Re: allelous vs. heautous

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Thu Feb 13 1997 - 14:44:49 EST

At 4:27 PM -0600 2/9/97, Carl William Conrad wrote:

>BUT--Greek regularly used forms of the intensive pronoun AUTOS with the
>personal pronouns, particularly in the accusative, and in the singular
>these were even compounded together: EME AUTON --> EMAUTON, SE AUTON -->
>SEAUTON (thus Apollo's Delphic admonition to self knowledge, GNWQI
>SEAUTON), hE AUTON --hEAUTON and a conracted form of that, hAUTON; in the
>plural the comparable forms remain separate: hHMAS AUTOUS, hUMAS AUTOUS,
>and hEAUTOUS.
>Whatever the reason, but I surmise it may have been because hE itself was
>being used in poetry as an accusative personal pronoun for other than 3rd
>person, the form hEAUTOUS in the plural began to spread to the
>second-person plural--and also to usurp the function of the reciprocal
>combo of ALLOS ALLON written as ALLHLOUS. By the NT period, Koine was
>using hEAUTOUS and ALLHLOUS interchangeably for the reciprocal pronoun. I
>don't believe that there's any difference of meaning whatsoever between
>them in the Koine. HOWEVER, in the Attic revival of the 2nd century, this
>would be one of the points distinguishing well-trained writers and those
>continuing to write the language that is the ultimate parent of the modern
>Demotic: purists would distinguish the reflexive from the reciprocal
>pronoun whereas ordinary writers would not. But that doesn't take place
>until the later first or about the early second century--roughly the same
>time that Quintilian in Rome was teaching that only Ciceronian Latin could
>be good Latin.

An interesting discussion of the "spead" of (EAUTOU and related forms to
the second person and beyond can be found in

Joseph, Brian D. _Morphology and Universals in Syntactic Change: Evidence
from Medieval and Modern Greek_. Bloomington: Indiana University
Linguistics Club, 1978.

Despite the title, this work covers classical to modern Greek. The example
of syntactic change that Joseph deals with is precisely the one under
discussion here.

By the way, this book and many others are listed in my "Comprehensive
Bibliography of Hellenistic Greek Linguistics" which is posted on the
Hellenistic Greek Linguistics pages at

The bibliography can be downloaded in plain text (ascii) format or RTF. The
plain text version is viewable in you web browser. I hope to provide James
with an HTML version soon so that it will display in a nicer format. If you
know of any works which clearly apply a version of modern linguistic theory
to describing the phonology, morphology, or syntax of Hellenistic Greek (or
more narrowly, Biblical Greek), let me know and I will consider adding them
to the bibliography.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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