Greek research
Wed, 29 May 1996 08:27:57 +1000


Thank you for you comments and interest. I too find these things
fascinating. Just last Monday--of this week--my supervisor and I
agreed to a change in my thesis topic. Originally it was the
"Decline of the subjunctive in Greek. But that's where I came across
something interesting re hINA.

I started out by looking at changes from classical to hellenistic Greek
but then also included the Byzantine and modern stages, and encountered things llike the subjunctive in Koine frequently taking over from the optative
after the use of secondary main verb, something which never happened in
classical Greek. I also studied the use by Homer of the subjunctive for
or to express futurity and how this related to subjunctive/indicative in
Hellenistic Greek.

Concerning hINA Goodwin says that in classical Greek hINA is nevr foll
owed by the future indicative, which is not the case with Hellenistic
Greek--though there is some evidence of MSS corruption.

Since I also speak and read several other Western European languages,
such as German, French, Spanish, etc. I've come to realise that there
are some fascinating parallels between these languages and Greek with
respect to the use of the subjunctive in particular.

It was in fact only recently that I came across a book through the internet and obtained a copy from another library, of a book in French on the French
subjunctive, entitled _L'Opposition subjontif/Indicatif dans les Relatives_
by Brigitte Kampers_Manhe [I think the tiele should be clear to English
readers]. She shows that in the French language the the mood of principal
verbs and their kind will dictate the modal use of the verb in relative
clauses. For, example, with volitives the subjunctive will follow, whereas
with verbs of perception the indicative will follow. When the principal
verb is in the subjunctive, imperative, infinitive the subjunctive is
required in the relative. However, the indicative can also be found in
the relative but then the sense is altered.

Now, I'm looking at this in GreekMy supervisor, Br Alan Libert of New
York, in the Linguistics Department of the University of Newcastle, is
most interested in this proposition. His field of expertise and Special-
ization is Greek syntax. So that's what I'm working on at present.

I've also come across similar phenomena in German, for example, in Peter
Eisenberg's _Grundriss [outline] der Deutschen Grammatik_. On the other
hand, just to make things a little more challenging, I've been reading a b
book by Jeffrey L. Houben, _The Conditional Sentence in Ancient Greek_, in
which he shows that the subjunctive in the apodosis dominates the verb in
the protasis!

I hope that this provides some of the material you were looking for with
repect to your request, which I appreciate. Of course, I'd be interested
in any comments you might have or any further materials you might have
come across with respect to the above.

Thank you,

John Oaklands