grammatical query

From: Ronald Ross (
Date: Sun Mar 02 1997 - 00:36:56 EST

Ronald Ross wrote:
> Perry Wiles wrote:
> > Ronald Ross wrote:
> > Infinitives with accusative subjects are common enough in a lot of
> > languages (even in English). But today I came across the following in
> > Acts 4.13:
> >
> >
> > Here the accusative subject AUTOUS is construed with the FINITE verb HSAN.
> > I think AUTOUS here functions as the direct object of EPEGINWSKWN (and
> > hence is accusative) and not as the subject of the hOTI clause (although
> > of course the referent of AUTOUS is the same as the unexpressed subject
> > of the hOTI clause ie the two apostles). The hOTI clause is epexegetical
> > - filling out the content of the Council's knowledge of the apostles.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> >Perry Wiles
> >Moore Theological College
> >Sydney, Australia
Perry, I agree with you that AUTOUS is the direct object EPEGINWSKON
but I have more trouble accepting that the subordinate clause is
(to the degree that I understand the term). What traditional Greek
call "infinitives with accusative subjects" in linguistics has
been called "subject-to-object raising" (functionalist grammarians like
Van Valin,
William Foley [University of Sydney], Talmy Givon, etc. still call it
that, although
generativists don't). The subject of the subordinate clause "moves up",
so to speak,
to become the object of the main clause, and the subordinate verb
a. They believed [that HE was smarter than his brother].
b. They believed HIM [to be smarter than his brother].
What seems to me to have happened here is that the AUTOI of the
alternative construction has indeed become the direct object (AUTOUS) of
the main clause, but the writer did not remember to make the subordinate
verb an infinitive, thereby producing a hybrid construction.

Just out of curiosity, I looked up the passage in a number of
translations to see
if they had treated the subordinate clause as epexegetical. The RSV, for
instance, has ". . .they recognized that they had been with Jesus".
Here they just translated as if the AUTOUS were still AUTOI and still
the subject of the subordinate clause. The NIV and the CEV do the same
thing. The NEB reflects a little more the structure of the Greek: "They
recognized THEM as former companions of Jesus". But I think that even
here, it doesn't appear as epexegetical, but seems fully incorporated
into the structure of the sentence. But I'm not sure I'm understanding
correctly the term "epexegetical". If I'm not, please correct me.
> Ron Ross

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