Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Keith Slater

Abstract

This thesis seeks to answer the question, How can one determine whether an MP2-marked (traditionally “passive”) verb in Koine Greek is semantically passive or middle? MP2-marked verbs in the New Testament and Septuagint were analyzed in order to determine what factors indicate passive or middle in each case. This thesis argues that both lexical and contextual factors play a role in the determination. Lexical factors include whether the verb has agent-oriented components of meaning, how likely the event is to occur spontaneously, and whether the verb tends to have a subject that is both agent and patient. Contextual factors include whether the cause is previously stated, whether the MP2 verb is part of a purpose clause, and the broader situation. Some instances are left unresolved by these lexical and contextual factors, and should be considered ambiguous.

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