Re: neuter plurals

bill starkey (
Thu, 28 Nov 1996 10:08:35 -0500

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 5:36 PM -0600 11/27/96, bill starkey wrote:
> >I am interested in what the list members would regard as the primary
> >resources discussing neuter plurals. If you have a favorite source
> >please let me know.
> It's hard to fathom from the phrasing of the question exactly what sort of
> information or "resources" on neuter plurals is being sought. I'm assuming
> that you are talking only about Greek neuter plurals and not neuter plurals
> in general or in Indo-European languages. But what? morphology? short-alpha
> nom/acc plurals? contracted nom/acc plurals in eta? singular verb with
> neuter plural subjects? Any standard Greek grammar ought to cover these
> morphological and syntactic patterns--and I can't imagine any competent
> first-year Greek textbook failing to discuss them. Far and away the best
> general grammar for Greek is H. Weir Smyth's _Greek Grammar_ published by
> Harvard University Press; it should tell you anything youwant to find out
> about neuter plurals in Greek, including why and how those nom/acc pluals
> in eta got to be that way.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University
> One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
> (314) 935-4018
> OR
> WWW: Mr. Conrad thank you for you reply. I was talking about NT Grk
and the collective nature of the neuter plural sub and sing. verb.
especially in John.
Also, I am intrigued by the translation of ta as "things." For
instance, how can "things" in 1C 2:12 ("the things freely given") be
defined (enumerated) unless one knew the preceding verses or had
remembered all the "things" Paul had told them. Once the "things" taught
by human wisdom were defined then the spiritual "things" maybe defined.
I maybe straining the gnat here, but before all the theological
musings present themselves it seems to me that the grammatical aspects
need defining.

Thank again for your help. I will get Smyth's book from the library.
Pfafftown (suburb of Winston-Salem), NC.