Re: Article-Article-Noun-Noun

Paul Zellmer (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 08:38:59 -0800

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 1:55 AM -0600 12/16/96, Paul Zellmer wrote:
> >Micheal,
> >
> >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)
> = 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
> WWW:
Sorry to be so dense, Carl. I guess this is a form that I always put
under another classification, and so never thought out the grammars when
I hit the discussions. Are you saying that the subjective genitive is
found in clauses with transitive verbs, but genitive absolutes are found
with [expressed or implied] intransitives? Again, since I am away from
my research materials, could someone help with examples that grammars
give to demonstrate the subjective genitive? If you feel that it is not
worth cluttering up the list with these (and it probably isn't), feel
free to responde to me off-line.

Thanks in advance,

Paul Zellmer
Southern Methodist Missions