[B-Greek] How to ask "Can I...?"
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Oct 30 05:32:24 EDT 2008
On Oct 29, 2008, at 10:10 PM, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
> Hi Carl,
> Thanks for the information. I'm wondering though, doesn't the use
> of OU reflect some intensity, e.g., "You can see this can't you?"
> with the implication that yes, the subject can see it?
Yes, it does. You can, of course, use simply BLEPETE TOUTO(?) as a
question; older Greek would have prefaced this with an ARA (ἆρα,
νοτ ἄρα) to mark it clearly as interrogative, but in the Koine
indication of interrogative sense would probably have been by
intonation. Of course the punctuation marks we use are relatively
recent, not ancient.
> --- On Wed, 10/29/08, Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com> wrote:
>> From: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] How to ask "Can I...?"
>> To: javajedi2 at yahoo.com
>> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 4:23 PM
>> On Oct 29, 2008, at 7:15 PM, Carl Conrad wrote:
>>> On Oct 29, 2008, at 6:39 PM, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
>>>> If I want to ask the question, "Can I see
>> this/read this/
>>>> whatever?" would I do this just with a mood,
>> like the optative, or
>>>> would I use the modal-like verb (on the analogy of
>> German) DUNAMAI?
>>>> I'm thinking no mood would do the job. That
>> owuld be like Might I
>>>> see this?" To say to a group, "Can you
>> see this??" you would ask
>>>> "DUNASQE BLEPEIN TOUTO;" Would that be
>> the normal Koine Greek way
>>>> to do it? Thanks.
>>> If the question really concerns ability and is not
>> hypothetical, then
>>> you might use DUNAMAI. But the indicative of the verb
>> in question
>>> would, I think, be most normal: OU TAUTA BLEPW?
>> = "Do I see this?" or "Isn't this what I
>>> "Can you see this?"
>>> really is simply "Do you see this?" hUMEIS
>> BLEPETE TOUTO? or OU
>>> BLEPETE TOUTO hUMEIS? Sure, you could have an
>> optative, BLEPOIMI AN
>>> TOUTO? in the sense, "Might I just possibly see
>> this?" But that would
>>> seem awfully stilted in NT Koine.
>>> Carl W. Conrad
>>> Department of Classics, Washington University
>>> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
>>> B-Greek mailing list
>>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Carl W. Conrad
>> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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