[B-Greek] subject and verb mismatch - John 19:31

Bill Barton phos at windstream.net
Thu Dec 23 12:09:05 EST 2010

On Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:24 AM, Sarah Madden wrote:

>The neuter plural subject often (but not always) takes a singular verb in 

Latin does the same.  For example, this link claims the Iliad uses the 
neuter plural with a singular verb 190 times:


Likewise English sometimes does the same as well, using a "neuter" plural 
noun in a collective sense with a singular verb, for example,
"The data says otherwise."

The following link addresses this point briefly:

 http://stason.org/TULARC/languages/linguistics/28-How-did-genders-and-cases-develop-in-IE.html"PIE [Proto IndoEuropean] didn't bother much with specifying plurals, butwhen it did, it added an *-s or other endings. The neuter plural in all IE[IndoEuropean] languages is not descended from this, however--active/stativelanguages typically don't mark plurals for inanimate nouns--but is instead acollective noun, treated grammatically as a singular.  This collective nounended in *-a in the nominative and accusative, and eventually it developedinto the feminine, which in all the old IE languages has the same form inthe nominative singular as does the neuter plural nominative- accusative.It is also why the Greek neuter plural took a singular verb. "Bill BartonLayman--------------------------------------------------From: "Sarah Madden" <sarah.r.madden at gmail.com>Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:24 AMTo: "Oun Kwon" <kwonbbl at gmail.com>Cc: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] subject and verb mismatch - John 19:31> Hi, Oun -->> This number mismatch is a typical format for Greek sentences that have> NEUTER plural subjects. The neuter plural subject often (but not always)> takes a singular verb in Greek. So, it's not an anomaly but just a normal> part of the Greek grammar.>>> --> Sarah ><>> sarah.r.madden at gmail.com> work: 301.429.8189>>> On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM, Oun Kwon <kwonbbl at gmail.com> wrote:>>> A clause in John 19:31 reads:>>>> ἵνα μὴ μείνῃ ἐπὶ τοῦ σταυροῦ τὰ σώματα ἐν τῷ σαββάτῳ>> hINA  MH MEINHi EPI TOU STAUROU TA SWMATA EN TWi SABBATWi>>>> My question is, when we have TA SWMATA (plural) as the subject, how>> should I take the singular verb MEINHi?>> May I see other examples of this 'anomaly'?>>>> Oun Kwon>> --->> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek>> B-Greek mailing list>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek

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