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Imperfect and Aorist of fhmi

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Imperfect and Aorist of fhmi

Postby Bert » Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:24 am

In NT Greek (maybe in koine in general) the imperfect and aorist forms of [face=SPIonic]fhmi/[/face] are said to be identical namely [face=SPIonic]e)/fh[/face].
In Classical Greek the imperfect is [face=SPIonic]e)/fhn[/face] or [face=SPIonic]e)fa/mhn[/face] and the aorist [face=SPIonic]e)/fhsa[/face].
Why would the usage of verb change from a more regular form to an irregular one, even more puzzeling considering that the later form is also ambiguous.
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Postby Paul » Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:03 pm

Hi Bert,

[face=SPIonic]fhmi/[/face] is an old and interesting word.

In Homer both 2nd aorist and imperfect look the same, e.g., [face=SPIonic]e)/fhn[/face]. But it may be that all occurrences of these forms in Homer are the imperfect. I don't think that the first aorist form [face=SPIonic]e)/fhsa[/face] is attested in Homer.

But first aorist [face=SPIonic]e)/fhsa[/face] does appear in classical greek.

I'm not certain about NT greek. Wenham says that [face=SPIonic]fhmi/[/face] occurs in the NT as imperfect [face=SPIonic]e)/fh[/face], but never as an aorist (just like in Homer?).

But in any event, why do you regard this change in form as a movement toward greater irregularity?

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby Bert » Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:56 pm

Paul wrote:
But in any event, why do you regard this change in form as a movement toward greater irregularity?




Because I consider the [face=SPIonic]sa[/face] tense-formative as regular for aorist. Maybe the 2nd aorist is just as regular, just a different form.
It does seem strange that an aorist and an imperfect form would be identical for it is hard to distingish from context between these two.
Thanks
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Re: Imperfect and Aorist of fhmi

Postby annis » Sat Oct 18, 2003 5:04 pm

Bert wrote:Why would the usage of verb change from a more regular form to an irregular one, even more puzzeling considering that the later form is also ambiguous.


I have a few quick comments. First, at the same time a language is simplifying in some areas, it may become more complex in others. Very small, very common words (be, say, do) tend to retain or even emphasize irregularities the most.

According to my NT Analytical Greek Lexicon, the only forms of this verb to occur at all are [face=spionic]fhmi/[/face], [face=spionic]fhsi[/face] (3sg.), [face=spionic]fasi/[/face] (3pl), and the 3.sg. imperfect, [face=spionic]e)/fh[/face]. However, there are forms of [face=spionic]ei)=pon[/face] available for an aorist when it is really necessary to be clear, and [face=spionic]e)/legon[/face] for imperfect.

Also, I tried to think of a situation - outside an imperative - where the aorist is really vitally different from the imperfect with "to say". I cannot.
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