The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

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Dante
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The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Dante » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:45 pm

This is supposedly coming out in a month or two. Any scuttlebutt?

http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/su ... ical-greek

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by mwh » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:18 am

“theoretically neutral.” Hmm.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Scribo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:25 am

A friend of mine has an advance copy. From what (little) I've seen, I can't really form an opinion. I can't see it replacing the usual suspects amongst budding classicists, however.
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Hylander » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:48 pm

At about 2 1/2 times the price of Smyth and unavailable on line, it's not likely to supplant Smyth.

I suspect (from just looking at the contents) it will present the material better and in a more user-friendly format than Smyth, but will it have the wealth of detail?

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by mwh » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:48 pm

It looks quite promising from the description, and Smyth is overdue for linguistically informed replacement. So fingers crossed. But it’s not well positioned to gain much traction beyond university reference shelves. Besides, it is very Dutch, and Dutch grammarians tend to try my patience.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:16 pm

The authors are into linguistics, but a sample[1] from an earlier publication is lucid and surprisingly devoid of linguistic jargon.

[1] This is a chapter frorm an earlier book by the same authors.
CHAPTER TEN Syntax Evert van Emde Boas and Luuk Huitink
https://www.academia.edu/5769876/Syntax ... age_ch._10_

postscript:
I read Albert Rijksbaron's now classic work on the verb once again last year.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Dante » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:35 am

A paperback version at a somewhat more reasonable price is coming out in a month or two. Judging by the exensive "look inside" preview on Amazon, it seems quite promising:

https://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Gramma ... 8&me=&qid=

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by jeidsath » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:20 am

I was just looking at it yesterday. Going by the section on prepositions, at least, it’s not trying to be any sort of Smyth replacement. I’ve ordered the paperback and will have a closer look at it in May.
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Montcombroux » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:40 pm

I would like to know if the new Cambridge grammar uses the English or the American way of listing the declensions: Nom/Gen/Dat/Acc/Voc versus Nom/Voc/Acc/Gen/Dat
For some this may be a small point but I've memorized the form used in Smyth and have enough problems without more aggravation.
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by wilberfloss » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:48 pm

The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek was published on the 21st of March in England, the review below by Colin Leach appearing on the Classics for All website.

https://classicsforall.org.uk/book-revi ... cal-greek/

CUP (2019) p/b 811pp £29.99 (ISBN 9780521127295)

Why a new Greek Grammar on this formidable scale? In their (helpful) Preface, the editors considered that existing materials ‘did not reflect decades’ worth of advances in the linguistic description of Ancient Greek’; Weir Smyth’s Greek Grammar (1956) appeared before such advances had been possible, and was, in any case, ‘often perceived by undergraduates as daunting and dense’. The target audience is seen as ‘university students at all levels and teachers’. Homeric grammar is excluded, but there is a chapter on Ionic prose and some dialectal features of drama, notably the ‘Doric’ alpha.

Your reviewer has looked at this grammar mainly from the point of view of a regular user, brought up, so to speak, on the grammars of Goodwin and Smyth. Here, I can look at only a tiny number of features of what is, by any standard, a most thoroughgoing offering, in which there is no sense of the ‘denseness’ apparently felt by some students with Smyth: indeed, ‘spaciousness’ would be a fitting word. The editors were understandably seeking to produce an uncluttered text, which entails, for example, a minimum of notes (thus Wackernagel’s Law is introduced—see below—without reference to its appearance in 1892 in Indogermanische Forschungen).

The Contents—25 pages—are divided into three parts: Phonology and Morphology (sections 1-25); Syntax (26-57); and Textual Coherence (58-61). Take the verbs: the authors take 160 pages to cover the basic elements of this vitally important area, using παιδεύειν as the introductory verb, by taking the subject item by item: Basic Categories and Elements; Thematic and Athematic Conjugations; Endings; Augments and Reduplications; the Tenses (one by one) — which occupy 130 pages—and finishing with Principal Parts with Peculiarities (17 are listed) and a Table of 191 relevant verbs. Actually, παιδεύειν is typologically occasionally a little inconvenient, e.g. at the rather lengthy (if hardly common) future passive participle; did the authors feel that λύω had had too long a run? Later, in Syntax, Verbs are looked at again over 250 pages, under Tense and Aspect; Mood; Voice; Impersonal Constructions; Verbal Adjectives; Questions, Directives, Wishes; and a full set of Clauses (Purpose, etc.), followed by the Infinitive, Participle, and several Overviews, including Moods, Negatives, and—surely especially useful— ἄν. It is worth adding that the authors do not use the terms ‘First’ (weak) and ‘Second’ (strong) Aorists: instead, they distinguish between three types of aorist stem: see p.xliii.

How easy is it to find a wanted item? Your reviewer’s sampling encountered no trouble. I tested the aorist middle optative of ἵημι, and found it at once at section 13.52: the authors justly observe that this verb is normally found in a compound form (Smyth alone gives the amusing variant form ἠφίην for the imperfect of ἀφίημι). That old favourite, Conditional Sentences in Oratio Obliqua, is treated rather briefly at 49.27, but with an arrow—a useful feature, very frequently occurring—referring the user to 41.19-22 for an overall section on Subordinate Clauses in Indirect Speech; beginners, however, should assuredly start elsewhere. The indirect reflexive pronouns (neatly handled by Goodwin) at 29.18-19 might have benefited from the provision of more examples, and the division between ‘contrastive’ (accented) and ‘non-contrastive’ (non-accented) forms of σφῶν etc. might have been clearer: incidentally, just how often do ἑ and οὗ appear? Goodwin robustly says ‘never in Attic prose’, but the authors here give a single example of ἑ from Plato.

ἄν appears again in a useful section on Wackernagel’s Law (60.7-12) on the positioning of ἄν and other postpositives, in which the authors rightly point out that ἄν sometimes occurs twice in the same sentence; they give an example from Soph., Electra 333-4, possibly missing a tiny trick: Hippolytus 270, with Barrett’s note, would have been your reviewer’s choice. The authors similarly advert (at 30.17) that, in verse, a preposition is sometimes omitted in cases of ‘Accusative of Direction’, giving Soph. Electra 893 as an example. As noted above, not only do the authors, calling them verbs ‘with Peculiarities’, give us a generous table of 191 of them at 22.8 (the Oxford Grammar gives ‘only’ 101), but some verbs are also given full treatment (εἰμι [sum], εἶμι [ibo], φημί, οἶδα): and overall the treatment of verbs is impeccably detailed and thoroughgoing (the reviewer sympathised with the authors as they explained ‘counterfactuals’ at 34.16, Notes 1-3: notes such as these appear throughout the book, in small type). There is a most useful section (24) of 16 pages on accentuation, which will not be scorned even by those with access to Probert (2003).

The third part, Textual Coherence, starts with a six page introduction, in which the authors set out what they are aiming at, even if much of what they say, couched in rather off-putting language (e.g. ‘Relations between Text Segments; Hierarchy; Interactional Relations’), should really not be needed by users who are competent in English. There are sections on Particles, with examples from Greek authors and commentary; this is followed by Particle Combinations, again well-exampled. Word Order comes next, with multiple examples; this is, though, a complex subject and ideally needs extended treatment. Finally, four long sample passages, from Lysias, Xenophon, Plato, and Sophocles are given, with translation and commentary in each case: this section might perhaps be most useful to a lecturer giving a class on Greek sentence structure or the like. The Grammar is completed by a not excessive Bibliography; an eight page Index of Examples; an index of Subjects; and an Index of Greek Words.

The sheer bulk of this Grammar may prove a deterrent to others than scholars or serious students, despite its highly competitive price; only the test of time will show how quickly it takes over—as it surely will—from Smyth as the Grammar of choice. The editors, over a long period, have worked painstakingly to bring this imposing Grammar to fruition: they deserve our thanks and congratulations.

Colin Leach.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:01 pm

One shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but oh my that's horrible! It reminds me of all those generic covers you see for print-on-demand books.

But I'm still anxious to get to read that book and might even get a copy, especially as it's not that expensive after all. I've read book on Greek verbs by one of the authors, Rijksbaron, and I learnt quite a bit from it. (Even if he refuses to use the word "action" when talking about verb usage and replaces it by the monster "state of affairs").

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by jeidsath » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:07 am

I have my copy!
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Callisper » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:18 am

jeidsath wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:07 am
I have my copy!
Any chance we could have a look at a couple of well-chosen pages?

I have been eager to look at this quite literally since I began studying Greek (the release date kept getting pushed back).

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:54 am

It's much smaller than Kuhner Blass by what it appears, 813 pages in Toto, right?
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by jeidsath » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:19 am

@Callisper, there's a very good preview on Amazon, if that's available to you.

@Constantinus, yes. And those are pages with a great deal of wasted space. It's no replacement for Kühner, or even Smyth, as a reference grammar. And it's far flabbier than Morwood as a reading grammar. However, it looks well suited to academic use. Some of the chapters are obviously very classroom orientated -- such as the otherwise strange inclusion of the four practice passages at the end, which are not exactly heavily referenced to the rest of the text.

In my quick perusal, the preposition chapter remains a disappointment. I don't think that there is any discussion of preposition-verb composition anywhere in the text, and certainly not in that flimsy chapter. The word order chapter introduces some important concepts, but as you read you realize that it's not grounded enough to belong in a grammar.

The pronunciation chapter is unabashedly in the Vox Graeca camp. Aspirate rather than fricative pronunciations of θ/φ/χ! It's a breath of fresh air (sorry for the pun) and well done throughout.

The verb chapters seem impressive, as you might suspect, but I'll need to read them closely.

They mention it in the introduction, and it's not untrue, that the chapters are meant to be read through, rather than picked at, like you (I) might do with Smyth or Kühner. I think that this is likely a serious advantage.

Some of the new terminology is probably unnecessary. It made me think of someone who gives up his wife of years for a newer model, only she turns out to be a bit of a ditz. He (sort of) defines "head" in noun phrases as the simple substantive, and the article as a "modifier", only to seemingly contradict himself in the word order chapter and refer to both together as the "head."

More later.
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by wilberfloss » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:39 pm

Just by the by, a forthcoming edition of Book III of Xenophon’s Anabasis, in the Cambridge 'green and yellow series', will have a commentary keyed to this Grammar.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by mwh » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:12 pm

Many copies of the grammar have been distributed, unsolicited and gratis, to classicists in the US, and perhaps in the UK and elsewhere too. (Not, of course, to their students.) So I was wrong to say it’s not well positioned to gain much traction. Cambridge is really keen to establish this as the standard reference grammar for ancient Greek.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed May 01, 2019 1:46 am

Please tell us how it looks compared to Smyth and do you recommend buying it for about 40 can$ (that's it's price in Montreal).
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu May 16, 2019 2:04 pm

N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Kurama » Fri May 17, 2019 3:03 am

The Kindle version is fairly cheap ($17) and it is an exact copy of the print book, so it seems like a very good offer.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by SamParkinson » Sat May 18, 2019 7:25 am

Kurama wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:03 am
The Kindle version is fairly cheap ($17) and it is an exact copy of the print book, so it seems like a very good offer.
Having just downloaded the sample, it doesn't seem to be proper reflowable Kindle text - rather, page images. They are pretty clear, but that's still not ideal fit big pages.
Can anyone with the full Kindle edition verify whether it's a proper Kindle edition or page images ask the way through?

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by seneca2008 » Thu May 23, 2019 9:51 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:04 pm
A review by Mike Aubrey:

https://koine-greek.com/2019/05/12/camb ... ptQxkLC0lI
Can you explain the following in the review you cited. “A minority of NT scholars and students will likely be disappointed to find that the authors take the position that tense is grammaticalized in the indicative mood, but of course grammarians and linguists of Classical Greek have wholly rejected the idea of a tenseless verb for the language on empirical ground.”

Thanks!

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri May 24, 2019 2:14 am

This article seems a good place to start:

https://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2014 ... ence-pt-1/
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Rvdalex » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:38 pm

I was trying to respond directly to Paul, but I just have a quick question. Is the book about the Greek verb by Rijksbaron called The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek?

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Hylander » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:45 pm

Is the book about the Greek verb by Rijksbaron called The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek?
Yes.

https://www.amazon.com/Syntax-Semantics ... 143&sr=8-1

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Hylander » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:47 pm

of course grammarians and linguists of Classical Greek have wholly rejected the idea of a tenseless verb for the language on empirical ground.
????

This explains it:
Though I have only sporadically studied Koine (NT) Greek (informally, and not systematically – not something to be recommended), . . .
It's also noteworthy that these reviewers are focused largely on the small sample of ancient Greek texts lumped together under the rubric of "New Testament Greek."

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:55 pm

Hylander wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:47 pm
of course grammarians and linguists of Classical Greek have wholly rejected the idea of a tenseless verb for the language on empirical ground.
????
Exactly the right reaction. My first reaction on hearing this theory was "Have these people actually read any Greek?"
Last edited by Barry Hofstetter on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:56 pm

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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:09 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:51 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:04 pm
A review by Mike Aubrey:

https://koine-greek.com/2019/05/12/camb ... ptQxkLC0lI
Can you explain the following in the review you cited. “A minority of NT scholars and students will likely be disappointed to find that the authors take the position that tense is grammaticalized in the indicative mood, but of course grammarians and linguists of Classical Greek have wholly rejected the idea of a tenseless verb for the language on empirical ground.”

Thanks!
I don't think the writer deserves to be defended, but apparently, if I understand correctly, he is trying to make the following point: In all other moods except the indicative, the distinction between the different tenses is only aspectual, but in the indicative, the distinction is temporal as well as aspectual, although, according to him, there is apparently "a minority of NT scholars" who deny this and think that the distinction is solely aspectual in the indicative mood as well (oh how much I'd like to meet them!). Of course, the way the writer expresses this makes complete nonsense out of it.

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Re: The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek

Post by seneca2008 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:21 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:I don't think the writer deserves to be defended, but apparently, if I understand correctly, he is trying to make the following point: In all other moods except the active, the distinction between different tenses is only aspectual, but in the indicative, the distinction is temporal as well as aspectual, although, according to him, there is apparently "a minority of NT scholars" who deny this and think that the distinction is solely aspectual in the indicative mood as well (oh how much I'd like to meet them!).
Thanks for this and the other replies to my question. I did read the reference provided by Barry but concluded it was not really mainstream classical scholarship and not worth pursuing. No wonder I had not come across it before.

I have yet to read a decent review of CGCG but I find it easier to use than Smyth and the explanations clearer.

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