Monday, December 8, 2014

Apparently -ίων Survives as the Genitive Plural in Pontic (= Pontus) Greek

I was reading this article by Petros Karatsareas and he notes that in Marcion's alleged hometown there is a strange habit of locals to add ίων rather than ών. Some examples brought forward by Karatsareas. In Greek the nominative singular for ‘cockerel’ is πετεινός. In the genitive plural they write πετειν-ίων rather than the expected πετεινών. Similarly δέσκαλος is ‘teacher’ and in the genitive plural it is δεσκαλ-ίων rather than the expected δασκάλων. Similarly ποπάς is ‘priest’ but the genitive plural is constructed ποπαδ-ίων rather than ποπάδων. Karatsareas demonstrates that "the spread of the genitive plural ending -ίων is nearly complete and, therefore, does not offer any insights on what might have conditioned its extension to nouns other than i- neuters." The same adding of an i does not appear nearly as common with genitive singular nouns.

The question of course is - did this habit go back to the second century and does this now explain what we have already noted about Marcion originally being a genitive plural noun (i.e. 'those of Mark')?

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