The form κέκραγεν

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.

Re: The form ἐκέκραγον

Postby Ken M. Penner » May 6th, 2013, 3:34 pm

I'll take a closer look at Chrysostom's commentary on Isaiah, 6.3, where he addresses the tense of ἐκέκραγον.
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby RandallButh » May 6th, 2013, 4:37 pm

on the semantic makeup of κεκραγέναι it would seem that several items have worked together to produce the idiomatic profile of the word.
What follows is my own speculation, some of which may line up with history, but provides my own Bullwinkle's etymology.

the word appears to have an onomatopoetic origin since it is associated with frogs croaking and crows cawwing.
(that was part of my choice of the Aesop examples, whatever the actual origin of the verb)
second, frogs and crows make repetitive sounds, not just one croak.
third, the sound can reverberate and the perfect appears to focus on the "state of the continuing noise"
fourth, there is a special iconic matching that comes from the perfect with the triple-velar κεκραγ-
That iconic k-k-g must have seemed too nice at some point in Greek's history, so that the verb became an idiom that was preferred in the perfect,
and focussed on the ongoing sound.

The result is a verb without much use for an aorist or imperfect, especially as those tenses lose the triple velar gargle
and it shifted into a pattern, known in some other verbs,
where the perfect was used for the "ongoing noise in the present," and the pluperfect was used for the "ongoing noise in the past."
Consequently, it fits naturally with presents and imperfects of other verbs.
That became something of a fixed idiom, with a few creative exceptions, during the classical period.
In the Hellenistic period, when Greek was adopted by many societies as a second/third/first language, κεκραγέναι saw occasional attempts at 'regularization' of the verb to fit into the rest of the verb system. That resulted in the LXX κεκρᾶξαι aorists. Later in the NT we see the continuative stem brought into use with imperfects and presents.

Anyway, the universal rule of grammar certainly applies to this verb:
we do it like that because that's the way the Greeks do it.
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby Scott Lawson » May 6th, 2013, 4:50 pm

Scott Lawson wrote:I remember wondering then, if the different forms κραζω and κεκραζω weren't due to being onomatapoetic.


RandallButh wrote:on the semantic makeup of κεκραγέναι it would seem that several items have worked together to produce the idiomatic profile of the word.
What follows is my own speculation, some of which may line up with history, but provides my own Bullwinkle's etymology.

the word appears to have an onomatopoetic origin since it is associated with frogs croaking and crows cawwing.
(that was part of my choice of the Aesop examples, whatever the actual origin of the verb)
second, frogs and crows make repetitive sounds, not just one croak.
third, the sound can reverberate and the perfect appears to focus on the "state of the continuing noise"
fourth, there is a special iconic matching that comes from the perfect with the triple-velar κεκραγ-
That iconic k-k-g must have seemed too nice at some point in Greek's history, so that the verb became an idiom that was preferred in the perfect,
and focussed on the ongoing sound.


Thanks Randall, that is what I was hoping would be explored!
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby MAubrey » May 6th, 2013, 11:06 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:What are the lexical semantics of κέκραγα that would fit a perfect as opposed to a present with perfect morphology? And what about its semantics would have it avoid the present stem? It does not appear to be a typical resultative perfect.

That's a difficult question to answer, since in a sense, its kind of like asking "Why doesn't ειπον ever appear in the present?" Or "Why doesn't λέγω appear in the aorist?"

Part of the issue with κέκραγα is that it has two senses, a communicative (call out something shout out something), and non-communicative sense (shriek). The latter is logically prior to the former, as Randall has already noted.

With verbs of speech, the perfect is used to make exhaustive/definitive assertions. We see this with κράζω in its communicative sense:
Wars of the Jews 1.606 wrote:αἱ δ ̓ ἐπιστολαὶ δευτέρας ἀδελφοκτονίας κεκράγεσαν
The letters proclaimed his second attempt to murder his brother

I take most of the Josephus examples Randall cited as involving the non-communicative sense.
Antiquities 10.117 wrote:ἐν δὲ τῇ εἱρκτῇ τυγχάνων ὁ προφήτης Ἱερεμίας οὐχ ἡσύχαζεν, ἀλλ ̓ ἐκεκράγει καὶ ἐκήρυσσε παραινῶν τῷ πλήθει δέξασθαι τὸν Βαβυλώνιον ἀνοίξαντας τὰς πύλας·
He cried out and then proclaimed...

Here the question is whether ἐκεκράγει is supposed to be understood as a characterizing of the proclamation or a single event that took place before the proclamation. It is only the latter interpretation that would involve a perfect where there should be an imperfective. I would argue the latter would have involved βοάω, as in these:
Antiquities 6.81 wrote:πρὸς δὲ τοὺς οὐδὲν ὄφελος αὐτὸν ἔσεσθαι τοῖς πράγμασι λέγοντας ἐβόων· “ποῦ νῦν εἰσὶν οὗτοι”
...they cried out saying...

That's the simplest explanation I could give...

Now...as for the so-called reduplicated aorists in the LXX.

Following from what I've commented here, I think the question of just what these forms are needs to be grounded in morphosyntactic distributional pattern. If reduplicated "aorist" introduce direct speech, then we could justifiably say that they're aorists, not perfects. Conversely, if only the non-reduplicated ones do, then I would be inclined to analyze the reduplicated forms are perfects rather than aorists. This goes back, Stephen, to a conversation we had earlier about how aorists are bounded, but unmarked for telicity. Introducing direct speech, I think, is an atelic construction, if the distribution of βοάω and κράζω suggests anything.

Here's a non-reduplicated aorist introducing direct speech:
Judges 1:14 wrote:ἔκραξεν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὑποζυγίου Εἰς γῆν νότου ἐκδέδοσαί με. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Χαλεβ Τί ἐστίν σοι;

If these were truly aorists, we would expect them to be able to introduce direct speech.

This set of three reduplicated forms is open to interpretation, but could be viewed as introducing direct speech:
Psalm 118:145-7 wrote:Ἐκέκραξα ἐν ὅλῃ καρδίᾳ μου,
ἐπάκουσόν μου, κύριε, τὰ δικαιώματά σου ἐκζητήσω.
146 ἐκέκραξά σε, σῶσόν με, καὶ φυλάξω τὰ μαρτύριά σου.
147 προέφθασα ἐν ἀωρίᾳ καὶ ἐκέκραξα, εἰς τοὺς λόγους σου ἐπήλπισα.

Are these described of past crying outs or are they introducing the specific pleas? Also, if we treat this as evidence that this is an aorist rather than a perfect, do we do so for all such instances of reduplicated "aorists"? Or only for this particular author on the basis of the unusual nature of the construction? That is, are all these authors making this mistake together aware of each other or are they separate instantiations of the same "production error"?

For the reduplicated "imperfects" I'm less confident about saying anything. But I would mention one other alternative that hasn't been stated. Greek doesn't have an equivalent of English's progressive perfect. Perhaps this author is trying to make one...?

I haven't looked at all the futures yet, so I won't hypothesis on those just now...
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 7th, 2013, 4:27 am

RandallButh wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:Randy, can you tell what you think is going on then in John 1:15 Ἰωάννης μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ κέκραγεν λέγων? The first verb looks like a historical present, so do you think that κέκραγεν is one too? Wouldn't this go against the grain of telic or punctual verbs in the historical present (or morphological perfect)?


Thank you for the good question, Stephen. In a sense, John 1:15 is what started this thread when I commented that the style of John is "real Greek" even if using a repetitive vocabulary. In John 1:15 the both verbs are functioning like 'presents', and as such are natural candidates for 'historical present'. The 'testify' carries an implied object and can be thought of 'telically'. "Cawwing, crying out" is more of a process, but it, too, can have a telic interpretation "cawwed a caw", like we saw in the Aesop's fable and as is implied in John 1:15 where the content/telic object is provided in the quotation material after λέγων.


Thanks for this explanation. Although the historical present is cetainly more interesting with telic/punctual verbs (because the apparent aspectual mismatch challenges some "aspect only" verb theory), it seems to me that some authors are more tolerant of the historical perfect with verbs that are not clearly telic. John the evangelist is one of these authors, I would assert, and the historical present τρέχει in 20:2 is a corroborating example. So I'm not sure that for John it's necessary to come up with telic interpretations for his historical presents. Maybe he's just more flexible in using the historical present with a larger class of verbs than, say, Mark.

As for the whether this is evidence for that κέκραγεν functions as a present (albeit with perfect endings), I am inclined to see that too in the absence of evidence that the perfect can have a similar narrative function.
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby RandallButh » May 7th, 2013, 5:48 am

MAubrey wrote: ...
Part of the issue with κέκραγα is that it has two senses, a communicative (call out something shout out something), and non-communicative sense (shriek). The latter is logically prior to the former, as Randall has already noted.

With verbs of speech, the perfect is used to make exhaustive/definitive assertions. We see this with κράζω in its communicative sense:
Wars of the Jews 1.606 wrote:αἱ δ ̓ ἐπιστολαὶ δευτέρας ἀδελφοκτονίας κεκράγεσαν
The letters proclaimed his second attempt to murder his brother


Thank you for this citation. It did not come up in my listing of pluperfect because it was mis-tagged as "perfect" in the Accordance database. It is, of course, a pluperfect, as the ending makes clear. However, the syntax is more complicated than you quoted.
Wars of the Jews 1.606 wrote:ὅθ' αἱ μὲν βάσανοι πᾶσαι τὴν πατροκτονίαν ___
αἱ δ ̓ ἐπιστολαὶ δευτέρας ἀδελφοκτονίας κεκράγεσαν
while, on the one hand, all the tortures ___ the [attempted] father-killing,
the letters "proclaimed" the second [attempted] brother-killing

The first clause uses an ellipsis (___) and the tortures are covered by the verb κεκράγεσαν, too, so that there are two different actions being included in the one verb in the second clause. Reading the passage reflects one's background in the language, as they say "Hard cases make bad law." Did Josephus intend an open-ended background description that would fit the unresolved nature of the case, or did he intend a decisive perfective description?

MAubrey wrote:I take most of the Josephus examples Randall cited as involving the non-communicative sense.
Antiquities 10.117 wrote:ἐν δὲ τῇ εἱρκτῇ τυγχάνων ὁ προφήτης Ἱερεμίας οὐχ ἡσύχαζεν, ἀλλ ̓ ἐκεκράγει καὶ ἐκήρυσσε παραινῶν τῷ πλήθει δέξασθαι τὸν Βαβυλώνιον ἀνοίξαντας τὰς πύλας·
He cried out and then proclaimed...

Here the question is whether ἐκεκράγει is supposed to be understood as a characterizing of the proclamation or a single event that took place before the proclamation. It is only the latter interpretation that would involve a perfect where there should be an imperfective. I would argue the latter would have involved βοάω, as in these:
Antiquities 6.81 wrote:πρὸς δὲ τοὺς οὐδὲν ὄφελος αὐτὸν ἔσεσθαι τοῖς πράγμασι λέγοντας ἐβόων· “ποῦ νῦν εἰσὶν οὗτοι”
...they cried out saying...


This statement is a little too imprecise to adequately comment on. The "latter" would appear to refer to "a single event before the proclamation," but then that interpretation is called the one in which a perfect should be an imperfective, while in fact, that latter interpretation is the one where the pluperfect is functioning like a single event (even like an aorist).

However, those confusions are irrelevant to the bigger problem. The whole passage is talking about an open-ended process in the the past. Note that this takes place "while Jeremiah was in prison" ἐν δὲ τῇ εἱρκτῇ τυγχάνων. Jeremiah "was not keeping quiet" οὐχ ἡσύχαζεν, imperfect, and a fitting presentation for an open-ended description of the general prison time. It would seem that Jeremiah was making some noise throughout his prison time. A cantankerous guy he was. This is followed by ἀλλ ̓, as if to answer the question: So what was Jeremiah doing (did he do) while in prison? Jeremiah WAS PROCLAIMING ἐκήρυσσε, imperfect, surely implying an ongoing prophetic campaign. Josephus is probably not talking about a single attempt at communication, and even if he were, he marks it IMPERFECTIVELY. This contextually obvious reading is not hurt by a continuative participle "exhorting" παραινῶν. Josephus controls Greek, of course, and the indirect speech uses aorists δέξασθαι ... ἀνοίξαντας "to open the gates and receive the Babylonians," appropriately. I can only conclude that Jeremiah is portrayed as repeating his message and standing by his message throughout his imprisonment. This brings us to the verb ἐκεκράγει, right in the middle of that open-ended context, that you seem to want us to take as a single shriek "cried out and then proclaimed[sic-RB]." Josephus was expecting a more perceptive audience and he chose NOT to present things that way.

MAubrey wrote:That's the simplest explanation I could give...


But this doesn't explain this passage (Antiquities 10.117) or the complexities noted in previous posts.

MAubrey wrote:Now...as for the so-called reduplicated aorists in the LXX.

Following from what I've commented here, I think the question of just what these forms are needs to be grounded in morphosyntactic distributional pattern. If reduplicated "aorist" introduce direct speech, then we could justifiably say that they're aorists, not perfects.


Huh? You said above that "With verbs of speech, the perfect is used to make exhaustive/definitive assertions." I accept that as fitting for a passage like Luk 4:12 εἴρηται "(direct speech)". Direct speech does not distinguish an aorist from a perfect. Besides you gave a nice aorist example from the psalms. And our dear John 1.15 has another perfect example μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ κέκραγεν λέγων "(direct sppech)."

Your bigger concern needs to be the appreciation of the difference between ἐκέκραξε and ἐκεκράγει.
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Re: The form ἐκέκραγον

Postby Ken M. Penner » May 7th, 2013, 5:51 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:I'll take a closer look at Chrysostom's commentary on Isaiah, 6.3, where he addresses the tense of ἐκέκραγον.

It's at http://www.scribd.com/doc/66924249/John ... -In-Isaiam
Chrysostom wrote:]Τί ποτέ ἐστι τοῦτο τό• Ἐπέταντο καὶ τί παρασημᾶναι βούλεται; Ὅτι διηνεκῶς περὶ τὸν Θεόν εἰσι καὶ παρ’ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἀφίστανται, ἀλλ’ αὐτὴ αὐτοῖς ἡ πολιτεία, τὸ διηνεκῶς εἰς αὐτὸν ᾄδειν, τὸ διαπαντὸς εὐφημεῖν τὸν ποιήσαντα. Οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν• Ἐκέκραξαν, ἀλλ’ Ἐκέκραγον, τουτέστι, διηνεκῶς τοῦτο ἔργον ἔχουσιν.
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Re: The form ἐκέκραγον

Postby RandallButh » May 7th, 2013, 5:58 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
Ken M. Penner wrote:I'll take a closer look at Chrysostom's commentary on Isaiah, 6.3, where he addresses the tense of ἐκέκραγον.

It's at http://www.scribd.com/doc/66924249/John ... -In-Isaiam
Chrysostom wrote:]Τί ποτέ ἐστι τοῦτο τό• Ἐπέταντο καὶ τί παρασημᾶναι βούλεται; Ὅτι διηνεκῶς περὶ τὸν Θεόν εἰσι καὶ παρ’ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἀφίστανται, ἀλλ’ αὐτὴ αὐτοῖς ἡ πολιτεία, τὸ διηνεκῶς εἰς αὐτὸν ᾄδειν, τὸ διαπαντὸς εὐφημεῖν τὸν ποιήσαντα. Οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν• Ἐκέκραξαν, ἀλλ’ Ἐκέκραγον, τουτέστι, διηνεκῶς τοῦτο ἔργον ἔχουσιν.


Bingo.
Chrysostom seems to understand Greek. (ironic understatement 'funny face' missing)

Thanks for bringing the quote -- and such a precise answer by stating what the translator did not choose to write.
That is a very effective way of teaching in an immersion setting.
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby RandallButh » May 7th, 2013, 6:10 am

Στέφανος ἔγραψεν wrote:it seems to me that some authors are more tolerant of the historical perfect with verbs that are not clearly telic.


I'm also happy with giving an author a little slack. I merely wanted to show how κέκραγε might fit as a historical present. Certainly μαρτυρεῖ is.
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Re: The form κέκραγεν

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 7th, 2013, 6:12 am

MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:What are the lexical semantics of κέκραγα that would fit a perfect as opposed to a present with perfect morphology? And what about its semantics would have it avoid the present stem? It does not appear to be a typical resultative perfect.

That's a difficult question to answer, since in a sense, its kind of like asking "Why doesn't ειπον ever appear in the present?" Or "Why doesn't λέγω appear in the aorist?"


Well, I was reacting to your statements:
Am I missing something? Exactly what makes this so abnormal to be a perfect? The semantics looks like a perfect; the form looks like a perfect; if it quacks like a duck...

Again, I would suggest that its lexical semantics are such that it prefers the perfect and perfective aspects over against the imperfective.


The perfect semantics of κέκραγεν are not self-evident to me, since the verb is irresultative and I know you don't like anterior semantics of irresulatives that other scholars have proposed for the perfect. So it's not clear at all to me what your sense of the perfect semantics of this verb is.

(As for εἶπον, it is in a suppletive paradigm and some have suggested that its primitive meaning was a bounded "to utter a statement"; at any rate, that primitive meaning had been semantically bleached out when it was made part of a larger paragidm. The rise of λέγω as a verb of saying was a later development (replacing φημί), and even so, the aorist ἔλεξε is attested in certain authors, e.g., Herodotus. The examples seem a relevant response if κέκραγεν is to be viewed as a suppletive perfect of βοάω, but even here it needs to be made clear what the semantics of κέκραγεν as the suppletive perfect of βοάω would be.)

MAubrey wrote:With verbs of speech, the perfect is used to make exhaustive/definitive assertions.


I'm not familar with this meaning of the perfect. Do you have cites to the literature arguing for this?

MAubrey wrote:For the reduplicated "imperfects" I'm less confident about saying anything. But I would mention one other alternative that hasn't been stated. Greek doesn't have an equivalent of English's progressive perfect. Perhaps this author is trying to make one...?

I haven't looked at all the futures yet, so I won't hypothesis on those just now...


I think the point about "reduplicated" imperfects, synthetic futures, and aorists is that this shows this verb was being conceived as a present formed on the root κεκραγ-, and that the only thing non-present (remaining) about κέκραγεν is the use of secondary endings. The claim, as I understand it, is that it is not a prototypical perfect, either paradigmatically (forming "reduplicated" imperfects, synthetic futures, and aorists), or semantically (e.g., use in narrative in John 1:15). I would also add that it is not a prototypical perfect morphologically (lacking the kappa marker). This is a verb in limbo.
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