Unemphatic v. Emphatic

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Lukas
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Unemphatic v. Emphatic

Post by Lukas » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:55 am

I am beginning Unit 21 of Introduction to Attic Greek and am having trouble understanding what it means when a pronoun is emphatic or unemphatic. There is a chart on page 176 which gives the 1st and second person of personal pronouns. For example the genitive first person ἐμοῦ emphatic and μου unemphatic. What does each mean when one is emphatic and the other unemphatic?
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seneca2008
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Re: Unemphatic v. Emphatic

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:42 am

Lukas if you look at the examples under the chart I think the distinction will become clearer.

"The singular unemphatic forms (oblique cases only) are enclitic, and these are in fact the forms more commonly used. Unemphatic pronouns tend to come second in their clause or phrase. The nominative forms (sing. and plural) are used only when the subject is emphatic; otherwise the personal ending of the verb suffices.
  • τί μοι λέξεις; What will you say to me?

    τὸν μὲν πατέρα μου ἐπῄνεσας, ἐμὲ δ’ οὔ. You praised my father, but not me

    ἐγὼ τὸν ποιητὴν ἐπαινῶ, ὑμεῖς δὲ τὸν ῥήτορα. I praise the poet; you praise the orator.

In the first sentence μοι is unemphatic. Also, the second person "λέξεις" is unemphatic. So there is no particular stress on either the person being addressed (me) or the person speaking (you). If you look on p 47 you will see that when the pronoun subject is expressed, it is emphatic, when it isn't it's unemphatic. So

λέγω I say
ἐγὼ λέγω I say

In the second sentence the use of the emphatic "ἐμὲ" introduces a contrast between the treatment of the father and the son, thus one can imagine some implication of unfairness or other discrimination in treatment between the two.

In the third sentence we have two emphatic uses of pronouns. So the contrast here is between the one who praises the poet and the other who who praises the orator. In the second sentence the emphasis is on the objects of the verb in this third sentence the emphasis is placed on the subjects of the verb.

Lukas
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Re: Unemphatic v. Emphatic

Post by Lukas » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:05 pm

OK, so it sounds like emphasis. Perhaps it is similar to italics in English?

I went to the store -- unemphatic.

I went to the store -- emphatic
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Unemphatic v. Emphatic

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:21 pm

Lukas wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:05 pm
OK, so it sounds like emphasis. Perhaps it is similar to italics in English?

I went to the store -- unemphatic.

I went to the store -- emphatic
Actually, not so much. Usually it has to do with some sort of of contrast, an "unexpected" shift in subject or object, or the like, and when the pronoun is the object of a preposition. In your example above, the second would probably be expressed with the intensive αὐτος, ἐγὼ αὐτὸς εἰς τὸ ἐμπόριον ἦλθον.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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seneca2008
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Re: Unemphatic v. Emphatic

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:28 pm

Lukas wrote:OK, so it sounds like emphasis. Perhaps it is similar to italics in English?
The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek 29.1 uses the terms "contrastive" and "non-contrastive" as an alternative to the traditional "emphatic" and "unemphatic".

"29.4 For the first- and second-person personal pronouns, the following rules apply:

-When describing the subject: the nominative forms of the personal pronouns (ἐγώ, ἡμεῖς; σύ, ὑμεῖς)are mostly used when some form of (contrastive)emphasis is placed on the subject -i.e. to distinguish it from a different subject, to clarify the identity of the subject, to emphasize responsibility, etc. When no (contrastive) emphasis is needed, the personal endings of the verb form suffice:

- The oblique cases of accented pronouns are used in cases of (contrastive) emphasis, and after prepositions. The unaccented pronouns are used when there is no specific emphasis on the pronoun:"

I hope this supplements the material you have and doesn't confuse you.

I understand "emphasis" as necessarily implying "a contrast" and that could be realised in English using italics. The problem with all the exercises you are doing is that the sentences are largely shorn of any context which would make the meaning clearer.

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Re: Unemphatic v. Emphatic

Post by Lukas » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:06 am

Εὐχαριστῶ!

Contrastive and non-contrastive makes more sense.
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