[b-greek] Re: Dative Absolute?

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sat Feb 09 2002 - 12:19:46 EST

At 9:55 AM -0500 2/9/02, Scott Ogden wrote:
>Hello. This is my first post to this very helpful list. I was wondering
>if someone could address a question of mine that (as a novice) I have not
>been able to answer with the limited resources I have.

I have deleted the material on Genitive Absolute cited from Wallace's GGBB,
because the construction here being questioned involves dative participles.

>Wallace then gives several references in, among other places, Matthew 9.
>While going through that chapter I happened along verses 27 and 28 which
>My question: would the two dative participial clauses beginning each of
>these sentences not, in fact, qualify (under Wallace's structural _and_
>semantic conditions) as "dative absolutes"? I could find nothing in any
>of the grammars in my possession to indicate that such an absolute form
>for the dative even exists, but the grammar of these two clauses in
>Matthew 9.27-28, as far as I can tell, fits the requirements.

The answer is: NO. In both these instances the dative participle correlates
with a dative noun or pronoun serving a basic syntactic function in the
sentence/clause in question:

Mt 9:27 TWi IHSOU is dative as complement of HKOLOUQHSAN (the verb
AKOLOUQEW regularly takes a dative complement); the ptc. PARAGONTI is in
agreement with TWi IHSOU: "followed Jesus as he went onward from that place

Mt 9:29 (similarly) AUTWi is dative as complement of PROSHLQON which also
takes a dative complement; the ptc. ELQONTI is in agreement with AUTWi: "to
him, when he had entered into the house, there came (up) two blind men."
Note that in this translation, I have strained normal word order simply to
show how the participle relates to that dative.

What makes these dative participles differrent from the participles in a
genitive absolute construction is that in the genitive absolute, the
participle and the substantive functioning as its subject bear no
syntactical relationship to the main verb of the clause/sentence in which
that construcvtion appears.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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