the new theory of Greek NPs (To Iver)

Iver Larsen alice-iver_larsen at
Wed Jan 24 03:58:34 EST 2001

Hi, Moon,

I'll be brief this time.

> Does it imply that the Greek article is somewhat different from say
> the English definite article?


> (3)
> In relation to this question, why wouldn't the Greek writer use
> the relative pronoun to express TO DENDRON TO KALON? That is,
> why not TO DENDRON hO KALON?

This needs further research. My guess is that when the Greek speaker, like Paul,
is branching off on a new line of thought he can use the relative article as a
starting point. It is amazing to me how often Paul starts what I consider a new
sentence with a relative pronoun. So, TO DENDRON hO KALON would make me expect
that he wants to go on speaking about the goodness of this tree. TO DENDRON TO
KALON means that he is speaking about a tree that happens to be good.
> (4) The notion of rankshifting may be quite helpful to give an account of
> the noun phrase hO ANHR EKEINOS  in  hO ANHR EKEINOS  HSPASATO ME.
> (That man greeted me).  I would conjecture that the noun phrase
> hO ANHR EKEINOS (the man [which is] that) came fromI
> sentence  hO ANHR EKEINOS (the man [is] that).   The reason
> that we do not have hO ANHR hO EKEINOS may be that
> EKEINOS itself is specific enough so that it is redundant for
> the definite article to make it more specific.

As far as I know the demonstratives do not co-occur with the definite article in
Greek, nor in English for that matter. This is because the function of the
definite article and the demonstrative are so close together in their degree of
determinativeness (?) that both could not be used at the same time. Many
languages don't have definite articles, because the demonstratives alone are
sufficient to carry the function of showing determinativeness, deictic

> Matt 12:45 THi GENEAi TAUTHi THi PONHRAi -
> I would consider TAUTHi and THi PONHRAi as having the same  grammatical
> roles.

I agree. One could translate this as either "to this evil group-of-people" or
"to this group-of-people who is evil." In both cases the head noun is modified
by two attributes.
> Sounds like we are having such an interesting discussion.  I feel like I
> also am  spending too
> much time on the list, considering that I have to write up a paper to a
> conference and send it
> quite soon. But it is really a fun for me.

I agree again.

Iver Larsen
Kolding, Denmark
alice-iver_larsen at

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