Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » July 15th, 2020, 3:24 am

(except for proper names, which Turner ignores and Levinsohn focusses upon).
Turner has lengthy discussions about different kinds of proper names and the article, and there's something intertwined about the lack of the article and prepositions. There's nothing specifically dedicated to the article with proper names inside prepositional phrases, but there are examples of it. This is of course a difficult subject because there are two phenomena together which can both be see as "exceptional" as far as the use of the article goes: prepositions and proper names.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 15th, 2020, 2:16 pm

In volume one alone, Guy Cooper devotes over 130 pages to the article. I didn't even bother to look at volume three which focuses Herodotus and poetic texts. I wasn't able to find an e-text of Cooper online so I dictated this to my MacBook Pro. I proof read this with reasonable care but it comes with no guarantees.
Substances, whether nouns or substantivizations, when used with prepositions and improper prepositions entered into a prepositional phrase, a syntactic grouping which serves as an adverb. As the subject participates in the adverbial nature of the prepositional phrase its own distinct apprehension as representing a separately perceived entity is weakened, and the result is that it is no longer suited for accompaniment by an individual article. It is therefore common for substances in prepositional phrases to omit the article (A). Once this practice was accepted it extended easily even to prepositional phrases where there is still a more or less clear separate apprehension of the substantive as a separate entity which has not adverbialized. As a result, the practice of the authors is to use the article or omit it without much close attention to the clarity of the separate apprehension of the substantive. There is a tendency for the article to be used as a substantive reasserts it's separateness, but the pattern of alternation between the use and the omission is so subtle or so vague, depending upon which way one want wants to look at it, that any close description is very difficult and critical measures to ensure uniformity are rarely justified (B).


Guy Cooper III, Attic Greek Prose Syntax, §50.2.19 v1, Page 390
This appears like an overly subtle long-winded statement to the effect that not much can be said with certainty about any particular example of the use or absence of the article with the object of a preposition. Cooper cites numerous examples of presence and absence. The main reason one bothers with Cooper is the citations and citation index (which is riddled with errors[1]). I made extensive use of Cooper's index while reading Attic Tragedy.

[1]Correcting the citation index is only occasionally possible. I did it in pencil, not wanting to irritate the next owner of these books.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 15th, 2020, 7:44 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
July 15th, 2020, 3:24 am
(except for proper names, which Turner ignores and Levinsohn focusses upon).
Turner has lengthy discussions about different kinds of proper names and the article, and there's something intertwined about the lack of the article and prepositions. There's nothing specifically dedicated to the article with proper names inside prepositional phrases, but there are examples of it. This is of course a difficult subject because there are two phenomena together which can both be see as "exceptional" as far as the use of the article goes: prepositions and proper names.
Quite right, I replaced my misleading statement with *** in the post.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 15th, 2020, 7:56 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
July 15th, 2020, 2:16 pm
This appears like an overly subtle long-winded statement to the effect that not much can be said with certainty about any particular example of the use or absence of the article with the object of a preposition. Cooper cites numerous examples of presence and absence. The main reason one bothers with Cooper is the citations and citation index (which is riddled with errors[1]). I made extensive use of Cooper's index while reading Attic Tragedy.

[1]Correcting the citation index is only occasionally possible. I did it in pencil, not wanting to irritate the next owner of these books.
Thanks for the Cooper extract (in which I assume the "substances" are rather "substantives"). I read the diachronics in the opposite direction as Cooper. Rather than the adverbial usage spreading, it is more the case (in my opinion) that the article failed to spread entirely to proper prepositional phrases, with adverbial phrases giving the greatest resistance. I think 2 Cor 12:2-3 is a good illustration of that:
2 Cor 12:2-3 wrote:2 οἶδα ἄνθρωπον ἐν Χριστῷ πρὸ ἐτῶν δεκατεσσάρων, εἴτε ἐν σώματι οὐκ οἶδα, εἴτε ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματος οὐκ οἶδα, ὁ θεὸς οἶδεν, ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ. 3 καὶ οἶδα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἄνθρωπον, εἴτε ἐν σώματι εἴτε χωρὶς τοῦ σώματος οὐκ οἶδα, ὁ θεὸς οἶδεν, …
I see no principled way to distinguish the former anarthrous σώματι from the latter arthrous τοῦ σώματος. The rules seem to be different for proper prepositions and this is actually what we find in cross-linguistic studies of the grammaticalization of definite articles, e.g., Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, "Regularity in irregularity: Article use in adpositional phrases," Linguistic Typology 2 (1998): 315-353.

Here's the abstract:
Himmelmann 1998:315 wrote:The use of definite or specific articles in adpositional phrases often differs from that in other syntactic environments such as subject or object position. In the grammars of individual languages this is generally presented as an exception to the rules of article use in that particular language. Cross-linguistically, however, such "irregularities" are so common as to be the rule rather than the exception. Although the details of article use in adpositional phrases vary extensively even among closely related languages, a few cross-linguistic generalisations are possible. It will be shown that there are constraints on the kinds of adpositional phrases where articles can be used "irregularly", and it will be argued that these "irregularities", confined to intermediary stages of grammaticisation, need to be explained in diachronic rather than in purely semantic terms.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 16th, 2020, 4:35 am

Next up is Blass-Debrunner-Funk. You may notice a lot of similarities with Turner. I suspect that both are dependent on the 1949 Blass-Debrunner German edition.
BDF 1961:133-4 § 255 wrote:255. The article can be omitted in prepositional phrases (formulae from the earlier anarthrous stage of the language): (1) ἀπ' ἀγροῦ, ἐν ἀγρῷ, εἰς ἀγρόν, but also ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ etc. (without reference to a particular field) with generic article (as in τὰ κρίνα τοῦ ἀγροῦ Mt 6: 28). (2) Ἀπ' ἀγορᾶς Mk 7: 4; ἐπὶ θύραις Mt 24: 33. (3) Often in designations of time (also classical): πρὸς ἑσπέραν Lk 24: 29; ἐν καιρῷ = ὅταν καιρὸς ᾗ Mt 24: 25; ἀπ' (ἐξ) ἀρχῆς, ἐν ἀρχῇ. (4) Ἐπὶ πρόσωπον πίπτειν Lk 5: 12 etc., κατὰ πρ. 2 C 10: 7.--Cf. also §§253f., 256ff. Mayser II 2, 14f., 35ff.; Eakin 333.

(1) Ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ αὐτοῦ Mt 13:24 is self-explanatory. Ἀγρός combines the meanings ager and rus; the art. in Mt 13: 44 is incorrect (D and Chr omit) where 'a field' is to be understood.
(2) Ἐν ἀγορᾷ Lk 7: 32 = ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς Mt 11: 16 (ταῖς om. CEFW al.) etc.
(3) Ἕως ἑσπέρας A 28: 23, μέχρι μεσονυκτίου 20: 7 (κατὰ τὸ μεσονύκτιον 16: 25), διὰ νυκτός v.l. διὰ τῆς ν. A 5: 19, 16: 9, etc. (the art. designates that specific night); πρὸ καιροῦ = πρὶν καιρὸν εἶναι Mt 8: 29, ἄρχι καιροῦ Lk 4: 13, A 13: 11, πρὸς καιρόν Lk 8:13, κατὰ κ. R 5: 6 ('at the right time, in his own good time'?) or is it to be attached the preceding clause, i.e. 'while we were yet in the period of weakness'?), παρὰ καιρὸν ἡλικίας H 11: 11.
(4) Also in secular authors like Polyb.; similarly class. κατ' ὀφθαλμούς, ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς etc. Cf. also §259(1).
There is not much to say beyound what was said regarding Turner. In terms of observational adequacy, it is mostly confined to a list of specific phrases. In terms of descriptive adequacy, it suggests some kind of holdover from an earlier period of the language.

Most intriguing to me is the suggestion that Matt 13:44 is incorrect, or at least the translation "in a field" is incorrect!
Matt 13:44 wrote:Matt 13:44 Όμοιά ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν θησαυρῷ κεκρυμμένῳ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔκρυψεν, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ ὑπάγει καὶ πωλεῖ πάντα ὅσα ἔχει καὶ ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον.
The ESV, HCSB, KJV, NET, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV all have "in a field"; the NASB has "in the field." Are all these translations wrong, except the ultra-literal NASB?
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by S Walch » July 16th, 2020, 9:36 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 4:35 am
Most intriguing to me is the suggestion that Matt 13:44 is incorrect, or at least the translation "in a field" is incorrect!
Matt 13:44 wrote:Matt 13:44 Όμοιά ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν θησαυρῷ κεκρυμμένῳ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔκρυψεν, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ ὑπάγει καὶ πωλεῖ πάντα ὅσα ἔχει καὶ ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον.
The ESV, HCSB, KJV, NET, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV all have "in a field"; the NASB has "in the field." Are all these translations wrong, except the ultra-literal NASB?
Tischendorf (8th Edition) p. 77 notes that D and at least another 30 witnesses (and Chrysostom) omit τῷ; guess we could be generous and suggest all but the NASB are following Bezae and these 30 others? :)

Von soden (image link) gives a list of some of the manuscripts which probably comprise T's 30: 7. 399. 477.* 544. 659. 700. 1391. 1293. 1424.

Question would then be: what about the article would cause a reader to either omit or include it where it was/wasn't present?
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 16th, 2020, 8:11 pm

S Walch wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 9:36 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 4:35 am
Most intriguing to me is the suggestion that Matt 13:44 is incorrect, or at least the translation "in a field" is incorrect!
Matt 13:44 wrote:Matt 13:44 Όμοιά ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν θησαυρῷ κεκρυμμένῳ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔκρυψεν, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ ὑπάγει καὶ πωλεῖ πάντα ὅσα ἔχει καὶ ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον.
The ESV, HCSB, KJV, NET, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV all have "in a field"; the NASB has "in the field." Are all these translations wrong, except the ultra-literal NASB?
Tischendorf (8th Edition) p. 77 notes that D and at least another 30 witnesses (and Chrysostom) omit τῷ; guess we could be generous and suggest all but the NASB are following Bezae and these 30 others? :)
Probably not, since the variant isn't even in Nestle-Aland. These scattered witnesses show that it is a common scribal error to omit it.
S Walch wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 9:36 am
Von soden (image link) gives a list of some of the manuscripts which probably comprise T's 30: 7. 399. 477.* 544. 659. 700. 1391. 1293. 1424.

Question would then be: what about the article would cause a reader to either omit or include it where it was/wasn't present?
The article is the harder reading, since one would expect it to anaphoric but it is not. I suppose there might be a way to justify it, though I don't like Turner's attempt (following Blass?) to read it as "the country," due to the ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον at the end.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 17th, 2020, 2:44 am

Next up is Smyth's collegiate grammar. It just has a very short item on our topic:
Smyth 1920:289 § 1128 wrote:1128. The article is very often omitted in phrases containing a preposition: ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ λόγου in the beginning of the speech D. 37. 23, ἔξω βελῶν out of reach of missiles X. A. 3. 4. 15, Ἠιόνα τὴν ἐπὶ Στρῡμόνι Eion on the Strymon T. 1. 98.
Aside from alerting the student to the existence of our topic with a word that begs the question ("omitted"), there is not much said ... or to be said about it.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by S Walch » July 18th, 2020, 3:33 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 8:11 pm
Probably not, since the variant isn't even in Nestle-Aland. These scattered witnesses show that it is a common scribal error to omit it.
There was a little facetiousness in my remark until I checked The Greek New Testament, R. V. G. Tasker edition which was produced as the underlying Greek text for the NEB translation; checking Matt. 13:44 in here the text printed doesn't include the definite article (p. 25)! Perhaps "possibly not" is better than "probably not" for the other translations as well.

Does anyone have an old version of the NA which has Matt. 13:44 without the definite article?
The article is the harder reading, since one would expect it to anaphoric but it is not.
This would then indicate that the removal of τῷ in the witnesses cited in Tisch & von Soden was possibly done deliberately rather than erroneously. Which would then bring up the continuous questions about whether the Greek definite article does or doesn't always mark some sort of definiteness.

Fascinating topic.
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Re: Greek Grammars on the Articulation of Prepositional Objects

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 19th, 2020, 12:19 am

Next up is A. T. Robertson, Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research. 3rd ed. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1919). This is probably the last big reference grammar written for the Greek of the Testament. BDF and Moule are old-style intermediate grammars that assume a basic knowledge of (Attic) Greek grammar. The newer intermediate grammars are even more basic, teaching the grammatical basics that the older ones assumed.
Robertson 1919:791-3 Chap 26 § 8 wrote: (c) PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES. These were also often considered definite enough without the article. So ἐν οἴκῳ (1 Cor. 11:34. Cf. ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ, 'in the house,' Jo. 11:20)= 'at home.' So we say "go to bed," etc. Moulton [Prol., p. 82] pertinently cites English "down town," "on change," "in bed," "from start to finish." This idiom is not therefore peculiar to Greek. It is hardly necessary to mention all the N. T. examples, so common is the matter.

Thus with ἀνά observe ἀνἂ μέρος (1 Cor. 14:27). With ἀπό note ἀπ' ἀγροῦ (Mk. 15:21), ἀπ' ἀγορᾶς (Mk. 7:4), ἀπ' οὐρανοῦ (Lu. 17:29), ἀπ' οὐρανῶν (Heb. 12:25), ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς (Rev. 21:13), ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν, (Mt. 2:1), ἀπ' ἀρχῆς (1 Jo. 1:1), ἀπὸ καταβολῆς (Mt. 13:35), ἀπὸ μέρους (Ro. 11:25), ἀπὸ νεκρῶν (Lu. 16:30). Cf. Rev. 21:13, ἀπὸ βορρᾶ, ἀπὸ νότου, ἀπὸ δυσμῶν. So ἄχρι καιροῦ (Lu. 4:13).

For διά note διὰ νυκτός (Ac. 5:19), διὰ μέσου (Lu. 4:30), διὰ μέσον (17:11).

For εἰς see εἰς ᾅδην (Ac. 2:27), εἰς οὐρανόν (1 Pet. 3:22), εἰς ἀγρόν (Mk. 16:12), εἰς θάλαασαν (Mt. 17:27), εἰς οἶκον (Mk. 3:20), εἰς πρόσωπον (Mk. 12:14), εἰς μέσον (Mk. 14:60), εἰς οἰκίαν (2 Jo. 10), εἰς τέλος (Mt. 10:22).

For ἐν may be noticed ἐν οὐρανῷ (Mt. 6:20), ἐν οὐρανοῖς (Heb. 12:23), ἐν ὑψίστοις (Lu. 2:14), ἐν δεξιᾷ (Heb. 1:3), ἐν κόσμῳ (Col. 2:20), ἐν ἀγρῷ (Lu. 15:25), ἐν ἀγορᾷ (Lu. 7:32), ἐν οἴκῳ (1 Cor. 14:35), ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ= 'at church' (1 Cor. 14:19), ἐν προσώπῳ (2 Cor. 5:12), ἐν ἡμέρᾳ (Ro. 13:13), ἐν καιρῷ (Mt. 24:45), ἐν ἀρχῇ (Jo. 1:1), ἐν σαρκί (2 Cor. 10:3), ἐν ἀνθρώποις (Lu. 1:25), ἐν νυκτί (Ac. 18:9).

Examples of ἐξ are ἐκ μέρους (1 Cor. 12:27), ἐκ ψυχῆς (Eph. 6:6), ἐκ νεότητος (Ac. 26:4), ἐξ ἀρχῆς (Jo. 6:64), ἐκ δεξιῶν (Mt. 27:38), ἐξ εὐωνύμων (Mt. 25:41), ἐξ ἀριστερῶν (Lu. 23:33), ἐκ μέσου (2 Th. 2:7), ἐκ καρδίας (Ro. 6:17), ἐκ νεκρῶν (Lu. 9:7), ἐξ οὐρανοῦ (Jo. 1:32).

For ἕως observe ἕως ᾅδου (Mt. 11:23), ἕως οὐρανοῦ (Mt. 11:23), ἕως δυσμῶν (Mt. 24:27), ἕως ἕσπέρας (Ac. 28:23), ἕως τέλους (1 Cor. 1:8).

Examples of ἐπί are ἐπὶ γῆς (Lu. 2:14), ἐπὶ θύραις (Mt. 24:33), ἐπὶ πρόσωπον (Lu. 5:12).

For κατά see κατ' ὀφθαλμούς (Gal. 3:1), κατὰ λίβα καὶ κατὰ χῶρον (Ac. 27:12), κατὰ μεσημβρίαν (Ac. 8:26), κατ' ἀρχάς (Heb. 1:10), κατὰ πρόσωπον (Ac. 25:16), κατὰ μέρος (Heb. 9:5), κατὰ σάρκα (2 Cor. 10:3), κατὰ ἀνθρώπους (1 Pet. 4:6).

For μέχρρι observe μέχρι μεσονυκτίου (Ac. 20:7), μέχρι τέλους (Heb. 3:6).

For παρά note παρὰ θάλασσαν (Ac. 10:32), παρὰ ποταμόν (Ac. 16:13).

For περί see περὶ μεσημβρίαν (Ac. 22:6).

For πρό see πρὸ καιροῦ (Mt. 8:29).

For πρός observe πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον (1 Cor. 13:12), πρὸς ἑσπέραν (Lu. 24:29).

For ὑπό see ὑπ' οὐρανόν (Lu. 17:24).

It will be noted that this usage after all is confined to a rather narrow range of words, some of which, like οὐρανός and γῆ, represent single objects. More of this a little later. Most of these examples have articular parallels. See also v, (f). For classic examples see Gildersleeve, Syntax, p. 259 f. The papyri furnish abundant parallels (Volker, Syntax, pp. 15-17) as do the inscriptions (Radermacher, N. T. Gr., p. 92).

(d) WITH BOTH PREPOSITION AND GENITIVE. It is not surprising to find no article with phrases which use both preposition and genitive like εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ (Ro. 1:1), ἀπὸ ὀφθαλμῶν σου (Lu. 19:42), ἐκ δεξιῶν μου (Mt. 20:23), ἀπ' ἀρχῆς κόσμου (Mt. 24:21), παρὰ καιρὸν ἡλικίας (Heb. 11:11), ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ (Lu. 8:13), ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου (Mt. 25:34), ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ (Lu. 1:51), etc.
Robertson's approach to obversational adequacy is lots of examples. In terms of his description, it seems largely lexical, listing the various prepositions and (definite) objects that collocate without the article. One can question whether this description is adequacy, for many of these are arguably qualitative rather than definite. In addition, Robertson admits there are many exceptions. The examples in subsection (d) are interesting: they appear to follow Apollonius' Canon, itself a poorly understood behavior of the article.

In short, the student using Robertson's grammar is alerted to the phenomenon but hardly gains an insight into its usage and meaning.
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