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Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

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Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

Postby pster » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:58 pm

OK, I've sketched out in long hand a rather large post that has a fair bit of content, but probably a greater number of questions. There are two subjects that I address. The first is gathering in one place semantic principles for deriving nouns from verbs, verbs from nouns, adjectives from verbs, etc. I have lifted about fifteen such principles from Mastronarde, but depending on how I delimit the scope, the number of principles could double or triple.

The second subject is how to understand and master Liddell and Scott. What are the principles that govern its design. In the beginning, there was some root. It was added to and perhaps it split and it was added to some more. Liddell and Scott should contain that history. How do they think they are organizing it? And how does their organization match our vocabulary building principles?

But before I go to all of the trouble of putting the information on the computer, I just want to make sure that I am not reinventing the wheel. So does anybody know of any good treatments or discussions of these issues?

Thanks in advance and prepare for the deluge! :)
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Re: Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

Postby cb » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:53 pm

hi, when I read your post my first reaction was that the standard dictionary is not the right place to start for this topic – for word formation, i thought first of Chantraine's La formation des noms en grec ancien (preview here: http://books.google.fr/books?id=dMsMJArKNa0C ) or in English, you could start with Part III (Formation of Words) of smyth's grammar ( http://www.archive.org/stream/agreekgra ... 5/mode/1up ).

for building words from root + prefixes and suffixes etc., once again the standard dictionary is not designed for this (it's designed for looking up whole words): instead you want something more like Chantraine's Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, which shows you all the different words built out of simple words, and in particular for verbs the must-have book on greek verbs (nothing comes close in english): Duhoux's Le Verbe grec (preview here: http://books.google.fr/books?id=IfCKYns6CIkC )

cheers, chad :)
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Re: Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

Postby pster » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:50 am

cb wrote:hi, when I read your post my first reaction was that the standard dictionary is not the right place to start for this topic – for word formation, i thought first of Chantraine's La formation des noms en grec ancien (preview here: http://books.google.fr/books?id=dMsMJArKNa0C ) or in English, you could start with Part III (Formation of Words) of smyth's grammar ( http://www.archive.org/stream/agreekgra ... 5/mode/1up ).

for building words from root + prefixes and suffixes etc., once again the standard dictionary is not designed for this (it's designed for looking up whole words): instead you want something more like Chantraine's Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, which shows you all the different words built out of simple words, and in particular for verbs the must-have book on greek verbs (nothing comes close in english): Duhoux's Le Verbe grec (preview here: http://books.google.fr/books?id=IfCKYns6CIkC )

cheers, chad :)


How exciting! Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for these references is about equally balanced by my contempt for google books. What a disgrace to all of learning that site is. How disgusting. Those criminals would charge you for using a semi-colon if they could find a way. So despicable. I couldn't even look at a single page of either French text. Perhaps when I am feeling rich I will buy them making sure to NOT click through google. Like Bill Gates, they became billionaires by wasting peoples' time.

Thanks so much for the links. I knew a great thinker once and when asked how he could keep up with so many debates he replied that he only read the good stuff. I'm sure these books belong on the short list. The Smyth looks pretty good and will probably be enough for me for at least a decade. Excellent.

You must really know the literature. I'm so envious. I'm surprised the Germans didn't come up with something good in the 19th century. But I guess the French guys surpassed them. You say "standard dictionary". Do you recommend anything besides L&S?

I did kinda want to understand how Liddell and Scott is organized. I guess I should just read the introduction!
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Re: Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

Postby cb » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:55 pm

hi, sorry i didn't realise that within france i can see more french google books than those outside france: just to double-check, when you click those two google books links above, is there an "aperçu du livre" button in the top right corner? I would have given an archive.org link (as I did for smyth) but these books aren't in archive.org

you might also want to take a look at the introdocutory essay to lexicographica graeca by Chadwick (who provided input on the latest LSJ supplement and who worked on the OLD): chadwick discusses (and criticises) the structure of LSJ articles; preview here: http://books.google.fr/books?id=_jNJOPnnE2cC&pg=PA1

apart from the "standard" dictionaries (LSJ for grk, LS and OLD for latin) i have about 17 more classics dictionaries/word lists (photo http://www.freewebs.com/mhninaeide/dicts.jpg); each of these serves a different purpose, either arranging the material in a different way (e.g. the stephanus thesaurus linguae latinae and scapula's lexicon graeco-latinum arrange derived words under the words from which they're derived even where this breaks the alphabetical order), focusing on specific authors (e.g. ernesti's clavis ciceroniana), focusing on the spelling of words (e.g. the aldine epitome orthographiae and veitch's greek verbs irregular and defective), etc. as a result, concerning which dictionaries to recommend other than the "standard" ones, it depends on what material you want to see when you look up an article (and what neighbouring articles you want to see next to the article you've looked up).

cheers, chad :)
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Re: Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

Postby pster » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:23 pm

There is an "aperçu du livre" button for the first two links, but not for the third most recent one. But in all three cases, I can only see the cover and the page with the publisher and ISBN number. Probably better that way. Even when I can see 50%, it gives me fits when I get to a blank page because usually by then I really want to see what is on that page. It is interesting that you can see more in France, but since copyright and intellectual property law is such a global joke, even discussing that would probably give me fits!

Nice collection! If you find your place has been burglarized but only the Greek and Latin books are missing you'll know who it was! :) If I could afford it, I would probably buy 10 books a day. My library is maybe 1000 books, but in my dreams it is quite a bit more. :(
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Re: Vocabulary Building and Mastering Liddell and Scott

Postby cb » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:40 pm

hi, apologies again i didn't realise it wouldn't work. definitely try tracking down a copy of chadwick's lexicographica graeca, the intro discusses in detail the structure/order of LSJ articles (and gives criticism for how it's been done in many cases), exactly what you were asking about in your original post. cheers, chad :)
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