Velar with Strong Aorist?

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Post Reply
Lukas
Textkit Fan
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:04 pm

Velar with Strong Aorist?

Post by Lukas » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:54 pm

I am beginning the exercises with Unit 19 of Introduction to Attic Greek.
Page 156 states that a stem ending with a velar in a weak (sigma) aorist changes a velar plosive to a ξ.
It did not mention the strong aorist, so I guess a velar stays as is with a strong aorist? I do not see a sigma being added to a strong aorist either, but I wanted to make sure.
Λουκᾶς

Menoeceus
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:04 pm

Re: Velar with Strong Aorist?

Post by Menoeceus » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:08 am

In general, a weak aorist is one marked by a sigma after the stem; a strong aorist is one that is marked in other ways. (The two types of aorist also have different sets of endings.)

When a sigma is added to a velar (one of κ χ γ), the resulting sounds are written with a xi (ξ = κσ). Similarly, a labial (one of π φ β), plus a sigma is written with psi (ψ = πσ). Since no sigma is added to the stem of a strong aorist, the final consonant of the stem normally doesn't change.


I wrote the above and then realized it's misleading. Here's hopefully a better explanation:

"Weak" aorists (in the active indicative) are formed by taking the present stem, adding the augment, adding a -σ-, and then adding the weak aorist endings (-α, -ας, etc.). If the present stem ends in a velar, (one of κ χ γ), instead of -κσ- etc., ξ is written. This is done because xi represents that sequence of sounds: a voiceless velar stop followed by an s-sound. Similar things happen when the present stem ends in other types of consonants: a final dental disappears, a final labial plus sigma is written as ψ, and the so-called "liquid" aorists show compensatory lengthening.

"Strong" aorist (again only talking about the active indicative) are formed by taking a stem different from the present stem, adding the augment, and then adding the strong aorist endings (which are the same as the imperfect endings). Since no sigma is added in this process, there's no reason to write a letter that represents the s-sound. For instance, the verb λαμβάνω (present stem -λαμβαν-) has the strong aorist ἔλαβον (aorist stem -λαβ-); there's a different stem for the aorist, and no sigma is added, so we don't write a psi.

User avatar
seneca2008
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 795
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:48 pm
Location: Londinium

Re: Velar with Strong Aorist?

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:55 am

Lukas wrote:Page 156 states that a stem ending with a velar in a weak (sigma) aorist changes a velar plosive to a ξ.
It did not mention the strong aorist, so I guess a velar stays as is with a strong aorist? I do not see a sigma being added to a strong aorist either, but I wanted to make sure.
Take this one step at a time. The remarks on p.156 are part of b. starting on the previous page and apply to the weak aorist only. It's the addition of a "σ" that causes the spelling change.

The strong aorist does not add a "σ" so there is no question of a spelling change on that account. As M. says at the bottom of page 156. "The strong aorist indicative is formed by adding syllabic or temporal augment to the front of the aorist stem and adding theme vowel ο/ε and secondary personal end- ings at the end of the stem. The combinations of theme vowel plus personal endings are thus exactly the same as those found in the imperfect indicative, but the tense stem differs."

Post Reply