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

cwconrad2 cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Dec 23 16:41:50 EST 2010


In simple point of fact, the usage of the singular verb with a neuter plural subject
is standard in earlier -- Homeric and Classical -- Greek, somewhat more erratic
in Koine. Usage of a singular verb with a neuter plural in Latin is by no means
standard.

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




On Dec 23, 2010, at 04:39 PM, Bill Barton <phos at windstream.net> wrote:

> "Stephen Carlson" <stemmatic at gmail.com> wrote on Thursday, December 23,
> 2010 12:38 PM:
>
> >The Iliad was not written in Latin, however. It was written in (Homeric)
> >Greek.>
>
>
> My mistake, I was reading "Iliad" as "Aeneid."
>
> To recap: John 19:31 uses a singular verb with a neuter subject. This link
> claims there are 190 examples of the neuter plural with a singular verb in
> the Iliad:
>
> http://stason.org/TULARC/languages/linguistics/28-How-did-genders-and-cases-develop-in-IE.html
>
>
> In fact I'm having a hard time finding such examples (neuter plural subject,
> singular verb) in Latin.
>
> For example, in the verse in question (John 19:31) the Latin Vulgate uses a
> plural verb rather than a singular verb.
>
> Likewise in Mark 4:11, the Greek has panta ginetai (plural subject, singular
> verb) but the Latin Vulgate has omnia fiunt (plural subject, plural verb).
>
> Finally, this reference says that plural subject with singular verb is a
> "glaring solecism" in Latin:
>
> "Lectures on Syntax: with special reference to Greek, Latin, and Germanic,"
> page 18
>
> http://books.google.ca/books?id=6bCWl_izTBUC&pg=PT54&dq=latin+grammar+%22neuter+plural+subject%22&lr=&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=solecism&f=false
>
>
> Bill Barton
> Layman
>
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Stephen Carlson" <stemmatic at gmail.com>
> Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:38 PM
> To: "Bill Barton" <phos at windstream.net>
> Cc: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] subject and verb mismatch - John 19:31
>
> > On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 12:09 PM, Bill Barton <phos at windstream.net> wrote:
> >> Latin does the same. For example, this link claims the Iliad uses the
> >> neuter plural with a singular verb 190 times:
> >
> > The Iliad was not written in Latin, however. It was written in (Homeric)
> > Greek.
> >
> > Stephen
> > --
> > Stephen C. Carlson
> > Graduate Program in Religion
> > Duke University
>
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>
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