[B-Greek] SE in Mark 1:24

Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at mac.com
Mon Feb 3 17:36:41 EST 2003

On Monday, February 3, 2003, at 06:39 AM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>> I can't see where Smyth 2668 supports your point?  He seems to be
>> discussing the
>> use of the relative pronoun instead of the indefinite relative or the
>> interrogative, and, unless I am missing something (which is quite 
>> possible),
>> does not reference whether or not the pronoun should be considered a 
>> predicate
>> or subject.  Whether or no, this is one of those grammatical points 
>> that could
>> be read either way, I should think.
> Yes, Smyth §2668 is the wrong reference, although it does cite the
> construction in question and note that OIDA SE hOS EI and OUK OIDA SE
> hOSTIS EI are the standard patterns--which is the primary point I was
> referring to. I would still maintain that the interrogative word TIS,
> although first in its clause as interrogative words most commonly are, 
> is a
> predicate nominative rather than the subject; perhaps that would be 
> more
> obvious if it were "I know WHAT you are" than as "I know WHO you are."

There is a good section in Wallace (pp. 42ff.) on distinguishing the 
subject from the predicate nominative. His general principle is that 
the subject is the **known** entity. The pronoun (explicit or implied 
in the verb) trumps all. It will be the subject regardless of the 
grammatical tag of the other substantive. The only exception is the 
interrogative pronoun, which will always be the predicate nominative. 
He states:

"The reason that personal, demonstrative, and relative pronouns 
function differently than interrogative pronouns is this: the former 
are a substitute for something already revealed in the context (a known 
quantity), while the latter are anticipatory of a substantive not yet 
revealed (an unknown quantity). One refers back to an antecedent; the 
other looks forward to a postcedent" (p. 44 and n. 24).
Steven R. Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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