Tmesis - possible or not with -εῖναι based verbs?

Post Reply
Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Tmesis - possible or not with -εῖναι based verbs?

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 3rd, 2016, 11:27 am

Is tmesis common (or even possible) in the earlier period of Greek (Homer perhaps) for the complex verbal forms based on the verb "to be"?

[Smyth 1650 - 1653]
0 x


Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

MAubrey
Posts: 986
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Tmesis - possible or not with -εῖναι based verbs?

Post by MAubrey » July 4th, 2016, 1:02 am

Tmesis was most prevalent in the Homeric Greek (and then in later poetry), In principle, I would expect that any verb that takes a preverb could plausibly undergo tmesis, but I'm not sure we can do more than speculate about -εῖναι based verbs.
0 x
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Tmesis - possible or not with -εῖναι based verbs?

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 4th, 2016, 1:11 am

MAubrey wrote:In principle, I would expect that any verb that takes a preverb could plausibly undergo tmesis, but I'm not sure we can do more than speculate about -εῖναι based verbs.
My working presupposition - untested and which I would be happy to clarify or give up - is that the preverb attaches most strongly or during the earlier periods to the simplest verbs (those with the least lexical semantic meaning). In attaching to the simplest verbs, there is the largest divergence of meaning - a wide range of meaning seemingly quite different (or highly derived) from the base verb's meaning. A divergence much larger than the easy-to-identify adverbial meaning or increased valance (in certain syntactic structures) of the prepositional preverbs that are added to verbs with more complex lexical semantics, which were presumable suffixed later (and for some time more readily subject to tmesis).

I am wondering if somebody, who has more recently been reading sizeable portions Homer than my more than 20 years ago reading of just a quarter of Homer, has been noticing patterns of tmesis with -εῖναι based verbs.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Louis L Sorenson
Posts: 708
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 9:21 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN, USA
Contact:

Re: Tmesis - possible or not with -εῖναι based verbs?

Post by Louis L Sorenson » July 4th, 2016, 6:22 am

We need to define the term "tmesis" for our members.

tmesis. n. The separation of the parts of a *compound word by intervening words.(DeMoss, Pocket Dictionary for the study of New Testament Greek).

Smyth: §1650. Tmesis (τμῆσις cutting) denotes the separation of a preposition from its verb, and is a term of late origin, properly descriptive only of the post-epic language, in which preposition and verb normally formed an indissoluble compound. The term ‘tmesis’ is incorrectly applied to the language of Homer, since in the Epic the prep.-adv, was still in process of joining with the verb.

Subsections in Smyth:

1651. In Attic poetry tmesis occurs chiefly when the preposition is separated from the verb by unimportant words (particles, enclitics), and is employed for the sake of emphasis or (in Euripides) as a mere ornament. Aristophanes uses tmesis only to parody the style of tragic choruses.

1652. Hdt. uses tmesis frequently in imitation of the Epic; the intervening words are ὦν (=οὖν), enclitics, δέ, μὲν … δέ, etc.

1653. In Attic prose tmesis occurs only in special cases: ἀντʼ εὖ ποιεῖν (πάσχειν) and σὺν εὖ (κακῶς) ποιεῖν (πάσχειν). Thus, ὅσους εὖ ποιήσαντας ἡ πόλις ἀντʼ εὖ πεποίηκεν all whom the city has requited with benefits for the service they rendered it D. 20. 64. Here εὖ πεποίηκεν is almost equivalent to a single notion.

1654. The addition of a preposition to a verb may have no effect on the construction, as in ἐκβῆναι τῆς νεώς, whereas βῆναι τῆς νεώς originally, and still in poetry, can mean go from-the-ship; or it may determine the construction, as in περιγενέσθαι ἐμοῦ to surpass me D. 18. 236. Prose tends to repeat the prefixed preposition: ἐκβῆναι ἐκ τῆς νεώς T. 1. 137.

1655. A preposition usually assumes the force of an adjective when compounded with substantives which do not change their forms on entering into composition, as σύνοδος a national meeting (ὁδός). Otherwise the compound usually gets a new termination, generally -ον, -ιον neuter, or -ίς feminine, as ἐνύπνιον dream (ὕπνος), ἐπιγουνίς thigh-muscle (γόνυ).

1656. The use of propositions is, in general, more common in prose than in poetry, which retained the more primitive form of expression.

1657. A noun joined by a preposition to its case without the help of a verb has a verbal meaning: ἀπὸ πᾱσῶν ἀρχῶν ἐλευθερίᾱ freedom from all rule P. L. 698 a (cp. ἐλευθεροῦν ἀπό τινος).

1658. In general, when depending on prepositions expressing relations of place, the accusative denotes the place (or person) toward which or the place over which, along which motion takes place, the dative denotes rest in or at, the genitive (ablative) passing from. Thus, ἥκω παρὰ σέ I have come to you T. 1. 137, οἱ παρʼ ἑαυτῷ βάρβαροι the barbarians in his own service X. A. 1. 1. 5, παρὰ βασιλέως πολλοὶ πρὸς Κῦρον ἀπῆλθον many came over from the king to Cyrus 1. 9. 29. The true genitive denotes various forms of connection.

Smyth, H. W. (1920). A Greek Grammar for Colleges (pp. 367–368). New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company.
0 x

Post Reply

Return to “Syntax and Grammar”