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Problems with the future

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Problems with the future

Postby Lucan » Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:24 pm

I was wondering if someone out there can help me with the future tense. I understand the basic premise and theory behind how words change from the present to future, but I'm still struggling with a number of aspects. Take the following examples. These are from an exercise I attempted where present verbs had to be changed into the future:

[face=spionic] akouomen ------ akousomeqa
filei -------- filh
bow -------- bohsomai
nika? --------- nikhsei [/face]


My original answers were: [face=spionic]

akousomen
fiei
bosw
nica? [/face]


Now I don't understand why any of the above have changed the way they have. These were all part of a text exercise, and I got all 4 horribly wrong. Are they just irregular or is there some pattern I'm missing?

Furthermore, the book I'm working from states that some futures require "An -[face=spionic]ew [/face] suffix, after a stem different from that of the present, e.g. [face=spionic]

diafqeirw ----- diafqerw
[/face] -[face=spionic]ew
nomizw ------ nomiw -
[/face][face=spionic]ew[/face]

Now again I can't understand why the two above examples have changed as they have. Surely changing to an -[face=spionic]ew [/face] suffix would simply mean the verbs now end in:

[face=spionic]ew
eis
ei
oumen
oute
ousin
[/face]

Any help regarding the above would be greatly appreciated. I fear that it may just be the case that I will have to learn each verb as it comes, and that there is no pattern to speak of :? . But I live in hope

Apologies in advance if I've made any mistakes in writing up the Greek

~Lucan
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Postby whiteoctave » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:03 pm

evening l,

a mixed bag of issues.
akouw in the future goes into the middle voice, hence akousomai. why? well, there's no clear answer, but it may well be that if you're going to hear something, you have to make a concerted effort on your own part to hear something for yourself.
the other three in your first set are contracted vowel verbs in -e, -a, and -a respectively, so things get quite cheeky. the future of filei is filhsei, so i'm not sure what's happened there. the future of nikai (contracted 3rd pres. act.) is indeed nikhsei, both of these stems file- and nika- elongate their vowal to an eta before the sigma found in fut. and act. and then append the standard sw, seis etc. endings. as for boaw it is a contracted -a verb, but also has a middle future, so instead of bohsw, you get bohesomai. mad stuff.
also attic futures of verbs in izw go to contracted verbs in iw. this iw is really iew, but it contracts throughout so you get iw, ieis, iei, ioumen, ieite, iousi.
the exercise is rather difficult, but reminds you of what needs to be learnt, i suppose.

~D
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Postby Lucan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:52 am

Dave,

Thanks for your help. It appears that I've just been missing out several of the steps involved- namely elongating the vowel in contracted forms and then adding the sigma, even if the verb itself ends in [face=spionic]l m n r[/face]. But despite this there still seem to be some oddities that I think I'll have to pick up these as I go along.

Incidentally, are there many other commonly used verbs that change from the active present into the middle future (or vice versa even)? The book doesn't even mention it (although it does present the examples of [face=spionic]maqhsomai lhyomai gnwsomai [/face] and [face=spionic]genhsomai[/face] ) as examples of 'irregular' verb changes.

Many thanks

~Lucan
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:10 am

yeah there are a few ones that change from active to middle, i should presume that there is no instance of the reverse, as that would be very odd indeed. other such instances off the top of my head are pnew, rhew, kamnw, diwkw, new, aidw, lanchanw, phthanw, tugchanw, paschw, lambanw, tiktw, plew, thnhiskw, horaw, gignwskw, klaiw, hamartanw and of course, in form, eimi.

~D
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Postby Democritus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:08 pm

Lucan wrote:Thanks for your help. It appears that I've just been missing out several of the steps involved- namely elongating the vowel in contracted forms and then adding the sigma, even if the verb itself ends in [face=spionic]l m n r[/face]. But despite this there still seem to be some oddities that I think I'll have to pick up these as I go along.


Does your book mention principal parts? The future active & middle is formed from a different principal part than the present active & middle. For regular verbs there are rules for deriving the second principal part from the first, but (as you know) not all verbs are regular, so in principle there is no sure way to predict what the future is. You just have to know the princpal parts of the verb.

Just as in English, there's no way to predict that the past tense of bring is brought. You just have to know that.

If someone asks "Why does [face=SPIonic]bai/nw[/face] become [face=SPIonic]bh/somai[/face] in the future," the simple answer is, "because [face=SPIonic]bh/somai[/face] is the second principle part."

You can find probably find at least a partial list of principal parts in your book.
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Postby Lucan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:07 pm

whiteoctave wrote
other such instances off the top of my head are pnew, rhew, kamnw, diwkw, new, aidw, lanchanw, phthanw, tugchanw, paschw, lambanw, tiktw, plew, thnhiskw, horaw, gignwskw, klaiw, hamartanw and of course, in form, eimi.


Just off the top of your head? :) Many thanks

Democritus wrote
Does your book mention principal parts? The future active & middle is formed from a different principal part than the present active & middle. For regular verbs there are rules for deriving the second principal part from the first, but (as you know) not all verbs are regular, so in principle there is no sure way to predict what the future is. You just have to know the princpal parts of the verb.


Ahhhhh. Great stuff, thanks for that tip. The book I'm working from only gives the present principal part and, where it applies, the strong aorist when learning vocab. However, I have found stowed away (right at the very back) a reference grammar which contains all the different principal parts that don't follow any pattern. I guess I shouldn't be too pleased- this means a whole load more learning :? But it has to be done I suppose, and rather sooner than later. Cheers

~Lucan
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Postby Paul » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:24 am

Hi,

I thought I would add a few remarks about the future tense, none of them original.

Its fundamental marker is the desiderative suffix -s-. In many Greek verbs this sigma is preserved, even intervocalically, e.g., [face=SPIonic]lu/sw[/face]. This preservation (or restoration) may have arisen by analogy with future forms of consonant stems, e.g., [face=SPIonic]dei/cw[/face] where the sigma continued to be heard.

But intervocalic sigma was not preserved in all futures. Disyllabic roots ending in epsilon or alpha (e.g., [face=SPIonic]kale-, dama-[/face]) lose the sigma giving [face=SPIonic]kale/w, dama/w[/face]. This formation was extended to stems ending in liquids and nasals, e.g., [face=SPIonic]mene/w[/face] from present [face=SPIonic]me/nw[/face].

Finally, verbs of perception often take middle forms. This well-remarked phenomenon, which reveals the interest or involvement of the subject, is likely related to the even commoner tendency in Greek for future tenses to have middle forms. Because the future has its origins in the desiderative/voluntative, it is quite natural that it is often realized in the middle voice where, again, the interest of the subject is most significant.

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Bert » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:55 pm

Paul wrote: Because the future has its origins in the desiderative/voluntative, it is quite natural that it is often realized in the middle voice where, again, the interest of the subject is most significant.


Hi Paul.
This is an interesting topic.
I had to look up both desiderative and voluntative in the dictionary so it is very well possible that I did not attach the meaning to them that you intended.

Desiderative -> desire. Would this be why ie. the future participle can be translated as 'intending to' or desiring to'?

voluntative -> voluntary. How is this aspect realized in the middle voice?
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Postby Paul » Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:45 am

Hey Bert,

Yes, it is interesting.

I think it's very hard to disentangle voluntative and desiderative - will and wish. So I am, for now at least, content to say that what applies to one applies to the other.

How, for example, do you distinguish 'intent' and 'desire'? Or better still, what does the middle future participle, [face=SPIonic]luso/menoj[/face], said of Apollo's priest mean - does he desire or intend to free his daughter - or both?

The chief point about the middle voice is that it's the domain of the interested subject. (Digression: in the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, to be interested means precisely that one's will is involved).

That said, I would very much like to hear some opinions as to why a verb like [face=SPIonic]boa/w[/face], which expresses neither perception or any other mental activity, has a middle future. But see Smyth paragraphs 805, 806.

Cordially,

Paul
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