Qimmik wrote:LSJ versus monolingual dictionaries...
I don't at all disagree, Qimmik, with what you have written here. I have admitted that my monolingual Ἀπολλωνίου Λέξικον has not been, and really is not, as "useful," (on one level, anyway) as my Cunliffe. I understand, and to an extent I concede, the argument that Grammar-Translation resources like LSJ and Smyth have a certain efficiency and precision that mono-lingual Greek resources by necessity lack.
But I will continue to maintain that for some of us--maybe different people simply learn differently--reading fluency is increased more by as much mono-lingual immersion as possible as opposed to precise parsing in a non-target language. We agree that the Greek examples found in L.S.J. are more valuable than the English glosses, but there remains something inherently productive about not leaving the target language at all. As a practical matter, it rarely important that one knows precisely what an Ancient Greek word "means," since the meaning of every word is really only what in means in the sentence that one is reading at the time, and Greek immersion as a goal can and does lead to the type of mastery of forms and basic vocab so that meaning can be inferred from the context the command of which one hopes to have in Greek. I believe with all my heart that reading Rouse's Greek Boy along with his (virtually) mono-lingual dictionary will do more to lead to this reading fluency than will reading unadapted texts and slogging through L.S.J. (It would make a huge difference, by the way, if Rouse's Greek glosses were printed at the bottom of the page, rather than in the back of the book.)
We've talked alot about the challenges of a good mono-lingual lexicon or grammar. The ones written by the Ancients are not very accessable to modern learners and to produce a really good modern one, one that could compete with if not replace L.S.J. or Smyth, would require a massive group effort. But it could be done, I think, and it would help lead to better internalization of Ancient Greek.
And the dirty little secret, of course, is that anyone writing a good mono-lingual Greek lexicon would of course consult L.S.J. heavily first. I am not, of course against, L.S.J., though I might say that one should not use it early or often, and I can't loose the notion that at some point it, along with all non-target language resources (yes, even Smyth) must be left behind. At some point, Greek must be accepted as Greek, and mono-lingual resources will always have this advantage.
While a very basic monolingual dictionary might be interesting and perhaps even useful at an elementary stage to understand very elementary texts, such a dictionary would be impossible to use and utterly frustrating in trying to read, say, Thucydides or Demosthenes.
I can't really agree with this because of my experience of reading Gaza's simplified, expansive, and explanatory paraphrase of the Iliad. I don't see why this could not be done with Thucydides. An intra-lingual paraphrase is of course just another form of a lexicon or grammar.
To answer Theocritus' question, that basic problem I have with the Mega Lexicon is that 1. the one-line versions are simple too blurry to read. 2. I don't like using on-line lexicons at any rate.