Missing Parenthesis in Trenchard

How can I best learn new vocabulary items? What aids are there and what pitfalls should be avoided? How does a beginner learn to use a lexicon?
Post Reply
Danny King
Posts: 35
Joined: May 22nd, 2015, 4:52 am

Missing Parenthesis in Trenchard

Post by Danny King » January 31st, 2016, 9:48 am

Trenchard, when giving English glosses for a verb, usually uses a parenthesis to explain the usage for glosses after a semicolon:
νομίζω - I think, believe, suppose; am the custom (pass)

But for this next word, someone seems to have forgotten the parenthesis:
ξηραίνω - I dry; dry up, wither, stop, become stiff
What should the word in the missing parenthesis be: middle, passive or intransitive?

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Missing Parenthesis in Trenchard

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 31st, 2016, 11:15 am

νομίζω - I think, believe, suppose (act.); am the custom (pass)
ξηραίνω - I dry (trans.); dry up, wither, stop, become stiff (intr.)
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Danny King
Posts: 35
Joined: May 22nd, 2015, 4:52 am

Re: Missing Parenthesis in Trenchard

Post by Danny King » February 1st, 2016, 11:36 am

Thank you, Stephen.

Danny King
Posts: 35
Joined: May 22nd, 2015, 4:52 am

Re: Missing Parenthesis in Trenchard

Post by Danny King » February 1st, 2016, 1:32 pm

Of the 15 times ξηραίνω appears in the NT, 10 times are in the form ἐξηράνθη. Of these,
1) 7 refer to trees or plants or branches withering or drying up (Matt 13:6, 21:19, 21:20, Mk 4:6, Lk 8:6, Jn 15:6, 1Pet 1:24),
2) 1 refers to the healed woman's blood drying up (Mk 5: 29),
3) 1 refers to water drying up (Rev 16:12) and
4) 1 seems to refer to the ripening of the harvest, which appears to stretch the word's lexical range.

Anyway, it may be a safer bet to take the word in the missing parenthesis as passive.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Missing Parenthesis in Trenchard

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 2nd, 2016, 9:03 am

Looking at things with that sort of attention to detail of the usage of the words in the text is beneficial. Test the lmitations and the master the capabilities of whatever reference works you get a hold of.
Trenchard CVGGNT, with my added brackets wrote:ξηραίνω - I dry (trans.); dry up, wither, stop, become stiff (intr.)
Danny King wrote:Anyway, it may be a safer bet to take the word in the missing parenthesis as passive.
In fact we are both right here. Let me take a few steps to change the format a little to show why
Trenchard's original wrote:ξηραίνω - I dry; dry up, wither, stop, become stiff
The addition of my analysis of the English glosses wrote:ξηραίνω - I dry (trans.); dry up, wither, stop, become stiff (intr.)
What you might write in the English to indicate which meanings to use in English, when the verb is active or passive in Greek wrote:ξηραίνω - I dry (act.); dry up, wither, stop, become stiff (pass.)
For this verb, so far as it is used in the New Testament, the Greek active sufficiently equates to the English transitive that the English transitive can be used to adequately translate the Greek active. By the same reasoning, the English instransitive can be used to adequately translate the Greek middle/passive.

The work you are dealing with is a Greek - English glossary, and as such is doing it's best to relate two languages together, not to explain the usage of the Greek.

English has a very great distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs. When we English speakers look at Greek, we tend to see that, because we look for it. In Greek, however, the transitive / intransitive distinction only seems to be there if you are looking for it. If there is an accusative with a verb, it is a word in an accusative-type relationship with the verb, and that can be with an active or a middle-passive verb. If there is a genitive with a verb, it is a word in a gentive-type relationship with the verb, and so for the other oblique case, the dative.

For ξηραίνειν, among the examples in the New Testament it is the one (and only) in the active voice; ὁ ἥλιος ... ἐξήρανεν τὸν χόρτον "the sun withers the grass", that has a noun (nominal phrase) in the accusative. In English - both our language thinking and the needs of English to render it - that is thought of and rendered as a direct object.

In that way, we are both correct, me in writing (trans.) / (intr.), and you writing (pass.) ;)
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest