[B-Greek] Attributive and Predicate Adjectives

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Mon Jul 30 13:24:07 EDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
> On Jul 30, 2007, at 1:44 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:
>> MAKARIOS ANHR ... means "(a) man is blessed ...", but ANHR MAKARIOS  is 
>> "a blessed man".
> I would question that differentiation as having any strict universal 
> validity-- at least in a situation where those are the only two words  in 
> an expresssion. But I also wouldn't expect to see such a phrase  commonly 
> in isolation from a context; it is the sort of a phrase that  one is most 
> likely to find in a grammar book -- especially one not  written by a 
> Greek-speaker.

Yes, I did not intend to suggest that any of these would occur without 
context, nor that they would have *strict* universal validity. The dots in 
the first one were intended to remind those who remember it of a recent 
thread where a complicated sentence started like that.

The forms were given to show that the default is for the predicate to come 
first in a sentence and the modifier to follow the head noun. But such 
orders are only default and can be changed, depending on the particular 
writer or by a wish to indicate a specific emphasis. So, we agree that the 
determining factor is the analysis of the complete sentence.

>> If there is no definite article involved we sometimes need to
>> look at the whole sentence to see whether an adjective is used as a
>> predicate or as an attribute/noun modifier. Concerning the  difference of
>> meaning (if any) between an attributive adjective occurring before  or 
>> after
>> the noun it modifies there is no simple answer. It partly depends  on the
>> style and preference of the particular writer.

Iver Larsen 

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