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Definite article with place name...

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Definite article with place name...

Postby benissimus » Fri Aug 22, 2003 6:24 am

How do you know when to use the definite article in regards to a proper noun, specifically a place name? This sentence, Number 6 on Lesson 84 in JWW reads:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]o9doj fanera a0gei ei0j taj tou Kurou kwmaj.[/face]<br /><br />I was confused because by my translation it was:<br />"A visible way leads to the villages of (the) Cyrus."<br /><br />What is the difference between saying "the Cyrus" and just saying "Cyrus"?
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re:Definite article with place name...

Postby Skylax » Fri Aug 22, 2003 8:28 am

It says here (Humbert, Syntaxe grecque) that :<br />a) in Homer and in "high" lyric poetry the article with a proper noun is not found;<br /><br />b) later, the article is not found when the tone of the text is formal or cold (hostile: in a political discourse, the opponent's name is never preceded by an article).<br /><br />c) Elsewhere, article with a proper noun is common practice, although not compulsory. It fits in particularly when the person has already been mentioned and acts as a character of the related story.<br /><br />Well, you may do what you want... ::)
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Re:Definite article with place name...

Postby gnosomai » Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:21 pm

at the risk of being wrong and humbling myself yet more..<br /><br />I agree with Skylax that this is a situation where the article in Greek is used with proper nouns and it is not to be translated.<br /><br />"the villages of Cyrus" where the meaning 'of' comes from the use of the genitive of possesion.<br /><br />~gnosomai
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Re:Definite article with place name...

Postby benissimus » Fri Aug 22, 2003 9:22 pm

Ok, thanks. JWW seems to like to throw these quirks in and then leave you in the dark as to what they mean. I am sure I would have been confused by the intertwining articles if I didn't have a reasonable knowledge of Latin...
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Re:Definite article with place name...

Postby gnosomai » Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:51 pm

Look at the rules of Syntax paragraph 807 - you will be surprised what's there. I read the rules of syntax often and I find that it helps.<br /><br />It does seem that White leaves things up to the reader but I bet that he was actually leaving unexplained issues up the instructor. The book is very small so who knows what is left out or under developed? I think these old grammars were written with the expectation that they would be used in a classroom. Modern grammars seem to cater a bit more to the independent student. I still like the older ones better because they seem to have a faster pace and impose discipline, but that could just be in my head.<br /><br />~gnosomai
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