Textkit Logo

a some of questions.

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

a some of questions.

Postby gigas phoberos » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:01 pm

Hello, I have some questions.

1. is the circumflex accent only used when vowels are contracted?
2. In my "Reading Greek" text, the section dealing with lawlessness in Athens, both the words for bad government and good government begin
with capitalized letters. why?
3. why in some words does the alpha have an iota subscript? why isn't it the diphthong ai?
4. is the iota subscript pronounced?
User avatar
gigas phoberos
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:02 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: a some of questions.

Postby Lex » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:21 pm

gigas phoberos wrote:1. is the circumflex accent only used when vowels are contracted?

No.

gigas phoberos wrote:2. In my "Reading Greek" text, the section dealing with lawlessness in Athens, both the words for bad government and good government begin with capitalized letters. why?

I have no idea. It is my understanding that in antiquity, only capital letters were known, and lowercase letters, along with accents and breath marks, were introduced later. In my Greek books, most sentences start with lowercase. Only proper names seem to start with caps. Are the words for bad government and good government personifications?

gigas phoberos wrote:3. why in some words does the alpha have an iota subscript? why isn't it the diphthong ai?

4. is the iota subscript pronounced?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iota_subscript
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
User avatar
Lex
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:34 pm
Location: A top-secret underground llama lair.

Re: a some of questions.

Postby anglicus » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:45 pm

Hi, I have a copy of the book and looked up that passage, and I think the authors are just trying to emphasize that the words are to be taken to mean "The Good/Bad Government" as universal types, rather than just some individual governments that happen to be good or bad. In modern editions abstract nouns that are meant to be personified or generalized in this way are often capitalized.
User avatar
anglicus
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: California

Re: a some of questions.

Postby modus.irrealis » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:44 am

About 1, remember the accent rule that when a word is accented on the second-to-last syllable, if that syllable contains a long vowel or dipthong and the final syllable contains a short vowel (and also most οι and αι), then the accent must be circumflex (and conversely, if the final syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong, the accent must be acute). So you have things like πολίτης but πολῖται. I believe this rule has no exceptions.

This by the way implies that the only place where there's a possibility of having either the circumflex or acute accent is in the final syllable of the word, and for there, besides contraction, another reason for the circumflex is that in the genitive and dative, if the ending is accented then it takes the circumflex (if it can). I want to say that this is always the case, but I'm too lazy to check right now, but it's certainly true for the 1st and 2nd declensions (βουλῆς, ὁδοῖς) but it seems to be true elsewhere too (γυναικῶν, τινῶν, ἡμῖν). I believe also that the adverb ending -ως always has the circumflex when accented. I wouldn't be surprised if those cover the vast majority of circumflexes.

And for 3, noticing the iota subscript is useful for distinguishing different forms, e.g. you have nom. sing. ἡμέρα, dat. sing. ἡμέρᾳ, nom. plur. ἡμέραι. I think it's relatively rare to see the iota subscript in the root of words (like ῥᾴδιος) so those are hard to remember for me, but since most of them occur in endings, they're easier to learn and helpful in distinguishing words.
modus.irrealis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:08 am
Location: Toronto

Re: a some of questions.

Postby cb » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:56 am

hi modus, on 1, remember that words built with an enclitic at the end don't follow that rule (the σωτῆρα rule), e.g. ὥστε not *ὧστε, ἥδε not *ἧδε (and also the crasis of τὸ ἔργον into τοὔργον, although opinions on this differ: see smyth s173(a):

http://www.ccel.org/s/smyth/grammar/htm ... 1f_uni.htm

for the second paragraph, you can have final acutes rather than circumflexes in the gen and dat words in the Attic declension, e.g. gen νεώ, dat νεώι from νεώς. cheers, chad :)
cb
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:52 pm

Re: a some of questions.

Postby modus.irrealis » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:13 pm

Thanks for the corrections to what I wrote. For some reason I keep forgetting that words like ὥστε are exceptions, although I always remember words like πόλεως as exceptions.
modus.irrealis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:08 am
Location: Toronto

Re: a some of questions.

Postby Swth\r » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:27 pm

The actual difference between -αι and -ᾳ is that in -αι the A is short, but in -ᾳ the A is long. :wink:
Dives qui sapiens est...
Swth\r
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:51 pm
Location: Greece


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], MSNbot Media and 59 guests