Page 1 of 3

Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 1st, 2017, 3:02 pm
by alanmacall
I'm really struggling to understand participles. I'm using Black's textbook along with Mounce but I'm really struggling to understand how they are used. I think what I need are lots of examples of them being used. I'm comfortable memorising forms but I am struggling to grasp how they are used. Can anyone recommend a book or website with lots of examples for me to look at?

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 1st, 2017, 5:38 pm
by Emma Ehrhardt
Hi Alan,

What vocabulary are you comfortable with already? Are you following Black or Mounce?

I wrote a little software program that can do searches on the NT text based on certain vocabulary and/or grammatical features. I'd be happy to generate a ton of examples with participles that use only vocabulary you already know.

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 1st, 2017, 7:37 pm
by Jonathan Robie
Two chapters that have a lot of examples to help illustrate usage:

1. Participles as a Pragmatic Choice: Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics. Randall Buth in The Greek Verb Revisited.
2. The chapter on participles in Rijsbaron's Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek.

I'd also take Emma up on her offer. I can do queries and produce examples too, so I might chip in. Which aspect of the participle are you thinking through right now?

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 3rd, 2017, 5:19 pm
by alanmacall
Hello Emma and Jonathan!

How very kind of you both! That is very generous. I have memorised all words that occur 50 times or more (according to Rodney Decker's Basic Greek Vocabulary list anyway). Currently, I'm trying to memorise all words that occur 27 times or more which Dr Decker lists here: http://ntresources.com/blog/documents/gk3vocab.pdf

It would be so good if you could run off some examples and it would be most gratefully received. Any of the vocabulary in Dr Decker's 27x or more list would be fine. I may not have learned all the words yet, but I am determined to get there!

Jonathan - thank you for the book recommendations. I am very tempted by 'The Greek Verb' book. I was happy to find that I can read the chapter you mention for free at Google books, although sadly the Greek font is not showing correctly. Nevertheless, I have seen enough to put it on my wishlist.

On grammars, I use Black and Mounce mostly. I use other resources on the Internet too, including Dr Shirley's helpful work.

But mainly I use Mounce and Black. I've been through the lessons on present, aorist and future participles and I think I understand what I'm encountering but I don't understand how it works in practice. I believe I'd benefit from more examples!

Many thanks
A

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 3rd, 2017, 6:03 pm
by Jonathan Robie
alanmacall wrote:How very kind of you both! That is very generous. I have memorised all words that occur 50 times or more (according to Rodney Decker's Basic Greek Vocabulary list anyway). Currently, I'm trying to memorise all words that occur 27 times or more which Dr Decker lists here: http://ntresources.com/blog/documents/gk3vocab.pdf

It would be so good if you could run off some examples and it would be most gratefully received. Any of the vocabulary in Dr Decker's 27x or more list would be fine. I may not have learned all the words yet, but I am determined to get there!
To look up all uses of a word, I suggest http://lexicon.katabiblon.com/, which you can do easily enough by yourself.
alanmacall wrote:But mainly I use Mounce and Black. I've been through the lessons on present, aorist and future participles and I think I understand what I'm encountering but I don't understand how it works in practice. I believe I'd benefit from more examples!
Let's do this one step at a time. Can you pick something specific you would like examples of?

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 4th, 2017, 5:08 am
by Eeli Kaikkonen
Although simple systematic examples are tremendously helpful, the best way to learn in the long run is really using real language, in this case just reading real texts. Buy some Koine reader's textbook, or even better, a reader's edition of the New Testament. Of the latter there exist at least three: UBS, Zondervan and Robinson & Pierpont. They all have glosses of rare words in footnotes so that you can follow the text with your memorized vocabulary easily. Start with Gospels of Mark and John, letters of John and maybe e.g. Galatians. Don't translate or parse, just go through the text and try to understand what it says in Greek, not spending too much time in the most difficult parts. You will meet participles in their real context and understand their function. In that way you internalize the language gradually and better than just reading and analyzing grammars/examples. Both are valuable ways to learn, of course, and support each other, but just reading and understanding is what you want, after all, and doing it is the best way to learn it.

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 5th, 2017, 1:56 pm
by Paul-Nitz
The participles that work like nouns are easy.
ADJECTIVAL
ὁ περιπατῶπερν πεινᾷ
The walking one is hungry

καὶ ὁ περιπατῶν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει
The one walking in darkness doesn't know where he is going.

The participles that describe what's going on are a bit more difficult. Act them out.
ADVERBIAL
περιπατῶν πεινᾷ.
Walking he is hungry.
ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν.
He went to them walking on the sea.

These adverbial participles describe the circumstances of the rest of what is going on (thus also called "Circumstantial Participles"). The books will give you a dozen names and ways that they might be translated. Forget all that. Look at the context and make a guess. Is the thought
"Because he's walking he is hungry"? Or,
"While he's walking he's hungry"? Or, something else.

But, what it cannot be is "After he walked, he's hungry." That distinction would be shown by using the Aorist aspect participle περιπατήσας πεινᾷ.

Then there are some verbs that flesh out the full thought with a participle. This works just like "I stopped WALKING." We don't say, "I stopped to walk."

Funk has a good explanation. Can't find the link to the online version right now.

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 6th, 2017, 2:23 am
by Emma Ehrhardt
Hot off the press:

"This booklet provides over 600 examples of phrases and sentences from the Greek New Testament containing participles. Wording is limited to high-frequency vocabulary, allowing beginning Greek students to focus on reading participles in context, rather than wrestling with less common vocabulary.

Texts were selected using the following criteria: 1) All vocabulary words (lemma) occur in the GNT at least 50 times, 2) Verbs only occur in the indicative mood or as participles, 3) Indicative verb forms are included where their respective tense form (aka principal part) occurs at least 15 times in the GNT, and 4) Participle verb forms are limited to those whose tense form occurs at least 15 times as a participle and 15 times in the indicative mood.

For example, in the indicative mood, λαμβάνω occurs frequently in the present and imperfect tenses (31x), as well as aorist (69x) and future (18x) (but only active or middle voice). It occurs less frequently in the perfect tense (6x), and never as an aorist or future passive. So forms related to λαμβάνω, ἔλαβον, and λήμψομαι are included, but those related to εἴλημμαι and ἐλήμφθην have been excluded from selection."

I second Eeli's recommendations about reading. Reading lots of short phrases with simple vocabulary was what helped me become comfortable in Greek. Memorization and analysis allowed me to learn a lot about Greek, but I didn't "get it" until I just dove into the language itself.

Happy reading!

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 6th, 2017, 6:12 am
by Eeli Kaikkonen
Emma's booklet is fantastic. I think that's about the best one can do without laborous manual work. With manual work it would be better, of course. For example one could add some kind of context, possibly in English, or in simplified Greek, to those phrases which are difficult to understand as-is. Or the easier ones could just be hand picked. I doubt many students would be willing to systematically go through so many examples anyway. It would also be great to have the examples grouped according to classification (taken from e.g. Funk or Robinson, maybe simplified). I wonder if it's possible to categorize these automatically using existing (morphologically or linguistically) tagged texts.

Re: Struggling with Participles

Posted: February 6th, 2017, 9:30 am
by Jonathan Robie
I agree that Emma's booklet is fantastic.

I can classify examples using queries from a treebank. I'll look for some queries I did a while back that do some of the categories from Rijksbaron's chapter.