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Query about σωος

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Query about σωος

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:35 pm

Why does σωος decline like ἡμετερος if its stem does not end in ι, ρ or ε ?
In other words, why is the feminine sg σωα, σωαν etc and not σωη, σωην etc?
Thank you in advance
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Hylander » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:49 pm

The attested forms for σῶς are all over the place. See LSJ:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dsw%3Ds1

So many different forms exist for different dialects and different periods and authors. It doesn't even look like this adjective had a feminine form distinct from masculine σῶς in 5th-4th century Attic (like many adjectives). In the Iliad, 15.497, the form σόη apparently occurs, but this is an Ionic form. In some cases, it's difficult to know what the original form was--the form that appears in the texts that have been transmitted through the manuscript tradition may have been "corrected" by scribes who thought they knew better than the manuscripts they were copying from.

Bottom line: don't worry about it. In English, there are alternative forms of certain words, e.g., shined vs. poetic shone. Similar situation here. And the further you go in Greek, the more you'll find of these variant forms.
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:13 pm

Hylander wrote:The attested forms for σῶς are all over the place. See LSJ:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dsw%3Ds1

So many different forms exist for different dialects and different periods and authors. It doesn't even look like this adjective had a feminine form distinct from masculine σῶς in 5th-4th century Attic (like many adjectives). In the Iliad, 15.497, the form σόη apparently occurs, but this is an Ionic form. In some cases, it's difficult to know what the original form was--the form that appears in the texts that have been transmitted through the manuscript tradition may have been "corrected" by scribes who thought they knew better than the manuscripts they were copying from.

Bottom line: don't worry about it. In English, there are alternative forms of certain words, e.g., shined vs. poetic shone. Similar situation here. And the further you go in Greek, the more you'll find of these variant forms.


Thanks, Hylander! :)
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Gonzalo » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:40 pm

Phoebus Apollo wrote:Why does σωος decline like ἡμετερος if its stem does not end in ι, ρ or ε ?
In other words, why is the feminine sg σωα, σωαν etc and not σωη, σωην etc?
Thank you in advance


To my knowledge, it was formed by analogy with πρᾷος, πρᾷα, πρᾷον. As it had iota subscriptum, the rule you mentioned above would work fine and it explains your doubt (why not σώη in Attic or common Greek). I guess that this analogy worked because in the verb σῴζω we also do have an iota subscriptum (which in historical times was of course pronounced), though bear in mind that this iota is due to the suffix of present -ίζω (cfr. aor. ἔσωσα, perf. σέσωκα etc. without iota).
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Hylander » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:50 am

To my knowledge, it was formed by analogy with πρᾷος, πρᾷα, πρᾷον.


How do you know that?
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Gonzalo » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:44 pm

Hylander wrote:
To my knowledge, it was formed by analogy with πρᾷος, πρᾷα, πρᾷον.


How do you know that?


It's an elementary question in Greek declension (and accordingly I haven't given any Grammar reference) but if you should need a reference, here you have:

Raphael Kühner; Friedrich Blass [1890], Ausführliche Grammatik der Griechischen Sprache: Teil I. Elementarlehre, p. 542 (Anmerkung 2):

Anmerk. 2. Das Adj. ὁ ἡ σῶς, τὸ σῶν, salvus, a, um, ist aus dem verschollenen ΣΑΟ-Σ (Herodian zu Il. ε, 887; davon auch der Kompar. σαώτερος Il. α, 32. Xen. Cyr. 6. 3, 4. Theokr. 25, 59, vgl. d. poet. σαό-ω, σαό-φρων) durch Kontraktion entstanden, wie ἀγήρως aus ἀγήραος. Die Deklination dieses Wortes ist defektiv und wird durch σῶος (urspr. wohl σῷος, wiewohl auch die att. Inschr. σῶον bieten, vergl. das. λῶον st. λῶιον) 868) ergänzt; es bildet nur den Nom. σῶς (ὁ) Il. χ, 352. Od. ο, 42. π, 131. Her. 1, 24. 3, 124. 4. 76. Ar. Eq. 613, selten σῶος Xen. An. 3. 1, 32 (v. l. σῶς). Lucian. abdic. 5; σῶς (ἡ) Aristoph. fr. 658 K. Eur. Cycl. 294. Plat. Phaedon 106; a. σῴα Dem. 56, § 37, Xen. Hell. 7. 4, 4, und Ion. σώη Babr. fab. 94, 8; σᾶ (entst. aus σάη) Ar. fr. 529 Dind. 631 K.; C. I. A. II, 62, 8 ςᾶ n. Dittenberger; N. σῶν C. I. Att. I, 36, 9. II, 570, 14. Ar. Thesm. 821. Soph. Ph. 21. Xen. An. 7. 6, 32. Plat. Phaedon 87, b. Civ. 1. 333, c. Dem. 20, § 142. σῶον att. Inschr. C. I. A. I, 36, 9, wodurch diese Form und die entsprechenden gegen vielfache Anzweifelung (Dindorf, Cobet), als gut attisch erwiesen werden; ebenso Lys. 20.24 nach der massgebenden Hdschr. X; Her. 2, 181 (Var. σόον); ferner den Akk. σῶν Thuc. 3.34 σῶν καὶ ὑγιᾶ; (nach Aristarch auch Il. α, 117 st. σόον;) σῶον Lys. 7, § 17; der von Choerob. in Bekk. An. III, 1190 angeführte Gen. τοῦ σῶ findet sich sonst nirgends; Pl. N. σῶοι Her. 5, 96. 8, 39 (Var. σόοι). Thuc. 1.74 (aber σῷ bezeugt dem Thuc. Ael. Dionys. p. 208 Schwabe, Et. M. σωτηρία). Xen An. 2. 2, 21 u. s. (σοῖ b. Ael. Dionys.). σῶαι Her. 1, 66. Xen. Cyr. 4. 5, 2. Comment. 3. 2, 1, σῶα Her. 4, 124. 6, 86 (Var. σόα). Xen. Hell. 1. 1, 24 u. s., selten σᾶ (aus σάα) Eur. fr. Hypsip. 12 Dind. und Plat. Critias 111, c in dem besten cod. Par. A; G. σώων Her. 2, 121; Akk. σῶς.

And I think this explains the original question posed by Phoebus Apollo: why this adjective is declined that way?
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Timothée » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:36 pm

It was immediately clear that there’s analogy going on. I’m sure also the OP knew that. The question was really how the analogy has worked.

You say that πρᾷα gave rise σώα but have still not given any justifications that the word πρᾷος caused the analogy. Besides you fail to say that πρᾷος is on the one hand analogical with its iota subscriptum (taken from ῥᾴων according to Debrunner), from πρᾶος, and on the other hand it’s originally an υ stem.

It isn’t really quite that elementary.
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby Hylander » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:40 pm

But the quoted passage from Kühner-Blass notes that in Attic this adjective generally doesn't have a separate feminine form.

ὁ ἡ σῶς, τὸ σῶν,

Your explanation of the form σωα is based on the premise that the underlying form was σῷος or σωιος, with the iota or iota subscipt resulting in -α instead of -η. But σῷος is speculation, as wohl, "probably", indicates.

K-B cites two instances of a feminine form in 4th c. Attic authors:
σῴα Dem. 56, § 37, Xen. Hell. 7. 4, 4,
; . In both cases, there is disagreement among the mss., but in X. the mss. apparently have σῶα (based on Marchant's apparatus; he "corrects" this to σῴα, but maybe it should be corrected to σῶς, if it is to be corrected). In D., at 56.37 and 21.177, the mss. vary between σῴα(ν) and σῶα(ν), and in 21.177, σῶν; and Dilts, in the latest OCT, following Dindorf in 56.37, reads σῶς/σῶν. MacDowell reads σῶν at 21.177. As far as I can tell, the article in LSJ doesn't cite any securely attested instance of this word with iota or iota subscript (notwithstanding K-B) in a 5th or 4th c. Attic author, in contrast to λωΐων, where the iota/iota subscript is attested throughout the tradition. And the LSJ article notes disagreement between the later Hellenistic scholars Didymus (yes) and Herodian (no) as to whether an iota subscript belongs in this word. The only form I see in a 5th-4th c. Attic author is σᾶ, in a fragment of Aristophanes where the monosyllable is metrically guaranteed.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dsw%3Ds1

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dlwi%2F%252Bwn

So it's not clear to me that K-B's efforts to explain this word hold water, or that it's clear exactly what uniquely feminine form, if any, was prevalent in 5th-4th c. Attic.

(Aristides is of course 2nd c. CE hyper-Attic, and not necessarily reliable evidence.)

Edit: Cross-posted with Timothée.

By the way, σωος doesn't seem to be an Attic form at all, so the unique features of Attic phonology don't seem relevant to the discussion of this word.
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby jeidsath » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:50 pm

I feel like Gonzalo may have meant "analogously to" rather than "by analogy with." I don't believe that he meant to claim a direct relationship to πρᾷος.
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Re: Query about σωος

Postby cramberepetita » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:46 am

That σῶος was originally σῷος is indeed speculation, and not very convincing. The form σῷος (with iota subscriptum) does occur, but rarely, and very late (LSJ mentions attestations in Babrius and in the Anthologia Palatina, and some grammarians bickering about it). Rather, the original form was σάϜος (σαϜο- is found in compound names on inscriptions, digamma and all), which contracted to σῶς, which in turn, felt to be anomalous, was 'normalized' again by turning it into σῶος.
As to the question, why -ᾱ if the stem doesn't end in -ρ, -ι or -ε: that rule is a simplification used in basic grammars. There are also cases of -ᾱ after an o-sound, like στοά̄ and ῥόᾱ ('pomegranate'), as opposed to βοή, ἀκοή, ῥοή ('current'). Apparently after an o-sound there was some doubt whether to go for ᾱ ορ η, and I'm guessing σώα is simply to be explained as one that follows the example of στοά̄ and ῥόᾱ.

Herbert Weir Smyth's Greek Grammar (289c) has (slightly rewritten for transparency):
σῶς safe has usually nom. sg. masc. + fem. σῶς (rarel σᾶ in the fem.), σῶν neut.,
acc. σῶν;
nom. pl. masc. + fem. σῷ,
neut. σᾶ;
acc. pl. masc. + fem. σῶς, neut. σᾶ.
Other cases are supplied by σῶος, σώᾱ, σῶον.
σῶον also occurs in the accusative.
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