Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr - Lesson XXIII, vocabulary, *εἴκω (ϝεικ-, ϝοικ-, ϝικ-), εἴξω*, ἔοικα

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Vasile Stancu
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Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr - Lesson XXIII, vocabulary, *εἴκω (ϝεικ-, ϝοικ-, ϝικ-), εἴξω*, ἔοικα

Post by Vasile Stancu »

I am not sure how to judge this vocabulary entry: on the one hand, the basic form *εἴκω appears to be not unattested with Homer, e.g. εἶκε (Il. 5.248), εἴκετε (Il. 5.606), εἴκων (Od. 13.143), but the meaning is different from the vocabulary definition.
On the other hand, the form found in the text related to this lesson (v. 47, ἐοικώς) seems to be not derived from εἴκω.
Could somebody please confirm...

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bcrowell
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Re: Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr - Lesson XXIII, vocabulary, *εἴκω (ϝεικ-, ϝοικ-, ϝικ-), εἴξω*, ἔοικα

Post by bcrowell »

Different authors present this in different ways, e.g., Cunliffe gives two different lemmas, εἴκω-1 and εἴκω-2, while Project Perseus also treats them as two different lemmas, but calls them εἴκω and ἔοικα. Pharr seems to be a "lumper" rather than a "splitter."

Etymologically, Beekes basically discusses them as etymologically separate words, from PIE ueig (yield) and ueik (resemble). He does discuss a possible etymological link between them, but the link, if any, seems tenuous and probably only of interest if you enjoy the etymology stuff for its own sake. If all you care about is reading Homer, then I'd suggest just filing the two verbs (one common, one rare) separately in your memory banks. BTW, I hadn't realized until today that ἔοικα is cognate with "icon," which is a great mnemonic.

In Iliad 5.348 (not 248), the meaning is "yield."

There is a general thing where Greek uses the perfect for verbs that describe mental state, such as μέμνημαι and οἶδα. I don't know if that applies here. Some verbs, such as ἴστημι and its compounds, use the perfect to distinguish the intransitive from the transitive, and Beekes refers to ἔοικα as an "old intransitive perfect." Note that it takes the dative, not the accusative as you'd expect from English.

This is just my guess, but I would imagine that in PIE, you would have had some verb like ueik, which would have a present and a perfect. The present would mean "came to resemble," as in, "Over the years, he came to resemble his poodle." The perfect would mean "He resembled his poodle." In PIE, the perfect/present distinction was probably purely about whether to focus on the process or on the result. The perfect wasn't a "flashback" or "pre-completion" tense as in English at all. So the thing is, how often do you need to say "came to resemble?" So I'm guessing that that's why the verb ended up as a deponent -- the present just wasn't something people frequently wanted to say, so it ended up going extinct.
Ben Crowell, Fullerton, California
an innovative, free, and open-source presentation of Homer: https://bcrowell.github.io/ransom/

Vasile Stancu
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Re: Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr - Lesson XXIII, vocabulary, *εἴκω (ϝεικ-, ϝοικ-, ϝικ-), εἴξω*, ἔοικα

Post by Vasile Stancu »

Thank you, Ben; your comments are indeed useful and interesting.

If it were just for my own reading of Homer, I wouldn't bother too much: I would pick the best of the meanings in that particular context and that would be it. But I am actually translating Pharr's manual into Romanian and uploading it to my website. My concern is to be as rigorous/clear as possible for the benefit of the would be reader of the material.

When I checked my Romanian dictionary for this lemma, I noticed that the meaning was different from the vocabulary definition and from the meaning in the Homeric text (Il. 1.47). Of course, I understood from the notation that *εἴκω is not attested (which it appears to be not true), and εἴξω* is only attic. Then I checked for a separate entry for ἔοικα in the dictionary and things began to clarify. But since this latter form is a perfect, one would expect - if its origin were εἴκω - to be found defined as such under the lemma of εἴκω, which is not the case.

Given the above, I will keep only the form ἔοικα in the vocabulary of my translation.

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bcrowell
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Re: Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr - Lesson XXIII, vocabulary, *εἴκω (ϝεικ-, ϝοικ-, ϝικ-), εἴξω*, ἔοικα

Post by bcrowell »

Vasile Stancu wrote: Sun Mar 20, 2022 5:29 am If it were just for my own reading of Homer, I wouldn't bother too much: I would pick the best of the meanings in that particular context and that would be it. But I am actually translating Pharr's manual into Romanian and uploading it to my website. My concern is to be as rigorous/clear as possible for the benefit of the would be reader of the material.
That sounds like a really cool project. I don't think I'd realized until now that the first edition of Pharr was in the public domain. Is your work going to be under an open-source license?
Vasile Stancu wrote: Sun Mar 20, 2022 5:29 am When I checked my Romanian dictionary for this lemma, I noticed that the meaning was different from the vocabulary definition and from the meaning in the Homeric text (Il. 1.47). Of course, I understood from the notation that *εἴκω is not attested (which it appears to be not true), and εἴξω* is only attic. Then I checked for a separate entry for ἔοικα in the dictionary and things began to clarify. But since this latter form is a perfect, one would expect - if its origin were εἴκω - to be found defined as such under the lemma of εἴκω, which is not the case.
Yeah, that whole issue is kind of awkward. In the presentation of the Iliad that I'm working on, I'm using the Project Perseus treebank, which lemmatizes every word according to its Attic lemma. So each time I add a new lemma to my database of English glosses, I have to check whether to put in a Homeric version, which is the one that my software will actually put on the page. Usually those are just trivial differences like χήρα / χήρη. But sometimes the most appropriate lemma for a verb in the Homeric dialect is a different tense or voice from the most appropriate one in Attic. οἴομαι / οΐω, ἀποφθίνω / ἀποφθίμαι, ἄω / ἆσαι. Sometimes it's hard to judge what to use.

Any time you want a second opinion on this sort of thing, you can look at Cunliffe, which is available in plain text form for easy searching: https://ia801600.us.archive.org/16/item ... liffe.html . Cunliffe is more of a splitter, compared to Pharr who is more of a lumper.
Ben Crowell, Fullerton, California
an innovative, free, and open-source presentation of Homer: https://bcrowell.github.io/ransom/

Vasile Stancu
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Re: Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr - Lesson XXIII, vocabulary, *εἴκω (ϝεικ-, ϝοικ-, ϝικ-), εἴξω*, ἔοικα

Post by Vasile Stancu »

bcrowell wrote: Sun Mar 20, 2022 4:13 pm
Is your work going to be under an open-source license?
I claim nothing for this work of mine; it is my pleasure to contribute to encouraging people to study Ancient Greek. Anybody can use this project in any way or form with no limitations.
bcrowell wrote: Sun Mar 20, 2022 4:13 pm
Sometimes it's hard to judge what to use.
This aspect also troubled me for some time. At first, I thought I should simply translate into Romanian the definitions given by Pharr in the vocabularies. As the manual is designed for beginners, and the lexicons tend to be extensive, I thought that I should keep it as simple as possible. I changed my mind however because a "second hand" translation may introduce some discrepancies, etc. I now take the complete definitions from the Romanian dictionary, but only those definitions that are accompanied by references from Homer. Then I check that the minimum array of meanings I am giving cover the meanings given by Pharr.

A very good Greek-Romanian dictionary is now under making; the first five volumes are only available at this moment (alpha through iota). For the other letters, I am using an old dictionary published in 1864.

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