[B-Greek] Whence the grammatical inconcinnity? (was: "The Unattractiveness of Attraction?")

cwconrad2 cwconrad2 at mac.com
Tue Dec 7 08:16:39 EST 2010

On Dec 07, 2010, at 12:50 AM, Leonard Jayawardena <leonardj at live.com> wrote:

> Mark L. wrote:
> "Generally, when people talk about attraction, they talk about a relative being attracted to the case of its prior antecedent, so what you have in Phil 1:27-28 is actually reverse attraction, I think, which is even a more unattractive term."
> LJ:
> Actually, what we have in Phil. 1:27-28 is attraction of the relative to the gender of the predicate. "Inverse attraction" (or "reverse attaction," as you put it), is the assimilation of the gender of the antecedent to that of the relative. Normally, it is the other way round--hence the term "inverse attraction."
> An example is Ps. 118:22 (LXX), quoted in Mt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10 and Lk. 17:
> Normal grammar would require LIQOS (nominative), hON ..., which is exactly what we have in 1 Peter 2:7: LIQOS, hON APEDOKIMASAN hOI OIKODOMOUNTES ....
That's a nice observation. I wonder how well we generally proofread
what we've written -- and email may be more hazardous than longhand
writing. I'm inclined to think that many of the anacolutha and "pendens"
constructions (I think I'm being redundant) in the GNT may not be the
result of a scribe/amanuensis penning the words as dictated by a
composer who hasn't thought the construction all the way through to
the end. It's certainly true that standard grammar would, as Leonard
notes, require LIQON to be nominative. It's possible that LIQON has
been attracted into the case of the relative (Latin commonly encloses
and assimilates the case of an antecedent into the relative clause as
"hON LIQON APEDOKIMASAN ... "). On the other hand, it may be
that the composer was originally intending to write something like

On the other hand, it's the LXX of the Psalms that has the cited
text here -- and I don't have the LXX ready to hand at this time
to check.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (ret)

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