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A few beginner's question

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A few beginner's question

Postby Seirios » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:57 am

Hi. I'm learning Attic.
So there are my questions...

1.What if a verb requires an infinitive/noun, and that infinitive/noun itself brings another one?
E.g. If I want to say "I want to be able to teach", then should I say "ἐθέλω ἕξειν παιδεύειν"?
Or, in the case of "κελεύω", how to express "he orders to guard human"? Is it "κελεύει φυλάττειν ἀνθρώπους" ?
And what if I want to say "he orders a god to guard human"? should I add a δεῲ or δεὸν ?

2.Nouns and adjectives can be directly predicative, i.e. "he good"="he is good". Then if a sentence requires a auxiliary "be", can we simply omit it? For example, are these sentences right?
ἐθέλω καλός / ἐθέλω θεός / ἐθέλω ἐν τῂ θαλάττᾳ

3. I'm unsure about this sentence's meaning:(only a part)
Λειπέτω τὴν οἰκίᾱν τῆς ἀξίᾱς δεσποίνης καὶ...
Is it "(order him to) leave the house/family of the worthy lady and..."?
Well, I'm not a native English speaker, so I'm also unsure of what "ἅξιος, -η, -ον" really means..."a worthy lady"? Does this adjective, when used alone, mean "having some good qualities"?

4.As for pronunciation...
My textbook says a short vowel in the very end of a word is omitted when the next word follows it without a break, and that αι and οι are considered short when in the very final position of a word. So, would word-final αι and οι be omitted in such situation?

5. I've seen cases where an apostrophe is used to elide before a "h", like δ'δοί. Can we really do that? If so, is the beginning sound "h" "dismissed" in proses and poems, so that the omission mentioned in (4) could happen?

I'm not sure what tense should be used in the description above, so I apologize if I've made any mistakes.
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Re: A few beginner's question

Postby mwh » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:59 am

1. When a verb becomes infinitive (dependent on another verb) it continues to take the same construction as when it's the main verb. E.g.:
I'm able to teach δύναμαι διδάσκειν,
I want to be able to teach βούλομαι δύνασθαι διδάσκειν.
A god guards people θεὸς φυλάττει ἀνθρώπους,
He orders a god to guard people κελεύει θεὸν φυλάττειν ἀνθρώπους. (Whether you'd say θεῷ or θεόν depends on what case the "ordering" verb takes. κελεύω takes accusative.)

2. When you have a subject and a predicative adjective, it is true that you can sometimes leave out the ἐστι, e.g. Σείριος καλός (ἐστιν).
But the infinitive is rarely omitted, so you'd have to say e.g. ἐθέλω εἶναι θεός ("I'm willing to be a god." For "I want to be a god" you'd say βούλομαι γενέσθαι θεός).

3. λειπέτω is actually 3rd-person imperative (I'm surprised they're teaching you that), "Let him leave" (meaning not "Allow him to leave" but as an imperative that he must leave, like "Let it be" or "Let there be light"; English doesn't have 3rd-person imperatives).
Let him leave the household of his worthy mistress.
Your understanding of "worthy" is about right.

4. No, final –αι and –οι are not elided. These diphthongs are not really short (in verse for instance they are metrically long), but the word is accented as if they were. And this only applies to certain classes of final –αι and –οι, as I expect your textbook explains.

5. Yes we can really do that! The 'h' sound (aspiration) acts as if it is not there. Strange but true.

All good questions. I hope these answers help.
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