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Thread: Searching for a grammatical error

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    26

    Default Searching for a grammatical error

    In John 16:13, John used the masculine ἐκεῖνος to refer to the neuter πνεῦμα. I'd like to find other instances where pronouns do not agree with the gender of their antecedents, but I'm really new to such sophisticated morphological searches, both on the command line and in the GSE. I have figured out how to search for nouns and pronouns with specific cases, but I'm not seeing how to associate pronouns with their antecedents. Can anyone who is more skilled with such things explain how to build such a search? (Maybe it's not even possible.) Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    534

    Default

    Hi Earl,
    I think it is not possible to use BW to find cases where the gender of a pronoun does not agree with the gender of its antecedent.
    You need a way to identify the antecedent of each pronoun; BW does not have a database that tries to do this. Certainly, in some cases this would be a judgment call, so you would have to trust the judgement of the person making the decisions.
    I ran a GSE query using BNM that searched for all occurrences of pneuma that were within 2 words of a pronoun with a different gender. It found 117 verses; many, probably most, of the pronouns had other antecedents.

    --Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Thanks, Jim! I thought that might be the case.

    On the other hand, after I posted the question I read what Daniel Wallace says about that verse in Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (pp 331f), and he has convinced me that the actual antecedent in that case is παράκλητος in verse 7.

    Still, it's an interesting exercise to think about how to find certain grammatical constructions. I need to work more with the GSE to figure out what all it can do. I've been through the tutorial in the BW Help, but tutorials don't do much for me. That's not how my brain works.

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