Modal Verbs

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Alan Bunning
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Modal Verbs

Post by Alan Bunning » November 13th, 2017, 11:38 am

Does anyone know where I can find a list of all modal verbs such as χρη, δεω, δυναμαι, οφειλω, etc? I looked all over and can’t find any such thing.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Modal Verbs

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 13th, 2017, 12:01 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 11:38 am
Does anyone know where I can find a list of all modal verbs such as χρη, δεω, δυναμαι, οφειλω, etc? I looked all over and can’t find any such thing.
Look at Section 4, "Modal predicates in Ancient Greek", in this paper:

Where Does the Modality of Ancient Greek Modal Verbs Come From? The Relation between Modality and Oblique Case Marking

But also be aware of this conclusion:
As a result, we have shown that the modal meaning of these predicates is truly a
constructional meaning; the meaning of these predicates cannot be semantically derived from the meaning of the lexical items involved, but rather derives from the construction in which these predicates occur. In that sense, the meaning of the verbs can be regarded as compositionally derived, but only on the assumption that the semantic interpretation rules for the relevant constructions are indeed irregular, resulting in specific semantics as opposed to general semantics. Indeed most of these predicates have alternative syntactic uses; they appear also in personal structures with a nominative subject, but it is only in the oblique subject construction that a modal event is designated.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Modal Verbs

Post by Barry Hofstetter » November 13th, 2017, 1:00 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 12:01 pm

But also be aware of this conclusion:
As a result, we have shown that the modal meaning of these predicates is truly a
constructional meaning; the meaning of these predicates cannot be semantically derived from the meaning of the lexical items involved, but rather derives from the construction in which these predicates occur. In that sense, the meaning of the verbs can be regarded as compositionally derived, but only on the assumption that the semantic interpretation rules for the relevant constructions are indeed irregular, resulting in specific semantics as opposed to general semantics. Indeed most of these predicates have alternative syntactic uses; they appear also in personal structures with a nominative subject, but it is only in the oblique subject construction that a modal event is designated.
Which, being translated, means "Ancient Greek really ain't got no modals." :lol:
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

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