Accent quiz

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Stephen Carlson
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Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
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Accent quiz

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 5th, 2014, 11:49 am

The following forms are spelled with the same letters but have different accents:
  • ποίησαι
  • ποιῆσαι
  • ποιήσαι
What do they mean?
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

cwconrad
Posts: 2107
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
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Re: Accent quiz

Post by cwconrad » April 5th, 2014, 12:47 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:The following forms are spelled with the same letters but have different accents:
  • ποίησαι
  • ποιῆσαι
  • ποιήσαι
What do they mean?
What they mean, of course, depends considerably on contextual indicators, which are absent here; but contextual indicators, of course, would give the game away.

ποίησαι: aor. 2 sg. imptv., roughly, "do (it) for yourself"
ποιῆσαι: aor. act. inf., roughly, "to get (it) done"
ποιήσαι: aor. 3 sg. opt., roughly, "may/might get (it) done"; in older Attic, one might see ποιήσειε(ν)
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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