What replaced the optative in Koine?

Biblical Greek morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
RandallButh
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Re: What replaced the optative in Koine?

Post by RandallButh » February 28th, 2020, 9:23 am

Ελπίζω ότι έσται ούτως.
= είη ούτως
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Mark Jeong
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Re: What replaced the optative in Koine?

Post by Mark Jeong » February 28th, 2020, 10:38 am

Peng Huiguo wrote:
February 28th, 2020, 6:51 am
Bare subjunctive maybe. In Oxyrhynchus Papyri IV 744, a letter from a workman in Alexandria to his wife, circa 1 BC:

εἴρηκας... ὅτι μή με ἐπιλάθης. πῶς δύναμαί σε ἐπιλαθεῖν; ἐρωτῶ σε οὖν ἵνα μὴ ἀγωνιάσης.

Note: fill in the iota subscripts. I copied it as it is.
Hmmm.. those subjunctives are all in dependent clauses though and function differently than the optative in an independent clause.

It seems there's no one form or structure that replaced the optative (potential and wish), but that the meaning was conveyed in spoken Koine in a variety of ways using different forms and collocations.

Part of the reason why I'm asking is because I'm interested in building my active ability in Koine through speaking, but most of what I read is either literary Koine or attic, both of which use the optative regularly (the former less so), and neither of which seem to reflect Koine as it was actually spoken. I'm not a Koine purist, but I do want to speak in a way that's most helpful for my students primarily interested in Christian and Jewish literature.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: What replaced the optative in Koine?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 28th, 2020, 10:54 am

Mark Jeong wrote:
February 28th, 2020, 10:38 am
Peng Huiguo wrote:
February 28th, 2020, 6:51 am
Bare subjunctive maybe. In Oxyrhynchus Papyri IV 744, a letter from a workman in Alexandria to his wife, circa 1 BC:

εἴρηκας... ὅτι μή με ἐπιλάθης. πῶς δύναμαί σε ἐπιλαθεῖν; ἐρωτῶ σε οὖν ἵνα μὴ ἀγωνιάσης.

Note: fill in the iota subscripts. I copied it as it is.
Hmmm.. those subjunctives are all in dependent clauses though and function differently than the optative in an independent clause.

It seems there's no one form or structure that replaced the optative (potential and wish), but that the meaning was conveyed in spoken Koine in a variety of ways using different forms and collocations.

Part of the reason why I'm asking is because I'm interested in building my active ability in Koine through speaking, but most of what I read is either literary Koine or attic, both of which use the optative regularly (the former less so), and neither of which seem to reflect Koine as it was actually spoken. I'm not a Koine purist, but I do want to speak in a way that's most helpful for my students primarily interested in Christian and Jewish literature.
The optative was a bit more stubborn than the common wisdom sometimes would lead us to believe. You can find occasional uses of it even in the Colloquia (late 3rd century), although these appear to be "frozen' forms. You won't find the optative in secondary sequence and so forth. But you do see things like μὴ γένοιτο... So if you want to throw in an optative of wish, there is a good chance a Koine speaker wouldn't have so much as batted an eyelash.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: What replaced the optative in Koine?

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 28th, 2020, 8:02 pm

Mark Jeong wrote:
February 28th, 2020, 10:38 am
It seems there's no one form or structure that replaced the optative (potential and wish), but that the meaning was conveyed in spoken Koine in a variety of ways using different forms and collocations.
Yeah, that's often the case with language change. For your purposes, it would probably be best to develop Koine-specific resources were developed rather than to translate Attic.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Peng Huiguo
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Joined: April 28th, 2019, 2:02 am

Re: What replaced the optative in Koine?

Post by Peng Huiguo » February 29th, 2020, 2:26 pm

Mark Jeong wrote:
February 28th, 2020, 10:38 am
those subjunctives are all in dependent clauses though and function differently than the optative in an independent clause.
Then something like ἐλπίζω ταχὺ προκόψαι, so
θέλομεν τοὺς ἵππους λήψεσθαι.

For τοὺς ἵππους ἂν δοίη,
ἴσως τοὺς ἵππους δώσει. (Luke 20:13)
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