ζάω and the rules of contraction

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?
Danny King
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by Danny King » September 29th, 2015, 12:34 pm

RandallButh wrote: A classic rule-breaker are the various words formed on -χε (χεῖν 'pour'). Aorists are typically -έχεεν while imperfect seems to tend toward –έχει.

More important to is ask why the aorist *-έχεσε is not used? The answer to this question will be found ἐν τῷ ἀφεδρῶνι.

So these verbs need to be learned in context, maybe as the communicative need arises.
Thank you for reminding me of ἐκχέαι. I saw this in Romans 3:15 a few months ago and I even underlined it and wrote "strange form" beside it but then promptly forgot all about it. I don't understand the part on ἐν τῷ ἀφεδρῶνι but I'll just assume it's not for beginners.

Ken M. Penner
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by Ken M. Penner » September 29th, 2015, 1:16 pm

Danny King wrote:I read in, I think, Wallace that some regional dialects of classical Greek used contract verbs in their uncontracted form. If some ancient document could be found where someone used ζάω or some variant in an uncontracted form, we would then know.
Homer uses ζώω; I believe Omega (with the exception of some instances of Omicron) is the only vowel that shows up in uncontracted forms of ζῶ.
Yet
Funk 3691 wrote:Contract verbs in -ηω. Of the contract verbs with long final vowel in classical Greek, e.g. ζήω, live, only two have resisted complete assimilation to verbs in -άω. The present indicative active of ζήω (ζάω) is: ζῶ, ζῇς, ζῇ, ζῶμεν, ζῆτε, ζῶσι (ν).
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

cwconrad
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by cwconrad » September 29th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote:
Danny King wrote:I read in, I think, Wallace that some regional dialects of classical Greek used contract verbs in their uncontracted form. If some ancient document could be found where someone used ζάω or some variant in an uncontracted form, we would then know.
Homer uses ζώω; I believe Omega (with the exception of some instances of Omicron) is the only vowel that shows up in uncontracted forms of ζῶ.
Homeric ζώω, I think, is generally thought to be a case of diectasis, the "stretching out" of a long vowel or diphthong so that it fills two syllables, as we often do to long vowels in diphthongs in singing (e.g. "al-le-e-lu-ya" for "alleluia"). In this case the contracted form ζῶ is stretched into two syllables so that the ω is sounded twice. There's no evidence that there ever was a verb ζώειν.
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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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by cwconrad » September 29th, 2015, 1:34 pm

Danny King wrote:
RandallButh wrote: A classic rule-breaker are the various words formed on -χε (χεῖν 'pour'). Aorists are typically -έχεεν while imperfect seems to tend toward –έχει.

More important to is ask why the aorist *-έχεσε is not used? The answer to this question will be found ἐν τῷ ἀφεδρῶνι.

So these verbs need to be learned in context, maybe as the communicative need arises.
Thank you for reminding me of ἐκχέαι. I saw this in Romans 3:15 a few months ago and I even underlined it and wrote "strange form" beside it but then promptly forgot all about it. I don't understand the part on ἐν τῷ ἀφεδρῶνι but I'll just assume it's not for beginners.
It's a joke, son! ὁ ἀφεδρῶν is the seat of kings and commoners (cf. Matt 15:17 οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸ στόμα εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν χωρεῖ καὶ εἰς ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκβάλλεται;)
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Ken M. Penner
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by Ken M. Penner » September 29th, 2015, 1:56 pm

cwconrad wrote:There's no evidence that there ever was a verb ζώειν.
Herodotus, Histories 7.46.3 τεθνάναι βούλεσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ ζώειν
Herodotus, Histories 4.112.1 ἀλλὰ ζόην ἔζωον τὴν αὐτὴν ἐκείνῃσι
Herodotus, Histories 1.120.1 ειʼ ἐπέζωσε καὶ μὴ ἀπέθανε
Pindar, Olympia 2.25 ζώει μὲν ἐν Ὀλυμπίοις ἀποθανοῖσα βρόμῳ
Sophocles, Electra 157 οἵα Χρυσόθεμις ζώει καὶ Ἰφιάνασσα,
Homer, Odyssey 7.148-149 τούσδε τε δαιτυμόνας· τοῖσιν θεοὶ ὄλβια δοῖεν / ζωέμεναι
Homer, Odyssey 24.435-436 οὐκ ἂν ἐμοί γε μετὰ φρεσὶν ἡδὺ γένοιτο ζωέμεν
Hesiod, Works and Days 112 ὥστε θεοὶ δʼ ἔζωον ἀκηδέα θυμὸν ἔχοντες;
Hesiod, Works and Days 90 Πρὶν μὲν γὰρ ζώεσκον ἐπὶ χθονὶ
Ken M. Penner
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RandallButh
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by RandallButh » September 29th, 2015, 2:01 pm

cwconrad wrote: Wonderful root, that: χεϝ/χοϝ/χυ; but there is an aorist, of course: ἔχεα; already found in Homer, as well as ἔχευα and the unaugmented χεῦα.
Yes, Carl, χεῖν/χέαι 'to pour' does have an alpha-aorist. The surprise is explaining why it rejects a sigma-alpha aorist χέσαι. I think that it was to avoid the potential homonymic aorist of the smelly root.

Of course there is another important single-syllable -E- verb, βδεῖν, that is more regular and includes a sigma aorist, if I remember correctly while listening to Swahili and travelling.

To those learning "contract verbs" I recommend learning real words already correctly formed, ποιεῖν/ἀγαπᾶν/ζῆν/πληροῦν, and then discussing rules of contraction after the fact.

While on the topic of funky verbs, remember forms like χρᾶσαι τινί 'you are using something'(2s pres.middle). There you have it. χρῆσθαι showing up with an 'a' vowel. Go figure! And not using the Attic verb table form χρῇ 'you are using.' To quote Asterix, "Die Griechen sind spinner!"

cwconrad
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by cwconrad » September 29th, 2015, 2:14 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote:
cwconrad wrote:There's no evidence that there ever was a verb ζώειν.
Herodotus, Histories 7.46.3 τεθνάναι βούλεσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ ζώειν
Herodotus, Histories 4.112.1 ἀλλὰ ζόην ἔζωον τὴν αὐτὴν ἐκείνῃσι
Herodotus, Histories 1.120.1 ειʼ ἐπέζωσε καὶ μὴ ἀπέθανε
Pindar, Olympia 2.25 ζώει μὲν ἐν Ὀλυμπίοις ἀποθανοῖσα βρόμῳ
Sophocles, Electra 157 οἵα Χρυσόθεμις ζώει καὶ Ἰφιάνασσα,
Homer, Odyssey 7.148-149 τούσδε τε δαιτυμόνας· τοῖσιν θεοὶ ὄλβια δοῖεν / ζωέμεναι
Homer, Odyssey 24.435-436 οὐκ ἂν ἐμοί γε μετὰ φρεσὶν ἡδὺ γένοιτο ζωέμεν
Hesiod, Works and Days 112 ὥστε θεοὶ δʼ ἔζωον ἀκηδέα θυμὸν ἔχοντες;
Hesiod, Works and Days 90 Πρὶν μὲν γὰρ ζώεσκον ἐπὶ χθονὶ
I stand corrected -- and mightily! :oops:
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Danny King
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by Danny King » September 29th, 2015, 5:07 pm

Ken M. Penner wrote: Homer uses ζώω; I believe Omega (with the exception of some instances of Omicron) is the only vowel that shows up in uncontracted forms of ζῶ.
Yet
Funk 3691 wrote:Contract verbs in -ηω. Of the contract verbs with long final vowel in classical Greek, e.g. ζήω, live, only two have resisted complete assimilation to verbs in -άω. The present indicative active of ζήω (ζάω) is: ζῶ, ζῇς, ζῇ, ζῶμεν, ζῆτε, ζῶσι (ν).
Herodotus, Histories 7.46.3 τεθνάναι βούλεσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ ζώειν
Herodotus, Histories 4.112.1 ἀλλὰ ζόην ἔζωον τὴν αὐτὴν ἐκείνῃσι
Herodotus, Histories 1.120.1 ειʼ ἐπέζωσε καὶ μὴ ἀπέθανε
Pindar, Olympia 2.25 ζώει μὲν ἐν Ὀλυμπίοις ἀποθανοῖσα βρόμῳ
Sophocles, Electra 157 οἵα Χρυσόθεμις ζώει καὶ Ἰφιάνασσα,
Homer, Odyssey 7.148-149 τούσδε τε δαιτυμόνας· τοῖσιν θεοὶ ὄλβια δοῖεν / ζωέμεναι
Homer, Odyssey 24.435-436 οὐκ ἂν ἐμοί γε μετὰ φρεσὶν ἡδὺ γένοιτο ζωέμεν
Hesiod, Works and Days 112 ὥστε θεοὶ δʼ ἔζωον ἀκηδέα θυμὸν ἔχοντες;
Hesiod, Works and Days 90 Πρὶν μὲν γὰρ ζώεσκον ἐπὶ χθονὶ
Super impressive, Ken. You have completely answered my original question and more. Where were you all this while? :lol: But thanks for coming late for I have managed to learn a load of other stuff from the other experts.

That quotation from Funk is a real treasure. Not only has it answered my original question, it seems to imply certain other things as well. It's probably just my hyperactive imagination but would you say the following statement is far off the mark?
In classical Greek, contract verbs came in various forms, with end vowels both short and long but as the language simplified as it evolved to Koine Greek, the contract verbs assimilated and ended up with only three end vowels - α, ε and ο.

Stephen Carlson
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Re: ζάω and the rules of contraction

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 29th, 2015, 6:07 pm

Danny King wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote: *ζάω is a fake form devised by grammarians long ago and should be abandoned. ζῆν is not a true -αω contract verb, so the usual rules for this group of verbs don't apply to it. It's yet another verb you'll have to specially memorize.
But why would grammarians create a fake form? Just so they have a lexical form that fits nicely into a contract verb category? It would have been a lot less deceiving if they had just come up with ζήω and considered it a fourth type of contract verbs.
I don't know why. After Saussure, it's hard to get into the mentality of the Renaissance grammarians. A possibility is that the group of verb that conjugate like ζῆν are just too small to be given its own conjugation? Yet, what we understand of language now shows us that such quasi-regularities are to be expected in language. (Try formulating the rules for the past tense form in English.)
Danny King wrote:Isn't there some way to study the etymology of the word to see how it came about? I read in, I think, Wallace that some regional dialects of classical Greek used contract verbs in their uncontracted form. If some ancient document could be found where someone used ζάω or some variant in an uncontracted form, we would then know.
The best resources for Greek etymology are the etymological dictionaries of Beekes, Frisk, and Chantraine. Unfortunately, they are either too expensive or old or both to be accessible to most students of Greek. A very good university library (e.g., the Carolina library at Uppsala University in Sweden) might have all three of them.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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