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Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

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Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby GJCaesar » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:39 pm

Iphigenia in her speech, talking to Orestes about sending a message to Argos:

θέλοις ἄν, εἰ σῴσαιμί σ᾽, ἀγγεῖλαί τί μοι
πρὸς Ἄργος ἐλθὼν τοῖς ἐμοῖς ἐκεῖ φίλοις,
δέλτον τ᾽ ἐνεγκεῖν, ἥν τις οἰκτίρας ἐμὲ
ἔγραψεν αἰχμάλωτος, οὐχὶ τὴν ἐμὴν
φονέα νομίζων χεῖρα, τοῦ νόμου δ᾽ ὕπο
θνῄσκειν τὰ τῆς θεοῦ, τάδε δίκαι᾽ ἡγουμένης;
οὐδένα γὰρ εἶχον ὅστις ἀγγείλαι μολὼν
ἐς Ἄργος αὖθις, τάς <τ᾽> ἐμὰς ἐπιστολὰς
πέμψειε σωθεὶς τῶν ἐμῶν φίλων τινί.

From a syntactical point of view, these lines are easy to comprehend, but I stumbled upon the accents of the two verbs in bold text. Now, ἀγγεῖλαί is the infinitive with θέλοις ἄν, meaning ''would you, if I would save you, be willing to send ...''. Since the -αι in infinite forms counts as one, the iota gets the circumflex. But I do not see why the second verb, ἀγγείλαι, gets a different accent. This could only be the case if it would be an (1) imperative form, which is impossible in this context. τ᾽ in line 589 suggests it should be, like πέμψειε, an (2) optative aorist 3rd person singular. This is probably why it was inserted by an editor. But how is this form of the optative actually ''formed''? I would appreciate any valuable comment.

Is my analysis correct? I'm okay with accents, but these things are rather difficult. The second ἀγγείλαι can't really be an infinitive, I guess? (it would have the circumflex)

GJC
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:28 pm

Your analysis looks correct to me, I think ἀγγείλαι is an optative. But I as far as I know, the aorist imperative would be accented ἀγγεῖλαι like the infinitive.
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Qimmik » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:26 pm

You're both right. The endings -αι and -οι are treated as short for purposes of accents, except the 3rd sing. optative active.

Smyth: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Asmythp%3D169

ἀγγεῖλαι is aorist infinitive. The aorist active infinitive of verbs in -ω is always on the penult. This is an exception to the normal rule that verbal accents are recessive.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Smyth+grammar+425&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007

The ending -αι is treated as short, so the accent on the penult, the diphthong -ει- (which, as a diphthong, is long) must be circumflex. (The acute accent on the ending -αι here, ἀγγεῖλαί, is due to the following sequence of enclitics.)

ἀγγείλαι is aorist optative, so the ending -αι is treated as long, and prevents the recessive verbal accent from going back further than the penult. But because -αι is long, the accent on the penult -ει- cannot be circumflex: it must be acute.

ἀγγείλαι is formed from the aorist stem ἀγγειλ- + the 3rd sing. 1st aorist optative active ending -αι.

the aorist imperative would be accented ἀγγεῖλαι like the infinitive.


The aorist imperative 2d pers. sing. is ἄγγειλον. The accent is recessive.

Three forms:

ἀγγεῖλαι -- aorist infinitive
ἀγγείλαι -- aorist optative
ἄγγειλον -- aorist imperative
Last edited by Qimmik on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby GJCaesar » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:41 am

Thank you Qimmik. In my experience, it's still confusing that ἀγγείλαι ends with -αι, while πέμψειε ends with -ειε. Isn't ἀγγείλειε a possibility?

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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Qimmik » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:20 pm

"Isn't ἀγγείλειε a possibility?" Yes, πέμψειε is an alternative form--in fact, a more common alternative--to ἀγγείλαι for the 3rd pers. aor. opt. act.. but of course it wouldn't fit the iambic trimeter here.

Smyth 668: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Smyth+grammar+668&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Qimmik » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:06 pm

I wrote: "The aorist active infinitive of verbs in -ω is always on the penult."

Correction: The first aorist active infinitive of verbs in -ω is always on the penult. The second aorist infinitive active is perispomenon (circumflex on ultima), e.g., λιπεῖν.

[Erroneous information deleted.]
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Qimmik » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:45 pm

I've corrected some errors in my previous posts--in particular, the aorist imperative is ἄγγειλον, not ἄγγειλαι.
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby GJCaesar » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:28 pm

Qimmik wrote:I've corrected some errors in my previous posts--in particular, the aorist imperative is ἄγγειλον, not ἄγγειλαι.


Yes, you're completely right. I understood what you said, but confused ἄγγειλαι (medium aorist 1st person singular) with ἄγγειλον (active aorist 1st person singular).

And thanks for the message as well.

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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby ailuros » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:25 pm

Thanks GJCaesar for starting this thread, and to Paul Deruda and Qimmik for joining in. This was an excellent review, and it reminded me that I need to sharpen up a bit here, too. I "think" I understand Greek accentuation pretty well, but then and again I get reminded that I maybe don't know some things as well as I thought. Textkit poster CB mentioned Philemon Probert's book on accentuation in his excellent list of things one needs to understand to properly read ancient Greek. I recently purchased a copy and intend to work through it for just these kind of reasons. Dan
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:18 pm

Probert's book seems good to me. I also have acquired it, but haven't read it yet except the beginning.

Mistakes are bound to happen with accents. According to this, even Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique has enough accent and other mistakes to warrant a new edition. And I - though I noticed where GJC had mixed up accentuation rules, my correction was yet another mistake, and much a more basic than one than Qimmik's. :(
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby ailuros » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:41 pm

Yikes! I just realized I spelled "Derouda" incorrectly. My apologies. Well, I guess this the appropriate thread for making mistakes! And I agree that accentuation mistakes are pretty much inevitable, from pro to amateur.
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby GJCaesar » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:17 pm

As it seems, you guys are interested, so here's another one

IT 609 - 613 (I have done a lot of Latin lately so this project was on a sidetrack for a couple of days)

''ὦ λῆμ᾽ ἄριστον, ὡς ἀπ᾽ εὐγενοῦς τινος
ῥίζης πέφυκας τοῖς φίλοις τ᾽ ὀρθῶς φίλος.
τοιοῦτος εἴη τῶν ἐμῶν ὁμοσπόρων
ὅσπερ λέλειπται. καὶ γὰρ οὐδ᾽ ἐγώ, ξένοι,
ἀνάδελφός εἰμι, πλὴν ὅσ᾽ οὐχ ὁρῶσά νιν.''

The bold part, I am not able to comprehend the construction syntactical wise. πλὴν normally governs a genitive, but without it can mean ''except (that)..'' But ὅσ' might be some sort of genitive? Then νιν is the object of ὁρῶσά, and refers to Orestes. I know that the translation should be something like this.

''Because, strangers, I am not brotherless, except that I do not see him''

Again, any comments are very much appreciated.

GJC
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby Qimmik » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:14 pm

πλήν can be a conjunction, rather than a preposition governing the genitive, and can be combined with ὅσον or ὅσα: "except insofar as". See LSJ πλήν B.II.5:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dplh%2Fn

"I'm not brotherless, except insofar as not seeing him [right here and now]."

(But of course she is seeing him.)
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Re: Iphigenia among the Taurians (582-590) about accents

Postby GJCaesar » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:31 am

Qimmik wrote:πλήν can be a conjunction, rather than a preposition governing the genitive, and can be combined with ὅσον or ὅσα: "except insofar as". See LSJ πλήν B.II.5:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dplh%2Fn

"I'm not brotherless, except insofar as not seeing him [right here and now]."

(But of course she is seeing him.)


Wow, I've actually never seen πλήν being used in this way. That's so cool. :roll:

Thanks again Qimmik.
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