Re: Syntactic Latinisms in Greek?

Carl W. Conrad (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 14:47:00 -0500

At 1:57 PM -0500 9/10/96, Domenico LEMBO wrote:
>Recently C. Conrad asked about a possible influence of Latin Grammar on
>(hellenistic) Greek. Well, the current view is that nothing such exists
>except sometimes in official (administrative) documents, translated from
>Latin into Greek or badly written in Greek. And, generally speaking, this
>is quite right.
>One could, however, rephrase it better. Maybe nothing such exists as
>established, codified, embedded anew in Greek grammar. But there are at
>least occasional traces of this phenomenon: traces one can discover in
>single texts or in single authors, wherever bilingualism is given, both as
>individual competence and as pressure exerted by a foreign language. And
>now and then there *is*, I suspect, grammaticalisation in Greek of some
>Greek Latin pattern.
>Let's take two examples from NT. In Lc 7.4 we read: AXIOS ESTI O(I)
>PAREXE(I) TOUTO (= lat. dignus est cui hoc praebeas). This is a clear
>Latinism, but an occasional one. Elsewhere (e.g. Io 1.27) we find AXIOS +
>HINA, but this is surely an established pattern. And, if it derives from
>Latin *dignus ut*, then one could rethink the whole matter...
>The ground is not yet explored enough. A case study is: M. Dubuisson, Le
>Latin de Polybe. Les implications historiques d'un cas de bilinguisme,
>Paris 1985. Useful hints are also in: Zum Umgang mit fremden Sprachen in
>der griechisch-roemischen Antike: Kolloquium der Fachrichtungen Klassische
>Philologie der Universitaeten Leipzig und Saarbruecken am 21. und 22.
>November 1989 in Saarbruecken, hrsg. von Carl Werner Mueller, Kurt Sier und
>Juergen Werner. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1992.

Mille grazie a Signore Lembo. We haven't heard from you for a long time;
your information is helpful and appreciated, and I'm glad you're still
lurking out there.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR