Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby BenAskins » February 28th, 2013, 4:03 pm

Is there a clear taxonomy for discerning whether a morphodigmatic middle-passive or passive participle functions semantically as intransitive or middle or passive?
Ben Askins
M.Div. Student
BenAskins
 
Posts: 7
Joined: February 27th, 2013, 8:37 am
Location: USA

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby cwconrad » February 28th, 2013, 4:39 pm

BenAskins wrote:Is there a clear taxonomy for discerning whether a morphodigmatic middle-passive or passive participle functions semantically as intransitive or middle or passive?


If by this you mean to ask whether you can recognize whether a middle-passive form or a θε-participle is either intransitive or middle or passive -- without reference at all to the particular verb of which this is a form, then I think that the answer is decidely: no. The forms are themselves polysemous -- capable of bearing any of these three semantic forces. πορευθείς is intransitive, as is the form ἐπορευόμην; λεχθέντα (things said) is passive in meaning, as is λέγονται with subject οὕτοι οἱ λόγοι. You must know the verbs or consult a good lexicon if you don't already know the verb that you find in a particular voice-form.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby BenAskins » February 28th, 2013, 4:55 pm

Thank you, Dr. Conrad.

I was actually just reading your article (http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/d ... cGrkVc.pdf) and found this answer to my question: "The principle to be understood here is that middle-passive morphoparadigms do not, in and of themselves, indicate necessarily either a transitive or intransitive nor middle nor passive meaning. They are ambivalent and flexible and must be interpreted each in accordance with the character of the verb in question and the contextual indicators of the instance under examination." Very helpful.

So in the case of hapax legomenon, such as ἀνεμιζομένῳ or ῥιπιζομένῳ (James 1:6), how do we discern the participles' correct voice?
Ben Askins
M.Div. Student
BenAskins
 
Posts: 7
Joined: February 27th, 2013, 8:37 am
Location: USA

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby cwconrad » February 28th, 2013, 5:56 pm

BenAskins wrote:Thank you, Dr. Conrad.

I was actually just reading your article (http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/d ... cGrkVc.pdf) and found this answer to my question: "The principle to be understood here is that middle-passive morphoparadigms do not, in and of themselves, indicate necessarily either a transitive or intransitive nor middle nor passive meaning. They are ambivalent and flexible and must be interpreted each in accordance with the character of the verb in question and the contextual indicators of the instance under examination." Very helpful.

So in the case of hapax legomenon, such as ἀνεμιζομένῳ or ἀνεμιζομένῳ (James 1:6), how do we discern the participles' correct voice?


Text:
Jas 1:6 αἰτείτω δὲ ἐν πίστει μηδὲν διακρινόμενος· ὁ γὰρ διακρινόμενος ἔοικεν κλύδωνι θαλάσσης ἀνεμιζομένῳ καὶ ῥιπιζομένῳ.


While ἀνεμιζομένῳ and ἀνεμιζομένῳ may appear only here in the GNT, these verbs are hardly hapax legomena.

BDAG:
ῥιπίζω aor. 3 sg. ἐρρίπισεν Da 2:35 (Aristoph. et al.) blow here and there, toss, of the wind (Da 2:35; EpArist 70), that sets a wave in motion on the water, pass. (Philo, Aet. M. 125 πρὸς ἀνέμων ῥιπίζεται τὸ ὕδωρ; a quot. in Dio Chrys. 15 [32], 23 δῆμος ἄστατον κακὸν καὶ θαλάσσῃ πανθ᾿ ὅμοιον ὑπ᾿ ἀνέμου ῥιπίζεται; Cass. Dio 70, 4 ῥιπιζομένη ἄχνη. See also Epict., fgm. F 2 p. 487 Sch.) ὁ διακρινόμενος ἔοικεν κλύδωνι θαλάσσης ἀνεμιζομένῳ καὶ ῥιπιζομένῳ Js 1:6.—DELG s.v. ῥίπτω. M-M.
.

ἀνεμίζω (Att. ἀνεμόω) pass. be moved by the wind (schol. on Od. 12, 336) κλύδων ἀνεμιζόμενος καὶ ῥιπιζόμενος surf moved and tossed by the wind Js 1:6.—DELG s.v. ἄνεμος. M-M.


I think the context makes it clear that these participles indicate wind-induced movement. It strikes me that these verb-forms very nicely illustrate why Greek did not draw the clear distinction between non-agentive movement and movement brought about by an external agent or force. We may English the Greek of James 1:6 in ways that give expression to either of these interpretations: "The one who wavers is like a sea-wave that is blown and tossed by wind" -- or "The one who wavers is like a sea-wave that ripples and churns in the wind." What the middle verb-forms indicate here is the process which the subjects of the verbs are "experiencing" or "undergoing" Neither English version is really to be preferred here; it's just difficult for English-speakers to think about voice apart from the polarity of active and passive. The Greek morphological distinction is simply upon an unmarked ("active") "middle-passive" voice form and a voice form that is marked for subject-affectedness.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby BenAskins » February 28th, 2013, 6:45 pm

Thank you again, sir.

cwconrad wrote:Neither English version is really to be preferred here;


So would a decision for an English translation need to be based on broader contextual considerations (i.e. literary themes, rhetorical devices, etc.)?

cwconrad wrote:The Greek morphological distinction is simply upon an unmarked ("active") "middle-passive" voice form and a voice form that is marked for subject-affectedness.


But aren't there a variety of categories for understanding "subject-affectedness" (e.g. full middle/indirect reflexive middle, reflexive, reciprocal, passive [Barber, 1975])? Why are these variety of categories so often reduced simply to the passive English voice, rather than the active (as in most EVV of Js 1:6)?
Ben Askins
M.Div. Student
BenAskins
 
Posts: 7
Joined: February 27th, 2013, 8:37 am
Location: USA

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby cwconrad » March 1st, 2013, 6:08 am

BenAskins wrote:Thank you again, sir.

cwconrad wrote:Neither English version is really to be preferred here;


So would a decision for an English translation need to be based on broader contextual considerations (i.e. literary themes, rhetorical devices, etc.)?


Yes, I would say so. At any rate, one needs to get beyond the beginner's tendency to substitute the first equivalent that comes to mind for each word of the original text. Translation is an art, not a mechanical process.

cwconrad wrote:The Greek morphological distinction is simply upon an unmarked ("active") "middle-passive" voice form and a voice form that is marked for subject-affectedness.


Sorry, that didn't come out as intended. It should be, "The Greek morphological distinction (between "active" and "middle-passive" forms) is simply upon an unmarked ("active") voice form and a voice form ("middle-passive") that is marked for subject-affectedness."

BenAskins wrote:But aren't there a variety of categories for understanding "subject-affectedness" (e.g. full middle/indirect reflexive middle, reflexive, reciprocal, passive [Barber, 1975])? Why are these variety of categories so often reduced simply to the passive English voice, rather than the active (as in most EVV of Js 1:6)?


I'm speculating a bit here, but my inclination is to say that those translators who do this don't fully understand the Greek middle voice and still think of their English-language options in either/or terms of active/passive. In fact, there really are lots of English verbs that have forms corresponding to the subject-affected Greek middle-voice forms, e.g., in our text at hand, "the water ripples" or "the water churns." Once one is aware of such types of verbs, they come more readily to mind: "The crop withers on the vines," "The fruit is rotting." The English participle "get" with an English adjective or even a passive participle can express middle meaning: "The horse is getting loose" (λύεται ὁ ἲππος) or "Those guys are getting drunk" (μεθύσκονται ἐκεῖνοι).
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby BenAskins » March 1st, 2013, 8:45 am

Thank you again, Dr. Conrad. This has been an immensely helpful discussion. I'm glad to have discovered this forum!
Ben Askins
M.Div. Student
BenAskins
 
Posts: 7
Joined: February 27th, 2013, 8:37 am
Location: USA

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby BenAskins » March 1st, 2013, 9:01 am

cwconrad wrote:"The Greek morphological distinction (between "active" and "middle-passive" forms) is simply upon an unmarked ("active") voice form and a voice form ("middle-passive") that is marked for subject-affectedness."


Another pair of questions, regarding markedness: in the case of the two terms mentioned above there isn't any morphological marking, is there? They would have to be semantically marked instead. Am I correct?
Ben Askins
M.Div. Student
BenAskins
 
Posts: 7
Joined: February 27th, 2013, 8:37 am
Location: USA

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby cwconrad » March 1st, 2013, 9:45 am

BenAskins wrote:
cwconrad wrote:"The Greek morphological distinction (between "active" and "middle-passive" forms) is simply upon an unmarked ("active") voice form and a voice form ("middle-passive") that is marked for subject-affectedness."


Another pair of questions, regarding markedness: in the case of the two terms mentioned above there isn't any morphological marking, is there? They would have to be semantically marked instead. Am I correct?


By "marked" and "unmarked" here I simply mean to say that the so-called "active" forms are the "default" forms for verbs that may be transitive or intransitive and may even bear a middle- or passive-voice sense (e.g. ἔπαθον πολλὰ ὑπ’ ἐκείνου; πίπτουσι πολλοὶ ὑπὸ τῶν πολειμίων ("many are felled by the foemen"). On the other hand the middle-passive forms (in μαι/σαι/ται/μην/σο/το and -θη/η) do distinctly indicate a middle/passive meaning.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω
cwconrad
 
Posts: 1399
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Mediopassive morphoparadigms

Postby BenAskins » April 1st, 2013, 8:35 pm

Would it be reasonable to conclude that the two participles from James 1:6 discussed above (ἀνεμιζομένῳ / ῥιπιζομένῳ) could be considered as "Spontaneous Process Middles" [Rutger Allan] (or possibly Suzanne Kemmer's "Spontaneous Event Middle")?

Or might a "Body Motion Middle" be more appropriate, signifying the change in posture of the inanimate sea wave as being "wind-driven" and "wind-tossed"?
Ben Askins
M.Div. Student
BenAskins
 
Posts: 7
Joined: February 27th, 2013, 8:37 am
Location: USA

Next

Return to Syntax and Grammar

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest