[b-greek] Re: SU as part of a vocative?

From: Iver Larsen (iver_larsen@sil.org)
Date: Wed Nov 28 2001 - 03:19:40 EST

Carl said:
> As it appears in UBS4, hO in hO SPEIREIS is a neuter nominative relative
> pronoun, and the sentence is punctuated AFRWN, SU hO SPEIREIS, OU
> ZWiOPOIEITAI EAN MH APOQANHi; the editors appeared to understand AFRWN as
> vocative and SU as subject of hO SPEIREIS. I must say, however, that it
> makes more sense to me to read AFRWN SU as a single vocative unit; why
> emphasize SU as the subject of the relative clause: "What YOU sow doesn't
> come to life unless it has died." I don't understand any particular
> emphasis in the SU and yet I can't see why the SU would be explicitly
> stated EXCEPT for emphasis. I'd rather understand this as, "You fool, what
> you are sowing doesn't come to life unless it has (first) died."
> --

While I am happy to see an argument based on word order emphasis, and I
fully agree with Carl that SU is better analyzed with AFRWN, I am not sure
we should take it as vocative.
Luke does use the adjective AFRWN as a vocative twice: (11:40, 12:20). But
Paul never uses this word as a vocative, although he does use it as a
descriptive adjective 8 times, of which 6 refer to the Corinthians. In the
comparable phrase in Gal 3:1 he says W ANOHTOI GALATAI.
In the absence of an overt vocative marker like the -E ending or the W, it
is an open question whether it is to be analyzed as a vocative or
nominative. Nowhere else is SU part of a vocative phrase. A vocative phrase
is used in apposition to the accusative SE as in Luke 19:22 and Phil 4:3.
Would it not be reasonable to suggest that AFRWN SU is a short descriptive
phrase: You (are) (a) foolish (person)!
I realise this is a third option, different from the two suggested by my
good friend and compatriot, Ulrik.

Iver Larsen

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