Various Types of Pronouns

Various Types of Pronouns

Postby Jason Hare » October 14th, 2012, 2:11 am

Smyth (in §§325-340) mentions several types of pronouns in his grammar. He lists personal pronouns, the intensive pronoun (αὐτός), reflexive pronouns, possessive pronouns, reciprocal pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, interrogative and indefinite pronouns and relative pronouns.

In the mention of intensive pronouns (§328), he has this to say:

328. αὐτός is a definite adjective and a pronoun. It has three meanings:
a. self: standing by itself in the nominative, αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ or ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτός the man himself, or (without the article) in agreement with a substantive or pronoun; as ἀνδρὸς αὐτοῦ of the man himself.
b. him, her, it, them, etc.: standing by itself in an oblique case (never in the nominative). The oblique cases of αὐτός are generally used instead of οὗ, οἷ, ἕ, etc., as ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ his father, οἱ παῖδες αὐτῶν their children.
c. same: when it is preceded by the article in any case: ὁ αὐτὸς ἀνήρ the same man, τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀνδρός of the same man.


My question has to do with nomenclature. It is clear that use b listed above is a sort of personal pronoun. What about the other two uses, especially the first? Would you call this a "pronoun" or a "pronominal adjective"? Additionally, would you say that αὐτός in the noun phase αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ has ἀνήρ as an antecedent or that it simply modifies it (as all other adjectives do)?

εὐχαριστῶ ὑμῖν, ὦ ἀδελφοί.
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby David Lim » October 14th, 2012, 8:47 pm

Jason Hare wrote:[...]
328. αὐτός is a definite adjective and a pronoun. It has three meanings:
a. self: standing by itself in the nominative, αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ or ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτός the man himself, or (without the article) in agreement with a substantive or pronoun; as ἀνδρὸς αὐτοῦ of the man himself.
b. him, her, it, them, etc.: standing by itself in an oblique case (never in the nominative). The oblique cases of αὐτός are generally used instead of οὗ, οἷ, ἕ, etc., as ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ his father, οἱ παῖδες αὐτῶν their children.
c. same: when it is preceded by the article in any case: ὁ αὐτὸς ἀνήρ the same man, τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀνδρός of the same man.


My question has to do with nomenclature. It is clear that use b listed above is a sort of personal pronoun. What about the other two uses, especially the first? Would you call this a "pronoun" or a "pronominal adjective"? Additionally, would you say that αὐτός in the noun phase αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ has ἀνήρ as an antecedent or that it simply modifies it (as all other adjectives do)?

εὐχαριστῶ ὑμῖν, ὦ ἀδελφοί.


(a) I consider it to function as an adverb in rather than a pronoun. Here is one example where it does not behave like an adjective or personal pronoun:
[Heb 4:10] ο γαρ εισελθων εις την καταπαυσιν αυτου και αυτος κατεπαυσεν απο των εργων αυτου ωσπερ απο των ιδιων ο θεος
(c) I consider it to function as an adjective. It follows the same syntax as other adjectives.
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby MAubrey » October 14th, 2012, 9:52 pm

Jason Hare wrote:My question has to do with nomenclature. It is clear that use b listed above is a sort of personal pronoun. What about the other two uses, especially the first? Would you call this a "pronoun" or a "pronominal adjective"? Additionally, would you say that αὐτός in the noun phase αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ has ἀνήρ as an antecedent or that it simply modifies it (as all other adjectives do)?


The question is: What is a part-of-speech and by what criteria is a part-of-speech established?

Only after you answer the first question can you get on to your question of nomenclature.

As for my own categorization...
Smyth wrote:328. αὐτός is a definite adjective and a pronoun. It has three meanings:
a. self: standing by itself in the nominative, αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ or ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτός the man himself, or (without the article) in agreement with a substantive or pronoun; as ἀνδρὸς αὐτοῦ of the man himself.
b. him, her, it, them, etc.: standing by itself in an oblique case (never in the nominative). The oblique cases of αὐτός are generally used instead of οὗ, οἷ, ἕ, etc., as ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ his father, οἱ παῖδες αὐτῶν their children.
c. same: when it is preceded by the article in any case: ὁ αὐτὸς ἀνήρ the same man, τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἀνδρός of the same man.

Part of the challenge here in (c) is that we have the same (sorry) problem with same in English, which may function as adjectivally, pronominally, or adverbially according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Jason Hare wrote:Additionally, would you say that αὐτός in the noun phase αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνήρ has ἀνήρ as an antecedent or that it simply modifies it (as all other adjectives do)?

This is question is easier to answer. In such cases, αὐτός cannot be viewed as a adjective because it violates the syntactic requirements of an adjective by appearing outside the determiner. Only pronouns (e.g. οὗτος) and quantifiers (πάς) can occur in such a position. Different syntactic distribution necessitates it being a different part-of-speech.
David Lim wrote:(a) I consider it to function as an adverb in rather than a pronoun. Here is one example where it does not behave like an adjective or personal pronoun:
[Heb 4:10] ο γαρ εισελθων εις την καταπαυσιν αυτου και αυτος κατεπαυσεν απο των εργων αυτου ωσπερ απο των ιδιων ο θεος

Is doesn't?
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby David Lim » October 14th, 2012, 10:50 pm

MAubrey wrote:
David Lim wrote:(a) I consider it to function as an adverb in rather than a pronoun. Here is one example where it does not behave like an adjective or personal pronoun:
[Heb 4:10] ο γαρ εισελθων εις την καταπαυσιν αυτου και αυτος κατεπαυσεν απο των εργων αυτου ωσπερ απο των ιδιων ο θεος

Is doesn't?


Hmm does it? I said it does not behave like an adjective because it does not occur in the same syntactic structures, which you have also mentioned. As for not being a personal pronoun, I should have specified that I consider a pronoun to function as a noun phrase. "αυτος" in Heb 4:10 doesn't, but rather modifies "κατεπαυσεν" adverbially, "intensifying" the reference to its subject.
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby cwconrad » October 15th, 2012, 8:15 am

David Lim wrote:
MAubrey wrote:
David Lim wrote:(a) I consider it to function as an adverb in rather than a pronoun. Here is one example where it does not behave like an adjective or personal pronoun:
[Heb 4:10] ο γαρ εισελθων εις την καταπαυσιν αυτου και αυτος κατεπαυσεν απο των εργων αυτου ωσπερ απο των ιδιων ο θεος

Is doesn't?


Hmm does it? I said it does not behave like an adjective because it does not occur in the same syntactic structures, which you have also mentioned. As for not being a personal pronoun, I should have specified that I consider a pronoun to function as a noun phrase. "αυτος" in Heb 4:10 doesn't, but rather modifies "κατεπαυσεν" adverbially, "intensifying" the reference to its subject.


Perhaps this is a matter of idiosyncratic terminological preferences. From what you write I suppose you would argue that "himself" in the sentence, "He shot himself in the foot" is a noun phrase wherein the "him" part is a pronoun functioning as the direct object of "shot" and the "self" element is adverbial. Ordinarily this is called a "reflexive" pronoun; traditional Greek grammar speaks of the nominative forms of αῦτός as an "intensive pronoun."

Alternatively, consider John 20:4 ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ· καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμεν τάχιον τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθεν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον; here πρῶτος is ordinarily categorized as an adverbial usage of an adjective, a usage not at all uncommon in ancient Greek with certain kinds of adjectives.
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby MAubrey » October 15th, 2012, 12:26 pm

David Lim wrote:Hmm does it? I said it does not behave like an adjective because it does not occur in the same syntactic structures, which you have also mentioned. As for not being a personal pronoun, I should have specified that I consider a pronoun to function as a noun phrase. "αυτος" in Heb 4:10 doesn't, but rather modifies "κατεπαυσεν" adverbially, "intensifying" the reference to its subject.


Well, it isn't a personal pronoun...but surely it is a pronoun. If your criteria for a pronoun is that it replaces a noun phrase and your criteria for an adjective is that it appears syntactically in adjectival positions, what exactly do you do with demonstratives when they modify a noun (and thus cannot be replaced by a noun phrase), but also do not appear in adjectival syntactic positions (e.g. before the article)?

Either you need to redefine your definition of a pronoun (which I would suggest), or you should redefine your definition of an adjective (which I would definitely not suggest).
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby Jason Hare » October 15th, 2012, 1:08 pm

MAubrey wrote:
David Lim wrote:Hmm does it? I said it does not behave like an adjective because it does not occur in the same syntactic structures, which you have also mentioned. As for not being a personal pronoun, I should have specified that I consider a pronoun to function as a noun phrase. "αυτος" in Heb 4:10 doesn't, but rather modifies "κατεπαυσεν" adverbially, "intensifying" the reference to its subject.


Well, it isn't a personal pronoun...but surely it is a pronoun. If your criteria for a pronoun is that it replaces a noun phrase and your criteria for an adjective is that it appears syntactically in adjectival positions, what exactly do you do with demonstratives when they modify a noun (and thus cannot be replaced by a noun phrase), but also do not appear in adjectival syntactic positions (e.g. before the article)?

Either you need to redefine your definition of a pronoun (which I would suggest), or you should redefine your definition of an adjective (which I would definitely not suggest).


Smyth classes αὐτός in the first use (-self) along with other words (such as πᾶς and ἄκρος) that can appear outside of the noun phrase and take on a different meaning. These are in sections 1172-1183, within which he specifically labels αὐτός with this meaning among οὗτος, ὅδε and ἐκεῖνος as a "demonstrative pronoun."

Mounce (section 12.9) labels this as an "adjectival intensive" use of αὐτός and states that it is "used adjectivally" and "normally modifies another word and is usually in the predicate position." When he says "usually," is he suggesting that it can appear otherwise?

Would you suggest thinking of it as a pronoun in such a way that it might be considered "this [one] the man," where each is essentially a substantive in some sort of appositional relationship? I have a hard time thinking of a pronoun (and, yes, as far as I've always learned a pronoun is such a thing that replaces a noun, not modifies it) as being necessarily paired to a noun phrase in direct modification.

This is an odd way of looking at it. Almost counter-intuitive.
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby Jason Hare » October 15th, 2012, 1:13 pm

cwconrad wrote:Perhaps this is a matter of idiosyncratic terminological preferences. From what you write I suppose you would argue that "himself" in the sentence, "He shot himself in the foot" is a noun phrase wherein the "him" part is a pronoun functioning as the direct object of "shot" and the "self" element is adverbial. Ordinarily this is called a "reflexive" pronoun; traditional Greek grammar speaks of the nominative forms of αῦτός as an "intensive pronoun."


Hi, Carl.

I'd love your input on the correct terminology for αὐτός in the structure in question. In phrases like αὐτὴ ἡ γυνή and αὐτὸ τὸ τέκνον, how would you label αὐτός? Do you consider it an adjectival use or is it strictly pronominal? How can you explain it in a way that lay people can grasp it without twisting their brains in knots? ;)

Thanks!
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby cwconrad » October 15th, 2012, 4:11 pm

Jason Hare wrote:
cwconrad wrote:Perhaps this is a matter of idiosyncratic terminological preferences. From what you write I suppose you would argue that "himself" in the sentence, "He shot himself in the foot" is a noun phrase wherein the "him" part is a pronoun functioning as the direct object of "shot" and the "self" element is adverbial. Ordinarily this is called a "reflexive" pronoun; traditional Greek grammar speaks of the nominative forms of αῦτός as an "intensive pronoun."


Hi, Carl.

I'd love your input on the correct terminology for αὐτός in the structure in question. In phrases like αὐτὴ ἡ γυνή and αὐτὸ τὸ τέκνον, how would you label αὐτός? Do you consider it an adjectival use or is it strictly pronominal? How can you explain it in a way that lay people can grasp it without twisting their brains in knots? ;)!


I don't know that my take on this is particularly worth noting. I find no fault with the term "intensive pronoun" for the usage in the verse in question. Nor have I any problem with categorizing the αὐτός of the other two usages as "definite adjective" and "personal pronoun" (for 3d person). Back in the days when kids learned Greek and Latin at the same time, I thought it was very helpful to note that these three usages corresponded to the usages of the Latin words ipse ("intensive"), idem ("definite adjective" that may function substantivally) and 3d person pronoun. Thus we have αὐτὸς ὁ ἁνθρωπος = ipse homo, ὁ αὐτὸς ἄνθρωπος = idem homo, and αὐτοῦ κτλ. = eius etc..

I think, however, that usages of αὐτός are much more confusing when one learns by the grammar-translation method. If you learn the right usage by imitation, you may still have difficulty explaining the usage to another. This is the "existentialist" conception of the relationship between linguistic usage and linguistic explanation:as "existence precedes essence," so "usage precedes grammatical explanation."
Carl W. Conrad
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Re: Various Types of Pronouns

Postby David Lim » October 15th, 2012, 9:22 pm

cwconrad wrote:Perhaps this is a matter of idiosyncratic terminological preferences. From what you write I suppose you would argue that "himself" in the sentence, "He shot himself in the foot" is a noun phrase wherein the "him" part is a pronoun functioning as the direct object of "shot" and the "self" element is adverbial. Ordinarily this is called a "reflexive" pronoun; traditional Greek grammar speaks of the nominative forms of αῦτός as an "intensive pronoun."

Alternatively, consider John 20:4 ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ· καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμεν τάχιον τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθεν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον; here πρῶτος is ordinarily categorized as an adverbial usage of an adjective, a usage not at all uncommon in ancient Greek with certain kinds of adjectives.


I consider "himself" in your sentence to be indeed a reflexive pronoun, which corresponds to "εαυτον" and functions differently from "αυτος" used as an "intensive pronoun". And yes, I consider "πρωτος" here to function as an adverb and not an adjective. As you said, only some words have this property of being able to function as either an adverb or adjective, while some others can only function as adjectives and not adverbs. So I don't really see a need to classify "πρωτος" as an adjective that functions in John 20:4 as an adverb, but rather I would simply classify it under both adjectives and adverbs.

MAubrey wrote:Well, it isn't a personal pronoun...but surely it is a pronoun. If your criteria for a pronoun is that it replaces a noun phrase and your criteria for an adjective is that it appears syntactically in adjectival positions, what exactly do you do with demonstratives when they modify a noun (and thus cannot be replaced by a noun phrase), but also do not appear in adjectival syntactic positions (e.g. before the article)?

Either you need to redefine your definition of a pronoun (which I would suggest), or you should redefine your definition of an adjective (which I would definitely not suggest).


I consider a demonstrative that appears in predicate position to be a determiner, which I indeed distinguish from adjectives based on their different syntax. Under this definition it is clear that a word may appear in more than one class, but the classes they fall in are already fixed by the language and not easily subject to change. I am aware that "determiner" may not mean the same thing to you, but for lack of a better word, I use "determiner" to refer to any word that functions that way syntactically.
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