Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby Jesse Goulet » August 19th, 2012, 2:13 pm

RandallButh wrote:Well, first of all the textbooks are designed for self study and in book two there is ample English, too much English for experienced language learners, but they learn to skip over stuff. But our materials actually begin as a true parallel to such a classroom.

Is there also a teacher's guide or teacher's workbook then? Or would you expect a prof to tailor your program to the needs of the his/her class?

In our Book One picture lessons (more truly 'immersion' or monolingual, with Greek sound, but no English and no written Greek) students learn to associate groups of doers with αυτοί and they also see things given to a girl who is sometimes called παιδί, sometimes κορασίῳ, and sometimes αυτῇ. This is also covered in universal grammar rule number #1: "we do things like that, because that's the way the Greeks do them."
The basic idea is to open up a new directory in a student's brain and to format it for Greek. I exaggerate, of course, but such overstatement can be very helpful for many who start out learning Greek as anything but Greek.

Yes I've seen some of that on your website.

What do you think of the idea of doing vocab through powerpoint? I came up with this idea some time ago where you have, for example, a photo from Google images or a cartoon drawing of, say, a family. And then you could have an arrow pointing to the father, and perhaps a question like "τις εστιν αὐτος;" and then the class (or yourself if you're self-studying) needs to recall the Greek word, then the Greek word appears when you hit "next" in your powerpoint. In this case the answer would be "ὁ πατηρ," the next one μητηρ then ὑιος then θυγατηρ etc.

In book two they get an English explanation and grammar terms in both Greek and English, which is equally foreign for the first-time second-language student.

So that gets back to my original question. Because you DO have some grammar explanations, so how do you explain morphological things for nouns and verb endings?
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby RandallButh » August 19th, 2012, 6:48 pm

Jesse Goulet wrote:
RandallButh wrote:Well, first of all the textbooks are designed for self study and in book two there is ample English, too much English for experienced language learners, but they learn to skip over stuff. But our materials actually begin as a true parallel to such a classroom.

Is there also a teacher's guide or teacher's workbook then? Or would you expect a prof to tailor your program to the needs of the his/her class?


We are currently working on a teacher's manual.


In our Book One picture lessons (more truly 'immersion' or monolingual, with Greek sound, but no English and no written Greek) students learn to associate groups of doers with αυτοί and they also see things given to a girl who is sometimes called παιδί, sometimes κορασίῳ, and sometimes αυτῇ. This is also covered in universal grammar rule number #1: "we do things like that, because that's the way the Greeks do them."
The basic idea is to open up a new directory in a student's brain and to format it for Greek. I exaggerate, of course, but such overstatement can be very helpful for many who start out learning Greek as anything but Greek.

Yes I've seen some of that on your website.

What do you think of the idea of doing vocab through powerpoint? I came up with this idea some time ago where you have, for example, a photo from Google images or a cartoon drawing of, say, a family. And then you could have an arrow pointing to the father, and perhaps a question like "τις εστιν αὐτος;" and then the class (or yourself if you're self-studying) needs to recall the Greek word, then the Greek word appears when you hit "next" in your powerpoint. In this case the answer would be "ὁ πατηρ," the next one μητηρ then ὑιος then θυγατηρ etc.



An MP4 version of LKG is due out in two weeks.



In book two they get an English explanation and grammar terms in both Greek and English, which is equally foreign for the first-time second-language student.

So that gets back to my original question. Because you DO have some grammar explanations, so how do you explain morphological things for nouns and verb endings?



Explain? We may be having difficult communicating here. Morphology is used and presented, but one does not want conscious "explanation" in the middle of communication
how do you explain that a bird is a bird? morphology just "is", at the beginning. That is why I teach POIEI and BOA for students but not "POIE+EI = POIEI" or "BOA+EI = BOAi"
At beginning stages, a person needs to learn words with their appropriate endings in their context. The focus needs to be on the meaning of the comprehensible input. Some of the basic pieces need to be learned before a system is diagrammed. that system can be diagrammed at early language levels, but their history and shape should only be "explained" much much later.
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby klriley » August 20th, 2012, 1:52 am

As someone who is interested (actually 'obsessed' may be accurate at times - it's OK, being OCD allows you to obsess over worthwhile things) with how language works, I have found that I don't like that information delivered in class. It is much better savoured at leisure out of class. A simple "Smyth (or whoever) deals with this in detail on p XX or in chapter YY" is all that is needed in class. Those who are interested will follow it up, those who are not can happily continue in their ignorance. For most people, the information is both unnecessary and confusing. My memory of Greek classes is that the necessary confusion was sufficient without adding unnecessary confusion. Confusion may be the beginning of wisdom, but you can overdo it.
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby RandallButh » August 20th, 2012, 5:30 am

Kevin, that is also a helpful perspective--let those interested read up on their own outside of a Greek class. A Greek class is one of those rarest of environments where things happen in Greek and people can interact in Greek. Such an environment needs care and nurture.

In my older age I've also picked up a kind of rule of thumb: If the non-Greek explanation can be done in 30 seconds or less it may be appropriate for classroom with a shared 'other language." If 30 seconds isn't enough (and this easily goes over 60 seconds without much ado, so caution is advised), then an explination is probably premature and best delayed until a later point. Perhaps when anticipating a long or premature answer is a good place for a note like "ἐρώτησόν με μετὰ τὴν ὅραν δώσειν σοί τι ἀναγνῶναι."
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby Jesse Goulet » August 24th, 2012, 8:06 pm

RandallButh wrote:Always ask yourself the question from the perspective of a Greek kid--how could they have learned whatever it is you are learning?
How would a Greek perceive things?

fortunately, we have the writings of fairly sophisticated ancient grammarians. Dionysios the Thracian did NOT list *-ε- *-α- *-ο- in "-εω, -αω, -οω" verbs. Instead he listed real words (βοῶ, βοᾶς, βοᾷ) and pointed out that they formed a special group or sub-set of verbs. Greeks would have noticed the accent shifts to be sure, but they did not think through the etymological development of the forms.


I haven't studied any classics yet, but I'm curious what ancient grammarians taught, and how scribes were taught and how kids were taught. Where can we learn about these things? I'm curious to know how ancient Greek grammarians taught nouns and verbs, etc.
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby RandallButh » August 24th, 2012, 8:46 pm

Jesse Goulet wrote:
RandallButh wrote:Always ask yourself the question from the perspective of a Greek kid--how could they have learned whatever it is you are learning?
How would a Greek perceive things?

fortunately, we have the writings of fairly sophisticated ancient grammarians. Dionysios the Thracian did NOT list *-ε- *-α- *-ο- in "-εω, -αω, -οω" verbs. Instead he listed real words (βοῶ, βοᾶς, βοᾷ) and pointed out that they formed a special group or sub-set of verbs. Greeks would have noticed the accent shifts to be sure, but they did not think through the etymological development of the forms.


I haven't studied any classics yet, but I'm curious what ancient grammarians taught, and how scribes were taught and how kids were taught. Where can we learn about these things? I'm curious to know how ancient Greek grammarians taught nouns and verbs, etc.



As mentioned, you can read Dionysios Thrax. However, you need to remember one BIG point, they were writing for people who already knew how to speak and communicate in Greek. They were writing out of a scientific curiousity in order to discover items about how language is put together and organized.

If you want to learn about how Romans learned Greek, then you should find something in Quintilian. He advocated getting someone to talk to your kids and to focus on Greek at the beginning of their education, 'cuz they would learn Latin anyway.
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby Jesse Goulet » August 30th, 2012, 5:53 pm

Alright thanks.

I need to ask, is the entire first book of yours all pictures that go along with Greek? I'm assuming it starts with basic words and then onto basic sentences and moves on towards more difficult constructions?

You mentioned the 2nd book introduces some grammar explanations, but what kinds of things are explained? How Greek verbal aspect works? The attributive, substantival, predicate articles positions for adjectives? Antecedents for pronouns? Word order?

And do they contain drills such as spelling or speaking or reading exercises? Or have you thought of creating an exercises book to go with the textbooks?
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby RandallButh » August 31st, 2012, 2:26 am

Jesse Goulet wrote:Alright thanks.

I need to ask, is the entire first book of yours all pictures that go along with Greek? I'm assuming it starts with basic words and then onto basic sentences and moves on towards more difficult constructions?

You mentioned the 2nd book introduces some grammar explanations, but what kinds of things are explained? How Greek verbal aspect works? The attributive, substantival, predicate articles positions for adjectives? Antecedents for pronouns? Word order?

And do they contain drills such as spelling or speaking or reading exercises? Or have you thought of creating an exercises book to go with the textbooks?


The LKG Part One is "all pictures without transcriptions" at first, but it includes teaching the alphabet through oral discovery and description, and then teaching people to read transcriptions of the pictures without the pictures. There is even a grammar summary at the end of Part One that summarizes the Greek use of cases and verb endings from the materials.

Part Two certainly explains how Greek aspect works, and it does not describe an open-ended event as "present". Discourse applications of aspect are included. What is also exciting is explaining this to students who have already started to grasp some of the distinctions in TPR settings. Most items of grammar are taught when there is an appropriate text needing illustration. Students get more not less. Traditional grammar vocabulary is introduced but it is not the "channel" for learning the language. The language is taught and then the various metalanguages are introduced. This is an important difference and advantage in language learning efficiency that has been taken from Second Language Acquistion studies. The goal and results in modern languages are better comprehension and better 'exegesis', though they don't use such terminology. Modern literature is usually studied as a "reading" or "analysis of a text". (The word "exegesis" seems to predominate where people cannot communicate in the language of study. Maybe that subliminally literalizes one piece of the etymology, where someone takes the meaning "out of the text" into another language.)
The LKG books contain 'tons' of spoken drills with relatively few written drills, but they exist too and are usually supplemented by teachers as befits a class. We are increasing written drills for the teachers' manual to make it easier to assign more written homework if desired.
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby Jesse Goulet » September 4th, 2012, 4:48 pm

RandallButh wrote:The language is taught and then the various metalanguages are introduced. This is an important difference and advantage in language learning efficiency that has been taken from Second Language Acquistion studies.


Actually, isn't that how we all learned English as our primary language? We all learn by watching our parents and teachers talk, followed by having Dr Suess books read to us and then learning to read Dr Suess ourselves. And then we begin to learn about things like tense, punctuation, etc. after we've been immersed in the language.

So do you think that books such as Wallace's grammar or Smyth's are still useful learning tools? Perhaps for more advanced students who want to go beyond what you teach?
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Re: Noun Case Endings & Verb Endings

Postby RandallButh » September 4th, 2012, 5:34 pm

Jesse Goulet wrote:
RandallButh wrote:The language is taught and then the various metalanguages are introduced. This is an important difference and advantage in language learning efficiency that has been taken from Second Language Acquistion studies.


Actually, isn't that how we all learned English as our primary language? We all learn by watching our parents and teachers talk, followed by having Dr Suess books read to us and then learning to read Dr Suess ourselves. And then we begin to learn about things like tense, punctuation, etc. after we've been immersed in the language.

So do you think that books such as Wallace's grammar or Smyth's are still useful learning tools? Perhaps for more advanced students who want to go beyond what you teach?



We may be using some terms differently. Reference grammars are for reference,
That may sound tautologous, but reference grammars are not 'learning tools' in the sense of a 'pedagogical program.' One does not 'learn a language' thru reading in a reference grammar. However, one can check details, fill out the understanding of functions, sometimes see the larger picture, and learn all sorts of interesting things about the scope, shape, and history of the language. So they are certainly learning tools in that sense.

Imagine doing that in English where one first learns English (whether a first or second language) and then searches in a reference grammar, written in English, for developing an analytical grasp of the language. In these discussions on teaching/learning the possibility of using a reference grammar in the language of interest may provide a different perspective on what constitutes 'learning'. (Of course, not much is available in Greek, and nothing in ancient Greek that interfaces with modern linguistics.)
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