Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?
Stephen Hughes
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 30th, 2015, 1:23 pm

Chemistry is in the skill of teacher, not an innate eventuality.

After many tens of thousands of students I have begun to learn to let go of my pre-conceptualisations of which students will be successful learners
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » July 30th, 2015, 6:56 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:I took beginning Greek starting in 1977. No charts. Strict memorization. A professor who never smiled the first semester. A traditional textbook. Somehow it all worked.
My experience in 1983 was very different: my teacher had a great smile.
My first Greek professor was afraid of us - and it showed. And we were a competitive bunch of seminarians. His English grammar had some holes in it, so we jumped all over him. He told the other faculty that he knew just how the Christians felt when they were thrown to the lions.
Shirley Rollinson
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R. Perkins
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by R. Perkins » July 31st, 2015, 5:13 am

Thank you for the responses. Just finished 2 Aorists - which, at times seem to just go off completely on their own.

This is something that is *EXTREMELY* frustrating to me: You can learn the paradigmatic charts & then many times the words (e.g., Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns) do not follow the rules that you just learned, but instead go off entirely on their own :oops: ! This is sooooo aggravating. I mean who on earth can recognize these morphs when there's absolutely no rules governing this grammatical misbehavior? Osmosis?

For example, in dealing with liquid verbs, there seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason for the "ablaut." It just seems to be one of the numerous quirks about Koine' that you have to memorize (of course, I am sure someone on here has an explanation). In the 2nd Aorists there are verbs that look absolutely nothing like the lexical stem...& does not seem to follow any tense-formative rules.

So, I guess I am going back to my previous question: How on earth can someone actually learn these quirks without using their master chart on tests - when in many cases the words do not behave properly, but just go completely off on their own (e.g., the 2 Aorist form of "Lego")? Oh, & then there is those lovely accusative masculine sing. & accusative neuter sing....which have the identical case endings (same with the neuter nominative) :o !

Ummm, can anyone tell I'm nearing my final exam & feeling the pressure :mrgreen: ?? Pardon my sophomoric angles - I'm sure y'all are catching all sorts of errors I'm making, but I'm still in the learning phase(s). Thanks again for the all the help!

God Bless.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 31st, 2015, 6:47 am

R. Perkins wrote:Thank you for the responses. Just finished 2 Aorists - which, at times seem to just go off completely on their own.

This is something that is *EXTREMELY* frustrating to me: You can learn the paradigmatic charts & then many times the words (e.g., Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns) do not follow the rules that you just learned, but instead go off entirely on their own :oops: ! This is sooooo aggravating. I mean who on earth can recognize these morphs when there's absolutely no rules governing this grammatical misbehavior? Osmosis?

For example, in dealing with liquid verbs, there seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason for the "ablaut." It just seems to be one of the numerous quirks about Koine' that you have to memorize (of course, I am sure someone on here has an explanation). In the 2nd Aorists there are verbs that look absolutely nothing like the lexical stem...& does not seem to follow any tense-formative rules.
A verb catalog like this one helps it make at least a little more sense, you can learn similar verbs together.
R. Perkins wrote:So, I guess I am going back to my previous question: How on earth can someone actually learn these quirks without using their master chart on tests - when in many cases the words do not behave properly, but just go completely off on their own (e.g., the 2 Aorist form of "Lego")? Oh, & then there is those lovely accusative masculine sing. & accusative neuter sing....which have the identical case endings (same with the neuter nominative) :o !
Memorizing with flashcards doesn't work for me, I find it much easier to learn by looking at words in actual sentences, where the morphology is reinforced by the meaning of the sentence as a whole. That's a lot like what successful beginning readers do, using the sense of a sentence to reinforce phonics, and using phonics to sort out a word that they had initially misread, the two reinforce each other. laparola.net is good for this, you can look for a word that you are interested in and see all the forms that occur in the New Testament.

For instance, here is ὁράω. Look at the bottom of the page, and it has a list of all the forms that actually occur in the Greek New Testament.

For a set of verbs I was looking at last year, I did some queries to present the forms more systematically. See if this verb camp is useful for you, and practice writing these sentences, changing the verb to a different form in the same sentence. Change singular to plural, or aorist to present, or whatever, keeping the rest of the sentence as is. That kind of active in-language practice is much more helpful to me than rote memorization. Also: these pages have coloring and lines to indicate the form of the verb, think about how the underlying morphology relates to the coloring and line for each verb.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

R. Perkins
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Joined: January 18th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by R. Perkins » August 1st, 2015, 4:14 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
R. Perkins wrote:Thank you for the responses. Just finished 2 Aorists - which, at times seem to just go off completely on their own.

This is something that is *EXTREMELY* frustrating to me: You can learn the paradigmatic charts & then many times the words (e.g., Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns) do not follow the rules that you just learned, but instead go off entirely on their own :oops: ! This is sooooo aggravating. I mean who on earth can recognize these morphs when there's absolutely no rules governing this grammatical misbehavior? Osmosis?

For example, in dealing with liquid verbs, there seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason for the "ablaut." It just seems to be one of the numerous quirks about Koine' that you have to memorize (of course, I am sure someone on here has an explanation). In the 2nd Aorists there are verbs that look absolutely nothing like the lexical stem...& does not seem to follow any tense-formative rules.
A verb catalog like this one helps it make at least a little more sense, you can learn similar verbs together.
R. Perkins wrote:So, I guess I am going back to my previous question: How on earth can someone actually learn these quirks without using their master chart on tests - when in many cases the words do not behave properly, but just go completely off on their own (e.g., the 2 Aorist form of "Lego")? Oh, & then there is those lovely accusative masculine sing. & accusative neuter sing....which have the identical case endings (same with the neuter nominative) :o !
Memorizing with flashcards doesn't work for me, I find it much easier to learn by looking at words in actual sentences, where the morphology is reinforced by the meaning of the sentence as a whole. That's a lot like what successful beginning readers do, using the sense of a sentence to reinforce phonics, and using phonics to sort out a word that they had initially misread, the two reinforce each other. laparola.net is good for this, you can look for a word that you are interested in and see all the forms that occur in the New Testament.

For instance, here is ὁράω. Look at the bottom of the page, and it has a list of all the forms that actually occur in the Greek New Testament.

For a set of verbs I was looking at last year, I did some queries to present the forms more systematically. See if this verb camp is useful for you, and practice writing these sentences, changing the verb to a different form in the same sentence. Change singular to plural, or aorist to present, or whatever, keeping the rest of the sentence as is. That kind of active in-language practice is much more helpful to me than rote memorization. Also: these pages have coloring and lines to indicate the form of the verb, think about how the underlying morphology relates to the coloring and line for each verb.

Thank you much for these sites! Will definitely look into them. Just finished deponents tonight. Supposed to be taking one class per week (including the actual class, reading grammar, workbook, & weekly quiz) - but I've been averaging 1 full class (from class to the test) per night (about 3 hrs. per night in class total). Maybe I'm trying to do too much all @ once (?).

At this rate I should be taking my final exam in about a month or 2. From there I intend to take about a month & do nothing but review the grammar book & vocab. before moving into Greek II. My prof. suggested reading Greek with an interlinear (as a supplement to actually doing the work directly from the Greek text) to see the morphing in action & read it aloud. I realize that many on here would disagree with that, & I'm a bit skeptical as well inasmuch as I *KNOW* that I'll be looking @ the English translations - which I am trying to avoid.

Again, this site has proven absolutely invaluable & I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be on here.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 1st, 2015, 8:21 am

R. Perkins wrote:Thank you much for these sites! Will definitely look into them. Just finished deponents tonight. Supposed to be taking one class per week (including the actual class, reading grammar, workbook, & weekly quiz) - but I've been averaging 1 full class (from class to the test) per night (about 3 hrs. per night in class total). Maybe I'm trying to do too much all @ once (?).

At this rate I should be taking my final exam in about a month or 2. From there I intend to take about a month & do nothing but review the grammar book & vocab. before moving into Greek II. My prof. suggested reading Greek with an interlinear (as a supplement to actually doing the work directly from the Greek text) to see the morphing in action & read it aloud. I realize that many on here would disagree with that, & I'm a bit skeptical as well inasmuch as I *KNOW* that I'll be looking @ the English translations - which I am trying to avoid.

Again, this site has proven absolutely invaluable & I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be on here.
Do you have a set of forms you need to learn each day? If you want suggestions on how to practice them, feel free to post the forms you are working on, and we might be able to give you exercises you could use to practice.

Instead of an interlinear, perhaps you could start by identifying the verbs in a passage, then break them down into their individual parts. A "master verb chart" like this one can be helpful. Use hyphens to separate the parts, e.g. ε-λαβ-ον. And use a good English translation instead of an interlinear to check your work, one phrase at a time.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » August 2nd, 2015, 1:56 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
R. Perkins wrote:Thank you for the responses. Just finished 2 Aorists - which, at times seem to just go off completely on their own.

This is something that is *EXTREMELY* frustrating to me: You can learn the paradigmatic charts & then many times the words (e.g., Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns) do not follow the rules that you just learned, but instead go off entirely on their own :oops: ! This is sooooo aggravating. I mean who on earth can recognize these morphs when there's absolutely no rules governing this grammatical misbehavior? Osmosis?

For example, in dealing with liquid verbs, there seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason for the "ablaut." It just seems to be one of the numerous quirks about Koine' that you have to memorize (of course, I am sure someone on here has an explanation). In the 2nd Aorists there are verbs that look absolutely nothing like the lexical stem...& does not seem to follow any tense-formative rules.
- - - snip snip - - -
Languages are "living" things, in that they change and develop over time. The language came first - then came the grammar. The language is not an artificial construct which obeys specific rules, but the rules were formulated to describe how a language behaves "most of the time". Some of the "rules" describe grammatical behavior which has become obscured by time (such as digamma dropping out of a word, or vowels contracting and epsilons and sigmas getting lost in pronunciation and then in spelling).
But think how much worse it is for foreign students learning English - eg. bring, brought, sing sang sung, cling clung or clang clanged, and the nuances of hung and hanged, lay and lie :-)
Shirley R.
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RandallButh
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by RandallButh » August 3rd, 2015, 1:36 am

But think how much worse it is for foreign students learning English - eg. bring, brought, sing sang sung, cling clung or clang clanged, and the nuances of hung and hanged, lay and lie
Actually, Greek has many more unpredictable forms than English, so English students have it easy with the relatively short list of "sing sang sung"s.

For the language learner, plan on getting about 100 of the most irregular verbs and most irregular inside you in automatic mode. The reason that a language has irregular forms is that the words tend to be so common that they resisted the regularization that affected most words. English preserves "went" instead of a regularized "goed" because it is so common that everyone uses it everyday and keeps using the form from an older language before English. For Greek, a student must ἔθηκα (I put) something everyday, and ἔδωκα (I gave) something everyday so that these words can be used unconciously.

By the way, a "principle-parts-list-of-NT-verbs" will not work for everyday thinking in Greek because such a list is missing many needed forms (and sometimes implies incorrect actives for middles, etc.). I would recommend the Greek Morphology booklet at biblicallanguagecenter.com. It has all the forms needed for each verb and presented in the correct voice, along with examples of use, and an English-Greek index.
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David Carruth
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by David Carruth » October 26th, 2015, 10:03 pm

Randall,
In the above response, you mention that memorizing principle parts list is not the way to go. You suggest using your morphology would be a better plan. How can one get enough repetitions to make the irregulars easily produced in speech and recognized in reading through looking up items? It seems that looking up words constantly would not give enough exposure at a decent pace.

Is to way to get a massive number of comprehensible inputs (via reading or audio) so that these irregular parts become natural?
Thanks,
David
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RandallButh
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Re: Beginners: how are you learning? how is it going?

Post by RandallButh » October 26th, 2015, 10:52 pm

Yes, the irregular verbs in any language are preserved through massive repetition because they are common in daily usage.

As soon as one starts talking to oneself in Greek, or with a partner or partners, the common verbs will be repeated and repeated and repeated. Did I mention that the irregular verbs are naturally repeated? Good.

What cannot be done is to rely on the accidental occurrence of irregular forms in the Greek New Testament. That is a relatively small corpus and not a natural selection.
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