Page 1 of 1

ἔξω an adverb (more or less)

Posted: January 13th, 2019, 5:28 pm
by Stirling Bartholomew
The traditional metalanguage calls ἔξω an "improper preposition" which is explained as a group of adverbs which can be associated with (take a) oblique case substantive but cannot be affixed to the front of a verb.

There's more to the story than that. Prepositions behave differently than adverbs. ἔξω can appear just about anywhere. Clause initial, clause final. In front of a finite verb while joining with a case that follows the verb. In other words the finite verb can separate ἔξω from it's substantive. You won't find that very often with regular prepositions.

I went looking for a pattern: ἔξω + finite verb + genitive case substantive
Euripides Trag., Iphigenia Aulidensis Line 863

{Αχ.} ὡς μόνοιν λέγοις ἄν, ἔξω δ' ἐλθὲ βασιλείων δόμων.

2Clem. 7:4 εἰδέναι [12] ἡμᾶς δεῖ, ὅτι ὁ τὸν φθαρτὸν ἀγῶνα ἀγωνιζόμενος, ἐὰν εὑρεθῇ φθείρων, μαστιγωθεὶς αἴρεται καὶ ἔξω βάλλεται τοῦ σταδίου.
I also noticed a pattern: genitive case substantive + ἔξω + finite verb
Sophocles Trag., Oedipus tyrannus Line 622

{ΚΡ.} Τί δῆτα χρῄζεις; ἦ με γῆς ἔξω βαλεῖν;
This is obviously not an exhaustive study of the issue.

Re: ἔξω an adverb (more or less)

Posted: January 13th, 2019, 9:21 pm
by MAubrey
One thing here that's important is the question of whether ἔξω is functioning as a preposition in a given context.

When word is in transition to preposition, it's going to have usage in both part-of-speech domains.

Cf. English than, which is currently working on this transition in English from a comparative conjunction to preposition.
  • He is taller than I [am]. (conjunction usage)
  • He is taller than me.
(preposition usage)

Of course, pedants don't like language change and thus this particular usage shift is viewed as a linguistic disaster by many writers and copyeditors.

Re: ἔξω an adverb (more or less)

Posted: January 15th, 2019, 6:54 pm
by Stirling Bartholomew

For some reason I have a hard time following this notion of development in relation to English. Pulled A.T. Robertson off the self and read his historical discussion starting on page 553. Clears up some confusion (once again) in my thinking. Robertson's treatment needs to be brought into the current language. Over several decades I have learned Robertson's framework and language. Wouldn't expect any current student to make use of his book.