Textkit Logo

prepositional phrases between article and noun

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!

prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby akhnaten » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:27 pm

I am in unit seven in Mastronarde, which is on adjective formations--and they have not posed a problem. I did have initial difficulty with the syntax of the prepositional phrase (which have been used in the last couple chapters) on one question.

Translate the following:
σοφὴ ἡ γνώμη ἡ τῶν ἐφ᾽ ἵππων στρατηγῶν. (Mastronarde 1st Edition, Unit 7, Exercise II.13)

Answer key reads: Wise is the judgment of the generals on horseback.

My question/comments: I have been working with prepositional phrases for a couple chapters in Mastronarde as well as a Koine Greek textbook. I have gone back and checked examples from both books, and this is the only example (so far) that inserts a prepositional phrase between the article and noun. Is it common to introduce short (or lengthy) prepositions in this way, or is this an abnormal example (which is the case at this point)?

Thanks!

--
actually, looked ahead and see that this is used more frequently. answered my own question.
akhnaten
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby Qimmik » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:29 am

Yes, this is very common.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1420
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby mwh » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:56 am

Sandwiching a prepositional phrase (or anything else) between the definite article and its noun ties it to the noun (lit. "the on-horseback generals"; maybe there were other generals on foot, whose judgment was not so good.)
Otherwise it would function adverbially (e.g. "The generals issued their commands on horseback"). It's an important distinction.
mwh
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby Calgacus » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:13 pm

The same applies with the genitive case, by the way - you can say ἡ τῶν στρατηγῶν γνώμη or ἡ γνώμη ἡ τῶν στρατηγῶν, but ἡ γνώμη τῶν στρατηγῶν isn't good Greek.
Calgacus
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:57 am

Re: prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby akhnaten » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:09 pm

Qimmik wrote:Yes, this is very common.

yeah. mastronarde actually uses the construction in his answer key for translating his english sentences into greek before he formally introduces the construction in the grammar.

--
a few more of these came up in Unit 8, and I translated them correctly except this one:
From Mastronarde, Unit 8, section III, #8
"Translate and give full identification of underlined words."

λέγουσιν οἱ ἄγγελοι τὰς τῆς στρατιᾶς συμφορὰς τοῖς ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ πολίταις.
My (incorrect) translation: The heralds are speaking of the army's misfortunes in the marketplace to the citizens.
Answer key: The messengers are telling the misfortunes of the army to the citizens (who are) in the marketplace.

I understand that the final preposition occurs between article and noun, and this was the source of my error. Would my translation be correct if the sentence was changed to:
λέγουσιν οἱ ἄγγελοι τὰς τῆς στρατιᾶς συμφορὰς τὰς ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ τοῖς πολίταις.
Or, if there is another way to alter the original sentence to come up with my translation, it would be nice to see an example.

Really appreciate assistance on this forum.
akhnaten
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby mwh » Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:02 am

akhnaten wrote:λέγουσιν οἱ ἄγγελοι τὰς τῆς στρατιᾶς συμφορὰς τοῖς ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ πολίταις.
My (incorrect) translation: The heralds are speaking of the army's misfortunes in the marketplace to the citizens.
Answer key: The messengers are telling the misfortunes of the army to the citizens (who are) in the marketplace.

I understand that the final preposition occurs between article and noun, and this was the source of my error. Would my translation be correct if the sentence was changed to:
λέγουσιν οἱ ἄγγελοι τὰς τῆς στρατιᾶς συμφορὰς τὰς ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ τοῖς πολίταις.

Or, if there is another way to alter the original sentence to come up with my translation, it would be nice to see an example.


Yes, that's it, precisely. τὰς τῆς στρατιᾶς συμφορὰς τὰς ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ would mean that the army's misfortunes occurred in the marketplace (at least, the army's misfortunes that the messengers are speaking of; there may have been others elsewhere which the messengers are saying nothing of).

Without that second τὰς, the prepositional phrase ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ would be no longer tied to the army's misfortunes and would be adverbial, so your (mis)translation would still be right (kind of), but would mean that the messengers were speaking in the marketplace. Where the army's misfortunes occurred, and where the citizens were, would be left unstated.

The lesson: always pay close attention to articles - their form, their position, their presence or absence. They're one of the many advantages that Greek has over Latin.
mwh
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: prepositional phrases between article and noun

Postby akhnaten » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:32 am

Much appreciated.
I only understood the necessity of the article in this instance from the above post regarding the formation of an adverbial phrase. Thank you mwh making this distinction, and checking my application.
akhnaten
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:25 pm


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], C. S. Bartholomew and 85 guests