[B-Greek] Galatians 1:11: Accusative or nominative?

Ulrik Petersen ulrikp at hum.aau.dk
Thu Jul 12 18:27:41 EDT 2007

Dear all,

I was analyzing Galatians chapter 1 today using my Linguistic Tree 


and I came across this text in Galatians 1:11:


I was trying to grasp the syntactic function of


whether it is the subject of the copula "ESTIN", or whether it is 
something else.

I would translate this something like the following:

For I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel which was preached by 
me is not from man.

That is, I would not translate:

For I make the gospel which was preached by me known to you, brothers, 
that it is not from man.

In the second translation, "the gospel which was preached by me" is seen 
as the object of the verb GNWRIZW.  In the first, it is the subject of 
the copula verb ESTIN.  The handful of translations that I checked all 
agreed with the first reading.

My question is, if the first reading is valid (namely subject of ESTIN), 
why do many morphological databases[1] all agree that TO EUANGGELION TO 
EUAGGELISQEN hUP EMOU is *accusative* rather than nominative?

My tentative analysis can be seen here:


If you look at the picture, you will see that I have tentatively 
analyzed GNWRIZW GAR hUMIN, ADELFOI, as a clause in itself, with TO 
EUAGGELION TO EUAGGELISQEN hUP EMOU as the subject of the copula ESTIN, 
with KATA ANQRWPWN as the "predicate complement."

One argument against this analysis would be that hOTI normally 
introduces a clause (at least in the meaning in which it appears here), 
and that it normally does not stand in the middle of a clause, but only 
near the beginning.  But some linguistic theories (e.g., van Valin's 
Role and Reference Grammar) would allow for the noun phrase [TO 
EUAGGELION TO EUAGGELISQEN hUP EMOU] to be outside the clause, in a 
"left detached position", where it would function as a kind of 
introduction to the clause, or else in the "Pre Core Slot".

"Left detached position" occurs in English in examples such as "As for 
me, I would never deign to analyze a left detached position as such."  
In this example, "As for me" is, according to Role and Reference 
Grammar, in the "left detached position"; it is outside the main clause, 
and acts as an introduction.

"Pre Core Slot" might be a more plausible analysis within the framework 
of Role and Reference Grammar, provided it could be demonstrated that 
hOTI could stand at the beginning of the Core of the clause rather than 
at the beginning of the clause itself.

I may be way off base here, so please help me out.  Comments would be 
greatly appreciated.  I am not looking so much for answers within the 
paradigm of Role and Reference Grammar, as I am looking for perspectives 
from either morphology or "traditional syntax".

Please CC my email address if you reply, as I only receive the B-Greek 


Ulrik Petersen

[1] (including Friberg and Friberg's AGNT, Robinson's Westcott-Hort, 
Robinson's parsed Byzantine text, and my collaborator, James Tauber's 

Ulrik Petersen, Aalborg University, Denmark
http://ulrikp.org -- Homepage
http://emdros.org -- Emdros is a text database system

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