[MG] αγέÏ￾ας κτλ.

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mingshey
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[MG] αγέÏ￾ας κτλ.

Post by mingshey » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:16 am

Kazantzakis uses κάμω for κάνω somewhere in "Zorba the Greek"(Γιατί; τί νὰ σὲ κάμω; -- Why? What should I make you?(or "What for me to do with you?"?)), and I could only make it out from the stems list of my modern Greek conjugation table. He seems to use a little bit different dialect from the one I can learn from books.

There's a word that I cannot find in the dictionary. (It's only at the fifth line of the first page, and many I expect to encounter in the course I read this book.) My dictionary had αγέÏ￾αστος(ageless, steadfast, etc.), but there was no αγέÏ￾ας as in:

Κλειστὲς οἱ τζαμοποÏ￾τες, μυÏ￾ιζε á½￾ ἀγέÏ￾ας ἀνθÏ￾ώπινη βόχα καὶ φασκόμηλο.
klistes i djamoportes, mirize o ayeras anthropini voha ke faskomilo.
The glass-doors (being) closed, the "ἀγέÏ￾ας" human stink and sage smelled.

Is it only a different form of αγεÏ￾αστος? Or is it a totally different word?
Last edited by mingshey on Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ThomasGR
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Post by ThomasGR » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:35 am

αγέÏ￾ας is the wind. I guess it is the north wind. Many dialect will put a γ in such vowel-vowel-cases, like in αγέÏ￾ας for αέÏ￾ας, λέγω for λέω, κλαίγω for κλαίω. The reason for this we may trace in ancient Greek.

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Post by mingshey » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:12 pm

Great thanks!
Air, or wind. since it is about a closed space in a cafe, "air" would be better? (Now I see there are αγεÏ￾ικό and αγέÏ￾ινος directed to αεÏ￾ικό and αέÏ￾ινος, respectively, in the dictionary entry. :o)
Then it should translate

...the air smelled human stink and sage.

I now understand αγεÏ￾ας is the case that γ is inserted between vowels for ancient ἀήÏ￾(gen. ἀέÏ￾ος). But λέω is the opposite case where the original γ in ancient λέγω is lost between the vowels, isn't it? Although I understand that in either way the modern γ has lost most of its consonant value between vowels and it makes little difference other than to serve as a vowel separator, as in Ï￾ολόϊ[or Ï￾ολόγι](< ὡÏ￾ολόγιον?)

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Post by Swth\r » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:15 pm

Do not forget that ancient and modern Greek letters "Γ,γ" have completely different phonetic values as linguistic sounds.

ancient greek "λέγω" was pronounced like [le/goo], but modern "λέγω" like [lέγo].

ancient Greek Γ is velar plosive, modern Greek Γ is velar fricative... :wink:

(See also the IPA table (one of all!!!):
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... s_2005.png)
Dives qui sapiens est...

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Post by ThomasGR » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:14 am

As I said, we will find it only in some dialects. There are as well some educated people who will put a γ in λέγω and few other words, just to sound more "educated", but it is not the common use. ΑγέÏ￾ας in our case is also chosen to sound a little more poetical in the description of the scene in the cafe. Perhaps Kazantzakis as a Cretan prefers the use of αγέÏ￾ας instead of αέÏ￾ας.

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Post by mingshey » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:09 am

Τ'ÏŽÏ￾α αντιλαμβάνομαι. ΕυχαÏ￾ιστώ πάÏ￾α πολÏ￾, Θωμά!

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Post by ThomasGR » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:45 am

I am glad to know I could help you. I want to add, αγέÏ￾ας in common practice is used for the blowing wind, with a little nuance of poetry, whereas αεÏ￾ας is the common air.

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Post by Bert » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:40 pm

ThomasGR wrote:... whereas αεÏ￾ας is the common air.

Is this a cognate to the english word air?

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Post by modus.irrealis » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:46 am

It seems that English "air" actually comes from Ancient Greek ἀήÏ￾ (through French and Latin), which became αέÏ￾ας in Modern Greek -- on the way to Modern Greek, nouns often switched declension based on their accusative so you get αέÏ￾ας from ἀήÏ￾ on the basis of ἀέÏ￾α.

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Post by IreneY » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:25 am

Mainly the third declension ones since we've done away with that bothersome declension :D (simplification has its good points I must say :lol: )

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Post by aloimonon » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:50 pm

Actually, neuter third conjugation nouns ending in -μα have survived in Modern Greek, like Ï€Ï￾όβλημμα (correct me if I'm wrong). Personally, I don't know what's so bad about the third conjugation, but I've never had to speak it much.
ἀλλ' ἔγωγε ἐξ αὐτῶν τούτων μᾶλλον αὐτὸν τεθαύμακα, ὅτι ἔν τε ἀλλοκότοις καὶ ἐν ἐξαισίοις πράγμασι αὐτός τε διεγένετο καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διεσώσατο. Dio LXXII 36.3

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Post by IreneY » Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:06 am

OK, I should have added a "most" there I guess. Nothing's wrong with the third declension really. I just never liked it when I was learning ancient Greek. You see the second declension you only have to learn the dative and just remember a thing or two for the first if your native language is modern Greek. And then you hit the third.
While easy and whatnot, it's not as easy as the first two. So.... :D

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Post by aloimonon » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:26 pm

...so the third conjugation died out in the turbulent period of Late Antiquity, amid invasions and dislocations. Funnily enough, it did not die off before its nominative plural endings invaded the first conjugation.

Sorry if my remark came off as somewhat snarky, it's just that I've always looked at the third conjugation with some awe, as something just a bit exotic and therefore more interesting.
ἀλλ' ἔγωγε ἐξ αὐτῶν τούτων μᾶλλον αὐτὸν τεθαύμακα, ὅτι ἔν τε ἀλλοκότοις καὶ ἐν ἐξαισίοις πράγμασι αὐτός τε διεγένετο καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διεσώσατο. Dio LXXII 36.3

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Post by IreneY » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:55 pm

Umm.. what's exotic about the third conjugation? It just is sort of thing. And many things die out in languages from natural causes as it were so we can't really be sure about the cause of death can we? :)

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Post by aloimonon » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:11 pm

Well, everything just is, but some things stick out more than others, isn't that right? I first saw the third conjugation many years ago when my father gave me his dictionary which he was using when in university. Of course, being made in his day, it was blessed with the full range Greek, including ancient, puristic, and modern (though it has less ancient). I remember looking in the back at the conjugation tables and saying, "hmm, what is this, Ï„Ï￾ιτόκλιτα?". The third conjugation stuck out in my mind then, and still does now, though not in the same way. The stem is hidden in nominative singular, there are seeming exceptions all over the place, and overall is not, at least to my eyes, as regular as the first and second conjugations- that's all that I was implying. Of course, as I did mention to you, Modern Greek is not my first language, so this might have something to do with it, I admit.

As for why languages change, you're right, we cannot know of a certainty in many cases the causes for individual changes, but in this case I was following Robert Browning:

"During this period of struggle for existence, which continued until the second half of the eighth century, there were many movements of population our knowledge of which is scanty. Sweeping administrative changes put an end to the separation of civil and military power and to the autonomy of the cities; in any case cities sank to the level of agricultural villages. Schools were fewer, and the level of education lower. In the eighth century the Iconoclast movement divided the empire on a theological issue which had important political and social overtones. This was a period during which we might expect far-reaching changes to take place in the Greek language. Unfortunately, we have scarcely any direct evidence".

Robert Browning, _Medieval and Modern Greek_, p54-5

He then goes on to say that writers generally avoided using the spoken tongue in their works, though in some works there were some examples of spoken usage, some acclamations from the crowd in the hippodrome survive, etc.

It really is too bad that we don't have more examples of spoken Greek, which would help us to know when precisely the third conjugation petered out, but he does date it to the period 500-1100:

"A wide-ranging rearrangement of noun paradigms took place, in which the distinction between vocalic and consonantal stems, still in full force in late Koine Greek, was surmounted". p58

In any case, this was the source of my comment in my previous post.

EDITS 1-2: spelling.(arg)
Last edited by aloimonon on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ἀλλ' ἔγωγε ἐξ αὐτῶν τούτων μᾶλλον αὐτὸν τεθαύμακα, ὅτι ἔν τε ἀλλοκότοις καὶ ἐν ἐξαισίοις πράγμασι αὐτός τε διεγένετο καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διεσώσατο. Dio LXXII 36.3

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Post by modus.irrealis » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:21 pm

I think it's interesting that the -μα declension has shown so much strength and even encroached on the second declension, successfully with nouns like πλέξιμο or γάλα although not so successfully with words like ονείÏ￾ατα which I have to learn to not say so much. But the weird thing is that, from what I've read, the association between the neuter and -Ï„- has been growing since the beginning, and that the -Ï„- in forms of γόνυ, ἧπαÏ￾, ὕδωÏ￾ are Greek innovations.

The 3rd declension is, I believe, also responsible for the -δ- in the plural of words like παπάδες, right?

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