Textkit Logo

Recognizing appositions?

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.

Recognizing appositions?

Postby cscase » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:54 am

Hello all,
I have a question I would like to run past you regarding apposition. The concept was introduced to me recently as I made my way through Mounce's BBG, and I thought I understoood it. But then today, as I was working on the workbook exercises for Chapter 10, an instance of apposition came up and I did not recognize it. After looking at the answer key and seeing how I should have translated it, I looked again at the sentence, but I can't see how I should be recognizing, in this case, that this is some apposition going on. Here is the specific sentence I am talking about, from the BBG workbook, exercise 10 (track 1), sentence # 6, p.33:

ἕλεγεν περι τοῦ ναοῦ τοῦ σώματοs αὐτοῦ.

or, transliterated, if that is easier:
Elegen peri tou vaou tou somatos autou.

My (incorrect) translation was "He was speaking of the temple of his body."

The answer key, however, says that that "his body" is in apposition, so it should be "temple that is his body."

I understand that the "that is" part is an extra verb inserted in the translation for clarity, to show the apposition. What I don't understand, though, is how to recognize that apposition is going on here. To me, it looks like, because these words are all genitive, that it's "of the temple of his body." How am I to recognize that that is not the case? Is it the του that blows that theory up?

Thanks for your help!

Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Recognizing appositions?

Postby NateD26 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:11 am

Well, I wasn't aware of this genitive of apposition before, but GTM has enlightened me in this thread.
I have no idea how to recognize it though. The difference between "the gift of the spirit" and "the gift that is his spirit"
is rather too subtle for me to recognize.
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:14 am

Re: Recognizing appositions?

Postby pster » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:15 pm

Scott, I could be totally wrong, but here goes:

Getting to the genitive is a syntactic matter. Getting to the type of genitive is going to be a semantic matter. So in order to recognize that this is a genitive of apposition we gave to reflect on the possible meanings. Go down the list. Is it a partitive genitive? No. Is it a genitive of time? No. Is it a genitive of possession? Perhaps metaphorically, but not strictly. Genitive of apposition? Could be. And we see that this fits better than any other. Moreover, arguably, something about the genitive of apposition seems to call for the process of elimination.

Just thought I'd sneak in here with my two cents before one of the heavy hitters shows up. :D
User avatar
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1071
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests