[b-greek] Re: Grammar question in Luke 3

From: Iver Larsen (alice-iver_larsen@wycliffe.org)
Date: Sat Feb 03 2001 - 02:20:26 EST

> >2. in Luke 323, we read AUTOS HN IHSOUS APCOMENOS (WSEI
> >I am wondering how to render or understand AUTOS. "Jesus himself" "THis
> >same Jesus"? Then I have a question about the periphrastic here. It
> >should be translated something like "Jesus was beginng" I think. Do we
> >supply an implied EIMI before (WSEI or do we omit ARCOMENOS altogether?
> >What is this saying?
> This has to be "Jesus himself." "The same Jesus" would be hO AUTOS IHSOUS;
> same Jesus" would be hOUTOS hO AUTOS IHSOUS. This is one of those instances
> where the old-fashioned distinction between attributive and predicate
> positions of AUTOS comes into play: AUTOS in attributive position (marked
> by article) means "same," while AUTOS in predicate position (outside group
> marked by article) means "himself."

Since I am one of those who would like to bury the old-fashioned distinction as
both unnecessary and confusing, let me make a comment here. I am working on a
non-traditional description of Greek noun phrases from a modern linguistic
viewpoint. When it is ready, I'll come back. But for now, a comment on AUTOS.
Some will remember our recent discussion of the different meanings of PAS and
how some of us said that the position of this noun modifier is determined by its
meaning, not the other way round.

Like PAS the word AUTOS has two (or rather three or four) distinct meanings, and
it would be helpful to treat them separately as different entries in a Greek
lexicon. Bauer does not have separate entries, but it does have four separate
senses within the entry for AUTOS. These senses are quite different and should
not be confused with each other.

The first one listed is the intensive pronoun corresponding somewhat to the
English pronoun "self". Like PAS and hOUTOS it has an intensifying meaning and
therefore it occurs in a position within the noun phrase where this class of
words occur in Greek. That is, either immediately after the head noun or in
front of the noun and before the article if there is an article. (Traditionally
called the predicate position, but it has nothing to do with the logical and
linguistic term predication.)

The second and third sense of AUTOS is the use as a third person pronoun, either
as an emphatic back reference or as the normal third person pronoun in the
oblique cases.

The fourth sense corresponds to English "same". Like PAS when it means "whole"
it functions as an adjective rather than an intensive pronoun and therefore
occupy the position within the noun phrase that adjectives occupy, the position
traditionally called "attributive". The fourth sense of AUTOS always occurs with
the article. This is a result of its semantic content and parallels exactly the
use of "same" in English. For most adjectives we can have both a definite and
indefinite noun phrase, such as "the good boy" and "a good boy". It is possible
to say "the same boy" or "the same good boy", but it is not possible to say "a
same boy". Therefore, it is easy to remember that the meaning "same" for AUTOS
requires the article before it.

Wouldn't this description be easier for English speakers? In English (and
related languages) there is a big distinction between "the man himself" and "the
same man" both in meaning and position. A similar distinction occurs between
"all the men" and "the whole group-of-men". The concepts are semantically and
grammatically different in both English and Greek. The confusing thing is that
in Greek the two different concepts are indicated by the same lexical item. Why
make it more confusing than necessary for the poor students by saying that it is
only a matter of position of the same word or that the position determines the
meaning? The position might help you to recognise the meaning, but one needs to
think of them as different concepts.

Otherwise, I fully agree with Carl's answers.

Iver Larsen
Kolding, Denmark

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:49 EDT