[B-Greek] Dative participial clauses
kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 8 16:37:06 EDT 2007
On Jul 8, 2007, at 3:22 AM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> X.A. 3.5.7-8
>> Ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰς σκηνὰς ἦλθον, οἱ
>> μὲν ἄλλοι περὶ τὰ 2 ἐπιτήδεια ἦσαν,
>> στρατηγοὶ δὲ καὶ λοχαγοὶ συνῇσαν.
>> καὶ 3 ἐνταῦθα πολλὴ ἀπορία ἦν.
>> ἔνθεν μὲν γὰρ ὄρη ἦν ὑπερύψηλα,
>> ἔνθεν δὲ ὁ ποταμὸς τοσοῦτος βάθος
>> ὡς μηδὲ τὰ δόρατα ὑπερέχειν
>> πειρωμένοις τοῦ βάθους.
>> ἀπορουμένοις 2 δ’ αὐτοῖς προσελθών
>> τις ἀνὴρ Ῥόδιος εἶπεν· Ἐγὼ
>> θέλω, ὦ
>> 3 ἄνδρες, διαβιβάσαι ὑμᾶς κατὰ
>> τετρακισχιλίους ὁπλίτας, ἂν 4 ἐμοὶ
>> ὧν δέομαι ὑπηρετήσητε καὶ
>> τάλαντον μισθὸν πορίσητε.
>> EPEI DE EPI TAS SKHNAS HLQON, hOI MEN ALLOI PERI TA 2 EPITHDEIA HSAN,
>> STRATHGOI DE KAI LOCAGOI SUNHiSAN. KAI 3 ENTAUQA POLLH APORIA HN.
>> ENQEN MEN GAR ORH HN hUPERUYHLA, ENQEN DE hO POTAMOS TOSOUTOS BAQOS
>> hWS MHDE TA DORATA hUPERECEIN PEIRWMENOIS TOU BAQOUS. APOROUMENOIS 2
>> D' AUTOIS PROSELQWN TIS ANHR hRODIOS EIPEN: EGW QELW, W 3 ANDRES,
>> DIABIBASAI hUMAS KATA TETRAKISCILIOUS hOPLITAS, AN 4 EMOI hWN DEOMAI
>> hUPHRETHSHTE KAI TALANTON MISQON PORISHTE.
>> Once again we have switched reference. The [referent of the] subject
>> of the pre-verbal dative participle APOROUMENOIS is STRATHGOI KAI
>> LOCAGOI. The subject of PROSELQWN and EIPEN is TIS ANHR hRODIOS. Once
>> again we have a pronoun AUTOIS to deal with but I think that is a
>> minor distraction. I wonder why Cooper selected this example to
>> illustrate a loosely connected pre-verbal dative participle? Perhaps
>> there is some reason I am not aware of that a dative would not
>> construe with the participle PROSELQWN.
> What exactly was Cooper's rubric here? (I had my hands on his work
> a few years ago, but it was on interlibrary loan even then). I
> agree that this passage seems quite unexceptional. PROSELQWN and
> EIPEN are quite enough to make the choice of the dative for the
> participial clause intelligible.
Cooper's structure is a left over from Kruger and it takes some
getting used to.
Within Cooper's treatment of Participles 1.56, section 1.56.9 is
Participles Appositive and Absolute and at the very end of this
section 126.96.36.199 he writes "For the rare and imperfectly developed
approaches to a dative absolute cf. 188.8.131.52" where section 1.48
covers the Dative Case, 1:48.5 the Restrictive Dative (aka dative of
relation) and 184.108.40.206 Near Dative Absolute. The citations I have
mentioned from Thucydides and Xenophon all appear under 220.127.116.11 Near
Dative Absolute. Here is the essence of what he said in this section.
Cooper (18.104.22.168) calls these examples "... participle complexes
which can be almost an equivalent of a genitive absolute." with a
qualification "Most examples show datives which remain in
construction with other elements in the sentence. But the relation is
sometimes loose enough that that translation as a separate clause is
convenient." Cooper's citations from Thucydides and Xenophon were
intended to illustrate this loose relationship. So much for Cooper.
I think it would be useful to list the features of the genitive
absolute (GA). Here are a few of them:
*syntactically independent: a. The participle clause does not fill a
constituent slot within the main clause. b. No constituent within the
participle clause will be coreferential with any constituent in the
Note that not all grammarians would define the syntactical
independence of the GA in this manner.
*switched reference: Subject of participle clause is the currently
active discourse participant in the immediately preceding context and
the following clause switches to a new subject.
*different subject: Subject of participle not coreferential with
subject of the main verb. Even in cases where the GA follows the main
clause (not switched reference) it should have a different subject.
*Note how these overlap.
pre-verbal: Participle clause located prior to the main clause. This
feature groups with switched reference, but is not essential for GAs.
adverbial function with the main clause: The participle clause will
limit the verbal idea in the main clause. This does not contradict
the notion of syntactical independence. The GA limits the main clause
as a whole and does not fill a constituent slot within the main clause.
subject in the same case: When the participle has a explicit subject
it will be in the same case as the participle.
This incomplete list of features illustrates why GAs present
difficulties for classification. I agree with R.A. Young
(Intermediate NT Greek, 1994:159) who under the heading Genitive
Absolute says: "The purpose of the construction then is not to
construct a clause with a subject that is not mentioned elsewhere in
the same sentence. Rather it seems to serve within the sentence as a
switch-reference device to show that the subject of the main clause
is different from its own subject. ... It also seems to have a
discourse function at the beginning of paragraphs (or subparagraphs)
to indicate a change in setting. This is especially true in narrative."
What Young says about GAs might also be useful in the analysis of
dative pre-verbal participial clauses. If we drop our preoccupation
with strict syntactical independence we might discover significant
features that GAs have in common with dative pre-verbal participial
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