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Help with morphological question

Posted: November 20th, 2019, 11:06 am
by Mr. Bradley

As I was taking my class through a translation of John 7:2 this week we came upon a form for which I can't explain the morphology. The word is metabuqi from metabainw. It's a 2nd Singular Aor Act Imperative. However, this ending for the imperative only occurs, best I can tell, with athematic verbs, which metabainw is not. The result is that my students are unable to identify and parse the verb, though they know this verb's lexical form and have learned their imperative paradigms. Any help?

And I'm still trying to figure out how to include Greek in my posts, so I apologize if the Greek didn't come through properly above. I'll keep trying until I get it right.


Re: Help with morphological question

Posted: November 20th, 2019, 12:23 pm
by Barry Hofstetter
John 7:3, actually: εἶπον οὖν πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ, Μετάβηθι ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν...

Here is a reference for βαίνω: ... verbpdgm49

The aorist stem of βαίνω and its various relations is simply βη- and it's to that stem you attach your endings. Why -θι? Well, because Greek, and Greek doesn't always behave the way you want. :lol:

A good review of imperatives:

The author comments:

An archaic imperative ending for the 2nd person singular active was –θι, which by the Classical period survived in only a few instances (S 466a):

στῆθι (aorist < ἵστημι)
φάθι or φαθί (present < φημί)
γνῶθι σεαυτόν (aorist < γιγνώσκω)
Know thyself!
ἴθι (present < εἶμι, go)
ἴσθι (present < εἰμί and perfect < οἶδα)
Be…! or Know!
The rare aorist passive/intransitive imperative uses –θι.

λυ + θη + θι = λύθητι. (< λύω)
Be free!
For typing Greek, if you are using a Mac or PC, simply look up the instructions for adding a keyboard, and add polytonic Greek, ανδ θεν γοοδ το γο...

Re: Help with morphological question

Posted: November 20th, 2019, 5:44 pm
by Mr. Bradley

I actually had polytonic Greek installed on my Mac and didn't even think of it.

As for μεταβαινω, I understood all of that except why that ending is used. You've pointed out that there may not be clear morphological reason for it, which is helpful!

Thanks again for the help!