Re: Trivial (but interesting?) grammatical question

From: Daniel Ria–o (
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 05:44:01 EST

Randy Leedy wrote:
>The question is how to view the grammatical function of a nominative
>substantive with a first- or second-person verb. For example, I Cor

>He is adamant that hOI PANTES must be taken as an appositive to the
>understood subject of METECOMEN. I have no great objection to doing
>so, but I can't help the feeling that this view imposes an English
>construct on the Greek.
>I wonder how grammarians of languages
>like Spanish, which inflects verb forms with personal endings that
>make explicit subject pronouns frequently unnecessary, would view a
>construction like this in their own language. For example, if one were
>to put an English sentence such as "We teachers enjoy snow days, too"
>into a language that does not require an explicit 1st-person pronoun,
>would "teachers" tend to be viewed as subject or as appositive?

FWIW, in Spanish (the use of the article being quite different) the
construction is the same: "todos participamos de un (solo) pan", with
"todos" like OI( PA/NTES as the subject. (In the alternative construction
PA/NTES H(MEI=S - H(MEI=S PA/NTES and the alternative translation "todos
nosotros" PA/NTES / todos stand as an adj. IMO). The usual translation
into Spanish of "We teachers enjoy snow days, too" would be "Los profesores
tambiŽn disfrutamos de los d’as de nieve", without apposition. You can, of
course, translate it into "Nosotros los profesores tambiŽn..." making "los
profesores" a real apposition of the first person plural personal pronoun,
but such construction is emphatic, as it is in Greek. To armour
argumentation with bibliographic heavy artillery, you can quote the +5,000
pages volume of Bosque, Ignacio y Demonte, Violeta. 1999. Gram‡tica
descriptiva de la lengua espa–ola. 3 vols, Coleccio'n Nebrija y Bello.
Madrid: Real Academa Espa–ola ¤ 19.1, 19.2.3, ¤ 16 :-)

Daniel Ria–o Rufilanchas
Madrid, Espa–a

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