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What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

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What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:29 am

Is there something in the pre-Attic morphology of αἰτέω that allows for "loss" of the iota during the temporal augmentation of the imperfect? That is to ask, is ἤτει a (or the) valid imperfect of αἰτεῖ?

The question arises from the Perseus text of the bowdleriseworthy Longus 3.14.
Ἤτει δὴ τὴν Χλόην χαρίσασθαί οἱ πᾶν ὅσον βούλεται καὶ γυμνὴν γυμνῷ συγκατακλινῆναι μακρότερον ἢ πρόσθεν εἰώθεσαν:
The child is the father of the man.
(W.W., 1802)
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:56 am

Hi ἑκηβόλε,
There should be an iota subscript with the H, so it should look like this: ᾔτει. They have it right in the vocabulary tool.
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby npc » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:47 pm

I love Perseus, it's a great tool that I use constantly, but it's not perfect. I've found quite a few errors like this in their library. Again, this isn't meant to criticize Perseus, it's just that when you run into a situation like the one you did, it's certainly appropriate to consider a typo in the text as a plausible rationale for something that doesn't seem to make sense.

I've submitted bugs I've found in the text back to the folks at Perseus, and they've been very receptive to such corrections, but note that they consider this version (4.0) of Perseus to be largely obsolete, and they're not updating that particular database. They are making fixes to their follow-on projects, such as Scaife, though.
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:00 pm

Hi npc,
I can see how they might have had a problem with it as the solution would have been to put the whole word in caps "ΗΙΚΕΙ" or not capitalize the word at all "ᾔκει". But then, I don't really know what the convention is for a word that starts with a capitalized letter that has an iota subscript.
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:17 am

Aetos wrote:I don't really know what the convention is for a word that starts with a capitalized letter that has an iota subscript.

Wikipedia - Iota subscript (as it stands today) wrote:Different conventions exist for the treatment of subscript/adscript iota with uppercase letters. In Western printing, the most common practice is to use subscript diacritics only in lowercase environments and to use an adscript (i.e. a normal full-sized iota glyph) instead whenever the host letter is capitalized. When this happens in a mixed-case spelling environment (i.e. with only the first letter of a word capitalized, as in proper names and at the beginning of a sentence), then the adscript iota regularly takes the shape of the normal lowercase iota letter (e.g. ᾠδεῖον → Ὠιδεῖον). In an all-capitals environment, the adscript is also regularly capitalized (ΩΙΔΕΙΟΝ). In Greece, a more common convention is to print subscript diacritics both with lowercase and uppercase letters alike. Yet another, intermediate convention is to use lowercase adscript iotas both for mixed-case and for all-capitals words (e.g. ΩιΔΕΙΟΝ), or to use a special glyph in the shape of a smaller capital iota in the latter case (ΩΙΔΕΙΟΝ)

Leaving it out completely is not one of the conventions recommended for Classical Greek.

Aetos wrote:the solution would have been to put the whole word in caps "ΗΙ[Τ]ΕΙ" or not capitalize the word at all "ᾔ[τ]ει"

As far as Unicode is concerned, U+1F9C (ᾜ) is a capitalised version of U+1F94 (ᾔ). Unless they are following another (no longer standard or preferred) convention used by the house that published the text digitalised by the perseus project, it probably should be ᾜτει.
The child is the father of the man.
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:15 am

npc wrote:when you run into a situation like the one you did, it's certainly appropriate to consider a typo in the text as a plausible rationale for something that doesn't seem to make sense.

Funny enough, my first reaction in that regard was to consider whether it might be a variant form (or typo) for ἤτοι, but that left the infinitive hanging.
The child is the father of the man.
(W.W., 1802)
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby Aetos » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:01 pm

Χαίρε, ὦ φίλε ἑκηβόλε,
Thanks for finding that information! I'm still very much a beginner in Ancient Greek (I have about a year of Homeric Greek) Most of my experience is with Modern Greek, which I started learning when I was 10 (57 years ago!) I did have to learn the accents and breathing marks because that system was still in use but I was writing with pen and paper back then and the only time we used the iota subscript was in Καθαρεύουσα, which brought back the dative case. In Δημοτική, the dative is replaced by the use of prepositions. I didn't even have access to a Greek typewriter until I was in my late thirties, when my wife's uncle wanted me to type a play he'd written in the Pontian dialect. When I got my first PC (an IBM PC Junior), one of the first things I did was to try to create a Greek character set! Needless to say it was pretty crude, but it was a good learning experience.
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:20 pm

Hi Aete,
That's 20 more years of Greek than me. I started with an interest in Greek, and rather than staying synchronically classical and doing Latin, I moved diachronically into Modern Greek. That foray forward in the language only lasted for about 12 years though. For early exploration of computers, much to my parents' exasperation and to my posterior's displeasure I modified the hardware of our family's first computer (a brand new VIC 20) when I was 13 or so. I was annoyed that anybody would market a product that lost all my work if the cable was loose, or somebody tripped over it, or that had such poor sound. :lol:
The child is the father of the man.
(W.W., 1802)
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Re: What is the imperfect of αἰτέω?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:07 pm

npc wrote:I've submitted bugs I've found in the text back to the folks at Perseus, and they've been very receptive to such corrections, but note that they consider this version (4.0) of Perseus to be largely obsolete, and they're not updating that particular database. They are making fixes to their follow-on projects, such as Scaife, though.

Following on from the discussion in this thread, this particular fix is now in their database for their follow-on projects. It can be found at line 480 of their most recent version of the Longus .xml file. The editor in chief suggested that in the scans of the original text, the iota subscript was not very distinct, and may have been interpreted by the OCR software as noise.
The child is the father of the man.
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