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_Rouse's Greek Boy_: Meaning of καί?

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_Rouse's Greek Boy_: Meaning of καί?

Postby gfross » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:06 am

In the third paragraph, page 2, of Anne Mahoney's edition of Rouse's Greek Boy: A Reader, the 1st-person narrator, a boy named Thrasymachus, has been describing the farm that his family lives on and the surrounding area. He has mentioned that his farm and the farms of the family's neighbors are encircled by hills. He contrasts their low height with that of λόφοι in other countries. He concludes his discussion of their height with the following sentence:

ὐψηλοὶ μέν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ οὕτως ὑψηλοὶ ὡς καὶ ἄλλοι. I understand this sentence to mean "They [the hills near us] are high, but not as high as others."

My dictionary tells me that when modifying a following word, καί means "even". But "even others" doesn't make sense. So, could I assume that if I were listening to Thrasymachus talking to me in English, I would hear him simply emphasize the word "others"? E.g., "They are high, but not as high as OTHERS."

I welcome your comments.
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Re: _Rouse's Greek Boy_: Meaning of καί?

Postby refe » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:21 pm

It seems to me that it should be δὲ in that sentence not καὶ to complete the μεν...δὲ construction.

Still, the Middle Liddell supports the 'as' function:

III. after words implying sameness or likeness, καί must be rendered by 'as', like Lat. atque or ac after aeque, perinde, simul, γνώμῃσι ὁμοίῃσι καὶ σύ the same opinion as you, Hdt.; ἴσον or ἴσα καί. . , Soph., etc.: in attic, καί . . , καί . . answer to the Lat. cum, tum, not only, but also, Plat., etc.
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Re: _Rouse's Greek Boy_: Meaning of καί?

Postby theodoros » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:19 am

Mrs. Mahoney is an ingenious writer. She thinks in English and translates every word in AG. So, English speaking people would consider the book simple and AG easier than they had imagined. The question is whether ο Θρασύμαχος would have done so.
He would say simply: Υψηλοί μεν, αλλ΄ουχ ωσπερ άλλοι. And if he had to emphasize ‘other’, Υψηλοί μεν, πολλοί δ΄όμως τούτων υψηλότεροι υπάρχουσιν. or shortly Υψηλοί μεν, άλλοι δε υψηλότεροι. You are right. Και is useless.
As we all know the common mistake we cannot avoid when we are learning a foreign language is to think in our native language and try to translate the words. If I were to write your last sentence I would write: “They are high, but not as others”. For me “as high” is unnecessary, for you the phrase is lame. We have to live some months or years in the foreign country to improve. Unfortunately this is impossible for AG. So the improvement will be by reading Greek writers.
Coming back to my previous post I add:
Nouns have only one gender. Ο άνθρωπος (m) Η οδός(f) -the street. A few of them have two. η κάμηλος (f)-camel, seldom ο κάμηλος (m) and some others change their meaning. Ο ίππος –horse , η ίππος –cavalry. We cannot say η άνθρωπος, neither ο οδός.
Only compound adjectives have the same form for both masc. and fem. gender.
Ο φιλάνθρωπος ανήρ. Η φιλάνθρωπος γυνή. ( φιλάνθρωπος = φίλος + άνθρωπος ) but
Ο καλός ανήρ. Η καλή γυνή. Never Η καλός γυνή.
Now another example: Ίδιον της ανθρώπου φύσεως το φιλοπερίεργον. (εστί)
A novice could be confused, considering της ανθρώπου as genitive case of η άνθρωπος.
But here, the της refers to φύσεως and the article του before ανθρώπου has omitted.
A normal syntax should be: Ίδιον της φύσεως του ανθρώπου εστί το φιλοπερίεργον.
It is in human nature to be one inquisitive
But Greeks like to play writing. And never forget the Greek rule: Τα ευκόλως εννοούμενα παραλείπονται.
Yesterday I read some of your posts and I found most of your opinions about learning AG very very close to my own.
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Re: _Rouse's Greek Boy_: Meaning of καί?

Postby gfross » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:29 pm

Thank you for your comments! Rouse's Greek Boy: A Reader is a new edition (2010) of A Greek Boy at Home, first published in 1909 by W. H. D. Rouse. I think that Anne Mahoney has not edited any of the original Greek text but has simply added a "Hints for Using the Book" section. According to Mahoney, Rouse intended the book to be read aloud in class, with the teacher explaining each word that a student did not understand. In addition, the reader is to accompany Rouse's First Greek Course, the readings paralleling the grammar. Mahoney has revised and improved First Greek Course, but this, too, is really designed to be used with the help of a teacher. The method used for both texts is the Direct Method, with lots of oral drills and communication.

For the most part, I have been able so far to proceed on my own, in part because I have studied AG before and because linguistics was my field of study at the university. I would not, however, recommend these texts to autodidacts, unless they have very strong linguistic skills. The grammar and the reader do parallel one another in a broad sense but are not at all as finely synchronized as the Ørberg course materials for Latin.

I like the Rouse-Mahoney texts, however, because, like Ørberg's materials, they offer an incredibly large amount of text to read, much more than any other first-year AG text I have come across. For example, for Chapter Two alone, the reader offers 72 lines of narrative discourse, with about 12 words per line, and the grammar offers about 92 lines of text to read (not connected discourse for the most part). If you want training in reading AG from the get go, these are the texts to choose. You'll get lots of practice!

@theodoros I do appreciate your viewpoint about reading AG writers. I think that this method would work especially well for native speakers of Modern Greek. The problem for the rest of us is that we do not already have a core vocabulary of Greek with which to understand AG prose. It is a tremendous task to start from knowing nothing about Greek to reading an original text by an AG author. Thus the need at the beginning for artificial sentences that illustrate the new vocabulary and grammar of a lesson. Mahoney does include in each lesson a very brief passage or two from an AG author, but they are the most difficult passages for me to understand, mainly because of the word order. I don't have an instructor there to help me out. So I appreciate the simple, artificial sentences of AG prose.
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