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εἰμί third person plural

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εἰμί third person plural

Postby timeodanaos » Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:48 pm

The other day, my greek professor asked me on my opinion of the historial roots of the third person plural of εἰμί, εἰσί.

What at first occured to me was that is was formed by the stem *es and the personal ending -nti, i.e. *esnti, which then lost the s in the position before the n, ti becomes si, *ensi loses the n and becomes eisi because of compensatory lengthening. (I don't know about the order of the rules, so in no particular order)

when I got home, however, and checked my historical grammar, it said that the third person plural was formed on the stem *s-, that is *senti. This makes as much sense as my original explanation, except one thing: Where did the inital s go? Naturally, it would have become h-, but initial aspirations don't just disappear, do they?


My question, thus, is, how is the third person plural of εἰμί formed historically?
timeodanaos
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Re: εἰμί third person plural

Postby annis » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:10 pm

timeodanaos wrote:when I got home, however, and checked my historical grammar, it said that the third person plural was formed on the stem *s-, that is *senti. This makes as much sense as my original explanation, except one thing: Where did the inital s go? Naturally, it would have become h-, but initial aspirations don't just disappear, do they?


The present stem is *Hes- (I cannot do subscripts here - it's H1). Given Mycenaean evidence e-e-si the laryngeal was turned into e giving *ehenti. Quoting Sihler (page 549), "but PG *ehenti ought to give εἱσί, like εὕω < *euho `kindle.' We are therefore still dependent on leveling analogy to explain the loss of the rough breathing (or its failure to develop in the first place)."
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
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Postby timeodanaos » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:31 pm

So my unanswerable question actually applies to all forms of εἰμί?

Do you use the comparative grammar of Greek and Latin by Sihler? Is it worth the 65$ it costs on Amazon?
timeodanaos
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Postby annis » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:28 pm

timeodanaos wrote:Do you use the comparative grammar of Greek and Latin by Sihler? Is it worth the 65$ it costs on Amazon?


Yes and absolutely yes. :)
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
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Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA


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