Re: deponents (Fribergs analysis of EGEIRW)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Apr 23 1998 - 16:59:02 EDT

At 8:09 AM -0500 4/23/98, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>In section 5.31 (p811-812ff Analytical GNT (1st ed, 1981) the Friberg's
>argue that EGEIRW is not a deponent verb because active forms of the verb
>exist. They argue that the passive morphological form of a transitive verb can
>be used to make that same verb intransitive. The cite this as a *second*
>syntactical function which can be marked by the passive morphological form.
>Humpty Dumpty would approve of this. The Fribergs are demonstrating that the
>syntactical function "make-a-transtitive-verb-intranstive" is an independent
>function operating alongside of the function normally associated with the
>passive morphological form.
>The Friberg's have demonstrated that the question: "What is the syntactical
>function (singular) of the passive morphological form" is an improper question
>showing an underlying inadequate methodology based on a language model that
>does not work. This is not the point the Fribergs are trying to make, but it
>is an assumption that they spell out quite explicitly (see page 811 bottom).
>Score another point for Humpty Dumpty.

Hurrah for Humpty. I'm a lover of omelets, myself. For what it's worth, I
endeavored about a year ago to show that the -QH- forms conjugated with
active endings are quite frequently intransitive and function simply as the
aorist of a verb that is middle in the present system. It's a fundamental
mistake to think that -QH- means "passive" in itself, although more often
than not it does.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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