[B-Greek] Periphastic construction
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 24 20:07:57 EDT 2009
3.1. Elements of a PeriphrasticVerbal Construction
Periphrasticverbal constructions are formed by the grammatically appropriate combination of a form of the auxiliary verbεἰμίEIMI and a participle. The participle contributes the semantic (meaning) feature of verbal aspect to the construction (as well as voice; see Chapter 3 section 1). The form of εἰμί EIMI, which is aspectually vague (i.e. it does not provide a meaningful choice of aspect), is used to grammaticalize attitude (i.e. mood; see Chapter 2) of the action in its context, as well as person and number (see Chapter 3 section 2).
In determining whether a given instance of εἰμίand a participle is periphrastic, it is useful to keep in mind that no elements may intervene between the auxiliary verb and the participle except for those which complete or directly modify the participle (not the verb εἰμί). Hence 2 Cor. 2.17(οὐ…ἐσμεν ὡς οἱ πολλοὶ καπηλεύοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦOU … ESMEN hWS hOI POLLOI KAPHLEUONTES TON LOGON TOU QEOU [we are not like many, peddling the word of God; not: we are not peddling the word of God, as do many]) and Lk. 1.21(ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν ΖαχαρίανHN hO LAOS PROSDOKWN TON ZAXARIAN [the people were there,expecting Zacharias]) are not periphrasticconstructions, since in each case the grammatical subject is placed between the auxiliary verb and the participle. Troublesome for determination of whether a construction is periphrasticare phrases which might indicate
location (in, on, etc.) or time (when, at, etc.), if they appear between the auxiliary and the participle. If they limit the auxiliary, then the construction is not periphrastic. See, for example, Col. 3.1: ὁ Χριστός ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ καθήμενος hO XRISTOS ESTIN EN DECIAi TOU QEOU KAQHMENOS, which could be understood as ‘Christ is at the right hand of God, seated’, or ‘Christ is seated at the right hand of God’. The consequences of this differentiation can be important. For example, if Mk 1.13(ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τεσσεράκοντα ἡμέρας πειραζόμενος HN EN THi ERHMWi TESSERAKONTA hHMERAS PEIRAZOMENOS) were periphrastic, it would be compatible with the view that Jesus was said to be in the desert and tempted by Satan for all forty days (he was being tempted in the desert for forty days). The non-periphrasticinterpretation leaves it open that the temptations
are seen to have occurred at the end of the period (he was in the desert forty days, being tempted). The interpretation here depends upon whether one sees the temporal phrase (forty days) as limiting the auxiliary or the participle.
Porter, S. E. (1999). Idioms of the Greek New Testament (45). Sheffield: JSOT.
… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus
From: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
To: B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Cc: jerry.a.reimer at gmail.com
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 5:23:20 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] Periphastic construction
An item from BG-Bounces that evidently didn't get through regular
From: Jerry Austin Reimer [mailto:jerry.a.reimer at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 10:11 AM
To: 'b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org'
Subject: Periphastic construction
In general, is there such a thing as a periphrastic construction with
HLQON (or any other intransitive verb, for that matter) plus a
participle or must the intransitive verb always be a form of EIMI?
I have John 1:31 in mind. KAGW OUK IDEIN AUTON ALL' hINA FANERWQHi TWi
ISRAHL DIA TOUTO HLQON EGW hUDATI BAPTIZWN (HLQON plus BATIZWN). Can
this be called periphrastic?
Not sure I did the transliteration right. Hope it is right enough.
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