pronoun/antecedent agreement

Date: Mon Jun 03 1996 - 12:55:59 EDT

Marion Fox here on the question of the subject of a finite verb again.
Randy Leedy responded to my post by quoting me:

Marion Fox here:

>Have I been wrong to look for a nominative case noun, pronoun, etc.
>as the subject of these verbs?

If I understand what YOU mean by "subject," Marion, the answer is,
Yes, you have been wrong. You seem to be using the word "subject"
differently from how grammarians use it. What you are calling the
subject is actually the antecedent of the understood subject.

In the case in point, the element that satisfies your search for
something nominative is the personal ending on the verb. Since that
ending does not precisely identify the intercessor, you must search
(pronominal verb ending, if you will), WHICH CAN BE IN ANY CASE

Marion here with another question: If the antecedent of the pronoun
(attached to the verb) can be in any case what is the meaning of a noun in
the nominative case? You assert that the subject can be in any case
(pardon me the antecedent of the pronoun). Either a nominative case
substantive, genitive case substantive, ablative case substantive, dative
case substantive, instrumental case substantive, locative case substantive,
accusative case substantive, or vocative case substantive can be the
subject of a sentence (clause etc.) according to what you are saying. What
is the purpose of these case distinctions in Greek?

Randy continued:

Rather than continuing to argue about the verse in question, where
grammar and theology are getting confused, I think I can make my
point best with another example. Please look at Matthew 1:18 (I
simply opened my Greek Testament and looked for the first example I
could find; it's in the very first verse of actual narrative). Find
the verb hEUREQH (transliteration possibly in error) - "She was
found." What's the subject? Grammatically, the subject is unspecified
except for the personal ending of the verb (just like the Romans
passage). Now in this context, there can be no doubt about the
identify of the subject, right? But Mary is in the genitive case, in
apposition to MHTROS. Marion, are you going to argue that someone
other than Mary was found with child, since MARIAS does not agree in
case with the understood subject of the verb? If I understand your
argument regarding the Romans passage, this is precisely the corner
you are backing yourself into.

Marion here again: No, I am not backing myself into a corner. I contend
that the subject of a verb (sorry the antecedent) can be either explicitly
stated or elliptical (unstated). I contend that in either case the
antecedent must be in the nominative case. In Matthew 1:18 the antecedent
is in the nominative case it is the elliptical word MARIA.

Randy continues:

It seems to me that you're confusing the grammatical subject and the
logical subject. Grammatically, the subject of "intercedes" is
unspecified; i.e., there is no nominative-case word identifying it.
The logical subject (i.e., the person doing the interceding) can
appear in the context in any case whatsoever; its case will depend on
its usage in its own clause, not on its relationship to a "pronoun"
in another clause.

Marion here again. Randy states "there is no nominative-case word
identifying it." Randy, are you saying that the subject is unspecified? I
thought it was specified by the word "he" (the verbal ending which serves
as a pronoun). Randy, you seem to be equivocating on the question of
whether or not the noun is the subject of the verb.

In addition, Randy seems to be saying that the antecedent must be in the
nominative case. This is quite confusing to me. (I cannot determine what
Randy is saying).

In addition several others seem to agree with me on points on which Randy
disagrees with me.

Marion R. Fox
Engineering Science Department
Rose State College
6420 SE 15th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73110

4004 Twisted Trail Dr. SE
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73150-1910


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