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Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by adber010, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. adber010 Senior Member

    Hello everyone!

    I was reading this wikipedia-article:

    And I came across this sentence which puzzled me a bit. Especially the highlighted part.

    Η κάθε πράξη επ΄ αυτού χαρακτηρίζεται τρομοκρατική πράξη και οι επιχειρούντες αυτήν τρομοκράτες.

    I can't seem to find επιχειρούντες in any dictionary. I guess it has to with επιχειρώ but can't come up with a good translation. I doesn't really seem to be used very often.

    I'm also wondering about the αυτήν in this context. It obviously relates to the πράξη but why isn't it in the genitive case? To me, it would make more sense if it did.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Hey there
    Legalese in Greek tends to be old fashioned. Forms that are either dead or dying in Demotic Greek are alive and kicking. "Επιχειρούντες" is the genitive plural of "επιχειρών" the participle of "επιχειρώ". I'd classify it under the "dying" words (death throes stage really). Now participles can take an object. Αυτήν is the object of "επιχειρούντες" and as such in the accusative. In more modern Greek it would be "και αυτοί που την επιχειρούν"
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  3. Nikolaos_Kandidatos

    Nikolaos_Kandidatos Senior Member

    Rethymno, Crete
    Hi adber010,

    the form επιχειρούντες isn't in the dictionary because it is a regular inflected form of (you guessed correctly!) the verb επιχειρώ. It is, however, an archaic form not in use in the spoken language, which is probably why you haven't encountered it before - it's the ancient Greek present participle. In high-style modern Greek it's normally used with the article and has the same meaning as a relative clause, so οι επιχειρούντες αυτήν = όσοι/αυτοί που επιχειρούν αυτή.

    I don't know how to explain the syntax of αυτήν - it's an anaphoric pronoun referring back to πράξη, as you said, but the accusative case is required here instead of the genitive because it is the direct object of the verb οι επιχειρούντες. Hope this helps!

    Ed: με πρόλαβες Ireney :)
  4. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Reading, UK
    English - UK

    οι επιχειρούντες is a participial phrase meaning "those undertaking [acts of terrorism]", "those who are engaged in it". αυτήν is accusative because the participle can take a direct object, just as the primary verb επιχειρώ, from which it is formed, can.

    [Apologies for cross-posting with ##2, 3 - and pace Ireney #2, επιχειρούντες is not genitive plural but nominative plural.]
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  5. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Duh! I swear I will triple-check things I type at 5 in the morning! My sincerest apologies. Scholiast is of course right, it's the nominative.
  6. adber010 Senior Member

    I thank you most humbly for your generous answers! I think I really would benefit from buying a grammar book for ancient greek:)

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