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What is athematic about this perfect?

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What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:55 pm

Both λελοίπαμεν and ἕσταμεν are called "second perfects". But only ἕσταμεν is athematic. This is what Mastronarde says. But how is the one any less athematic than the other?

Thanks in advance
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby NateD26 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:01 pm

I think it's simply the fact that there's no thematic vowel in ἕ-στα-μεν,
whereas in λε-λοίπ-α-μεν there is.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby spiphany » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:25 am

I think you may be conflating a couple of different things here --

athematic verbs are verbs which don't have the characteristic theme vowel (ε/ο) as part of the personal endings when conjugated. Instead they include a vowel as part of their stem, which is maintained throughout the paradigm.

first vs. second perfect (or first vs. second aorist) refer to how the tense is derived, i.e., whether it is formed regularly from the present stem with the characteristic consonant changes that indicate the tense (κ for perfect, σ for aorist), or whether there's a change in the root. It doesn't primarily refer to the set of endings applied to the stem. Thus "second aorist" may be used to refer to either a root (athematic) aorist, or an aorist which uses the same endings as the imperfect. In both cases they lack the σ.

So the difference between a first and second perfect is the same, it depends on the consonants, not the vowels. First perfects have a κ, second perfects don't.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:32 am

I don't think I was conflating things. There are only three athematic perfects. Here is Mastronarde's conjugation table:

http://ucbclassics.dreamhosters.com/anc ... verbpdgm17

My question wasn't about the distinction between first and second perfects (or aorists) but I largely agree with your description.

Nate has given what I believe must be the answer. My only remaining question would be how Nate or anybody determines when the stem contains the vowel and when it doesn't.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby NateD26 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:31 pm

I must defer to spiphany's explanation. She* made the distinction clearly and accurately.

pster wrote:My only remaining question would be how Nate or anybody determines when the stem contains the vowel and when it doesn't.

If I'm not sure, I usually look in Smyth's list of verbs or in LSJ.

With these particular 2nd perfect verbs, I knew by memory the way the stem should be.

λιπ- (true root, 2nd aorist, no σ) turns to λειπ- (present/imperfect tense; λειψ- in future)
turns to λε-λοιπα- (2nd perfect, no κ).

στα- (present, no thematic vowel ε/ο; after reduplication and loss of initial sigma
ἵ-στη- in sg. act. ind., ἵ-στα- in pl.) turns to στησ- (future) turns to στησα- (1st aorist) and
στη- (athematic 2nd aorist act., no σ) turns to ἑ-στηκα- (1st perfect) and ἑ-στα- (athematic
2nd perfect, no κ).

* Edited. My apologies.
Last edited by NateD26 on Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:39 pm

All I asked was what was athematic about it. The only answer I needed to hear was that the stem ends in alpha and hence that there is no theme vowel.

I should have just asked about the stem. That would have avoided any confusion.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby spiphany » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:31 pm

What confused me was that you were asking specifically about second perfects. Because first and second perfects (generally) are conjugated exactly the same -- the fact that the perfect of ἵστημι is considered a second perfect has nothing to do with its conjugation, but rather with the stem. (This is why I don't find the terminology particularly helpful.)

And yeah, in this case, if you're just looking at the perfect indicative you can't tell whether the α belongs to the ending or the stem. You can see the difference in the optative and infinitive, though.

I'm a she by the way :D
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby NateD26 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:38 pm

spiphany wrote:I'm a she by the way :D

oops! I forgot. Sorry. :)
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:17 pm

I asserted something about second perfects. I asked something about athematic perfects. I didn't compare ἕσταμεν to a first perfect because it is a second perfect as are the other two athematic perfects in Attic. And I didn't want the kappa to confuse matters! Unfortunately it all backfired. Here is an analogy: Jim and John are both men. One has a high risk for prostate cancer, the other doesn't. What's the difference between the two men? Now somebody comes along and says I'm conflating men and women. And I say, huh? I'm not sure what I could have done differently. Anyway, I'm generally extremely literal. In those cases where I'm not sure what I'm asking I'll usually signal that. This wasn't such a case. Anyway, thanks for all the help! :D
Last edited by pster on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:18 pm

NateD26 wrote:
spiphany wrote:I'm a she by the way :D

oops! I forgot. Sorry. :)


Yeah, you had me wondering there. I certainly thought she was a she.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:19 pm

spiphany wrote:You can see the difference in the optative and infinitive, though.


Excellent. Thank you very much!!
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:21 pm

spiphany wrote:the fact that the perfect of ἵστημι is considered a second perfect has nothing to do with its conjugation, but rather with the stem.


Except, except, except, as I pointed out above, there are no athematic first perfects!

Just as there are no women with prostates! (At least there were none prior to 2002 when the terminology got revised, but hopefully we can leave that issue to one side. :P)
Last edited by pster on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: What is athematic about this perfect?

Postby pster » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:22 pm

Sorry guys--and gals--if I'm a little testy. Inlaws are in town and I can't argue with them!!
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