Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 12:20 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:A very similar clause seems to function as an independent clause in Luke 1:18:
Luke 1:18 wrote:ἐγὼ γάρ εἰμι πρεσβύτης καὶ ἡ γυνή μου προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῆς.

I think this is an independent clause with implied ἐστίν, and could function as an independent sentence:
ἡ γυνή μου προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῆς.
Again, I think this is correct, and again, I think this is what Culy say:
M. Culy - Baylor Handbook, Luke pg 19 wrote:ἡ γυνή. Nominative subject of an implied equative verb with
προβεβηκυῖα (see below on προβεβηκυῖα).


μου. Genitive of relationship.

προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῆς. See 1:7 on προβεβηκότες ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῶν ἦσαν

προβεβηκυῖα. Prf act ptc fem nom sg πρβάινω. Superficially, the participle appears to be attributive, modifying γυνή]. It is better, however, to understand an implied ἐστίν that has been left out by ellipsis. The participle should thus be read as a perfect periphrastic (cf. 1:7; 2:36).
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 1st, 2015, 1:24 pm

Is this really a periphrastic participle? That's the one part that doesn't feel right in Culy's description.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 1:38 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Is this really a periphrastic participle? That's the one part that doesn't feel right in Culy's description.
Isn't that what your proposed "independent clause with implied ἐστίν" demands? What else would ἐστίν be doing in that independent clause?
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 1st, 2015, 1:41 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Is this really a periphrastic participle? That's the one part that doesn't feel right in Culy's description.
Isn't that what your proposed "independent clause with implied ἐστίν" demands? What else would ἐστίν be doing in that independent clause?
Doesn't "προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς" function adjectivally here, describing αὕτη?

Can you explain the periphrastic interpretation?
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 1:58 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Is this really a periphrastic participle? That's the one part that doesn't feel right in Culy's description.
Isn't that what your proposed "independent clause with implied ἐστίν" demands? What else would ἐστίν be doing in that independent clause?
Doesn't "προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς" function adjectivally here, describing αὕτη?

Can you explain the periphrastic interpretation?
Well, if it were adverbial modifying αὕτη, then I would read it as, "... she (αὕτη) being well advanced in age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity." In that construction, I am surprised to find αὕτη, but that might just be my ignorance of 'subjects' of participles. It seems redundant to me, and I would expect Ἅννα as the antecedent.

The periphrastic construction makes way more sense to me, "And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well advanced in years - αὕτη (ἦν) προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς - ... " For me αὕτη fits perfectly here, and awkwardly as a redundant reference back to Ἅννα.
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 2:58 pm

... if it were adverbial modifying αὕτη ...
I meant to say adjectival, of course ...
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 1st, 2015, 3:04 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Doesn't "προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς" function adjectivally here, describing αὕτη?

Can you explain the periphrastic interpretation?
Well, if it were adverbial modifying αὕτη, then I would read it as, "... she (αὕτη) being well advanced in age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity." In that construction, I am surprised to find αὕτη, but that might just be my ignorance of 'subjects' of participles. It seems redundant to me, and I would expect Ἅννα as the antecedent.
That's not what I thought it would mean. If it were adjectival, describing αὕτη, then I would read it as "she was well advanced in age". Why would you translate the implied ἦν as "being" here?

Suppose this had been said using πρεσβῦτις instead of προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς:
Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη πρεσβῦτις, Ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,
There's an implied ἦν there, αὕτη πρεσβῦτις ἦν or (adding ἦν to the original) Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς ἦν, but I don't see periphrasis.
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 3:20 pm

Jonathan wrote:That's not what I thought it would mean. If it were adjectival, describing αὕτη, then I would read it as "she was well advanced in age". Why would you translate the implied ἦν as "being" here?
Thomas wrote:Well, if it were adjectival (sic) modifying αὕτη, then I would read it as, "... she (αὕτη) being well advanced in age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity." In that construction, I am surprised to find αὕτη, but that might just be my ignorance of 'subjects' of participles. It seems redundant to me, and I would expect Ἅννα as the antecedent.

The periphrastic construction makes way more sense to me, "And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well advanced in years - αὕτη (ἦν) προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς - ... " For me αὕτη fits perfectly here, and awkwardly as a redundant reference back to Ἅννα.
But there is no implied "ἦν" here! That's the whole point. That construction is in my 2nd paragraph. The participle is an adjective. If you put a finite verb in here - implied or otherwise - then you have a periphrasis. Otherwise, as I said earlier, what would the implied εἰμί be doing in this clause? - Well, with an εἰμί verb the participle could be serving as a predicate adjective, I suppose.

You will have to show me what a form of εἰμί would be doing in this construction, if not serving as part of a periphrasis.
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 1st, 2015, 4:15 pm

Jonathan wrote:Suppose this had been said using πρεσβῦτις instead of προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς:

Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη πρεσβῦτις, Ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,
(I'm juggling too many things here today!)

This sentence might be possible, but I find it has quite changed the feeling of Luke's statement (even if you kept the participle instead of the substituted noun). From my reading of Luke, I would much prefer either the adjectival participle with no implied verb ("being very advanced..." - which gives me a problem with αὕτη), or else the periphrastic construction. Why? Because I think this construction removes all the 'weight' from the latter part of the sentence, and makes it very unbalanced. Don't know if I could defend that, but it seems to fall quite short of a Lukan sentence, when viewed this way.

Also, I think that viewed this way, προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς would be a predicate adjectival phrase rather than a substantive like your inserted πρεσβῦτις.
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Re: Must a participle have a finite main verb?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » May 3rd, 2015, 1:00 am

Jonathan wrote:Can you explain the periphrastic interpretation?
I spent a bit of time digging around to try to nail down the effect of a periphrastic construction here. First of all, I think that it does add considerable כָּבוֹד (‘weight’) to the phrase “αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς” in this interesting, and beautifully written part of Luke’s Gospel. I think a strong case can be made that it ought to be read in the same way as the pluperfect periphrastic constructions in Luke 2:26; 4:16; 5:17; 8:2; 9:45; 15:24; 23:53; Acts 8:16; etc. Luke likes this construction!

The pluperfect periphrastic is formed from a union of the imperfect of εἰμί with a perfect participle (Wallace pg 647). That is what is suggested here, as Culy says:
M. Culy - Baylor Handbook, Luk,e pg 89 wrote: προβεβηκυῖα. Prf act ptc fem nom sg προβαίνω (pluperfect periphrastic). Having introduced Anna with the verb ἦν, Luke feels free to leave this verb implicit in the clause that begins verse 37 αὐτὴ χήρα. The same is likely the case here (cf. 1:7, 18).
There is debate over the effect of the periphrastic construction during the Koine era, but the pluperfect does seem to be used for emphasis, especially by Luke. The effect of the construction in “αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς”, would be something like, “She had become very advanced in days”. As stated, I believe this adds considerable כָּבוֹד to this beautiful picture Luke is painting. It underlines the great age of this grand old lady. Speaking of the effect of the periphrastic construction in his Idioms, Porter writes, “… grammarians who wish to stress that the periphrastic is more emphatic or significant, or that it draws attention to the participle and its modifiers, are probably correct” (Stanley E. Porter, Idioms of the Greek New Testament -2nd Edition, pg 47) and, “Periphrastic constructions with the perfect participle are a long-recognized phenomenon in ancient Greek, especially in light of the cumbersome perfect and pluperfect forms, for which a periphrastic was a much to be preferred alternative.” (ibid, pg 48)

And remember, this is Luke and this is the birth narrative. In the context of Luke’s opening chapters, I think that the periphrasis reading is much to be preferred here and in 1:18 over predicate adjective or simple adjectival participle.
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