Using this set (currently, 64 words) to define a concept is called an explication (via the process, called reductive paraphrasing). This is said to avoid the typical problems with using more complicated words to define simpler, or using forms of a word to define the word.
Here's my attempt to do reductive paraphrasing on προσκυνῆσαι resulting in this explication:
Not all people are big and good.
Many people are small and bad.
When I know that you are someone big and good, inside me, I think I am small, because you are not like me.
I want to be under you. I think it is good to be near you.
If I think all this, I move near you and under you.
Maybe I say something to you and to people. I say something like, you are good, you are big
I find this fascinating. I wonder, though, what are the implications for Greek lexicology? I can't see a whole dictionary written in this way. Too laborious to write and too tiresome to read. But maybe there would be a call for distinguishing between two similar Greek words.
In Greek pedagogy, I can imagine several applications. Explications or Minimal Greek* could be a great way to create the first level of an embedded reading.** It might be a good exercise to have students write in Minimal Greek. I wonder if these semantic primes should be the basis for a core need-to-know vocabulary and form checklist. It might be far superior to frequency based lists, such as Major’s list of 65 words that he claims make up 50% of any Greek text.***
- * See explanation of Minimal English here: https://intranet.secure.griffith.edu.au ... al-english
** https://embeddedreading.com/2012/07/25/ ... d-reading/
*** https://camws.org/cpl/cplonline/files/M ... online.pdf
https://intranet.secure.griffith.edu.au ... plications
My introduction to this was from Chapter Six of the following:
Dirven, René, and Marjolyn Verspoor, eds. Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics. 2nd rev. ed. Cognitive Linguistics in Practice v. 1. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: J. Benjamins Pub. Co, 2004.
Wierzbicka, Anna. Semantics: Primes and Universals. Oxford [England] ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.