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Passive MI verb

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Passive MI verb

Postby Lina » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:08 pm

Hi,

Reviewing Athenaze 19, I came across the contruction of the passive future and aorist of τιθημι, which look like this (I added the dashes):

τε--θησ--ο--μαι

ε--τε--θην

The book gives little explanation for these constructions. They make sense only if τε is an altered stem, for instance:

τε (stem) + θησ (future tense formative) + ο (thematic vowel) + μαι (ending)

However, Athenaze lists the stem for the future passive as being θη, and the τε as being a quirky little addition, I guess.

If the stem is θη, it seems the verb would be τε--θη--θησ--ο--μαι. Wouldn't it?
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lex » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:40 pm

According to Pharr (867), although reduplication normally takes place in the perfect and pluperfect, it can take place in other tenses, even the present. In (870) he says that when a word that begins with a rough mute (like θ) is reduplicated, it is changed to its cognate smooth mute (τ), which is called de-aspiration or dissimilation. Then in 874 he says that a few verbs that have reduplication in the present use an ι instead of ε as the vowel in reduplication; he then lists τιθημι as one of these.

So starting with the stem θη-, add the reduplication to get τεθη-, a sigma + thematic vowel for the future to get τεθησ(ο/ε)-, and -μαι for the middle voice first person singular primary tense ending, to get τεθησ(ο/ε)μαι or τεθησομαι, since the ο is used instead of ε preceding μ or ν.

Somebody please correct me if any of this is wrong.

[edit]
Hmm, now I am looking at Smyth (585-589), and think that the above is cr*p. Homeric future middle/passive and Attic future passive are different, and I tortured what little I know until I got the answer I wanted.

[edit]
The aorist passive ετεθην is the passive principal part; take the stem (τε-) from it, and add θη-σ(ο/ε)-μαι to form the future passive.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby modus.irrealis » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:25 pm

Just to add to Lex's last edit, about the stem of the aorist passive, the stem of τίθημι as a whole was ultimately θε- (which gets lengthened to θη- in certain environments). So in the aorist passive originally you had ε-θε-θη-ν, but through Grassmann's law, you get ε-τε-θη-ν in the same way you get τί-θη-μι instead of θί-θη-μι like Lex said.

I just found it in Smyth -- it's mentioned in 588.

Edit: Can't spell German names.
Last edited by modus.irrealis on Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lex » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:29 pm

Grassman's law?
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby modus.irrealis » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:37 pm

Wiki has an article on it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grassman%27s_Law but basically it's the observation that in early Greek an aspirated consonant (or /h/) can't be followed by an aspirated consonant in the following syllable, and when it would do so, it loses its aspiration (and /h/ is lost completely).
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lina » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:34 am

Thanks to all of you. That really helps me understand what's going on. I wish Athenaze had put in a little blurb about the stem change in the book. Would Smyth or Pharr be good reference books to buy?
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lex » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:50 am

Lina wrote:Would Smyth or Pharr be good reference books to buy?


Pharr is a textbook/grammar of Homeric Greek, and referring to it instead of a book on Attic is why I screwed up initially. So, no, you don't need Pharr unless you are studying Homer. Smyth would be a very wise investment if you intend on really mastering Greek. I would say if you only have a single reference grammar, it should be Smyth. If you only want to pass a few classes in school and then forget it, though, you can probably do without a grammar. By the way, a PDF version of Smyth is available here on Textkit. I find the paper version easier to use, though.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby modus.irrealis » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:56 am

I really like Smyth's grammar as well. It's not perfect (it's old-fashioned and sometimes it can be frustratingly vague on certain questions of syntax), but I'd actually say it's one of the better reference grammars I've seen for any language in terms of just how useful it is for findings answers to my questions. I can't recommend it enough as a sort of basic reference to use when you're tackling actual Greek texts.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby easternugget » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:36 pm

Just to clarify, the future passive is doing the same thing as the aorist passive.

θε (stem [or is this a root?]) + θησ (tense formative) + ομαι (connecting vowel and ending)

which deaspirates to τεθησομαι.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lex » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:11 pm

easternugget wrote:θε (stem [or is this a root?]) + θησ (tense formative) + ομαι (connecting vowel and ending)

which deaspirates to τεθησομαι.


So, when the grammars say that you take the stem from the passive principal part, that actually means that you should take the stem as it was before the deaspiration is applied?

For instance, let's pretend that the voice suffix for the passive is -δω- instead of -θη-. Then you would take the stem from the 1st passive principle part before deaspiration, which is θε- (not τε-), and then add -δω-σ(ο/ε)-μαι, to get θεδωσομαι instead of τεδωσομαι?
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby spiphany » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:42 pm

I am confused. What do you mean by the "stem" in this case? A single base from which you can derive all verb forms? This rarely works -- there are so many exceptions and mutations that it's more work just memorizing the various different verb tenses, even if understanding the relationships between these tense forms can be useful.

Most textbooks provide six principle parts and then tell you which verb forms can be derived from each of the principle parts. In order to do this you remove the personal ending and any tense augment and add whatever endings you need to this stem. The only time the stem undergoes mutation is in the perfect, where final consonants sometimes collide with the personal endings.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Bert » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:44 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:... I can't recommend it enough as a sort of basic reference to use when you're tackling actual Greek texts.
Smyth is more than a "basic" reference. Sure you will be able to find flaws but it is quite thorough and it has excellent indices.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Bert » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:55 pm

spiphany wrote:I am confused. What do you mean by the "stem" in this case? A single base from which you can derive all verb forms? This rarely works -- there are so many exceptions and mutations that it's more work just memorizing the various different verb tenses, even if understanding the relationships between these tense forms can be useful.

Most textbooks provide six principle parts and then tell you which verb forms can be derived from each of the principle parts. In order to do this you remove the personal ending and any tense augment and add whatever endings you need to this stem. The only time the stem undergoes mutation is in the perfect, where final consonants sometimes collide with the personal endings.
There may be differing definitions but this is how I understand it: The root of a verb is the verb's most basic form. The stem of a verb is the verb's most basic form in a particular tense. For instance, *BAL is the root of BALLW. *BALL is the present tense stem.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lex » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:05 pm

spiphany wrote:I am confused. What do you mean by the "stem" in this case? A single base from which you can derive all verb forms?


No, I understand that there are ablaut stems in many verbs (like κλεύω (κλευ-, κλεF-, κλυ), and quite a few that are just plain irregular (like φέρω (φερ-, οἰ-, ἐνεκ-)), so a "master" stem that you can use to derive all forms is a pipe dream (although it would be nice).

What I meant was, in the case of ετεθην, the 1st passive principal part of τιθημι, the stem appears to be τε-. But, if I have interpreted Easternugget's post correctly, the stem of ετεθην is actually θε-. If this stem is placed before an ending starting with θ, it makes no difference; θε- becomes τε- anyway because of de-aspiration. But if this stem is placed before an ending that doesn't force de-aspiration, it would make a difference; θε- would stay θε-. In practice, does this kind of thing happen? Or am I just overthinking this?
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:46 am

Bert wrote:
modus.irrealis wrote:... I can't recommend it enough as a sort of basic reference to use when you're tackling actual Greek texts.
Smyth is more than a "basic" reference. Sure you will be able to find flaws but it is quite thorough and it has excellent indices.

Bad choice of words on my part -- I meant basic as in it's the starting-point that you won't normally need to go beyond (at least in my experience) -- I didn't mean to say that the material it contains is elementary or anything like that. I still can't think of a good word, though.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Lex » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:10 am

modus.irrealis wrote:
Bert wrote:
modus.irrealis wrote:... I can't recommend it enough as a sort of basic reference to use when you're tackling actual Greek texts.
Smyth is more than a "basic" reference. Sure you will be able to find flaws but it is quite thorough and it has excellent indices.

Bad choice of words on my part.


No, it's not.

ba·sic
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or forming a base; fundamental
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby annis » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:19 am

easternugget wrote:θε (stem [or is this a root?])


The usual distinction is between the root — the most fundamental kernel of the word, a Platonic form often not directly used in the language — from a stem, a form onto which declensions and conjugations are attached.

So, the root θε- has a τιθε- present stem, a τεθε- aorist passive, stem, etc, etc.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby annis » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:26 am

Lex wrote:But if this stem is placed before an ending that doesn't force de-aspiration, it would make a difference; θε- would stay θε-. In practice, does this kind of thing happen?


It does. Two nouns (μέν) from this root are θέσις and θήκη, when (δέ) the funky -κ- aorist shows up the aspiration also remains there, ἔθηκαν.
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:23 pm

Lex wrote:
modus.irrealis wrote:Bad choice of words on my part.


No, it's not.

Not bad as in wrong, but bad as in ambiguous, and therefore potentially misleading (which I've done twice now :P )
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Re: Passive MI verb

Postby Bert » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:45 am

modus.irrealis wrote:
Lex wrote:
modus.irrealis wrote:Bad choice of words on my part.


No, it's not.

Not bad as in wrong, but bad as in ambiguous, and therefore potentially misleading (which I've done twice now :P )

Now you are being clear. :)
When you wrote -sort of a basic reference- I misunderstood you and thought you meant:
ba·sic
adj.
2. Of, being, or serving as a starting point or basis

Smyth sure forms a base but it also builds on this base.
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