Dative agents

From: Ronald Ross (rross@cariari.ucr.ac.cr)
Date: Wed Apr 09 1997 - 18:49:35 EDT

Begging the indulgence of those who feel the discussions have become
"too linguistic", I would like to ask a linguistic type question, which
I doubt will produce any lengthy discussions. I am still working on my
paper on relative topicality of agent and patient as a determinant of
voice, and I have come across what seems to be a agentive passive of a
kind I was unaware of and have only found reference to in Goodwin's
grammar of Classical Greek. It is in Acts 27.11. There are two
coordinated agents --the centurion and the owner of the ship-- but there
is no preposition and the two agents are in the dative case. However,
Goodwin says that dative agents are normal only with the perfect and
pluperfect passive and this passive is imperfective. How common is this
in biblical Greek?

Ronald Ross
Department of Linguistics
University of Costa Rica

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