Textkit Logo

Declension question

Are you reading Homeric Greek or studying Homeric Greek with Pharr's Homeric Greek - A Book For Beginners? Here's where you can meet other Homeric Greek learners. Use this board for all things Homeric Greek.

Declension question

Postby psilord » Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:59 am

Hello,

I'm on Lesson VI in Pharr's book and it is explaining the second declension. My question is do nouns only belong to a single gender and declension (suppose first declension feminine
for a word like [face=SPIonic]boulh/[/face]) while adjectives must have a male, female, and neuter declension? And that the adjectives gender is "chosen" out of the set of available declensions, like: [face=SPIonic]kalo/j, kalh/, kalo/n[/face]--which are second declension male, first declension feminine, and second declension neuter, respectively? And different adjectives can have different declensions for the male, female, and neuter gender?

Is the description of what belongs to where set up so that if it is a noun, I will see the genitive case ending and the gender in the vocabulary, but if it is an adjective I will see the nominative male, female, and neuter endings, and I have to see which endings match which declension in any case?

Thanks.
psilord
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Declension question

Postby annis » Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:48 pm

psilord wrote:My question is do nouns only belong to a single gender and declension


Yes. Except. There's always an except, and in this situation there are two you need to keep in mind.

First, some nouns are epicene. That is, they may be either masculine or feminine as sense requires, e.g. [face=spionic]pai=j, i(/ppoj[/face] may be boy, horse/stallion or girl/mare simply by switching the gender. There will be no sign of this in the noun itself, only in the adjectives or article that goes with it, [face=spionic]o( pai=j[/face], [face=spionic]h( pai=j[/face].

These aren't too common. Usually the noun stem has some sort of suffix attached to indicate a gender switch.

Second, some nouns switch gender when plural, such as [face=spionic]o( si=toj[/face], food, [face=spionic]ta\ si=ta[/face].

while adjectives must have a male, female, and neuter declension?


(Please avoid saying "female" for "feminine" and "male" for "masculine." Words do not have genitals.)

Sometimes. Many primitive (that is, simple, uncompounded, underived) adjectives will have separate declensions for all three genders. There is, however, a large class of adjectives which use identical declensions for masc. and fem.

Is the description of what belongs to where set up so that if it is a noun, I will see the genitive case ending and the gender in the vocabulary, but if it is an adjective I will see the nominative male, female, and neuter endings, and I have to see which endings match which declension in any case?


Yes. Those adjectives that have single declensions for masc. and fem. will show only two endings, the first for m./f. and the second for neuter:

[face=spionic]a)lhqh/j e/j[/face] true.

There are a few adjectives which sometimes act like two-declension adjectives and sometimes like three-declension adjectives. In that situation the feminine ending will be indicated in parentheses. (Look up [face=spionic]i)/fqimoj[/face] in the vocabulary at the end of your Pharr for an example of that, and follow the reference.)

In older pocket dictionaries adjectives simply had "2" or "3" written after them, but before the definition.

Dictionary Warning: the Homeric dictionary by Autenrieth does not indicate the gender of nouns or the declensions class for adjectives, which is why I don't recommend it to people.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Re: Declension question

Postby psilord » Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:21 pm

Wow, what an informative post. Thanks. That really does clear some stuff up for me.

However, what did you write here?
annis wrote:[face=spionic]a)lhqh/j e/j[/face] true.


Thanks.
psilord
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Declension question

Postby annis » Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:47 pm

psilord wrote:However, what did you write here?
annis wrote:[face=spionic]a)lhqh/j e/j[/face] true.


That's just an example of what a 2-declension adjective dictionary entry might look like.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA


Return to Homeric Greek and Pharr's Homeric Greek - A Book For Beginners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 8 guests