[b-greek] Re: Instrumentality

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 12:01:16 EDT

At 11:04 AM -0400 10/26/00, Mike Sangrey wrote:
>Carl Conrad <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu> said:
>> (2) Instrumental (most commonly represented by the English
>> preposition "with"--whether for the common sociative use or the no
>> less common sense of 'means';
>What are the various ways for Koine Greek to convey instrumentality and
>why would an author choose one over the other?

To name just two or three: there's simple dative; there's dative with EN
(e.g. EN PNEUMATI, EN hUDATI). there's DIA + genitive ...

Of these my guess is that a speaker/writer of Koine MIGHT use EITHER simple
dative OR EN + dative of a non-personal instrument, DIA + genitive of
persons who are instrumental.

I frankly doubt that we can answer adequately/definitively why an author
would choose one over another. A particular author may have a preference,
another author might deliberately vary means of expression; I'm as likely
to say "I'd prefer to ..." as to say, "I'd rather ..." In other words, I
think that there are very distinct ways of expressing some notions and we
can observe preferences, but I'm not sure that we can very clearly pinpoint
reasons for choice of one over another of what we moderns discern as
practically synonymous equivalents.


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

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