ὅτου

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Louis L Sorenson
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ὅτου

Post by Louis L Sorenson » June 12th, 2011, 8:24 am

Funk in section 271 says the following about ὅστις:
271. The indefinite relative is ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅ τι, whoever, whatever. It is compounded from ὅς and τις, both of which are declined. It appears, however, only in the following forms:
Singular
M F N
N ὅστις ἥτις ὅ τι
A ὅ τι
Plural
M F N
N οἵτινες αἵτινες ἅτινα

2710. Notes:
However, BDAG says
ὅτου gen. sing. masc. and neut. of ὅστις (q.v. 6).
Should Funk have listed the genitive?

I also note that almost all occurrences of ὅστις are in the nominative case, except for the accusative neuter and frozen forms like ἕως ὅτου, πρὶν ὅτου (rare), μέχρι ὅτου. What's up with that?
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cwconrad
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Re: ὅτου

Post by cwconrad » June 12th, 2011, 9:24 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:Funk in section 271 says the following about ὅστις:
271. The indefinite relative is ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅ τι, whoever, whatever. It is compounded from ὅς and τις, both of which are declined. It appears, however, only in the following forms:
Singular
M F N
N ὅστις ἥτις ὅ τι
A ὅ τι
Plural
M F N
N οἵτινες αἵτινες ἅτινα

2710. Notes:
However, BDAG says
ὅτου gen. sing. masc. and neut. of ὅστις (q.v. 6).
Should Funk have listed the genitive?

I also note that almost all occurrences of ὅστις are in the nominative case, except for the accusative neuter and frozen forms like ἕως ὅτου, πρὶν ὅτου (rare), μέχρι ὅτου. What's up with that?
Should Funk have listed ὅτου? Probably not, inasmuch, as Louis notes, this is a frozen form, somewhat like the τί in ἱνατί ("why? for what reason?"), where we know that τί is the neuter nom./acc. interrogative, but it's become a single word, as has καθόλου (κατὰ ὅλου). I remember fretting over these genitive singulars of the relative indefinite pronoun when I first met them: the textbook paradigms showed ὅστις with gen. οὕτινος but the form I kept encountering in the genitive was ὅτου, and I kept wondering where that form came from; I finally found it in Smyth: an older form of the genitive of τις is τεο (from an older τεσyο with evanescent -σy- and vowel contraction of εο to ου. You gotta watch out for those grammar-book paradigms; it's better to consult Smyth in the first place.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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