Homer74 wrote:* δηλοῖ: Verb = δηλόω
- present active indicative, 3rd person singular. Formed from δηλό - ει, accent contracts to circumflex, ο + ει = οι
I see what you're trying to get at. If you know the uncontracted form, you'll never mix up δηλοῖ as being optative despite the οι screaming off the page at you. I'm always after my Latin students to know their conjugations. "No, amat isn't subjunctive. What conjugation does it belong to?" or "No, aget isn't present tense, it's future. What conjugation does it belong to?"
Would we be ahead if we just taught that the o-contract has -οῖ as its present tense 3rd person singular ending and be done with it for beginners? (Yes, I'm deliberately ignoring the subjunctive part of your example.)
Homer74 wrote:The accent helps with recognizing the forms, but ultimately knowing the uncontracted form of the verb is the best approach. It is probably useful to learn various ways of thinking about the contract verbs so that it becomes easier to recognize and parse them. The uncontracted forms can appear in non-Attic writers such as Herodotus or Homer.
Maybe, the reason for the variety of approaches in the textbooks stems from the complexity of the area and an uncertainty on the part of the editor as to whether they are doing the area justice.
Ok, now this seems like a pretty good reason to know the uncontracted form. Homer and Herodotus are major authors.
And of course, the complexity of the area is why I'm thinking about this.
Why is it best to remember the uncontracted forms? Is it best for casual students of Koine? Best for high-school students learning a first foreign language? (As unlikely as that may be.) It seems needlessly complicated until you've reached advanced study. Or go for Homer, but there are textbooks for geared specifically toward that.
That link is seriously wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Why can't we just treat the contracts as conjugations like Spanish or Latin? I ask because they're sort of shaping up that way as I come to understand the Greek verb better. Though I'm finding that there are a bundle of endings, which is what my wife reported about her experience with Spanish.
Is the difficulty with Greek contract verbs that the literature spans an easy 1,000 years from Homer to the New Testament (ignoring that those aren't quite the language's bookends) and more or less mirrors the development of the spoken language as it varied between times and places? As opposed to Latin's more or less single standard over all time.