Re: Degree of indefiniteness of hOSOI clause in Gal 3.10

From: Moon-Ryul Jung (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2000 - 02:18:10 EST

[Carl] wrote:

> but my own inclination is to say that the
> sharper distinction made in classical Attic Greek between the "potential"
> or "indefinite" indicated by hOSOI + AN + subjunctive and the actual
> persons/things indicated by hOSOI + indicative has been MORE-OR-LESS
> eliminated in Koine--so that we cannot be sure in the case of a hOSOI +
> indicative in the GNT which is meant.

But the distinction in question is still maintained in Modern Greek,
according to the following statements of Warren:

>In MG, hOSIOS can still highlight indefiniteness by the using the
> with (KAI) AN. Amazing, isn't it, the persistence of this language? Returning to
> Moon's original question, then, the Gal. 3:10 use of hOSOI plus indicative,
> when viewed through a SYNCHRONIC lens of language development, would seem to
> point to a low degree of indefiniteness.

If Modern Greek has
   hOSOS + subjunctive,
   hOSOS + indicative,
   POU + indicative,
then hOSOS + indicative would be used typically when the
referent is an actual person/thing, I would think.

Carl's comment would make sense only when hOSOS + subjunctive is no longer
used. Am I mislead here?

Moon R. Jung
Associate Professor
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea

It implies that

My guess is that in Gal 3:10 Paul
> probably means to be indefinite--to say that, if there are any such, then
> this applies to them. But I may be wrong about that. It's just my
> impression that it's like the distinction between subjunctive and
> optative--some sharp distinctions in a language at one phase are phased out
> even as others come into being. I don't believe that linguistic change
> moves homogeneously in the direction of simplification.
> 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
> WWW:

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