Re: Adverbs as Adjectives

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Mar 22 1998 - 13:51:55 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 7:20 AM -0600 3/22/98, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
> >Several days ago I was mulling over line 15 in Agamemnon (Aeschylus)
> >
> >
> >and wondering why BEBAIWS was modifying a noun. I didn't take me long to find
> >this in Smyth #1096 and #1097. Then my thoughts turned to the NT and I decided
> >to see if adverbs ever functioned as adjectives in the NT. I could not
> >immediately find anything in BDF so I scraped the dust off of A.T. Robertson
> >and there it was on page 547. Robertson gives several examples, the first is
> >Romans 3:26 EV TWi NUN KAIRWi.
> >
> >I don't know why I get excited about this kind of thing, other than the fact
> >that it helps support the "form not equal to function" approach to syntax.
Carl replied:

> Well, I don't have Smyth handy here at home, but I would not have said that
> BEBAIWS functions as an adjective or modifies a noun; I would have said
> (and I would say it even now!) that BEBAIWS modifies the verb--the
> infinitive SUMBALEIN, and that it is the whole infinitive phrase that is
> turned into a noun/substantive by the article. But you surely weren't
> thinking that BEBAIWS construed with BLEFARA, were you, Clay?

Yes that is what I was thinking, just exactly that. But as you well know I
have been wrong before. Smyth didn't actually refer to this text, but he
affirms that adverbs can be used like adjectives to modify nouns.

I understand your argument and it makes sense. I knew that the article
belonged to the infinitive but I just could not figure out how the adverb
could also belong to the infinitive and make any sense. My problem was with
the semantic side of it more than the syntactical issues. In evaluating the
possible senses of BEBAIWS it seemed like it was an unlikely word to be
modifying SUMBALEIN. It seemed to me that the sense of the adverb contradicted
the sense of the infinitive. That was my hang up. So, searching for another
solution I jumped at the possibility that BEBAIWS was functioning as an
adjective describing the state of the noun BLEFARA.

I will take another look at this with your solution in mind.

Thanks for your help.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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