What is this word?

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: What is this word?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 1st, 2016, 10:03 am

Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:I used the inverted commas, because, I don't think Tait intended a reader to take ανθρ.γιν as parts of a single word. The snipit you have posted seems professionally typeset with proportional spacing. To my eye, the space in the line containing the γιν could have contained the ανθρ. too, with a little adjustment during the typesetting. P. M. Head presents this ostracon near the end of his section on ostraca containing New Testament texts (pages 433 - 438), among some other hymns, liturgical and magical texts. By not writing the γιν, he evidently reads ανθρ. and γιν as separate words too:
Peter M. Head, [i]Additional Greek Witnesses to the New Testament[/i], in Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes (Editors), [i]The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis[/i] (1995), page 438 wrote:A hymn to the Virgin Mary contains a quotation from Luke 2:14 in lines 7–8: τοξα εν εκιστη θ[εω γ]ης ειρηνης εν ανθρ.³⁶
_____________________
³⁶Cambridge, UL, Ostraca inv. 118 (vH 832; LDAB 5902). Tait, Greek Ostraca, 171.
In that case, what would γιν mean?
It would not be part of the quotation.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Alan Bunning
Posts: 222
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: What is this word?

Post by Alan Bunning » November 1st, 2016, 10:12 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:I used the inverted commas, because, I don't think Tait intended a reader to take ανθρ.γιν as parts of a single word. The snipit you have posted seems professionally typeset with proportional spacing. To my eye, the space in the line containing the γιν could have contained the ανθρ. too, with a little adjustment during the typesetting. P. M. Head presents this ostracon near the end of his section on ostraca containing New Testament texts (pages 433 - 438), among some other hymns, liturgical and magical texts. By not writing the γιν, he evidently reads ανθρ. and γιν as separate words too:
In that case, what would γιν mean?
It would not be part of the quotation.
Yes, but what would it mean?

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: What is this word?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 1st, 2016, 1:47 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Alan Bunning wrote:In that case, what would γιν mean?
It would not be part of the quotation.
Yes, but what would it mean?
That of course depends on what it might be in standard orthography.

The "misspelling" of δοξα as τοξα suggests that at the time of composition tau (τ) represented both the voiced and unvoiced alveolar stops [t] and [d], and delta (δ) respesented the fricative [ð]. In that case, gama (γ) may well represent the voiced velar fricative [ɣ] or the palatal approximant [j], rather than the voiced velar stop [g]. In the transcription of περί on the pot shard, the unstressed eta (ε) is transcribed as iota (ι). If iota, is being used to represent a reduced epsilon, as part of the loss of initial vowels that was a change which characterised of the beginning of the Byzantine period. The gamma (γ) as palatal approximant sometimes occurs as a transition between vowels. The old system of diphthongs had been replaced by monothongs when the accent changed from tone to stress, and the ensuing syllabification seems to have been characterised by the pronunciation of the palatal approximant.

If that is the case here, the gamma (γ) could well not be present in the standard orthography, and of it is a reduced for of epsilon, it could be εν in the standard spelling from an unstressed syllable following, perhaps in word initial position. The pronunciation of iota (ι) being the same as a few other vowels and digraphs (there being no diphthongs), the are numerous posibilities about what it might be.

Another possibility is that the writer of this pot shard didn't know themself, and just tried to write it down. Dis it mean something to the speaker? Presumably, yes. To the listener? We need to consider both options. To us who are used to standardised spelling? No, nothing.

I think that if we are not trying so hard to fit this text with the words in Luke's Gospel, [τ]ης ειρηνης makes sense too.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Shirley Rollinson
Posts: 284
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: What is this word?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » November 4th, 2016, 7:34 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:Here is part of a transcription of an ostracon I am going to add to my collation. Lines 7-8 contain a version of Luke 2:14. What do you make of the words εκιστησ and ανθρ.γιν?
tait.jpg
I take it that the dots in the text you give indicate places where the text is broken - either by the sherd being broken or the inscription being illegible.
So ἀνθ. might be the start of ἀνθρωπος and γιν. might be part of some form of γινομαι
Without a photo of the sherd there's not much one can do to decipher it.
Shirley R.

Alan Bunning
Posts: 222
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: What is this word?

Post by Alan Bunning » November 5th, 2016, 9:55 am

What do you make of εκιστης? The ιστης ending would normally imply a type of person or profession which doesn’t make much sense. Then I thought of some form of εκ + στάσις to imply something like “outer places” but could not find any such word.

Shirley Rollinson
Posts: 284
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: What is this word?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » November 5th, 2016, 3:56 pm

Before we spend more time working with a printed copy of what someone thought they saw on the ostracon, we need a photo of the ostracon itself.
Step 1 is to locate where the ostracon is at present, and who has it.
Step 2 - contact them and ask them to publish a photo of the ostracon.
Step 3 - then we can think about what the letters/word are and what they might mean.

Alan Bunning
Posts: 222
Joined: June 5th, 2011, 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: What is this word?

Post by Alan Bunning » November 5th, 2016, 7:13 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote:Before we spend more time working with a printed copy of what someone thought they saw on the ostracon, we need a photo of the ostracon itself.
Step 1 is to locate where the ostracon is at present, and who has it.
Step 2 - contact them and ask them to publish a photo of the ostracon.
Step 3 - then we can think about what the letters/word are and what they might mean.
It is LDAB 5902 supposedly housed at O. 118, Cambridge University Library if someone wants to pursue that. However, in my experience such transcriptions are usually pretty good and rarely are they improved by observing the actual artifact. So in the meantime, can anyone speculate on the nature of εκιστης assuming that those would be the correct letters?

Robert Crowe
Posts: 102
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 11:06 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: What is this word?

Post by Robert Crowe » November 5th, 2016, 8:13 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:can anyone speculate on the nature of εκιστης assuming that those would be the correct letters?
ἑκίστης could arguably be derived from ὑψίστοις under the transformation of labials to gutturals within Indo-European languages. This change, though, while common between different languages within the family, is not so evident within one particular tongue. This would be the only example I know of in Greek.
Tús maith leath na hoibre.

Shirley Rollinson
Posts: 284
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: What is this word?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » November 5th, 2016, 8:50 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
Shirley Rollinson wrote:Before we spend more time working with a printed copy of what someone thought they saw on the ostracon, we need a photo of the ostracon itself.
Step 1 is to locate where the ostracon is at present, and who has it.
Step 2 - contact them and ask them to publish a photo of the ostracon.
Step 3 - then we can think about what the letters/word are and what they might mean.
It is LDAB 5902 supposedly housed at O. 118, Cambridge University Library if someone wants to pursue that. However, in my experience such transcriptions are usually pretty good and rarely are they improved by observing the actual artifact. So in the meantime, can anyone speculate on the nature of εκιστης assuming that those would be the correct letters?
So - is there any member of B-Greek in Cambridge who could go along to the Library and ask to have a shufti at it ???
Shirley R.

Robert Crowe
Posts: 102
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 11:06 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: What is this word?

Post by Robert Crowe » November 6th, 2016, 7:45 am

Robert Crowe wrote:Alan Bunning wrote:
can anyone speculate on the nature of εκιστης assuming that those would be the correct letters?


ἑκίστης could arguably be derived from ὑψίστοις under the transformation of labials to gutturals within Indo-European languages. This change, though, while common between different languages within the family, is not so evident within one particular tongue. This would be the only example I know of in Greek.
Upon further reflection, κῶς for πῶς between Ionic and Attic comes to mind.
Tús maith leath na hoibre.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest