Possessive article "a"

chatkigazouille

Senior Member
Indonesian
Hi all,
Okay so I'm still not solid on how we use "a". I'm seeing that for indicating possession, sometimes we use it and sometimes we don't.

For example, I'm reading Romani 1, then I see:

a) Starea de păcat a omenirii (The state of sin of humanity)
b) Mânia lui Dumnezeu se descoperă din cer împotriva oricărei necinstiri a lui Dumnezeu... (The anger of God falls from Heaven against all evil "of God??"...)
c) ...şi împotriva oricărei nelegiuiri a oamenilor, care înăbuşă adevărul în nelegiuirea lor.

My questions
1) Why do we use the possessive article "a" in a) and not in b)?
2) Why do we have "a lui Dumnezeu" at the end of b)?
3) So c) and b) are the whole verse. Now the "a" in "a oamenilor", which substantive does it refer to?

Thank you all!
 
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  • farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    Your questions:

    1) Why do we use the possessive article "a" in a) and not in b)?
    Because of the atribute de păcat:
    Starea omenirii and Starea (ce fel de stare?) de păcat, (a cui Stare?) a omenirii
    And further in b) it's the distinction between common noun, omenire, zeu vs. a person's name (masculine gender):
    - Mânia zeului
    - Mânia omenirii
    - Mânia lui Dumnezeu (Ion) or mânia Mariei [Sometimes people would use mânia lui Maria which is not correct!]

    Also worth mentioning the construct: o mânie / aspra mânie a lui Dumnezeu.

    2) Why do we have "a lui Dumnezeu" at the end of b)?
    You have to ask and answer: a cui necinstire? The answer is: A lui Dumnezeu.

    If you give up on oricărei then you can use împotriva nelegiuirii oamenilor.

    3) So c) and b) are the whole verse. Now the "a" in "a oamenilor", which substantive does it refer to?
    We have necinstire a lui Dumnezeu (disrespect towards God) and nelegiure a oamenilor which is the same thing if you say nelegiuirea oamenilor, except for the oricărei as indicated earlier. (All and any disrespect of man towards God).

    A lui Ion helps to get around the fact that we don't have the flexionary form Ionului the way we have for Maria -> Mariei and a Mariei vs. Ion / a lui Ion (as oppposed to a Ionului which doesn't exist).

    BTW:
    "...oricărei necinstiri a lui Dumnezeu... "(The anger of God falls from Heaven against all (wrong: evil) disrespect "of God??"...)

    Do yourself a favour and stop using the Bible to learn Romanian: many a time the lexical structures and grammar are archaic and do not reflect the language being used today by native speakers.

    Under the Romanian references sticky you'll find a link to Liana Cojocaru's Romanian Grammar book. It's a valuable resource and together with dexonline.ro you'll have two very powerful and accurate tools in your quest to conquer the Romanian language. And of course there is the WR forum :)

    Later,
     

    chatkigazouille

    Senior Member
    Indonesian
    Hey @farscape thank you for the quick response! I will definitely check those two out. For the Bible, the reason that I use it is that it's also in the languages that I know. So if something is not making sense, I could just go to the other ones to find out the proper meaning (not before looking in the dictionary first hahaha!)

    My response to your response
    1) So for b), what I don't get is, why is it "Mânia lui Dumnezeu" and not "Mânia a lui Dumnezeu". (a cui mânia?)

    2) "You have to ask and answer: a cui necinstire? The answer is: A lui Dumnezeu."
    From this explanation, I would think that "necinstire a Lui Dumnezeu" would mean "disrespect of God" or "God being disrespectful" but I totally get your point. "A" in this case could also mean "toward".
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi,

    What I can add more to the beautiful explanation of the moderator of this forum for your further understanding is that we do not use two articles folowing one another. In mânia, there is the definite article a. If we go on saying a lui Dumnezeu, we'd have one more article of different type that immediately follows the definite article a. So, we skip the mark of possession since we have the possessive pronoun lui: Mânia lui Dumnezeu.:tick:

    1.And if in our response, we skip the noun 'mânie', then we can answer with the possessive article: "A lui D-zeu".:tick:

    2. If we do not change the noun "mânie", we can use the possessive article "mânie[0] a lui D-zeu".:tick:
     
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    metaphrastes

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    From this explanation, I would think that "necinstire a Lui Dumnezeu" would mean "disrespect of God" or "God being disrespectful" but I totally get your point. "A" in this case could also mean "toward"

    I have nothing to add to the excellent and comprehensive grammar answers already given, but regarding what the purpose of the expression is I can confirm that by checking the original Greek, that has just one word for this whole locution - ἀσέβεια-aséveia. Aséveia begins by the prefix a, denoting want, absence, deprivation, lack, as often the English un - wise, unwise, in Greek, sophós, ásophos. Thus, aséveia means lack of reverence, of godliness, of devotion, then, ungodliness, impiety, profaneness. Since it is mostly a religious term, used from pre-Christian times by Euripides or Xenophon, it is assumed that this lack of reverence is addressed towards God - but this is contextual. The term in non-religious context might mean disloyalty to the Emperor (well, this too has a religious background since this usage was related with the divinization of the Roman Caesar).

    I can't say why, but the most used Romanian word to render ungodliness is nelegiuire, that basically is a synonymous of fărădelege, so far I know. The definitions on most dictionaries emphasize the juridical aspect, for example: "Faptă care contravine legilor juridice sau preceptelor morale". The relational aspect (of the relationship with God) seems forgotten. Some dictionaries say, too: Impietate, sacrilegiŭ, or dispreț pentru cele religioase. But for some reason a more synthetic word as impietate did not find a way in the Romanian Biblical tradition - it is a matter of tradition and usage, too.

    Now, I have to add that, as a whole, the Romanian translation you are using is, on this verse in particular, more of a paraphrase, in many details. The Romanian Synodal Bible reads so, more clearly and synthetically: "Căci mânia lui Dumnezeu se descoperă din cer peste toată fărădelegea şi peste toată nedreptatea oamenilor care ţin nedreptatea drept adevăr". Fărădelegea here stands for ungodliness, avoiding the awkward periphrasis necinstiri a lui Dumnezeu. Impietate would probably be more precise in meaning, but then it may not sound idiomatic, and it may too be one of those words borrowed from Latin in later times, used by scholars but not too much vernacular.

    Starea de păcat a omenirii too is, at best, a paraphrase, for what the Greek means is "all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men", with no abstract noun as humanity, humankind. This is exactly what the Synodal version says, just with some lack of distinction between ungodliness and unrighteousness, iniquity - the relational and the "juridical" aspect.

    Do yourself a favour and stop using the Bible to learn Romanian
    Yes, I agree, because Scriptures are not an instrument to learn languages, but the other way around (if one loves Scriptures). Besides that, I would add: do yourself a favor and stop using Cornilescu's version to learn Scriptures, but rather learn the Greek or use the Romanian Synodal Version that, objectively, is much more trustworthy to the original underlying texts. Cornilescu has many issues, not only of theological bias but also of twisting the original texts.
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I couldn't agree more about avoiding Cornilescu's translation. She is a professor, teaching Linguistics, Cognitivism, etc., which does not make her an expert in Theology.

    Of course, we'll need a priest who knows English very well to unveil the Scripture.
     
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