hOSOI in Rom 6.3

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Jan 20 20:20:17 EST 2002

At 2:13 PM -0600 1/20/02, Steven Lo Vullo wrote:
>On Sunday, January 20, 2002, at 08:13  AM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>> Depends on what you mean by "subject." As you well know, in parallelism
>>> (chaistic or otherwise) it is customary to elide constituents in the
>>> second
>>> colon which can be assumed from the first colon. This is just good
>>> writing,
>>> according to E. Hemingway, one should always leave out everything that
>>> can
>>> be taken for granted.
>>> So if by "subject" you mean the syntactical subject, I would say that
>>> hOSOI
>>> is not the syntactical subject of the second colon. The second colon
>>> uses
>>> zero anaphora (verb inflection for person) to bind the second colon to
>>> the
>>> first colon. This is a rhetorical technique that promotes cohesion
>>> within
>>> the parallel structure.
>> Clay is giving you a Discourse Analysis answer to what I would term an
>> idiomatic or word-order question; I wouldn't disagree with anything Clay
>> has said, except that it wouldn't use the phrase "elide constituents"
>> but
>> say rather the subject of the main clause is left in ellipsis. English
>> example I was taught: "Who steals my purse steals trash."
>> Smyth (at Perseus):
>> §2509. Omission of the Antecedent to a Relative.--The demonstrative
>> pronoun
>> antecedent to a relative is often omitted: either when it is in the same
>> case as the relative, or in a different case from the relative. The
>> omission occurs when the antecedent expresses the general idea of
>> person or
>> thing, and often when the relative clause precedes.
>> egô de kai (houtoi) hôn kratô menoumen but I and those whom I command
>> will
>> remain X. C. 5.1.26, kalon to thnêiskein hois (for toutois hois) hubrin
>> to
>> zên pherei death is sweet to those to whom life brings contumely Men.
>> Sent.
>> 291, legô pantas [p. 565] eispherein aph' hosôn (for apo tosoutôn hosa)
>> hekastos echei I say that all must contribute according to the ability
>> of
>> each (from such means as each man has) D. 2.31.
>Carl and Clay:
>Thank you for your responses. Forgive more for asking a few more
>(probably bone-headed) questions.
>(1) Would I be safe to assume that, syntactically speaking, the
>correlative pronoun functions approximately like the relative pronoun,
>agreeing in gender and number with an "antecedent," whether explicit or
>implied? I realize that the correlative pronoun may precede its
>"antecedent," so I am using the term loosely, in the sense that the
>correlative is dependent on the main clause.
>(2) Smyth seems to be saying that the elliptical antecedent is a
>demonstrative pronoun. This was actually my first thought in dealing
>with Rom 6.3, and the conclusion I came to with regard to Rom 3.19 (hOSA
>LEGEI ... [TAUTA] LALEI). This seems to fit well for Rom 3.19, since the
>elliptical TAUTA is the object of the verb. But in Rom 6.3 it seems
>awkward to imagine a hOUTOI as the subject of the first person plural
>EBAPTISQHMEN. Is this just because I am thinking in English? Would it be
>natural Greek for a demonstrative pronoun to be the subject of a first
>person plural verb? Or would the personal pronoun hHMEIS be a better
>candidate, at least in Rom 6.3?
>Thanks for your patience. The reason this is so important to me is that
>I am presently diagramming Romans. Though I realize things are not
>always as "tidy" as we would like, still I want to represent the
>syntactical relationships as accurately as possible.

I really don't think there's any real distinction between personal pronoun
antecedents and the demonstratives referred to in the Smyth article (I'd
cite from BDF, except that it's in my North Carolina reference library that
I won't have access to for another two weeks), but there are other GNT
constructions like this:


And there may be another factor here; although hOSOS does indeed function
as a correlative with TOSOS and the interrogative  POSOS, I really think
that it is already in the course of becoming what it is in Modern Greek,
the standard relative pronoun taking the place of hOS, hH, hO. I don't
think that it consistently acts as a relative pronoun in the GNT, but I
think there are several passages where one could argue that it is.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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