Re: Article-Article-Noun-Noun

Carl W. Conrad (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 05:59:46 -0600

At 1:55 AM -0600 12/16/96, Paul Zellmer wrote:
>Please help me out here, because my memory of my intermediate greek
>course must be failing me, and I am separated from my library. Please
>contrast the "subjective genitive" and the "genitive absolute." My
>faulty memory is trying to make these synonymous, and I cannot see how
>the "genitive absolute" fits for an adjectival use of the genitive.

I should let Micheal answer for himself, but this seems a pretty
straightforward matter. The Genitive Absolute will NOT fit for adjectival
use of the genitive at all: it always involves a subject--noun or
pronoun--in the genitive and a predicate which is usually a participle (but
may be a predicate noun or adjective linked to the subject with an implicit
participle of EIMI), and it is grammatically independent of the other
structures in the sentence, although it could be said to function like an
adverbial clause governing the main predicate.
A Subjective Genitive, however, will adhere to a noun that has a verbal
notion in it and will indicate that this genitive form would be the subject
to that other noun if it were a verb. This gobbledygook means:

hH TOU QEOU AGAPH (if TOU QEOU be understood as subjective genitive)

but TOU QEOU AGAPHSANTOS (understood as a genitive absolute)
=3D EPEI HGAPHSEN hO QEOS or something like that.

Does that help?

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