pster wrote:I don't doubt the results of the studies. But aren't those studies for living languages? What I would oppose to those studies are the studies that say one has to encounter a word 100 times before one learns it. Maybe I am wrong about it, but it seems to me that there are many many Attic words that I will not encounter a 100 times in this lifetime, especially if we don't include re-readings of a single passage.
C. S. Bartholomew wrote: I have no problem with learning what words mean by rote. But it is much bigger project than knowing a gloss in the target language. Take as an example τυγχάνω a very common word. The understand it one needs to learn about the cultural, religious, social, political setting in which it was used. Also the specific scenarios in which it was employed. μοῖρα is a word which shares a few semantic domains with τυγχάνω but there are large differences. Both of them tap in to a worldview that is very foreign to modernism in the west. But in the last fifty years the ascendancy of neopaganism in western popular culture has made it at least superficially less problematic for students to understand notions about fate in the world view of ancient Greeks. But assuming that twenty-first century street level mythology makes it less work for a student to understand the cultural framework of 5th century Attic Drama is hazardous.
pster wrote:For months now, I have been memorizing 20 new words a day from Thucydides. And as of joining the Agamemnon reading group, I have supplemented that with 15 new words a day from Aeschylus. The most salient things I have learned are:
1) Thucydides has a reasonably large number of words for retreating.
2) But he has a staggeringly large number of words for stupidity.
3) Aeschylus has a large number of words for wailing.
I leave it to others to draw conclusions.
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