[b-greek] Re: Gal 3:8 ( the dangling subject)

From: Iver Larsen (alice-iver_larsen@wycliffe.org)
Date: Wed Feb 14 2001 - 08:43:43 EST

> >Would, say, Mat 2:22 then also have a circumstantial participle rather than a
> >participial clause?
> Yes, I would. I think that part of our problem, Iver, and I saw it in
> Moon's last post with subject-header "Eph 1.17-18: Sentence of the form S V
> IO DO Pred?" as well, is that we're using our grammatical terminology in
> different way, to mean different things. You are apparently using the term
> "PARTICIPIAL CLAUSE" to refer to a unit of discourse that includes a noun
> and a participle agreeing with it, whereas I would call that a "PARTICIPIAL
> PHRASE." I can understand how a linguist might equate AKOUSAS .. . ANTI TOU
> PATROS AUTOU hHRWiDOU with a clause, since it would be most commonly
> converted in English (and presumably in several other languages) as a
> clause, "When he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judaea instead of
> his father Herod," although beginning students are more likely to start out
> converting it as "Having heard that ...". Personally I don't call such a
> unit a CLAUSE unless it has a finite verb in it. If I WERE going to talk
> about participial clauses, I'd limit that term to genitive absolutes and
> accusative absolutes (and although I've seen plenty of genitive absolutes
> in the GNT, I'm not sure that I've ever seen an accusative absolute
> (usually a neuter sg. participle representing an impersonal verb, such as
> EXON for EXESTI or DEON for DEI).
> Carl W. Conrad

You are quite right. We are using different terminology. I have just noticed the
following footnote in Dr. Stephen Levinsohn's book: Discourse Features of NT
Greek. He said in his section 11.1 about what he calls "participial clauses" and
others call "circumstantial participles" (footnote 206):

"Greek grammarians traditionally call these participial phrases. Current
linguistic practice is to call them clauses."

So, you belong to the traditional Greek grammarians, whereas I belong to
"current linguistic practice." As long as we realise the different terminology,
we can understand each other. I didn't realise this before.

Maybe I should quote his first paragraph since he also talks about nominative
participial clauses.

        11.1 Anarthrous Participial Clauses
        This section makes three points about anarthrous participial clauses, which are
often called “circumstantial” participles. The first (in sec. 11.1.1) concerns
the difference between nominative participial clauses (hereafter referred to as
NPCs) and genitives absolute (GAs). This difference can be described in terms
of “switch reference” (Haiman & Munro 1983). In the vast majority of cases, this
means that the subject of a NPC is the same as that of the clause to which it is
subordinate (here called the nuclear clause), whereas the subject of a GA is
different from that of the nuclear clause.

Thanks for your always helpful comments,

Iver Larsen

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