Constructs with finite verb.

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Sat Sep 9 11:54:33 EDT 2000

Hi Peter,
> Thanks, Dave. Maybe we have been talking at cross purposes a little because
> of subtle differences between British and American English.

Could be.  I have often said that Americans don't speak English, 
they (we) speak American.  I'll try to take that into consideration 
more consistently in the future.  Thanks for the nudge.

> I will just answer the part of this below. As I stated before, I take "the
> city where David encamped" to be synonymous with "the city at which David
> encamped", in other words, the "where" clause is adjectival (i.e. relative)
> modifying "city" rather than adverbial modifying the main verb of the
> sentence. 


But your parsing of Gen 1:1 has "when God created..." as
> adverbial, not adjectival or relative modifying "beginning". 

Hmm, good point.  I don't know whether this would be a legitimate 
application of Gesenius' principle or not.  I'll have to examine some 
more of his examples and see if there are any adverbial ones there.

Now I don't
> know what Gesenius meant. I would assume that Gesenius' translator Cowley,
> who was a scholar at Oxford, intended the same sense when he translated "the
> city where David encamped" (section 130d) as the sense in which I read it.
> But he wrote 90 years ago, so I may be wrong.

I'm not really bound to Gesenius-Kautsch-Cowley in the first place; 
as I've said before, I'm not convinced of this approach to Gen 1:1, I 
just thought it should have a hearing.  You raise some excellent 
points, and I suspect they will lead to the conclusion that this 
approach is found wanting in the Genesis case.  Waltke-O'Connor 
note this same relativization use of the construction, as I detailed 
in another post, but they don't go near Gen 1:1, either.  However, 
their material might be helpful in ascertaining whether they see an 
adverbial use as legitimate (OTOH, one of them is American and 
the other is Canadian, so who knows what we'll get in English??? ;-)

> No, I can't explain why I find "where" acceptable and "when" unacceptable.
> It is simply a linguistic fact about my dialect of English.

And that's good enough for me at this point.  I'll go back and look 
at the grammars again, probably some time next week, and see if 
they address this question.

Dave Washburn
"Éist le glór Dé."

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