1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
jdhadwin
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Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by jdhadwin » August 30th, 2015, 1:31 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:My point did not hinge on whether ὁ νοῦς μου can be used as I implied it was being used in Philippians. My theory hinges on whether μου is requred to be a possessive pronoun or whether it can be a normal personal pronoun. Everything hinges on that.

In Modern Greek the genitive is (generally) restricted to the use as possessive. In the Koine period the genitive (μου is a genitive) is not restricted to possessive. It has other meanings that your grammar you are working from will spell out in "uses of the genitive" or the like.

Even if the genitive could be something other than a possessive, that doesn't show you what it is in this case.


Here's what I was drawing from on the genitive not necessarily being possessive (from New Testament Greek dot org's description of the genitive case

Genitive Case
For the most part, the genitive is often viewed as the case of possession. In more technical terms one noun in the genitive case helps to qualify another noun by showing its "class" or "kind". The genitive case has more uses than most other cases, but in general a noun in the genitive case helps to limit the scope of another noun by indicating its "kind" or "class". It is generally translated into English with a prepositional phrase starting with the word "of". The most common use of the genitive is to show possession (although it does not necessarily indicate actual, literal ownership).
My own thoughts:
The word genitive is better than "possessive" and the name of the case itself really is the perfect description of what μου does to ὁ νοῦς ;) While this is thought of as being possessive in the English mind, it is truly superior to call it genitive, being more a matter of heredity than of possession. At least that's what I get out of the word "genitive". The nominative word is like a descendant of the genitive word; the genitive word is like a parent of the nominative word. Of course I do not mean that they are etymologically ancestors and descendants, but I speak of "parenting one word to another word".

To illustrate the metaphor, wherever the genitive parent-word goes, the nominative child-word is bound to go with it. However, wherever the nominative child-word goes, the genitive parent-word is not bound to go. Of course I do not mean that these words are literally going anywhere, but it is just a figure of speech. Whatever the parent does, the child follows, but whatever the child does, its genitive parent does not necessarily follow. I think that this generational parallel is perfectly wrapped up into the the word "genitive", to aide us in understanding its genitive function and effect on the nominative word it parents.

Would you say this is true of the genitive case?

~John
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 30th, 2015, 3:49 pm

jdhadwin wrote:Would you say this is true of the genitive case?
There are a great many relationship types that go on between parents and children, no one of them is typical, and it depends on the individuals involved to some extent. Also, in a different situation, there might be a call for expressing a different relationship between the same to people. That is pretty such true for the genitive case too.

The first step is to see which two nouns (or pronouns) there is a relationship between, and then. Then, the second is to use you best instincts (and experience) to determine what the relationship between them is, from the available options as described in the grammars. The time lapse between those two steps could be a matter of minutes, or years, depending on how you approach your learning as an autodidact. You motivation will stay higher if you follow your interests, but your overall and balanced mastery of the language will be better if you follow a programme of study - such as working through a textbook (or two).

Mastery of the genitive is something that will naturally come in reading much more easily than it can be described or explained in the abstract. That is both good and bad. Good, because it develops as natural language processing skill, but bad, because there is great scope to bring in personal interpretations to something that is by nature so versatile.

That versatility of the genitive is both a strength and a weakness in the language, which would later be lost by restricting the genitive to a single use (the possessive) - which makes the genitive much easier for learners to master. We, however, who read Koine Greek need to tame in a much more complex beast to effectively read the New Testament. When you get to it, the intermediate grammar by Daniel Wallace is excellent for training lower intermediate students to make distinctions, which are to be found in the Greek, but which are not naturally made by English speakers. If you work through that work that work of Wallace's with the aim to develop your skill in reading you will get a lot of benefit from it. Another approach is to explicitly verbalise the relationship between the nouns - such as thinking of "John's car" as "the car which John drives", or "the car, which John is detailing" depending on what the context suggests is most probable.

As an absolute beginner, however, while you are developing your skills, you will do well to follow the commentators that have been recommended to you.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by jdhadwin » August 31st, 2015, 7:56 pm

Thanks Stephen,

I have some learning ahead of me. I downloaded a few Greek apps and will get the references you mentioned, budget permitting :)

Thanks everyone,

~John
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