i(/sqhmi, di/dwmi and ti/qhmi question

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yadfothgildloc
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i(/sqhmi, di/dwmi and ti/qhmi question

Post by yadfothgildloc » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:19 am

I understand that these are called reduplicated presents. ([size=150]ἵστημι[/size] from *[size=150]σίστημι[/size] which is a common thing. However, why are the presents reduplicated? (I know it happens in Latin, but Latin doesn't have reduplication as an active system like the Greek perfect system.) Are they fossilized forms from an earlier form of the language? Perfects that got snagged by the present tense? Something so bizzare I should just go shut up and memorize the future perfect?

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Post by annis » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:58 am

Reduplication was snagged for a number of things: perfects, presents as here, but also some aorists. Sanskrit preserves a few other oddities as I recall.

I'm not sure anyone has offered an explanation for the Greek pattern. But I don't think we can say the present class is related to the perfects.

As to why these particular verbs were reduplicated - that's as much as mystery as the rest of the present classes. I myself hesitate to read deeper significance into the present classes, because sometimes different dialects used different classes for shared stems. So what in Homer and Attic is λείπω, ἔ[u]λιπ[/u]ον is in Aeolic λιμπάνω (like λαμβάνω or ἁνδάνω).
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Post by yadfothgildloc » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:09 am

annis wrote:Reduplication was snagged for a number of things: perfects, presents as here, but also some aorists. Sanskrit preserves a few other oddities as I recall.

I'm not sure anyone has offered an explanation for the Greek pattern. But I don't think we can say the present class is related to the perfects.

As to why these particular verbs were reduplicated - that's as much as mystery as the rest of the present classes. I myself hesitate to read deeper significance into the present classes, because sometimes different dialects used different classes for shared stems. So what in Homer and Attic is λείπω, ἔ[u]λιπ[/u]ον is in Aeolic λιμπάνω (like λαμβάνω or ἁνδάνω).
Alright. Huh. Looks like I have graduate research work after all. :)

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Re: i(/sqhmi, di/dwmi and ti/qhmi question

Post by Democritus » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:16 am

These stems are all short. Without reduplication they would be even shorter. Maybe that has something to do with it -- just a guess. Are there any examples of longer stems with reduplicated presents?

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Re: i(/sqhmi, di/dwmi and ti/qhmi question

Post by yadfothgildloc » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:22 am

Democritus wrote:These stems are all short. Without reduplication they would be even shorter. Maybe that has something to do with it -- just a guess. Are there any examples of longer stems with reduplicated presents?
Not of the top of my or my prof's heads. Maybe.

Greek doesn't seem to shy away from short roots though - a)/gw and bai/nw come to mind.

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Post by whiteoctave » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:32 pm

The reduplication in the verbs you mention arises from the internal semantics of the verbs themselves, which the Germans term Aktionsart. The acts of 'setting up', 'giving' and 'placing' are intrinsically perfective, that is they only make sense once they are completed. One cannot, uerbi causa, be half-way through the act of placing something, for 'placing' only occurs when the object becomes placed. Such verbs with perfective semantics, then, naturally gravitate towards the perfective aspect, of which the aorist 'tense' is the proudest flagbearer. The three verbs you mention are accordingly most common in their aorist and perfective forms and rare in any tenses with imperfective aspectual connotations. It is clear, however, that there are occasions when a more general sense for each of the verbs would be of use to the speaker, especially in frequentative/habitual senses, such as 'money does not give happiness' where an eternal statement is meant, rather than a continual imperfective or a specific perfective one. To represent these habitual senses the feature of reduplication was employed upon the three verbs (whose 'aorist' forms are the base of the verb): some philologists term this the 'intensitive' reduplication (to distinguish it from that employed in the formation of aorists etc. from the present stem), and clearly such a process must have been early for it is obviously not the standard means of forming a frequentative verb in typical Greek. With the three verbs under consideration, then, the tenses newly formed by the reduplication (present, imperfect and future) can express the generalised habitual senses and thus shake off the perfective Aktionsart when sense demands. Even so, such verbs are comparatively rare in these reduplicative forms.

~D
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Post by Bert » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:58 pm

whiteoctave, that is interesting.
I may have missed or misunderstood something so I have a couple of questions.
-If the aorist 'tense' is the proudest flagbearer of the perfective aspect why does the aorist not employ reduplication?
-Why does the imperfect reduplicate eventhough semantically it is not perfective at all?
Thanks.

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Post by whiteoctave » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:21 pm

evening, Bert. I hope my words above do not insinuate that reduplication is directly associated with the perfective aspect. The 'intensitive' reduplication found in the imperfective forms fashioned from the verbal stems of these three verbs is wholly different in force from that employed throughout the Greek verbal system for the perfect tense (not to be confused with the perfective aspect).
The imperfect is very closely linked with the present, itself being always the form of the imperfective past tense and the present the (typically) imperfective tense. It is thus only distinguished from it by the addition of the temporal augment. The imperfect thus does not reduplicate at all, it merely provides the augmented form of the intensitively reduplicated present form of these three verbs.
I hope this is clear.

~D
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Post by RepublicFan » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:30 pm

What do you think of the difference of vowel between iota of the duplication for the present system and the epsilon of augmentation for the aorists?

This is speculation of mine, but upon asking the fittingness of those vowels it seemed to me that the iota of the present system, if I am right that it is pronounced "ee" as we do in English, has a sense of present action, in contrast to the lower epsilon for the aorists.
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Post by Bert » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:36 pm

Thank you.
That clears up my question concerning the imperfect.
I did think you meant that this reduplication is directly associated with the perfective aspect because you wrote; The acts of 'setting up', 'giving' and 'placing' are intrinsically perfective......Such verbs with perfective semantics, then, naturally gravitate towards the perfective aspect, of which the aorist 'tense' is the proudest flagbearer.
Concerning the aorist, did you mean then that the aorist in general is the flagbearer of the perfective tense, regardless if the verb in the present is reduplicated?
If so, are you saying that the present does not normally indicate perfective aspect so in these verbs it 'counteracts' this by reduplication?
(please bear with me. I can be slow in catching on but once I have it, I hang on to it. :) )

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Post by whiteoctave » Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:21 pm

Evening once more, Bert. Yes, the matters at hand are somewhat nice. The aorist is the tense which best represents the perfective aspect, being effectively the past perfective, originally being simply the perfective aspect (cf. the distinction between the present (imperfective) and aorist in non-indicative moods). The aorist has nothing to do with reduplications (passing over rare irregularities). The three verbs under consideration here (to which ι3ημιand γίγνομαι can be added) are naturally perfective and therefore appear in their simplest form in the perfective tense par excellence, the aorist. Once a habitual extension of their semantics was sought they were brought into the imperfective aspect by the use of the intensitive reduplication (which, sexcenties dixi, is semantically different from the reduplication found in the perfect, not perfective, tense). Whether the present form of a verb is reduplicated or not does not impinge upon the perfective nature of the aorist.
The present typically represents imperfective or generalised senses of the verb; it is hard to conceive a perfective sense in the present: so-called 'atemporal' or 'timeless' phrases, such as 'hard work makes men' is not to be seen as perfective. Reduplication of these verbs with intrinsically perfective Aktionsart grants an imperfective (here habitual) aspect to them.

~D
p.s. the first verb in this thread's title breaks Grassmann's law.
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Post by Bert » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm

Thanks.
I'm broadening the scope a bit with my next question.
I have learned that the aorist tense means basically that the aspect is not defined. It states what the action was but it does not say anything about the aspect.
I gather from you posts here that you don't agree with that. Is that a correct deduction?

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Post by yadfothgildloc » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:03 am

Bert wrote:Thanks.
I'm broadening the scope a bit with my next question.
I have learned that the aorist tense means basically that the aspect is not defined. It states what the action was but it does not say anything about the aspect.
I gather from you posts here that you don't agree with that. Is that a correct deduction?
This is my understanding- in fact, I was under the impression that the only Perfect tenses were those explicetly named as such and that the Aorist had "simple" as it's aspect.

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Post by whiteoctave » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:46 am

Bert, your deduction is correct but it necessarily means that we are in disagreement. I do not know why anyone would suggest that the aorist, when manifested as a tense in the indicative, is without aspect: it signifies a temporally-unanalysable completed action in the past, which is the stock definition of the perfective aspect. Once more, the 'perfect' tenses are something of a misnomer: some believe they are perfective, but with the special qualification that the past act continues to have a present (i.e. imperfective effect, e.g. 'he has washed' signifies at once the perfective act of washing carried out in the past and the imperfective resultant state of being clean). I prefer a tripartite division of aspect into imperfective, perfective and retrospective, the last of which specifically describing the aspect encountered in the perfect tenses. Many at my university disagree with this, however, and demand that the perfect tenses are merely a subdivision of the perfective aspect.
Perhaps you and yadfo... have extrapolated the true fact, that outside the indicative mood the 'aorist' wholly without temporal relativity, i.e. tense, and concluded that it therefore lacks aspect. On the contrary it is wholly aspectual outside the indicative and simply expresses perfective aspect. The aorist then, to wrap things up, does express the action (of course) but also in the manner of the perfective aspect, wherein the action is not at all temporally-analysable but is rather a single point in time: 'I spoke' syntactically has no information about its duration and the beginning of the action is bound completely with its middle and end.
magna spes me tenet haec tibi esse sole clariora.

~D
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Post by annis » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:49 pm

whiteoctave wrote:With the three verbs under consideration, then, the tenses newly formed by the reduplication (present, imperfect and future) can express the generalised habitual senses and thus shake off the perfective Aktionsart when sense demands. Even so, such verbs are comparatively rare in these reduplicative forms.
Hmm. As you say, the argument is neat.

I'm a bit suspicious of this explanation. I can easily find verbs in both Sanskrit and Greek which have reduplicated present stems but which I have a very hard time seeing as perfective. A delectus (I'll use an underline for the Sk retroflexes):

bhr "bear" (cf. φέρω). In Vedic this has both class III (reduplicated) and class I presents, bibharmi, bharaami.

vis "be active" (!), vivesti.

sr "flow", sisarsi.

gaa "go", jigaasi.

I can also find Gk reduplicated presents where the basic sense of the stem does not seem necessarily perfective. I consider the case of γίγνομαι equivocal, but also

βίβημι, βιβάω "go" (cf. βαίνω, ἔβην).

δίζημαι "seek"

λιλαίομαι "desire"

There are others which do seem perfective (Hom. μίμνω with μένω "remain," πίπτω "fall"), but there are enough counter-examples to make me suspicious. Do you happen to have references handy? I'd need to see a longer discussion.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by whiteoctave » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:27 pm

Thanks for the comments, A.. as to references, I have none with me in the wilderness, other than Sihler, whom you have at hand also. it is largely by oral tradition that the theory has reached me, and with my own reading it seems to be sufficiently harmonious. i would state that the basic root of both Gk. bibhmi/bibaw and Skt. gaa is the perfective action of 'stepping'. Lat. gigno/ Gk. gi/gnomai do not seem equivocal with regard to the theory. If indeed the most basic meaning of the Skt. root sr- is 'flow' as opposed to a less specific sense, e.g. 'move from A to B slowly', then one could imagine that the intensitive force of the reduplication is analogus to the expansion of Lat. curro to curso (to cursito). I know nothing of Skt. vis, although 'be active' seems an odd semantic root, and it may well be more 'perform an activity (quickly)' uel sim., for which a habitual form would be beneficial? bibharmi et cet. are notoriously difficult, and I have not researched such an irregular verb to see if the notion of perfectivity can be found (e.g. the root meaning 'put something somewhere by carrying').
Reduplicated presents are of course very rare, but the general link between them and -mi verbs along with certain verbs at the perfective end of the aspectual spectrum suggests a link. There is no doubt some fine study in German that we must familiarise ourselves with which deals with the whole phenomenon of reduplicated presents in IE languages. As things stand, I have said all I can on the topic and await my return to the University Library.

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Post by annis » Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:34 pm

I have done some digging.

My literature searches have not been so successful as I might like, but I did discover that there's an entire book on the subject, The Development of Verbal Reduplication in Indo-European (Jies Monograph No. 24), by Mary Niepokuj. I read one reviewer observe that N. makes an interesting observation that the reduplicated present seem to gravitate to stems with a final laryngeal. Perhaps there are prosodic considerations, too.
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Post by yadfothgildloc » Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:39 am

I dug up something that blathered about the vowels used and how it must have been somehow significant in a way we don't understand (note that most presant reduplications use "i" and perfects use "e," etc).

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Post by annis » Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:57 am

yadfothgildloc wrote:I dug up something that blathered about the vowels used and how it must have been somehow significant in a way we don't understand (note that most presant reduplications use "i" and perfects use "e," etc).
Huh. Did the author at least ask if the significance needed to be more than simply "not like the other ones"? No fewer than five separate verbal formations in Vedic use reduplication, and each has separate rules about what the vowel in the reduplicated syllable is, with vocalic r exhibiting the most eccentricity.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by yadfothgildloc » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:55 am

annis wrote:
yadfothgildloc wrote:I dug up something that blathered about the vowels used and how it must have been somehow significant in a way we don't understand (note that most presant reduplications use "i" and perfects use "e," etc).
Huh. Did the author at least ask if the significance needed to be more than simply "not like the other ones"? No fewer than five separate verbal formations in Vedic use reduplication, and each has separate rules about what the vowel in the reduplicated syllable is, with vocalic r exhibiting the most eccentricity.
I don't recall. The book quoted was a comparative grammar of Greek and Latin, which referenced Sanskrit often. Much to my distaste, I don't own it.

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