ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

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Jonathan Robie
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ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 19th, 2016, 5:55 pm

According to katabiblon.com, ἔρχομαι is always middle for a present participle, and always active for an aorist participle.

Why?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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cwconrad
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Re: ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by cwconrad » March 19th, 2016, 8:18 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:According to katabiblon.com, ἔρχομαι is always middle for a present participle, and always active for an aorist participle.
Why?
There are several things to bear in mind when thinking about this.
1. Verbs used repeatedly every day through centuries in the history of a people speaking the language change very slowly into the standard forms quickly adopted by verbs not so frequently used. This verb of locomotion didn't change much from the Homeric era down through the Hellenistic era, if at all.
2. This is a "suppletive" verb, the present tense of which (ἐρχ-ε-σθαι) derives from a root that is different froaAm that of the other tenses (ἐλευθ/ἐλουθ/ἐλ(υ)θ) aorist: ἐλ(υ)θεὶν, future: ἐλεύ(θ)σ-ε-σθαι, pf. ἐληλυθ-έναι.
3. "Active" inflection is unmarked for subject-affectedness while middle-passive inflection is marked for subject-affectedness. That the aorist form ἐλθεῖν has "active" inflection doesn't mean that it isn't subject-affected but that its self-affectedness is not indicated by its inflection.
4. As for the perfect, note that it is a "second perfect" rather than a -κα perfect; quite a few primitive verbs such as this have "second perfects" that correspond to middle verbs (e.g. πείθεσθαι/πεποιθέναι, ἀπόλλυσθαι/ᾶπολωλέναι).
5. You might note also the future is middle-marked: ἐλεύσεσθαι, as is the case with many verbs that are essentially subject-affected: the intentionality of the future tense finds expression in the preference for middle-marked inflection.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by Stephen Carlson » March 19th, 2016, 11:07 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:According to katabiblon.com, ἔρχομαι is always middle for a present participle, and always active for an aorist participle.

Why?
Not just participles but in all the moods (sensu lato). This is a case where the aspectual suppletion (different present and aorist stems) also involves a difference in voice.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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MAubrey
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Re: ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by MAubrey » March 23rd, 2016, 12:41 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:According to katabiblon.com, ἔρχομαι is always middle for a present participle, and always active for an aorist participle.

Why?
Not just participles but in all the moods (sensu lato). This is a case where the aspectual suppletion (different present and aorist stems) also involves a difference in voice.
Which in turn is probably tied to the scalar nature of transitivity.

See: Hopper & Thompson (1980) Transitivity in Grammar and Discourse for a short version. There's a more recent study by Naess from 2007, but that's a full length monograph.
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Koine-Greek.com

cwconrad
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Re: ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by cwconrad » March 24th, 2016, 8:30 am

MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:According to katabiblon.com, ἔρχομαι is always middle for a present participle, and always active for an aorist participle.

Why?
Not just participles but in all the moods (sensu lato). This is a case where the aspectual suppletion (different present and aorist stems) also involves a difference in voice.
Which in turn is probably tied to the scalar nature of transitivity.

See: Hopper & Thompson (1980) Transitivity in Grammar and Discourse for a short version. There's a more recent study by Naess from 2007, but that's a full length monograph.
Admittedly I'm dense, but I'm having difficulty understanding how "the scalar nature of transitivity" clarifies why an intransitive verb should have a middle form in the present-tense but an active form in the aorist. The forms of the future, aorist, and perfect from the ϝελευθ/ϝελουθ/ϝελυθ root are explicable in terms of Greek linguistic history and survival of forms used regularly in everyday speech: the distinctive aorist active in -σαi and perfect middle-passive in -σθαι are later developments. The middle form of the present-tense is from a different root altogether; that too is common to the very old and generally irregular Greek verbs.

By the way, is there any conceivable link between the roots of ἄρχ-ειν/ἄρχ[-εσθαι and of ἕρχ-εσθαι?
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

MAubrey
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Re: ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by MAubrey » March 24th, 2016, 7:25 pm

cwconrad wrote:Admittedly I'm dense, but I'm having difficulty understanding how "the scalar nature of transitivity" clarifies why an intransitive verb should have a middle form in the present-tense but an active form in the aorist. The forms of the future, aorist, and perfect from the ϝελευθ/ϝελουθ/ϝελυθ root are explicable in terms of Greek linguistic history and survival of forms used regularly in everyday speech: the distinctive aorist active in -σαi and perfect middle-passive in -σθαι are later developments. The middle form of the present-tense is from a different root altogether; that too is common to the very old and generally irregular Greek verbs.
Aspect, mood, tense, and other grammatical categories affect transitivity, which perfective being more transitive than imperfective, past being more transitive than present being more transitive than future, indicative/realis being more transitive than subjunctive.

I don't think it's an accident that when a verb only appears in one voice for a given tense or aspect, the tendency is generally that the aorists (perfective) are active-only and the presents (imperfective) are middle-only and the futures (well, future) are middle-only--e.g. οράω. I'm suggesting that this semantic reality has affected the development and choice of the forms through the history.
cwconrad wrote:By the way, is there any conceivable link between the roots of ἄρχ-ειν/ἄρχ[-εσθαι and of ἕρχ-εσθαι?
I've always wondered that, myself.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: ἔρχομαι: pres mp ptcp, aor act ptcp

Post by Stephen Carlson » March 25th, 2016, 2:57 am

MAubrey wrote:
cwconrad wrote:By the way, is there any conceivable link between the roots of ἄρχ-ειν/ἄρχ[-εσθαι and of ἕρχ-εσθαι?
I've always wondered that, myself.
The etymologies of both are contested and there are no good cognates, but no one to my knowledge (from Beekes) connects the two. According to some analyses, ἄρχομαι comes from * H2r-sk- "start" and ἔρχομαι from *H1r-sk-, "reach". (There are other proposals of the form *H1/2ergh.) They begin with different initial "laryngeal" consonants, which leads directly to the difference in initial vowels in Greek. Even though they otherwise resemble each other in form, the difference in initial consonants is enough not to unify them in origin especially when the semantics also requires shifts in meaning. Even this explanation probably overstates our knowledge. These are obscure verbs outside of Greek.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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