Greek to GCSE (part 2)

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jaihare
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Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by jaihare » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:09 pm

I'm in 7.29 working through the second level of Greek to GCSE, and I came across this:

περὶ δὲ τοῦ Χαιρεφῶντες ἠκούσατε πάντες. οὗτος γὰρ ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος ἐκ νέου ἦν.

It seems to me that ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος is supposed to be a predicate nominative and οὗτος is the subject: "For this (man) was my friend since youth."

Question: Why is the PN definite? Shouldn't we expect it to be indefinite and οὗτος ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος to be a noun phrase on its own ("this friend of mine")?

Thanks,
J.

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Paul Derouda
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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:08 pm

I have nothing to back this up. Just "a feeling".

I suppose οὗτος γὰρ ἐμὸς φίλος ἐκ νέου ἦν is possible, and would mean "he was a friend of mine since youth", but Socrates (I guess this is from the Apology) wants to be more definite, "he was my friend since youth", i.e. I think the article emphasises the idea that there was a special relationship between S. and Kh., that it wasn't just a random vague acquintance. (or something like that, I didn't look it up).

As for the second part of the question, certainly οὗτος ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος can be used as a noun phrase of its own, but why would you expect that here?

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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 pm

Ah, you mean: "This friend of mine (οὗτος γὰρ ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος) was [there, among my friends] since youth (ἐκ νέου ἦν)", or something like that. Grammatically I think it works. But it doesn't feel right, I have no idea why.

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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by jaihare » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:53 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:I have nothing to back this up. Just "a feeling".

I suppose οὗτος γὰρ ἐμὸς φίλος ἐκ νέου ἦν is possible, and would mean "he was a friend of mine since youth", but Socrates (I guess this is from the Apology) wants to be more definite, "he was my friend since youth", i.e. I think the article emphasises the idea that there was a special relationship between S. and Kh., that it wasn't just a random vague acquintance. (or something like that, I didn't look it up).

As for the second part of the question, certainly οὗτος ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος can be used as a noun phrase of its own, but why would you expect that here?
Danke schön. :)

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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by daivid » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:37 pm

jaihare wrote: Question: Why is the PN definite? Shouldn't we expect it to be indefinite.
This probably just shows my lack of experience with Greek but I would be very surprised to not to see a definite construction here. οὗτος here refers back to Χαιρεφῶν so why would it be the specific already mentioned this. Of course English only allows one determiner so you never have this+the but this is not a rule Ancient Greek respects.
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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by jaihare » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:23 pm

daivid wrote:
jaihare wrote: Question: Why is the PN definite? Shouldn't we expect it to be indefinite.
This probably just shows my lack of experience with Greek but I would be very surprised to not to see a definite construction here. οὗτος here refers back to Χαιρεφῶν so why would it be the specific already mentioned this. Of course English only allows one determiner so you never have this+the but this is not a rule Ancient Greek respects.
Oh, of course οὗτος is accompanied by the article ("in the predicate position"), but the issue is that οὗτος is functioning as the subject and ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος is the predicate nominative. When it comes to definiteness, I would have expected the subject to be definite (as οὗτος is by nature), and if the PN is definite, it would be unmarked for definiteness when placed before the verb. Maybe I'm just wrong about that.

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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by daivid » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:59 pm

jaihare wrote: Oh, of course οὗτος is accompanied by the article ("in the predicate position"), but the issue is that οὗτος is functioning as the subject and ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος is the predicate nominative. When it comes to definiteness, I would have expected the subject to be definite (as οὗτος is by nature), and if the PN is definite, it would be unmarked for definiteness when placed before the verb. Maybe I'm just wrong about that.
On the top of page 8 Taylor writes
When used as an adjective, it has the article as well (not translated) but is not sandwiched:
οὗτος ὁ δοῦλος
Now Taylor avoids using the terms attributive and predicate and as I have learnt using Taylor I am a little unclear how correctly to use those terms but isn't Taylor saying that even though it looks like it is being used as a predicate (not sandwiched) it is nevertheless being used as an attributive?

That in the following text Taylor seems to follow that is not very surprising.

(The stress in the quote simply follows what Taylor wrote)
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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by jaihare » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:05 pm

daivid wrote:
jaihare wrote: Oh, of course οὗτος is accompanied by the article ("in the predicate position"), but the issue is that οὗτος is functioning as the subject and ὁ ἐμὸς φίλος is the predicate nominative. When it comes to definiteness, I would have expected the subject to be definite (as οὗτος is by nature), and if the PN is definite, it would be unmarked for definiteness when placed before the verb. Maybe I'm just wrong about that.
On the top of page 8 Taylor writes
When used as an adjective, it has the article as well (not translated) but is not sandwiched:
οὗτος ὁ δοῦλος
Now Taylor avoids using the terms attributive and predicate and as I have learnt using Taylor I am a little unclear how correctly to use those terms but isn't Taylor saying that even though it looks like it is being used as a predicate (not sandwiched) it is nevertheless being used as an attributive?

That in the following text Taylor seems to follow that is not very surprising.

(The stress in the quote simply follows what Taylor wrote)
I think you're confused on the terminology. The demonstratives (so far Taylor has introduced οὗτος, ὅδε and ἐκεῖνος) are always, when part of a noun phrase, in the predicate position — meaning that it is not "sandwiched," if you like. It will never be in the attributive position (appearing between the article and the noun or after a repeated article).

In other words, you will have ὅδε ὁ δοῦλος, but not *ὁ ὅδε δοῦλος or *ὁ δοῦλος ὁ ὅδε. "Attributive" and "predicate" do not have to do with meaning but with position in relation to the article (should one be present).

Therefore, I think we're talking past each other.

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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by jaihare » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:35 pm

By the way, I feel like I've been in Greek to GCSE forever. I have all three levels of John Taylor's program, and I worked through the first level with a group on GreekStudy last year. Didn't have the time to continue into the second level, though. I have picked it up several times, and it always gets put on the back burner. In the last month, I started over with the second level again, doing each exercise and typing everything up on my tablet (Microsoft Surface RT with Office) and keeping track. I have three more exercises left in chapter seven at this point - the furthest I've gotten yet - and I feel like I'm getting back into the stride of things.

I studied three years of κοινή in college ages ago and have done any reading that I do in the NT in Greek since then. But, being able to read the NT was never enough for my ambitions. I have several Attic writers from the Loeb Classical Library on my shelf, and I want to be able to expand into reading them. So, I decided about a year and a half ago to start learning Attic, and that's what I'm doing now.

My plan is to finish with Greek to GCSE and do the readings in Greek Beyond GSCE before picking up an author. I'll decide what to read later (open to suggestions).

I'm so looking forward to breaking free from the restraints that I've had from only learning κοινή and that from Bill Mounce's textbook initially.

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Re: Greek to GCSE (part 2)

Post by mwh » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:46 pm

The sentence is evidently meant to mean "You all heard about Chairephon (typo in Greek, shd be Χαιρεφῶντος). This man was my friend from youth."
i.e.. ουτος is the subject, ο εμος φιλος predicate.

(In different context ουτος ο εμος φιλος could be taken together as subject, "this my friend", "this friend of mine," but that wouldn't make much sense here.)

Predicates normally do not have the definite article.
But occasionally they do.
As here.
Why? Because ἐμὸς φίλος (without article) would scarcely be Greek. To say "a friend of mine" you'd say φίλος μου (or φίλος ἐμοῦ, a friend of mine), i.e. you wouldn't use the possessive adj. ἐμός but the personal pronoun (genitive of ἐγώ). ὁ ἐμός is strongly possessive, mine (maybe no-one else's, but mine). Whether the book actually intends this I don't know (I haven't seen the book); I suspect not.
You could say either
ουτος γαρ ο εμος φιλος εκ νεου ην ("For he was my friend …")
or
ουτος γαρ φιλος μου εκ νεου ην ("For he was a friend of mine …", or "he was my friend").

I hope this helps more than it confuses!

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