Relative clause - agreement: attraction of the antecedent

Filters


πολιτείᾱν δ’ οἵᾱν εἶναι χρή, παρὰ μόνοις ἡμῖν ἐστιν

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An antecedent can be attracted to the case of a subsequent relative pronoun when both elements together form the topic of the sentence.

Lexical usage

This attraction is nearly systematic in the fixed collocation οὐδεὶς ὅστις οὐ… ‘There is nobody who does not….’ = ‘Everybody…’

Translation tips

In English the topic can be placed early in the sentence to express the same notion as in Greek.

Syntactic behaviour

The inverse attraction follows the following hierarchy: nominative (not active) The relative clause often comes between the antecedent and the main clause. This strengthens its interpretation as topic.

Historical background

All Indo-European languages (Latin, Old High German and Ancient Greek) which exhibit attraction of the relative pronoun also have the inverse phenomenon (Grimm 2007: 141).

Example Sentences: 


... ἅτε καὶ αὐτὸς παρέχων αὑτὸν ἐρωτᾶν τῶν Ἑλλήνων τῷ βουλομένῳ ὅτι ἄν τις βούληται, καὶ οὐδενὶ ὅτῳ οὐκ ἀποκρῑνόμενος

... want hij biedt ook zichzelf aan om door de eerste de beste Griek ondervraagd te worden, waarover hij ook wil, en hij geeft elk van hen een antwoord.



ἀλλὰ τὴν οὐσίαν ἣν κατέλιπε τῷ ὑεῖ οὐ πλείονος ἀξίᾱ ἐστὶν ἢ τεττάρων καὶ δέκα ταλάντων

Het eigendom dat hij aan zijn zoon naliet, is niet meer waard dan veertien talenten.