Greek Syntax Trivia

Here’s an interesting little tidbit for you.

There are places where Quantifiers modify Demonstratives:

Matt 1:22: τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον

But when the Demonstrative or Quantifier is modifying a Noun, they never appear in the same Noun Phrase – at least not in the New Testament. I’d suggest that they’re in complementary distribution syntactically.

I spoke too soon:

Luke 4:6 τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἅπασαν

Now that doesn’t mean they’re the same case. They’re not [Edit: particularly since I now have an example of them appearing together]. Quantifiers have a wider distribution across the NP than the Demonstrative:

Dem/Q Article Q Noun Dem/Q

As far as I’ve seen, Demonstratives never appear between the article and the noun.

Now, I’ve decided that instead of pontificating on pedagogy from my limited experience, I should be asking other’s opinions.

So here’s the question for the day:

A number of grammars, both teaching and reference, refer to Demonstratives as “Demonstrative Adjectives” and “Demonstrative Pronouns.” Is this is a helpful distinction, particularly considering that syntactically, they are quite distinct from Adjectives?

More specifically, do we truly have two different parts of speech here: an adjective and a pronoun? Or do we have one part of speech (Demonstrative) that appears with or without a noun?

My inclination is toward the latter, mainly because the meaning and function of the word does not change regardless of whether its independent or modifying.

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