Is this sentence ambiguous?

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.
Post Reply
markcmueller
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 11:43 am

Is this sentence ambiguous?

Post by markcmueller » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:36 pm

Is this sentence from the Italian Athenaze II, page 251, ambiguous?

Οἱ νεανίαι νομίζουσι τοὺς πολεμίους ῥᾳδίως νικήσειν.

Can it men, both: "The youth consider that it will be easy to conquer the enemy." and "The youth consider that the enemy will easily conquer."

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1708
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Is this sentence ambiguous?

Post by Hylander » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:05 pm

Yes, it's ambiguous.

(1) The young men think they will easily defeat the enemy. Not "it will be easy to defeat the enemy"; the subject of the active infinitive νικήσειν in this interpretation is οἱ νεανίαι is the subject of both νομίζουσι and νικήσειν and it remains notionally nominative in indirect speech, rather than accusative,even though it's the subject of the infinitive. νικήσειν in this interpretation is transitive.

(2) The young men think the enemy will easily win. In this interpretation νικήσειν is intransitive. νικαω can be either transitive or intransitive in Greek. τοὺς πολεμίους is the accusative subject of νικήσειν.

Constantinus Philo
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:04 pm

Re: Is this sentence ambiguous?

Post by Constantinus Philo » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:09 am

Thanx for a clear answer
Semper Fidelis

Post Reply