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Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

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Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:35 pm

κἀκείνη τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἔξαρνος ἦν, καὶ ποιεῖν ἐκέλευεν ὅ τι βούλομαι: οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰδέναι.
Lysias 1.19

'what I wanted' - I think it may be an indirect question, but the main verb ('ἐκελευεν') makes me doubt this, because it's not a verb of asking, deliberating etc. Could it be a relative clause, or was I correct in thinking it's an indirect question?
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Hylander » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:24 pm

It's a relative clause, not an indirect question.
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:37 pm

Hylander wrote:It's a relative clause, not an indirect question.


Thank you!
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:38 pm

Another suggestion against it being a question, is that she actually knows what will happen (1.18 μαστιγωθεῖσαν εἰς μύλωνα ἐμπεσεῖν) if she's found to be lying.

What is not written into the Greek here is an understood, "believe what she says or". As in "She exhorted me to believe what she said, or to do to her what I wanted to." That comes from 1.18. She is not actually asking him to beat her and send her to hard labour.

If ὅστις is not used (with a discourse significance) to mark reported speech (a question), and choosing it was significant, then the uncertainty or generality (Smyth 2496), of the "whoever" may be suggesting a "see if I care" attitude that neither flogging and the mill, nor anything else he might think of would phase her, because she really οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰδέναι.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby jeidsath » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:32 pm

The antecedent to ὅ τι is omitted. It's the object of ποιεῖν. So:

[ἐκείνη] ἐκέλευεν -> [με] ποιεῖν -> ὅ τι βούλομαι

οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰδέναι is indirect speech, hence the infinitive. Her words in direct speech would be:

"ποίει ὅ τι βούλῃ· οὐδὲν γὰρ οἶδα."
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:44 pm

This expression sounded kinda familiar :lol: [1]

TLG search:

ποιεῖν ὅ τι βουλοίμην
ποιεῖν ὅ τι βουληθεῖεν
ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλεται
ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλονται
τῷ ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλονται
ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλοιτο
ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλεσθε
ποιεῖν ὅ τι βούλοισθε


ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν βούλωμαι
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν δύνωμαι
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν βούληται
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν βούλωνται
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν αὐτῷ δοκῇ
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν σὺ κελεύῃς
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν ἐκεῖνος κελεύῃ
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν δόξῃ
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν ἐθέλωσιν
ποιεῖν ὅ τι ἂν βούλῃ


[1] "Do your own thing" Apparently, Jim Morrison didn't invent this. "Do What You Like" by Ginger Baker track #6 Blind Faith album.
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby mwh » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:13 am

Phoebus,
ο τι βουλομαι is governed by ποιειν, not by εκελευεν, so εκελευεν doesn’t really come into it.

As Hylander says, ο τι βουλομαι is here a relative clause (to do what I want = to do that which I want, [τουτο] ποιεῖν ο τι βουλομαι), not an indirect question.
But in a sentence such as “I know what I want” it would be an indirect question. (What do I want?, τί βούλομαι; I know what I want οιδα ό τι βουλομαι.)
As you seem to realize, ὅ τι in itself can be either the indefinite form of the relative pronoun ὅ, in which case it introduces a relative clause, OR the indirect form of the interrogative pronoun τί, in which case it introduces an indirect question. Or of course it might simply be ὅτι "that."

You might want to ask what the difference is between ποιειν ο τι βουλομαι (indic.) and ποιειν ο τι αν βούλωμαι (αν + subjunctive). The answer is Νot much, but the latter would mean “to do whatever I want (whatever that may be)”, while the indicative is simply “to do what I want.”
And a final twist: since we are in historic sequence (εκελευεν past tense), ποιειν ο τι βουλοίμην could represent either ο τι βουλομαι or ο τι αν βουλωμαι.

I could add further complications, but I won't. Isn’t Greek fun?
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:36 am

@all, another question about this section:

Is the "reverse" use of ἐκέλευεν here - betwen a servant and mistress' husband - quizzical or striking?

[I can rationalise its use in the LSJ cited "reverse" usage in Lysias 16.16 (προσελθὼν ἐγὼ τὸν ταξίαρχον ἐκέλευον ἀκληρωτὶ τὴν ἡμετέραν τάξιν πέμπειν.) where a soldier "commands" his leader in a matter of bravery, because it seems to be similar to when service personel of all ranks are said to salute the holder of VC or MOH, because an act if valour "out ranks" an appointed rank. ]

Is κελεύω often used in reverse power situations?
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:36 am

jeidsath wrote:The antecedent to ὅ τι is omitted. It's the object of ποιεῖν. So:

[ἐκείνη] ἐκέλευεν -> [με] ποιεῖν -> ὅ τι βούλομαι

οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰδέναι is indirect speech, hence the infinitive. Her words in direct speech would be:

"ποίει ὅ τι βούλῃ· οὐδὲν γὰρ οἶδα."
ἑκηβόλος wrote:Another suggestion against it being a question, is that she actually knows what will happen (1.18 μαστιγωθεῖσαν εἰς μύλωνα ἐμπεσεῖν) if she's found to be lying.

What is not written into the Greek here is an understood, "believe what she says or". As in "She exhorted me to believe what she said, or to do to her what I wanted to." That comes from 1.18. She is not actually asking him to beat her and send her to hard labour.

If ὅστις is not used (with a discourse significance) to mark reported speech (a question), and choosing it was significant, then the uncertainty or generality (Smyth 2496), of the "whoever" may be suggesting a "see if I care" attitude that neither flogging and the mill, nor anything else he might think of would phase her, because she really οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰδέναι.
mwh wrote:Phoebus,
ο τι βουλομαι is governed by ποιειν, not by εκελευεν, so εκελευεν doesn’t really come into it.

As Hylander says, ο τι βουλομαι is here a relative clause (to do what I want = to do that which I want, [τουτο] ποιεῖν ο τι βουλομαι), not an indirect question.
But in a sentence such as “I know what I want” it would be an indirect question. (What do I want?, τί βούλομαι; I know what I want οιδα ό τι βουλομαι.)
As you seem to realize, ὅ τι in itself can be either the indefinite form of the relative pronoun ὅ, in which case it introduces a relative clause, OR the indirect form of the interrogative pronoun τί, in which case it introduces an indirect question. Or of course it might simply be ὅτι "that."

You might want to ask what the difference is between ποιειν ο τι βουλομαι (indic.) and ποιειν ο τι αν βούλωμαι (αν + subjunctive). The answer is Νot much, but the latter would mean “to do whatever I want (whatever that may be)”, while the indicative is simply “to do what I want.”
And a final twist: since we are in historic sequence (εκελευεν past tense), ποιειν ο τι βουλοίμην could represent either ο τι βουλομαι or ο τι αν βουλωμαι.

I could add further complications, but I won't. Isn’t Greek fun?


Thank you all! :)
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Hylander » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:37 pm

You might want to ask what the difference is between ποιειν ο τι βουλομαι (indic.) and ποιειν ο τι αν βούλωμαι (αν + subjunctive).


My thought about this was that in this context the servant was presented with two specific alternatives:

ἔξεστι δυοῖν ὁπότερον βούλει ἑλέσθαι, ἢ μαστιγωθεῖσαν εἰς μύλωνα ἐμπεσεῖν καὶ μηδέποτε παύσασθαι κακοῖς τοιούτοις συνεχομένην, ἢ κατειποῦσαν ἅπαντα τἀληθῆ μηδὲν παθεῖν κακόν, ἀλλὰ συγγνώμης παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ τυχεῖν τῶν ἡμαρτημένων.

The αν + subjunctive construction, I suspect, would be more likely if the range of possibilities were less specific, more open-ended.
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby jeidsath » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:20 pm

Both mwh and Hylander mention something that confused me here. In my summary above, which I hope is correct, I had wanted to put in the explicit object of ποιεῖν, but wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. Is it τοῦτο or θάτερον or πότερον? It’s definite in the relative clause, applying to him, but it’s indefinite to her.
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Hylander » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:11 pm

It works just like "what" or "whatever" in English. "Do what/whatever you want."
Last edited by Hylander on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:27 pm

Hylander wrote:It works just like "what" or "whatever" in English. "Do what/whatever you want."

Cf. ποίει ὅπως βούλει (X. Cyr. 1.4)
ποίει ὅπως ἄριστόν σοι δοκεῖ εἶναι (ib. 4.5)
"Do whatever you (in your own way of thinking) want to.

vs. this ποίει ὅ τι βούλει "do what(ever) things that (I possibly know) you have in mind.

Also ἐκείνη σε ἐᾷ ποιεῖν ὅτι ἂν βούλῃ Plato, Lysis, 208d.
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No hungry generations tread thee down;
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby jeidsath » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:58 pm

I wasn’t very clear. I’m not asking about indefinite versus definite, but about what has dropped out. Here is Smyth on omitted antecedents:

2509. Omission of the Antecedent to a Relative.—The demonstrative pronoun antecedent to a relative is often omitted: either when it is in the same case as the relative, or in a different case from the relative. The omission occurs when the antecedent expresses the general idea of person or thing, and often when the relative clause precedes.

ἐγὼ δὲ καὶ (οὗτοι) ὧν κρατῶ μενοῦμεν but I and those whom I command will remain X. C. 5.1.26, καλὸν τὸ θνῄσκειν οἷς (for τούτοις οἷς) ὕβριν τὸ ζῆν φέρει death is sweet to those to whom life brings contumely Men. Sent. 291, λέγω πάντας εἰσφέρειν ἀφ᾽ ὅσων (for ἀπὸ τοσούτων ὅσα) ἕκαστος ἔχει I say that all must contribute according to the ability of each (from such means as each man has) D. 2.31.


If we wanted to “restore” the antecedent that has dropped out, as Smyth does is the examples above, what would it be here? τοῦτο?
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby mwh » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:06 pm

jeidsath, The object of ποιειν is simply ο τι βουλεται. (Cf. 1Jn.1!) If anything is “omitted”—which it’s not—it’s τουτο, yes. (I added it in square brackets in my post.) Certainly not θατερον or ποτερον, which wouldn’t fit at all.

Hylander, The way I see it, her “Do what you like” merely intensifies the force of her denial, and doesn’t relate to the “alternatives” he’s offered her (Tell the truth or else: the choice is yours). He can do what he likes, it won’t alter her ignorance.
The indicative is blunter than subj.+αν would be, that’s all, “what” vs. “whatever,” more or less. (Note εκηβολος’s Lysis example, “just whatever”.)

εκηβολε, I wouldn’t set much store by the “reverse” use of κελευω, which can be a very mild verb. “At first she denied it, and told me to do what I liked: she knew nothing.” A touch of sassy defiance, perhaps, but she’s not giving orders, and all the power is his.
ποίει οπως βουλει “Act as you wish” vs. ποίει o τι βουλει “Do what you wish”? (ὡς vs. ὅ)
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:35 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:ποίει ὅπως βούλει (X. Cyr. 1.4)"Do whatever you (in your own way of thinking) want to. vs. this ποίει ὅ τι βούλει "do what(ever) things that (I possibly know) you have in mind.
mwh wrote:ποίει οπως βουλει “Act as you wish” vs. ποίει o τι βουλει “Do what you wish”? (ὡς vs. ὅ)

Nice neo-copernicanism. :P Pressing the mutabilty of subordinate clause onto the fixity of the verb, vs. Moulding the maleability of the verb's meaning onto the subordinate clause's rigidity.

mwh wrote:I wouldn’t set much store by the “reverse” use of κελευω, which can be a very mild verb.
Thanks. Any word that uccurs so early in textbooks and readers is sure to be more than skin-deep first impressions. I'll try to use it more flexibily when it comes up in reading.
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No hungry generations tread thee down;
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Re: Is this a relative clause or indirect question?

Postby Hylander » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:58 am

Hylander, The way I see it, her “Do what you like” merely intensifies the force of her denial, and doesn’t relate to the “alternatives” he’s offered her (Tell the truth or else: the choice is yours). He can do what he likes, it won’t alter her ignorance.


Thanks! I take your point.
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