Re: Concord of Gender and Number

From: James P. Ware (
Date: Fri Aug 21 1998 - 08:48:31 EDT

I am a little confused by Clayton's and Carl's most recent postings on
concord. Both seem to take Matthew 12:6 as a case of apparent lack of
concord. But meizon in this verse is not an attributive or predicate
adjective, but is rather a substantival adjective i.e. it functions as a
noun. It doesn't strictly speaking have either grammatical concord or
discord with anything in the clause. The relevant issue here, it seems to
me, is what factors enter into play when a Greek speaker assigns gender to
substantival adjectives. Here Clayton's hunch seems to fit the context.

Another thing that confused me was Carl's statement that "normally an
adjectival modifier or pronoun is going to agree with its noun or
antecedent in number, gender and case, although a pronoun will take its
case primarily from its function within its own clause." Am I correct in
reading this to say that concord in case is not necessary with pronouns,
except in a few special instances? If so, then I am not confused. Would
it be accurate to rephrase this: adjectives must agree with the noun they
modify in case, gender and number; pronouns must agree with their
antecedent in gender and number only, their case being determined by their
function in their own clause (with [normally] the exception of
demonstrative pronouns in deictic clauses)?

Jim Ware

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