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Unanswered Questions

Postby jaihare » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:37 pm

Hey, Textkittens.

I asked a couple of questions on the First Greek Book forum earlier in the month, and so far no one has given any kind of feedback whatsoever. Is anyone even checking in on that forum anymore?

I'd love to have someone look over at least the question regarding adjective distribution. I received a PM from NateD about part of it, but there was no other feedback. Could someone take a look at it and let me know what you think?

I appreciate any help I can get.

Jason
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τοὺς θεοὺς εὔχομαί σοι διδόναι ὑγίειαν καὶ σωτηρίαν καὶ ἀγαθὰ πολλά.
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Baker » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:04 am

You seem to be taking the adjectives here to be attributive when they are, in fact, predicate adjectives. For all you want to read about adjectives (and more), see Smyth, 1018 - 1062. For the succinct answer, see 813 of White.

Cheers,
Eliot
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby jaihare » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:38 am

Baker wrote:You seem to be taking the adjectives here to be attributive when they are, in fact, predicate adjectives. For all you want to read about adjectives (and more), see Smyth, 1018 - 1062. For the succinct answer, see 813 of White.

Cheers,
Eliot


Uh... no. To declare them to be in predicate position for sure, we have to be talking about definite nouns, and we're not. These are certainly in the attributive position in both cases, though they are unmarked since there are no articles. If they are anarthrous, then you need to show from context that this is true - and here it isn't.

This is besides the point, anyway. I'm asking whether or not ἀγαθάς in the first instance modifies both πέλτας and μαχαίρας or only the latter, and if ἄγριοι in the second instance modifies both ὄνοι and ἵπποι or only the former. It really is irrelevant if they are predicate or attributive in this question.

Smyth §1040 indicates that the predicate adjective implies a verb. There is no verb implied here. You're certainly off on this. Nothing in the examples I've posted qualifies as predicate adjectives, and I'm still left wondering about the distribution.

But, the situation is most probably like Akemdwr has stated, that the ambiguity exists also in English and is something that will not necessarily be clarified.

There were wild donkeys and horses in the plain. - In this sentence, are the horses considered wild also? How do we know, even in English, that the adjective is distributed (and this is an attributive adjective, for sure) to both nouns?

We have good sabres and shields. - How do we know that the shields are also good?

The ambiguity exists in English, too. So, I shouldn't be surprised or overwhelmed at its existence in Greek.
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Baker » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:19 pm

You appear to have the answers so please don't take me in the wrong way.

The first sentence could be: "We have shields and swords that are good." And if so, then they would both be modified by good.

And what do you make of White 813: "When an adjective either precedes the article, or follows the noun without taking an article, it is always a predicate adjective."
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby jaihare » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:38 pm

Baker wrote:You appear to have the answers so please don't take me in the wrong way.

The first sentence could be: "We have shields and swords that are good." And if so, then they would both be modified by good.


That's how all attributive adjectives work.

"The red shirt is clean." = "The shirt that is red is clean."

You're referring to attributive adjectives, not predicate.

Baker wrote:And what do you make of White 813: "When an adjective either precedes the article, or follows the noun without taking an article, it is always a predicate adjective."


That's not saying what you're taking it to mean. It's talking about adjectives that appear OUTSIDE of the combination of article-noun. It can appear before it without an article, or it can appear after it without a noun - and then it's predicate. This isn't even 100%. I'll bring a reference when I get home. You can have an attributive adjective that falls in this position, also (sadly). (Scratch that last comment. See next post.)
Last edited by jaihare on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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τοὺς θεοὺς εὔχομαί σοι διδόναι ὑγίειαν καὶ σωτηρίαν καὶ ἀγαθὰ πολλά.
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby jaihare » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:54 pm

First Greek Book
[[ 812. An attributive adjective, or equivalent expression, which qualifies a noun with the article, commonly stands between the article and the noun. But the noun with the article may be followed by the adjective with the article repeated; here the first article is sometimes omitted. Thus, ἡ Ἑλληνικὴ φυλακή, or ἡ φυλακὴ ἡ Ἑλληνική, or φυλακὴ ἡ Ἑλληνική, the Greek garrison, ἡ εἰς τὸ πεδίον εἰσβολή, or ἡ εἰσβολὴ ἡ εἰς τὸ πεδίον, or εἰσβολὴ ἡ εἰς τὸ πεδίον, the pass leading into the plain. ]]

I misspoke above. It's not that it's outside of the structure. The attributive article always has to be accompanied by the article when it's a definite expression, even if the head noun is lacking it. :)

Either way, I do not agree with your original statement that the two examples originally quoted are predicate-position adjectives. They're certainly attributive anarthrous expressions. {Retracted}
Last edited by jaihare on Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jason Hare
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby jaihare » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:52 pm

And, yet again, I must stand corrected.

Greek Prose Composition (North & Hillard), section 4, states the following:

----
4. (a) An Adjective as an ordinary attribute comes usually between the Article and the Noun.
e.g. ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἀνήρ, the brave man.

But this may also be expressed by–
ὁ ἀνὴρ ὁ ἀγαθός

(b) In any other position the Adjective is a Predicate.
e.g. ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός (ἐστιν). The man is brave.<1>
ἀγαθός (ἐστιν) ὁ ἀνήρ.

<Footnote 1> Notice that this rule applies to such sentences as–
ἡδεῖαν ἔχει τὴν φωνήν, he has a pleasant voice.
ἅπαντα θνητὸν ἔχομεν τὸ σῶμα, we all have a mortal body.
The adjective here adds a fresh assertion or predicate, e.g. “We all have a body and it is mortal.”
The Article often distinguishes the Subject from its Complement–
e.g. νὺξ ἡ ἡμέρα ἐγένετο, day became night.
----

Just thought I’d share and offer my self-correction. I take back my opposition. You’re correct. Thanks for your help.

Jason
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Baker » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:16 am

Phew. I was starting to wonder if I had it all wrong. I'm glad you worked this out as I didn't have more time to pursue it.

Thanks for the update,

Eliot
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