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Pharr section 150 line 7

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:05 am
by Bert
I don't understand the form [face=SPIonic]h)ge/ronto[/face]. I am quite certain it is from [face=SPIonic]a)gei/rw[/face] and that it is 3rd person plural middle or passive but I don't know if it is aorist or imperfect. The aorist form is given as having and Epsilon and an Iota, and the imperfect is (usually ?) build on the present tense stem, so that means again with an Epsilon and a Iota. Is this a unusual form or am I going stir-crazy?

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:54 am
by annis
Pharr has played a naughty trick, or at least has omitted important information here.

For mysterious reasons the middle aorist reduces the stem [face=spionic]-ei-[/face] to [face=spionic]-e-[/face]. Only consulting a Homeric dictionary makes this clear. Homer subjects poor [face=spionic]a)gei/rw[/face] to many stem changes, including an aorist participle in [face=spionic]a)gro/menoj[/face].

But you are correct to note that the imperfect is built on the present stem.

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 5:26 am
by Paul

This is a bit off topic. But as I've been dallying in morphology, here's a brief morphological aside on the word [face=SPIonic]a)gei/rw[/face]: it seems to derive from the non-attested root [face=SPIonic]a)ge/r-iw[/face] (here read the iota as consonantal). In Attic-Ionic the combination rho + consonantal i causes loss of the i with lengthening of the preceding vowel. This gives rise to the 'e-grade' ablaut form [face=SPIonic]a)gei/rw[/face]. The same root, losing its epsilon, yields the 'zero grade' ablaut form [face=SPIonic]a)gro/menoj[/face].