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Help with questions, please

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Help with questions, please

Postby justplainpossum » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:34 am

Hello! I am self-taught with Pharr's wonderful book, and I'm about to start Chapter 13. I've been doing a review in advance, and come up with several questions that have me stumped. Does anyone know the answers to these? Thank you! possum

1) Ἀχαιοισι θυμω -- there is an iota subscript under omega. Does this mean "to the Achaeans to the spirit"? If it's "to the spirit
of the Achaeans", shouldn't it be Αχαιων ??

2) I saw a capital I written with a straight line preceding it, and on top of the line was a breathing and an accent. What is the
meaning of the straight line?

3) Is contraction of vowels in Homeric Greek the exception as opposed to the rule, as in Attic Greek?

4) There are several words where the iota has a dot on either side; what does this mean?

5) When is εν used, as opposed to ειν?

6) pi seems to have more expiratory force than chi, so why is it classed as a smooth mute? Shouldn't it be a rough mute?

7) What exactly is the difference between a root and a stem?

8) How do I know whether an initial sigma or vau has been lost (leading to contraction)? Is it just a question of individual
word memorization?

9) If the meaning of compound verbs like απο-λυο is identical to just the verb λυο, then why have them?

10) Why is the feminine genitive plural of the relative pronoun 'η "ων", and not "αων"?

11) Are prepositions used mostly for emphasis, or is there a specific rule to their use? If a word is dative, you know a
phrase would be "to the dance", and if it's genitive, it likely means "from the dance", so I'm not sure why prepositions
are used.

12) Six of the contractions don't make sense to me, I just can't figure them out.
o + αι = αι
why not omega w/iota subscript?
o + ει = οι
why not omega?
ι + ε = long iota - why?
o + η iota subscript = οι
why not ω iota subscript?
υ + ι = long upsilon - why?
ε + ο = ω
why not ευ?

Again, thank you all for your help with this.
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Re: Help with questions, please

Postby spiphany » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:05 am

I'm not sure about question 1 or 2 without consulting the text to see what you mean, but to answer a couple of your other questions:

4) There are several words where the iota has a dot on either side; what does this mean?

This is called a diaeresis. Basically, it just means that the vowels are pronounced as two separate syllables, not combined into a diphthong.

5) When is εν used, as opposed to ειν?

Meter. εν is short, ειν is long.

6) pi seems to have more expiratory force than chi, so why is it classed as a smooth mute? Shouldn't it be a rough mute?

Part of the problem may be the way we pronounce the "p" sound in English, namely, with significant aspiration. The "p" in "pin" is actually closer to Greek φ than to π. For the sound of π, listen carefully to the "p" in "spin", which has no aspiration.

(I find Pharr's terminology a bit dated and confusing -- you mght check Mastronarde's tutorial for a more current explanation)

11) Are prepositions used mostly for emphasis, or is there a specific rule to their use? If a word is dative, you know a
phrase would be "to the dance", and if it's genitive, it likely means "from the dance", so I'm not sure why prepositions
are used.

Prepositions are used to make the meaning more precise. The accusative, dative, and genitive have a LOT of different functions. Even though each of the cases has a "core" meaning (acc - direct obj/motion towards; dat - location; gen - origin/separation), this can still cover a lot of different situations, and it can help if you have prepositions to clarify whether that genitive indicates possession or motion away from something.
There is a tendency over time - both in Greek and in other Indo-European languages - for prepositions to become more common, while case endings become less important (& eventually partly or completely disappear).
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Help with questions, please

Postby Adelheid » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:46 pm

justplainpossum wrote:
1) Ἀχαιοισι θυμω -- there is an iota subscript under omega. Does this mean "to the Achaeans to the spirit"? If it's "to the spirit
of the Achaeans", shouldn't it be Αχαιων ??


This would mean "to the Achaeans in (their) spirit/soul".
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Re: Help with questions, please

Postby justplainpossum » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:16 pm

Your responses were very helpful! Thank you!!
justplainpossum
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