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Huh? First *four* declensions?

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Huh? First *four* declensions?

Postby jamesrothering » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:55 am

I got a copy of A Progressive Greek Treek Delectus” by Henry Musgrave Wilkins, and he has sections called “The first four declensions,” and”The fifth declension.” But all I know are three. Presumably, they classified things differently in older times?
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Re: Huh? First *four* declensions?

Postby Aetos » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:45 am

The Delectus (parsing exercise book) is based on Bishop Charles Wordsworth's Accidence and the Eton Greek Grammar, which lists 10 (!) declensions of nouns, 5 simple and 5 contracted. The 1st & 2nd declensions in the Eton Grammar comprise the more modern classification of the 1st declension. The 3rd Eton is our 2nd. The 4th (an Attic declension) is grouped with our 3rd. The 5th Eton is also part of our 3rd. That's the short answer!
Here's a link to the Eton Grammar:https://archive.org/details/etongreekgramma00ddgoog
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Re: Huh? First *four* declensions?

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:31 pm

The introduction to the Eton Grammar says "literally translated by ... Routledge". Does that mean that this book was originally written as a book to teach Greek to Latin-speakers?

Its ten declensions are:
(1) masc., e.g. [tami'as] = "steward", [kri'te_s] = "judge"
(2) fem., e.g. [mou^sa] = "song", [time_'] = "honor" // "honor" thus spelled; I thought that "mousa" meant "Muse".
(3) -os, -on, our 2nd declension
(4) -o_s, -o_n, in our 2nd declension.
(5) ending in -a -i -u -n -r -s -ps -x, in our 3rd decl, add another syllable in the genitive

(1) contracted: our 3nd decl, e.g. "De_mosthene_s", and "teikhos" (wall), where the stem ends in -os or -es and the 's' disappears between vowels
(2) contracted: stems in -i, e.g. [ophis] (snake), [sinapi] (mustard seed)
(3) contracted: stems in -u or -eu
(4) contracted: feminine, stems in -o_s or -o_: [aido_s] (bashfulness), [pheido_] (parsimony)
(5) contracted: Neuters in -as with genitive -aos or -o_s: [keras] (horn)
Last edited by Anthony Appleyard on Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Huh? First *four* declensions?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:11 pm

Many educational and technical works were written in Latin, as was the Eton Greek Grammar (and Latin Grammar). This custom continued into the 19th century as Latin was taught to virtually all students, thereby making it possible to disseminate knowledge to the educated communities of Europe, regardless of their native language.
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Re: Huh? First *four* declensions?

Postby Anthony Appleyard » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:58 am

Aetos wrote:Many educational and technical works were written in Latin, as was the Eton Greek Grammar (and Latin Grammar). This custom continued into the 19th century as Latin was taught to virtually all students, thereby making it possible to disseminate knowledge to the educated communities of Europe, regardless of their native language.


This supposes that before they studied the Eton Latin Grammar, they already knew some Latin. Did Eton ever have a rule that its pupils must talk only in Latin, not English? When did that rule end? What age were boys when they joined Eton? When boys joined Eton, were they taught enough Latin to get by in conversation and discussion? Or did they have to pick up elementary Latin from older boys in conversation, in the same way that children pick up their area's current languages, until they knew enough to read the grammar book? Or what?

As regards children learning languages, I read once that an immigrant Polish boy in England was found an English boy to associate with, to help him to learn English. The opposite happened :: the English boy quickly became fluent in Polish. (Polish has case endings and verb conjugation somewhat like Latin.)
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Re: Huh? First *four* declensions?

Postby opoudjis » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:54 pm

> 10 (!) declensions of nouns

As reported in Signes-Codoñer, J. 2005. The definitions of the Greek middle voice between Apollonius Dyscolus and Constantinus Lascaris. _Historiographia Linguistica_ 32: 1-33: Latin linguistics had boiled down their declensions to five by the Middle Ages, but Greek grammar never went ahead with that kind of reduction, and merrily enumerated 60-odd declensions throughout the Middle Ages. When at the outset of the Renaissance Greek scholars discovered that Latin had been reduced to five, they did a double take, looked at Greek with some embarrassment, and went to work to reduce their own declensions...

... to ten. The reduction to three, as this thread hints, came somewhat later.
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