## Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Alan Bunning
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### Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5? It seems that in every example I can find in the New Testament, the stem of the perfect middle (fifth principal part) is the same as the stem as the aorist passive (sixth principal part). Obviously, augmentation/reduplication/lengthening of the stem make these two principal parts appear differently in the listing, but they seem to follow the normal rules applied to the same stem. Can anyone give me examples where the stems of the fifth and sixth principal parts are different? Thanks.
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Stephen Carlson
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

For γράφω, the perfect middle is γέγραμμαι, while the aorist passive is ἐγράφην. I don't know what you mean by "different" but the stems end with different consonants.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Mark Lightman
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Alan Bunning wrote:Can anyone give me examples where the stems of the fifth and sixth principal parts are different? Thanks.
Χριστός, τὸ πάσχα ἡμῶν, ἐτύθη δή. νῦν δὲ τεθυμένος ἐστίν. χαίρω οὖν.
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Mark Lightman wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:Can anyone give me examples where the stems of the fifth and sixth principal parts are different? Thanks.
Χριστός, τὸ πάσχα ἡμῶν, ἐτύθη δή. νῦν δὲ τεθυμένος ἐστίν. χαίρω οὖν.
Just a bit of a quibble here -- I'd prefer to speak of the root of a verb as the element that is common to all conjugational forms of a verb, however the phonology of that root may be affected by adjacent factors, while I'd refer to the stem as the element that is common to all conjugational forms of the root constructed upon that unit, i.e. all aorist passives or all perfect middle-passives. The stems of these two forms are different: aorist passive -τυθη- (derived from -θυθη- by dissimilation of aspirates), pf. middle-passive -τεθυ- (reduplicated form of the root -θυ-). I think we'd have to say that the root of these two forms is the same: -θυ- (even though the root appears phonetically altered by collocation with the "passive" marker -θη-). Therefore I'd rewrite Mark's example sentence thus:

Χριστός, τὸ πάσχα ἡμῶν, ἐτύθη δή. νῦν δὲ τεθυμένος ἐστίν. χαίρω οὖν.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

cwconrad wrote:Just a bit of a quibble here ...
While the quibble is is something that we can consider from this side of the formulation of Grassmann's law. The system of principal parts is a blunt instrument applied to language in such rude way as to make quibbling unnecessary. At the time the language was spoken, speakers (and learners) would just have known that the forms of the six principal parts were what they were and they were used as they stood without explanation or choice.

There are three forms of the verb in English, and we use them without wondering too often or too much why. There are a few oddities like die -> dying, and the similar forms of lie (intransitive) and lay (transitive) which seem to coincide (and hence confuse), but they are learnt by rote or use.

The six principal parts exist in all dialects of Greek - they are different in different dialects, but usually similar of course.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Alan Bunning
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Stephen Carlson wrote:For γράφω, the perfect middle is γέγραμμαι, while the aorist passive is ἐγράφην. I don't know what you mean by "different" but the stems end with different consonants.
I tried to post a reply, but it apparently did not go through so here is a second try:

I probably should have tried to be clearer in my initial post by what I mean by a “stem” (or Carl Conrad may refer to as a “root”). In the example you give with γράφω, the stem γράφ is the same in both cases. In the 5th principal part, the stem γράφ has been redupulicated and the normal contraction of φ + μ produces μμ. In the 6th principal part, the stem γράφ has been augmented and the 2nd ending has been applied. But the stem is still the same in both cases and is entirely predictable. A separate principal part is normally only needed if the stem is not always the same as another case, and is not predictable. A cursory examanination of the irregular verbs, shows that all of the other principal parts are warrented. However, what I have called a “stem” always appears to be the same for the 5th and 6th principal parts, at least for the words of the New Testament. In other words, if you give me the stem for the 6th principal part, I can tell you what the 5th principal part is (because it always appears to be based off of the same stem). Thus, it seems to me that the 5th principal part is redundant and could be eliminated. The most difficult example I have found is τιθημι, but that is still explainable. So again, I am asking for any examples where the “stem” for the 5th and 6th principal parts is different.

Alan Bunning
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Alan Bunning
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Stephen Hughes wrote:At the time the language was spoken, speakers (and learners) would just have known that the forms of the six principal parts were what they were and they were used as they stood without explanation or choice.
Of course, students today are taught that there are 6 principal parts. Do you have any evidence from the ancient Greeks where they speak of having 6 principal parts? If you can supply such evidence or can give an example where the underlying “stem” of the 5th principal part is different than the 6th principal part, then I would be inclined to agree with you.

Alan Bunning
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Barry Hofstetter
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

I plan to reply in a little more detail later, but I found this fun link:

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/dcc/2012/12/ ... pal-parts/

The picture is worth nearly as much a the Professor's comments...
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Stephen Carlson
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Alan Bunning wrote:If you can supply such evidence or can give an example where the underlying “stem” of the 5th principal part is different than the 6th principal part, then I would be inclined to agree with you.
Uh, what's wrong with the examples that have already been cited??? They have different stems, though based on the same root.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Alan Bunning
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### Re: Why are there 6 principal parts instead of only 5?

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:If you can supply such evidence or can give an example where the underlying “stem” of the 5th principal part is different than the 6th principal part, then I would be inclined to agree with you.
Uh, what's wrong with the examples that have already been cited??? They have different stems, though based on the same root.
The examples cited have already been show to have the same stem. You can use the terminology they have the same "root" (where I used the word "stem" as explained above), but it still begs the question.

Alan Bunning
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