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How to search for conjunctive Participles

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#1 Marco V. Fabbri

Marco V. Fabbri


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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:06 AM

In the language of the Greek syntax module, a circumstantial clause is an Adjunct Clause, and one that is Adjunct to a Predicate.

Genitive Absolute, that we have already dealt with, is a kind of circumstantial Clause. It is also a participial Clause, so that a Genitive Absolute is always a participial circumstantial Clause, even if there is also another kind of participial circumstantial Clauses.

In circumstantial Clauses, a Participle may be conjunctive or absolute. That is, it may either agree with the Subject of the main Sentence (whether overt or covert), or it may be not.

When it doesn't, it is found in Genitive: hence the name of Genitive Absolute.

When it does, it is found in Nominative, and we have a Conjunctive Participle.

As we already know how to search for a Genitive Absolute, we will now search for a Nominative Participle that is the verb of a Circumstantial Clause.
We will try first the following search:

  • Open a new Search Text, choose GNT-T as search text, and choose to search for Words (not Verses) within every Chapter or Book (not Verse, etc)
  • Open a new Greek Constuct (Command-2), that will be automatically linked to the Search Text
  • In the Greek Construct window, drag the Phrase element and drop it into the first column
  • When prompted, choose Predicate Phrase
  • Drag the Clause element and drop it into the first column, within the PREDICATE PHRASE
  • When prompted, choose Dependent and Adjunct
  • Drag the Verb element and drop it into the first column of the Adjun. DEPENDENT Clause
  • When prompted, choose Mood: participle and Case: Nominative
  • Press Return, or click on the search button.

The results are as follows:

Attached File  Conjunctive Adverbial Participle 1.PNG   305.23KB   5 downloads

It is apparent that the search actually finds conjunctive Participles, which are anarthrous, as the two Participles in Matthew 1:19 (δίκαιος ὢν καὶ μὴ θέλων). This is what we expected.

However, because of a rare overlap that it would be long to explain, the search also finds a few attributive Participles, which are articular. One example is Matthew 1:16: ὁ λεγόμενος. This is an exception, not the rule: most attributive Participle are not found, because they are not part of a Predicate Phrase, but rather of an Adjunct Phrase.

We may review the results and drop those exceptional results that are attributive Participles and therefore are not conjunctive Participles. But we may also narrow down the search, so that attributive Participles are not found and only conjunctive Participles are.

This requires a short explanation about attributive Participles: they are the equivalent of a relative clause. In the syntax module, this similarity is reflected in that they always include a null Subject with a number (e.g. 01, 02) that matches the number of their antecedent (e.g. 1, 2) in the superordinate Clause. That is so because they always agree in case with a word of the superdordinate clause, whatever the case of that word is.

On the other hand, the reason why conjunctive Participles are always in nominative is that they agree with the subject of the main Clause. In the Greek syntax module I have chosen not to add a null subject in a Dependent Clause when the subject is the same of the superordinate clause. A resulting advantage is that conjunctive Participles will never have a call to an antecedent Subject. Using symbols, they will never have a 01, 02, etc., as Subject).

We can now modify the previous search in order to narrow it down:

  • Find the element VERB participle nominative that fills the firs column of the Adjun. DEPENDENT Clause
  • Move it from the first to the second column, so that the first column is free
  • Drag the element Antecedent and drop it in the free first column.
  • Drag the element NOT and drop it over ANTECEDENT, so that we now have a negated Antecedent
  • Check that “search both directions” is NOT selected: the negated Antecedent must come before the Participle.
  • Press Return, or click on the search button.
The results are as follows:

Attached File  Conjunctive Adverbial Participle 2.PNG   246.65KB   5 downloads

Let's examine the results. It is apparent that the unwanted attributive Participle is gone. Only conjunctive Participles are now found.

I hope this helps. If there are questions, they may be posted as replies to the topic.

Edited by Marco Fabbri, 06 November 2011 - 09:26 AM.

Marco Valerio Fabbri
P. UniversitÓ della S. Croce
Rome, Italy

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