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Journal of Translation 1(2)

Logical subjects, grammatical subjects, and the translation of Greek person and number agreement

Author  Koffi, Ettien N.
Abstract 

In Greek as well as in many languages, the verb agrees with its subject in number and in person. Such an agreement is reflected morphologically on the verb through suffixation. If the subject is a compound noun phrase, that is, NP + NP, the general tendency for Greek verbs is to agree with the NP closest to them. However, agreement can also be controlled by the logical subject, or the grammatical subject, or both. The present article argues that the failure to clearly identify the controller of agreement in Greek has led to translations that are exegetically and theologically questionable. This point is proven by the analysis of three key texts from the Greek New Testament and their translation into English, French, Spanish, and a number of African languages. The passages studied in this article are Galatians 1:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 and Colossians 2:1–2.

  Logical subjects, grammatical subjects, and the translation of Greek person and number agreement
Published  2005
Subjects  Linguistics
Person
Semantic roles
Subject (grammatical)
Keywords  Person; Subject (grammatical); Semantic roles