Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

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Aetos
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Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by Aetos »

I've been working through Dickey, albeit at a glacial pace, due mostly to my approach to the book. Rather than doing just the sentences that I have an answer key for, I've been doing the sentences for which I don't have answers, so as to identify areas requiring more work. I use the questions covered in the answer key as a means of quizzing myself to ensure I'm ready to move on. Most of the time, I'm able to resolve my questions by going to Smyth or the CGCG, but occasionally I just can't find the information. This is one of those times. Here's my sentence:
Sentences, Chapter 9 (Pronouns):

20. My son and my brother are both generals; the former marches with his soldiers himself, and the latter does not.

υἱὸς καὶ ἀδελφὸς ἀμφότεροι στρατηγεῖτον· ἐκεῖνος μὲν ἔχων τοὺς στρατιώτας αὐτὸς πορεύεται, οὗτος δ’ οὔ.

I have three questions:
1. According to Smyth 1140, appellatives indicating relationships may omit the article, so can I safely omit the articles here? By omitting the article, would this indicate that a relationship exists, hence no need for a possessive pronoun?
2. If the article were required and there didn't appear to be any emphasis on possession, would I need to add the possessive pronoun to each subject?
3. I'm not sure how best to phrase the second half. I've placed the intensive next to the verb so as to prevent the intensive from being taken with ἔχων.

Thanks in advance to all who can help!

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jeidsath
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Re: Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by jeidsath »

@phalakros is back recently, happily
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

phalakros
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Re: Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by phalakros »

Better to use the definite article here. That section of Smyth doesn’t really apply—contrast the Andocides example with this sentence (there it’s referring to the relationships more than any specific individuals). A possessive (ἐμός, μοι, μου, possibly emphatic ἐμοῦ) could also be added—it depends on the (imagined) context, whether it’s obvious who the possessor is.

If you do use a possessive, it’s normal to add it only to one member of a coordinated pair, e.g.:

στρατηγοί εἰσιν ὅ θ’ υἱός μου καὶ ὁ ἀδελφός…

Repeated possessive pronouns are avoided in Attic (but are characteristic of Post-Classical Greek of the mid- and low-registers).

The second part looks good to me. Also idiomatic could be to use καὶ αὐτός, emphasizing that the son goes in person, unlike the brother (e.g. ἐκεῖνος μὲν τοὺς στρατιώτας ἄγων πορεύεται καὶ αὐτός, οὗτος δ’ οὔ).

Not so relevant to this sentence, but in general there’s some nuance to the use of definite articles in noun pairs that it's worth looking for as you read. For example, when the pair refers to a single unit, the article is sometimes added before only the first item: e.g. οἱ νόμοι κελεύουσι μὴ τὸν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα ἀποκτεῖναι. There’s a memorable example in the first sentence of Thucydides. The same thing often happens with prepositions: περὶ τὰς αὑτῶν ψυχὰς καὶ σώματα τοὺς λόγους ποιήσονται [instead of περὶ τὰς αὑτῶν ψυχὰς καὶ περὶ τὰ αὑτῶν σώματα, similar to English]. Further from English idiom, it can also be added before only the second item: Ἱλιὰς καὶ Ὀδύσσεια.

Happy to be back around Textkit for a bit!

Aetos
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Re: Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by Aetos »

Και πάλι καλοσώρισες, Φαλακρέ!

Concerning the Andocides example in Smyth, I believe I see the distinction: family members (as opposed to strangers) are coming to him, whereas in Dickey's sentence the main theme is the contrasting behavior of two individuals, who happen to be related to the speaker.

Thank you for the guidance on the placement of the possessive. Given the tendency to compact expression in Attic, I suspected it would be unusual to find repetition of the possessive. I noticed in your suggested version that you used the copulative plus a predicate noun, which led me to wonder why not use the verb στρατηγέω? I believe the answer is that the verb would only be used if its complement were mentioned, e.g. στρατηγεῖ τῶν Ἑλλήνων.

Thanks for the suggestions on the second half. I can see how καί would help highlight the contrast.

Thanks also for pointing out the subtle difference in meaning by placing the article before the first or second item of a noun pair. If I understand correctly, In the first example, ... τὸν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα... , the single unit would be "parent". In Thuc. "τῶν Πελοποννησίων καὶ Ἀθηναίων" it would be perhaps "Greeks".

Again, Phalakre, it's very good to have you back, even if for a little while. I know the fall semester is about to begin and you'll be quite busy, so thanks spending some of your free time with us.

phalakros
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Re: Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by phalakros »

Thanks, Aetos! στρατηγοῦσιν/στρατηγεῖτον would be fine as well; I was just giving another variation. You’re exactly right on the rest.

How have you found Dickey so far?

Aetos
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Re: Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by Aetos »

phalakros wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:18 pm How have you found Dickey so far?
Well, since you asked...

Thoughts on Dickey:

Level of experience: Although it's advertised as "requiring no previous background except some reading knowledge of Greek", I believe that at a minimum, a substantial portion of the Anabasis and or the Hellenica or some comparable author should be digested to at least be exposed to most of the usual constructions. As to morphology, she appears to assume a minimal knowledge of the paradigms and has the student memorise them as part of the required learning material prior to starting each new chapter. Of course, all exercises only utilise vocabulary and forms learnt up to the current lesson. As in most areas of study, the more one knows prior to starting this book the more quickly he or she will be able to complete it. She mentions that the memorisation workload allows for the book to be completed in one semester. That's probably realistic for a 3rd or 4th year student enrolled in a formal program. In my case, I'm trying to find and fill in all the divets on the 18 hole golf course of Greek morphology!

Degree of Difficulty: Again, prior experience helps as well as attention to detail. Every single sentence in that book is there for a reason and I am reminded of that every time I work through an exercise. Probably the most significant personal hurdle has been learning the principal parts of irregular verbs. I'm building an Anki deck to drill myself and do not consider the verb learnt until I can reproduce correctly each principal part, present or missing( this is where your strategy of substituting οὐδέν for a missing part comes in!), for each verb. I've spent a lot of time in Smyth's list of irregular verbs trying to understand the possible reasons for a given form and doing this helps to some extent. It has always been my belief that most things can be learnt, given enough time and effort and Dickey's book is no exception.

Expectations: I have a number of reasons for studying Dickey's book, first of which is to become a better reader and pursuant to that, to be able to tackle more difficult authors, such as Thucydides, the playwrights and Plato. The second and equally important reason for studying Dickey is to ensure that I have no glaring holes in my knowledge of grammar and syntax. I don't have any aspirations to writing anything serious in Attic, but at least I'll be able to help others with their exercises. Now at the half way mark, I can see an improvement in my ability to construct sentences. I'm finding it progressively easier to analyse sentences. I'm reading Lucian easily and can comfortably read Xenophon's Cyropaedeia.

So, I'm quite satisfied with Dickey's textbook. If you're thinking of using it in a classroom situation, I can think of several uses to which it could be effectively applied. It obviously could serve as a primary textbook for a semester course on composition for advanced students, or it could provide supplementary exercises for intermediate students of syntax. I think it would also be valuable as a handy reference at all but the introductory levels. When it comes to reference works, I think of Smyth as similar to that ponderous tome we carried in aircraft called the "operations manual". It was full of performance charts and graphs, systems descriptions, amplified normal and emergency operating procedures, and if you picked any number between 0 to 44000, there was probably a operating limitation in there to match it. Dickey on the other hand, is like the pilot's flight manual. It's much slimmer, well organised and contains just what you need to know to get through the day.

phalakros
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Re: Dickey's Prose Comp, Chap. 9

Post by phalakros »

@Aetos

Thank you! It’s really helpful to hear about your experience. For autodidacts, I think one of the benefits of Dickey’s book is her reliable answer key (even if just for a portion of the exercises). Most of the old standards, especially North & Hillard, have many errors in the answer keys, which students at that level can’t be expected to detect. I haven’t gone through her answers in great detail, but they seem more carefully written.

I’m thinking of trying it as a supplementary text in a reading/literature course for college students with at least 4 semesters of Greek. Our main focus will be reading and discussing a few Greek texts, but I’d like to also incorporate grammar review (which I’ve found rarely included in courses beyond the 3rd semester, though most students would really benefit from it). Ideally, I could assign the chapter vocabulary, morphology, and some easy sentences in the style of Dickey’s preliminary exercises. I doubt there would be time to assign the chapter exercises—it’s not a composition course. One change I might make is to move δίδωμι, ἵστημι, ἵημι, and τίθημι up to the vocab for the first few chapters. That way, they would have the rest of the semester to review, constantly produce, and internalize them.

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