Mon, 20 Jan 1997 17:25:40 -0500

Dale Wheeler on Jan 20 said:
... To explain the deponent forms I would suggest (and that's all it is,
since, as RobtGr p. 803, "The prehistoric situation is purely
speculative.") that the original form of most, if not all, verbs was
middle (since the subject is "doing" something; cf., RobtGr p. 812,
"Where guessing is all that we can do, is it not clear that these
'dynamic' middles represent the original verb before distinction was
drawn between active and middle?"--I don't claim originality for this
idea, as you can see !!). As the language progressed, the passive and
then the active forms developed. As the language developed, two types
of verbs retained their middle forms, rather than developing active


I would like to past on something I received in second year Greek
back in college. I don't know where my prof. found this. Anyone
know, please let me know.

Theory of Deponent Verbs:
1. To show reciprocity - situation where two parties are involved
and no action possible with both. e.g. share, lie, lend, fight,
accompany (middle depondent).
2. To show reflexivity - the verbal concept inheres in the subject
and is reflected back. eg. graze = to feed oneself; step = to move
oneself; wink = to move a part of one's body; remember = to remind
3. To show self-involvement - the self is intimately involved in the
process going on with the subject: (A) eg. words of emotion,
volition, intellect = vascillate, guess, think over, meditate. (B) eg
self-interest = use, invent, plot.
4. To show receptivity - subject is the center of emphasis and
receives the sensory preception. eg. touch, smell, get, receive,
welcome, taste.
5. To show passivity - action involving involuntary experiences
where the subject connot avoid the experiences depicted in the verb.
eg. passions, love, vomit (EREUGOMAI used metaphorically "to declare
openly"), suffer, die, born.
6. To show a state or condition - subject is center of gravity. eg.
lie down, sit down, to be raving mad.

These six uses have covered every instance of the depondents I've
come across. Does this seem a reasonable theory of deponent verbs??

Fred Haltom
Associate Prof of Christian Ministries
Central Bible College