[B-Greek] Dative participial clauses

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Jul 4 11:29:53 EDT 2007

On Jul 4, 2007, at 8:04 AM, Delbert Flora wrote:

> Regarding the idea that "absolute" participles (genitive absolutes)  
> are not
> related via syntax to another part of the sentence, isn't that true  
> of TOUTO
> at times in that the referent or antecedent is "conceptual"? Do we  
> argue
> that TOUTO is "absolute" in such instances?

Not that I know of. On the other hand, people analyzing grammatical  
constructions have used lots of terms that I never learned, some of  
them useful, many of them not so much --- and some of the terms that  
I HAVE learned, like "deponent," I've decided we could well do without.

My impression is that the term "absolute" has in traditional or  
conventional Greek grammar been used consistently to refer to  
participial clauses with genitive nominals and participles and with  
accusative participles of impersonal verbs, when the clause in  
question functions in the manner of an adverbial or circumstantial  
clause. I have come to see the term "absolute" applied by NT Greek  
grammatical analysts to participles in cases other than the genitive  
and accusative when there seems to be some difficulty linking the  
clause syntactically with the main clause: they speak of "Nominative  
absolute" (or some like to use the term "pendens" ("hanging" or  
"dangling"). You might compare the final element in this sentence:  
"We don't do such things, generally speaking." I learned to call  
"generally speaking" a "dangling participle." I sort of think the  
"absolute" participial constructions are somewhat like "dangling  
participles" -- they function adverbially but don't really agree with  
any nominal in the main clause.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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