possession?

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Dative of possession?

Postby pster » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:04 am

More Polybius:

...ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως, ἐν πολλοῖς οἶμαι δῆλον αὐτὸ πεποιηκέναι...

Here is a pigin translation:

...to me that was from the beginning some one of the things that needed to be done and this part of the whole undertaking, in many places I believe I have made that clear...

My questions:

Is ἐμοὶ a dative of possession?

If so, what is being possessed?

How can it be outside ὅτι? I've never seen that before.

What is τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως doing? It seems to be a noun phrase in parallel with a verb phrase?

So the word order here really has me confused.

Thanks in advance.
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:24 pm

I would need to look at the whole passage. Can you give me a cite? I'm at work now; I'll take a look at this tonight. Disclosure: I have the first volumes of the new Loeb Polybius, but I promise not to look at the translation. Actually I have Dindorf, too, so I'll check that first.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:04 pm

pster wrote:More Polybius:

...ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως, ἐν πολλοῖς οἶμαι δῆλον αὐτὸ πεποιηκέναι...

Here is a pigin translation:

...to me that was from the beginning some one of the things that needed to be done and this part of the whole undertaking, in many places I believe I have made that clear...

My questions:

Is ἐμοὶ a dative of possession?

If so, what is being possessed?

How can it be outside ὅτι? I've never seen that before.

What is τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως doing? It seems to be a noun phrase in parallel with a verb phrase?

So the word order here really has me confused.


Since Polybius isn't familiar territory, I pulled this up in LCL online

2. I am aware that some will wonder why I have deferred until the present occasion my account of the Roman constitution, thus being obliged to interrupt the due course of my narrative. Now, that I have always regarded this account as also one of the essential parts of my whole design, I have, I am sure, made evident in numerous passages and chiefly at the beginning and in the introduction to my history, where I said2 that the best and most valuable result I aim at is that readers of my work may gain a knowledge how it was and by virtue of what peculiar political institutions that in less than fifty-three years nearly the whole world was overcome and fell under the single dominion of Rome, a thing the like of which had never happened before.

2. Οὐκ ἀγνοῶ μὲν οὖν διότι τινὲς διαπορήσουσι πῶς ἀφέμενοι τοῦ συνάπτειν καὶ προστιθέναι τὸ συνεχὲς τῆς διηγήσεως, εἰς τοῦτον ἀπεθέμεθα τὸν καιρὸν τὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς προειρημένης πολιτείας ἀπολογισμόν· 2ἐμοὶ δ᾿ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως, ἐν πολλοῖς οἶμαι 3δῆλον αὐτὸ πεποιηκέναι, μάλιστα δ᾿ ἐν τῇ καταβολῇ καὶ προεκθέσει τῆς ἱστορίας, ἐν ᾗ τοῦτο κάλλιστον ἔφαμεν, ἅμα δ᾿ ὠφελιμώτατον εἶναι τῆς ἡμετέρας ἐπιβολῆς τοῖς ἐντυγχάνουσι τῇ πραγματείᾳ τὸ γνῶναι καὶ μαθεῖν πῶς καὶ τίνι γένει πολιτείας ἐπικρατηθέντα σχεδὸν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐν οὐδ᾿ ὅλοις πεντήκοντα καὶ τρισὶν ἔτεσιν ὑπὸ μίαν ἀρχὴν τὴν Ῥωμαίων ἔπεσεν, ὃ πρότερον οὐχ εὑρίσκεται 4γεγονός.


TLG reference: Book 6, chapter 1, section 7

Preface my remarks with the observation that semantic categories for the cases are nothing more than aides in facilitating discussion. In other words, there is no such thing as a dative of interest or dative of reference. The boundaries between the categories are fuzzy and grammars are all over the place in regard to which category should be applied. Smyth 1476 has examples where the possessive pronoun in the dative is used to indicated possession. The question left unanswered is what semantic contribution does the DATIVE case make to such a construction? Does the DATIVE case in any way shape or form indicate possession? Are we confounding the semantic contribution of the pronoun with the case?

The dative ...ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ... seems to indicate some sort of cognitive state in the speaker, might be loosely paraphrased as "it seems to me that (ὅτι) ... followed by the content of cognition. That paraphrase runs into difficulty when we find the temporal expression ἐξ ἀρχῆς following ὅτι, the LCL translator appears to apply that temporal phrase to the state of cognition "that I have always regarded". Another paraphrase "As for me, that I have from the beginning" awkward English, but at least we have something "As for me" that corresponds to ἐμοὶ. The dative ἐμοὶ appears to be unconnected with the syntax of what follows.
Last edited by C. S. Bartholomew on Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 728
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:57 pm

Looks like emoi goes with en. "because this part of the whole project, too, was one of the necessities from my point of view [for me] from the beginning . . .
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:22 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote: The dative ἐμοὶ appears to be unconnected with the syntax of what follows.


ὑπὲρ τῆς προειρημένης πολιτείας ἀπολογισμόν· ἐμοὶ δ᾿ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως, ἐν πολλοῖς οἶμαι δῆλον αὐτὸ πεποιηκέναι, μάλιστα δ᾿ ἐν τῇ καταβολῇ καὶ προεκθέσει τῆς ἱστορίας, ἐν ᾗ τοῦτο κάλλιστον

G. Cooper[1] talks about the postponement of subordinating conjunctions or relative pronouns to second or later position in the subordinated clause. Linguists would call this the FRONTING of ἐμοὶ, not postponement of ὅτι. Cooper says a constituent located before[2] a subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun will be emphatic. He also suggests that scribes found this word order sufficiently shocking they occasionally corrected it. Anyway, we cannot assume that ἐμοὶ has no syntactical connection with what follows. However, ἐμοὶ δ᾿ ὅτι ... looks to me like ἐμοὶ is functioning as a sentence level adverbial. I would assume that a viable example what Cooper is talking about would require that relocating the fronted constituent somewhere after the subordinating word would result in a grammatical sentence. This is not the case here since ... ἀπολογισμόν· δ᾿ ὅτι ἐμοὶ doesn't work.

Cooper's first example from Aristoph. Ve. 896

ἀκούετ' ἤδη τῆς γραφῆς. “ἐγράψατο
895
Κύων Κυδαθηναιεὺς Λάβητ' Αἰξωνέα
896
τὸν τυρὸν ἀδικεῖν ὅτι μόνος κατήσθιεν
τὸν Σικελικόν. τίμημα κλῳὸς σύκινος.”

Bdelycleon
Listen to the indictment. A dog of Cydathenaea doth hereby charge Labes of Aexonia with having devoured a Sicilian cheese by himself without accomplices. Penalty demanded, a collar of fig-tree wood.



Note the position of ὅτι.

[1] G. Cooper Attic Syntax v.1 page764, 1.54.19.0

[2] This assumes the constituent is syntactically a part of the subordinate clause.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 728
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:45 am

Yes, ἐμοὶ is fronted and is part of the clause introduced by ὅτι. Something like this (tinkering with the order of the clauses): "I believe that I have made it clear in many places, but especially in the introduction and preface of the history, that for me that part of the whole project was from the beginning also one of the necessary topics . . . "
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:03 am

Qimmik wrote:Yes, ἐμοὶ is fronted and is part of the clause introduced by ὅτι. Something like this (tinkering with the order of the clauses): "I believe that I have made it clear in many places, but especially in the introduction and preface of the history, that for me that part of the whole project was from the beginning also one of the necessary topics . . . "


OK, I reviewed dative semantics in Smyth and Cooper. Their is a common species of dative usage where a person or persons are referenced in dative case, who have some significant relationship with the notion put forward in the main clause, even though they are not the agent or the patient of main verb. This species of dative has various names, dative of interest, possession, relation, advantage, disadvantage, all of which are useful but misleading. The main clause is capable of standing w/o the dative but the dative colors the entire clause which is why I was suggesting it functions adverbially.

Furthermore, getting into discourse structure, the clause initial slot is used for contextualizers and adverbials. So dumbing a dative of interest/relation in front of a subordinating conjunction would lead one to seriously consider if the scope of significance for the constituent in this position might be the entire clause. So if we consider fronted constituents functioning as qualifiers of whole clause, syntactically part of that clause, then I would agree with you.

I ran across a simple example of a dative with personal referent in clause initial position which falls into this category of interest/relation in my work today on Agamemnon.

LCL on-line version

Cassandra
I say that you are about to gaze upon the death of Agamemnon.
Chorus
Speak only of good things, poor girl; put your tongue to sleep.
Cassandra
But there is no divine Healer in attendance on these words.271
Chorus
No, if it’s really going to happen; but please, somehow, let it not happen!
1250
Cassandra
While you are praying, they are concerned with slaying!

ΚΑΣΣΑΝΔΡΑ
Ἁγαμέμνονός σέ φημ᾿ ἐπόψεσθαι μόρον.
ΧΟΡΟΣ
εὔφημον, ὦ τάλαινα, κοίμησον στόμα.
ΚΑΣΣΑΝΔΡΑ
ἀλλ᾿ οὔτι Παιὼν τῷδ᾿ ἐπιστατεῖ λόγῳ.
ΧΟΡΟΣ
οὔκ, εἴπερ ἔσται γ᾿· ἀλλὰ μὴ γένοιτό πως.
ΚΑΣΣΑΝΔΡΑ
1250
σὺ μὲν κατεύχῃ, τοῖς δ᾿ ἀποκτείνειν μέλει.


Take a look at Line 1250, the second half of the μὲν ... δ᾿ construction begins with a plural dative with personal referent. ἀποκτείνειν μέλει is an impersonal construction but the fronted dative of interest/relation/reference provides an adverbial constraint affecting the entire clause.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 728
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:17 pm

I'm not sure I see your point about line 1250. μέλει regularly takes the dative as the person who is concerned, i.e., the logical subject. In line 1250, τοῖς δ᾿ is the first element in the clause to contrast it with σὺ μὲν, the grammatical subject of the preceding clause. I don't see how treating τοῖς δ᾿ as "an adverbial constraint affecting the entire clause" advances the syntactic analysis.

ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως: postponing ὅτι to the second position in the clause, while it seems strange to Anglophones, is by no means unparalleled in Greek. See Denniston, Greek Prose Style, page 49 for examples of postponed ὅτι, and other conjunctions.

Greek is more highly inflected than English. This allows more flexible word order because the syntactic relationships among the constituents of a clause are apparent from inflected forms, whereas in English syntactic relationships among clause constituents are to a greater extent determined by word order. Greek is like Russian in this respect: Russian is highly inflected (particularly nouns and adjectives), and consequently, word order is more flexible than in English.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby pster » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:48 am

...ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως, ἐν πολλοῖς οἶμαι δῆλον αὐτὸ πεποιηκέναι...

How about this possibility?

ἐμοὶ is a dative of agent for the perfect πεποιηκέναι!

And (δ᾽) that (ὅτι) also/even (καὶ) this part of the whole purpose (τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως) was from the beginning some one of the things to be done (ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων), in many places (ἐν πολλοῖς) I believe (οἶμαι) that (αὐτὸ) has been made clear (πεποιηκέναι) BY ME (ἐμοὶ).

I left out μὲν for readability. :mrgreen:

He actually does beat to death the fact that there will be this detour in the narrative. So putting the dative of agent way out in front for emphasis makes sense.
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby NateD26 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:24 pm

pster wrote:...ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅτι μὲν ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως, ἐν πολλοῖς οἶμαι δῆλον αὐτὸ πεποιηκέναι...

How about this possibility?

ἐμοὶ is a dative of agent for the perfect πεποιηκέναι!

And (δ᾽) that (ὅτι) also/even (καὶ) this part of the whole purpose (τὸ μέρος τῆς ὅλης προθέσεως) was from the beginning some one of the things to be done (ἦν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἕν τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων), in many places (ἐν πολλοῖς) I believe (οἶμαι) that (αὐτὸ) has been made clear (πεποιηκέναι) BY ME (ἐμοὶ).

I left out μὲν for readability. :mrgreen:

He actually does beat to death the fact that there will be this detour in the narrative. So putting the dative of agent way out in front for emphasis makes sense.

The more I read this sentence, the more the possibility of ἐμοὶ adverbially modifying the entire
clause, even if grammatically it is required by one of the constituents inside the clause, seems
appealing.

There is some emphasis here, not just because Polybius used the emphatic pronoun and fronted it,
as is custom; but because he began the previous sentence with acknowledging that people would
be confused to find his treatise interrupted by a discussion on Roman constitution, and he wanted
to "drive his point home" that this subject, for him and from his perspective, was so important
he could not postpone it any longer.
Nate.
NateD26
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:14 am

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:01 pm

Re dative of agent: πεποιηκέναι is active, not passive, so ἐμοὶ δ᾽ can't be a dative of agent. The grammatical subject/semantic agent of πεποιηκέναι is understood to be the subject of οἶμαι. See Smyth secs. 1972, 1973. "I think that in many places I have made that clear"

I'm not sure what difference it makes to treat ἐμοὶ δ᾽ as referred to the entire clause or simply analyzing it as a dative of reference (or some such classification of what is a natural use of the dative) with the verb ἦν, with ἐμοὶ δ᾽ "fronted" or, what amounts to the same thing, ὅτι postponed.

From what little I've seen of Polybius, he doesn't seem to have been a very careful writer.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:14 pm

In a response to your thread 6.2.6, I noted, regarding the "fronted" ἐμοὶ δ᾽ or postponed ὅτι in this passage, that this word order is by no means unparalleled, citing Denniston, Greek Prose Style, p. 49 for "postponed" ὅτι.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Greek-Briston-Classical-Advanced-Language/dp/1853995266
[/url] [Denniston, Greek Prose Style]

Greek word order is more flexible than English word order because Greek is more highly inflected (and Latin is even more flexible). Denniston has a good discussion of Greek word order.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby pster » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:31 pm

:oops: Ugh. Thanks Qimmik. I knew it was too good to be true!
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Re: Dative of possession?

Postby Qimmik » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:34 pm

Pster, I hope you'll take a look at my other suggestions for conundrums you've raised.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot] and 21 guests