AGAIN! (Re: Another question re. 2 Tim 1.12)

Carlton Winbery winberyc at
Wed Jan 6 14:14:11 EST 1999

>At 8:29 AM -0500 1/6/99, Perry L. Stepp wrote:
>>Perry L. Stepp wrote:
>>>>What is the syntactical function of the infinitive FULAXAI in 2 Tim 1.12?
>>>>I'm translating it as the complement to the copula--"he is able (DUNATOS
>>>>ESTIN) to keep . . ."  Is that (complementary infinitive) the proper
>>>>terminology for what I'm seeing?
>>Carl W. Conrad replied:
>>>YES, that's the term; surely DUNATOS ESTIN is equivalent to DUNATAI.
>>A further question: Brooks and Winbery *seem* to refer to this type of
>>infinitive as an infinitive of direct object.  Am I correct in my reading of
>>B&W?  In practical (if not metaphysical [grin] ) terms, are "complementary
>>infinitive" and "infinitive of direct object" often interchangeable
>Well, now; I've never gone that route. Another obscure (metaphysical?) mode
>of tackling the infinitive is to say that it has an old dative case-ending
>(I, AI) and is something like a dative of "direction." But I really don't
>see why we don't call it a complementary infinitive, UNLESS there's some
>hesitation to grant that DUNATOS ESTIN = DUNATAI. I defer to Carlton on
>this one, reserving the right, of course ...
In our syntax book under the substantival infinitives we have the category
of the infinitive as object of the verb. In that section we write, "Also to
be included in this category is the so-called complementary infinitive
which occurs with certain verbs which cannot take a direct object as such
but which require an infinitive to complete their meaning."  This does not
say that the two are interchangeable but that we group them together to
reduce the number of categories. FULAXAI is clearly complementary if you
want a separate category, but it is also a substantival usage.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Pineville, LA 71359
winberyc at
winbery at

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