Re: Meaning of case

From: Larry & Beth Hartman (
Date: Wed May 14 1997 - 09:38:18 EDT

kdlitwak wrote:
> I just wanted to add my $.01989486 (Pentium) to this discussion. I
> have noticed in reading non=biblical Greek this semester that writers
> feel a lot fo liberty in both writing elliptically, leaving out
> necessary prepositions or using cases in seemingly inappropriate ways.
> I can't remember the text, but while reading in Pseudo-Eupolemos a few
> weeks ago, I cam across what MUST be an accusative of means, even though
> there isn't supposed to be sucha thing. Just now, in Polybius, 2.56.14,
> I find
> I think this says if anyone who rules (i.e., has) unjust hands he may
> suffer for this, thus using TOUTO as an indirect object. After a
> semeste of Lucian, THucydiees and Polybuis, I've basically thrown up my
> hands in despair at applying the rules or grammatical categories I know
> because just as soon as I do that some author goes WAY WAY WAY outside
> the lines and uses the cases however he felt like. I'm no classicist, I
> admit, but this is what I've observedin what I've trtanslated so far in
> situations where there really isn't an alternative. The author is not
> using the case in a recognized way. That either means the peson is
> using bad grammar or we don't know the rules classical authors worked
> by. Any other hypotheses?
> Ken Litwak

         Yes I got an appropriate one. "Ain't ain't a word, and it ain't in
the dictionary." I wish I could share with you how many times my
colleagues and I became frustrated when we found forms of Arabic not
classified in the books. The only thing you can do is consult others,
take your best shot according to what you know and put a question mark
beside it so that you may return to it some day when you know more. At
least you recognize the inconsistancy, it is when you don't that I would
be more concerned.

Larry A. Hartman
Defense Language Institute Alumnus
Department of Arabic Studies

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