J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

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J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby jbbulsterbaum » January 19th, 2012, 3:51 am

Hello.

My study of languages consists mostly of Spanish, with a lot of looking back on English in that pursuit. I have had some Latin texts in front of me for a while now, but not consistently, because I have had to work so much for the past few years. Before that, I was studying biology. I might even have gone back by now, if it weren't for a family member needing immediate care/oversight/help: that got in some hot water at work for causing difficulties, and I was suspended (hurray!) temporarily, which allowed me to get a car for finally having some free time (which would have meant those difficulties wouldn't have arisen again, and also that I would have saved about four hours per day communicating between work and home).

But I returned to find myself unscheduled, to my very own manager's surprise (he was not a normal manager, but higher-up, so didn't deal directly with scheduling matters); he had me go home for the day and return on my next regularly scheduled day, whereupon I found myself canned (but also many others--including my former manager). For which I am now exploring how I might re-start a pursuit in Greek. I started up once, only to find myself greatly hindered in anything by a health issue (the same that knocked me out of school), but before that had looked-up reconstructions of the sound system, using reading about Spanish linguistics to decipher Buth's work; I heard how interesting and useful Funk's Hellenic Volumes were, and acquired them a few hours later (got lucky); I was also going to attend some classes down the street of my university town at the local presence of CCSI (Centers for Christian Studies International), the only outfit in town that taught Koine and was able to provide credits through a university for the work one did: I learned about it through a friend.

Nowadays I am out there looking for work, making sure that when I need get out that my relative is deposited safely with her sister, but for having free time am perusing various sites on the language. I am thinking about joining the next Beginner's course at quasillum.org, but do not know whether I want to start in the Koine, or start instead with Ionic or Attic (I intend to make this a lifelong hobby anyways). All are studied over there anyways. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I thought it would be proper to make an introduction, even if not so interesting or without much to show in it. I have perused the lists before, and fell back onto this site after looking-up Funk's grammar again checking to see whether it was currently available or not for purchase, or even online because I was thinking about suggesting that a Funk group be started on quasillum. To my great surprise, it is!

So suggestions and tips are welcome. I have Funk, I know of Robertson's tome (seeing that here too is awesome); for that I was about to start Greek studies with the CCSI folks, I have Mounce's Beginner's...and just because I found it cheap at a used bookstore, Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond... I am also very curious about whether experienced students think it better to start with Koine, then look back on Classical given that perhaps one would take the wrong notions and semantics from the Koine texts for starting with Classical and given, as I have been told, Classical tends to be more difficult, or start with Classical, then move on to Koine.

As with suggestions, considerations on such topics, and insight of experienced students, are welcome.
J. Bradley Bulsterbaum.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby Mark Lightman » January 20th, 2012, 1:02 am

I am thinking about joining the next Beginner's course at quasillum.org, but do not know whether I want to start in the Koine, or start instead with Ionic or Attic (I intend to make this a lifelong hobby anyways). All are studied over there anyways. Thoughts? Suggestions?


χαῖρε. ἀσπάζομαί σε πρὸς τοῦτον τὸν τόπον.

The argument for starting with Homeric Greek is that Homer is the best writer in human history and that the morphology is more regular (read less contracted.) The argument for starting with Attic is that there are a number of pretty good Attic textbooks out there (Athenaze, JACT, Beetham's Reading Greek with Plato, et. al.) But the argument for Koine is the strongest of all and can be summed up in two words: Buth and Rico. You should start with these so you can right from the beginning set yourself up for learning to speak Ancient Greek. Try to learn Greek the way you learned Spanish and you'll be fine.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby jbbulsterbaum » January 21st, 2012, 12:54 pm

the argument for Koine is the strongest of all and can be summed up in two words: Buth and Rico.


Er...if you mean Christophe Rico of http://poliskoine.com/ I have to say I'm not normally in favor of learning Greek by jumping into French with a background in Spanish, but I could give it a go... : ) At the very least it would force one to think much harder and shake-up expectations.

Sorry, had to do that: only see a French text on there. So Buth and Rico...in what order? Together? Either simultaneously with Funk so that there is cross-supplementation going on?
J. Bradley Bulsterbaum.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby Mark Lightman » January 21st, 2012, 1:17 pm

If you are a beginner in Greek and you don't know French (or German) I would go with Buth. The English translation of Rico's Polis is pending.

And yes, I happen to think it would be a good idea to supplement Buth with a more traditional text book (I like Machen.) But Buth himself may have a different idea.

And start watching stuff like this right way early and often.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc1tD_v7 ... AAAAAAAAAA

μακάριος εἶ μανθάνων τὴν γλῶσσαν τὴν Ἑλληνικήν.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby jbbulsterbaum » January 22nd, 2012, 12:47 am

Er...I have Machen's little book as well. (An older edtion) actually. As for videos, know of any that follow Buth's reconstruction? Does the video linked by you do that? Apologies for the inundation of questions, but insofar as goes Greek, I'm a babe. After this post, however, I think I will try to move any more questions into the beginner's area.
J. Bradley Bulsterbaum.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby RandallButh » January 22nd, 2012, 5:24 am

And yes, I happen to think it would be a good idea to supplement Buth with a more traditional text book (I like Machen.) But Buth himself may have a different idea.


It all depends on what one wants to do. If one wants to learn to talk about Greek in English, then any number of traditional books will do fine, followed by more and more linguistically inclined works like Runge. However, be forewarned that that road is ultimately a dead end. "Twenty years of schoolin and they put you on the day shift". True fluency cannot be developed by 'grammar-translation'. For that, a different trajectory is necessary, which is why the Living Koine materials were developed. They will actually start to develop a different web inside the brain.

As a PS: in Greek studies I think that there are several pedagogical errors that even go beyond 'grammar-translation'. A primary example is the presentation of 'contract verbs (verbs accented perispomena in 1s indic.)' in abstract, artificial forms that require conscious processing before the real word pops out. χρῶμαι 'I use (+dative)' is a real word. *χράομαι is not a real word, nor is converting it into χρῶμαι a process that fluent Koine Greek language users ever performed. Practicing that conversion for a hundred thousand reps is a guaranteed way to block fluency and to build a natural inclination to think outside of the language rather than from within the language. Please note, I am not saying that the etymological information cannot be explained and provided to the student. I'm a linguist, i actually enjoy notes like that. It makes an interesting sidebar. But the training in the language must take place with real words if the student wants to build a real language. So while I consider 'grammar-translation' a poor methodology on general pedagogical principles from Second Language Acquisition studies, in Greek 'grammar-translation' is even poorer. Its persistence in classical studies is a remarkable testimony to human inertia.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby Mark Lightman » January 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am

J. Bradley ἠρώτησε: As for videos, know of any that follow Buth's reconstruction? Does the video linked by you do that?


Of all the communicative Ancient Greek videos out there, about 70% use Buth's προφορά. And yes, Mike Halcomb's outstanding video series is in Buthian.

http://www.youtube.com/user/tmichaelwha ... re=g-all-u

Randall ἔδωκεν τὴν γνώμην:

Its (grammar translation’s) persistence in classical studies is a remarkable testimony to human inertia.

.

I have a theory about this. I think that Modern Greek, simply the existence of Modern Greek, has done more than anything else to keep grammar-translation alive in Ancient Greek pedagogy. I have heard from many people the argument that if you want to use Ancient Greek as a living language, you might as well learn Modern Greek. Almost none of these people actually HAVE learned Modern Greek, and very few of them have even TRIED to speak Ancient Greek. Latin learners are much less likely to use the existence of Italian as an excuse not to use the language they purport to learn.

Apologies for the inundation of questions, but insofar as goes Greek, I'm a babe. After this post, however, I think I will try to move any more questions into the beginner's area.


Being on B-Greek means never having to say you’re sorry, but yes, you should ask these excellent questions in the various subforums.
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Re: J. Bradley Bulsterbaum

Postby jbbulsterbaum » January 22nd, 2012, 5:02 pm

Thanks much to all.

P.s. Your (Mr. Buth) papers on importance of pronunciation even in a dead language (as far as it being a stage of the language with different rules and a different context) slowed me down and got me reading further years back. Health issues would have blocked any extensive or continuing from around that time onwards (followed by several years of manual labor out of dire need and the time-sucking hole we call public transportation here in the states where, contrary to advertisements that you can read, one should keep eyes and ears wide open and scanning for trouble), but even if issues like that had not arisen, they made me become more examining before starting anything. I remember hearing from students of Greek, including Church pastors, how pronunciation is important insofar as it is consistent and useful to pedagogy. From experience with Spanish and all the thinking about one's own language that learning another language urges, I just could not square that idea with the goal of learning a language well, or believe that language, which is largely oriented around sound, could be divorced from the sounds in mind even of one who is writing (as opposed to speaking aloud--though this consideration alters radically at the thought that ancient readers nearly always read aloud), and suspected that there were significances and distinctions in Hellenic writing that could probably be obscured in mind by blurring sounds. I did some Google and stumbled on your papers. So to Mr. Buth, "shame on you" (for the delay) and thanks. : ) Now if only your stuff was on Amazon: I have to order some stuff from there. : (
J. Bradley Bulsterbaum.
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