Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

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WAnderson
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Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by WAnderson » February 9th, 2016, 7:43 pm

I'm asking this question just to help clarify things in my mind ...

Does the lexical form of a contract verb (e.g., τιμάω = "I honor" = 1st pers pres act indic) actually exist, or is it a theoretial form only? In other words, since the (contracted) 1st pers pres act indic of τιμάω = τιμῶ ("I honor"), then why isn't τιμῶ the lexical form we find listed in BDAG rather than τιμάω?

While in practice it's easy to find the lexical form (φιλέω) of a contract verb (φιλῶ) in BDAG, in theory it means we need to know lexical forms that we will never actually encounter when reading Greek? Seems kinda weird.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » February 9th, 2016, 9:12 pm

WAnderson wrote:I'm asking this question just to help clarify things in my mind ...

Does the lexical form of a contract verb (e.g., τιμάω = "I honor" = 1st pers pres act indic) actually exist, or is it a theoretial form only? In other words, since the (contracted) 1st pers pres act indic of τιμάω = τιμῶ ("I honor"), then why isn't τιμῶ the lexical form we find listed in BDAG rather than τιμάω?

While in practice it's easy to find the lexical form (φιλέω) of a contract verb (φιλῶ) in BDAG, in theory it means we need to know lexical forms that we will never actually encounter when reading Greek? Seems kinda weird.
No There is no such form as τιμάω. It is a contrived form, and the reason for its existence is to show you the stem vowel on the verb (α in this case). You're not the only one who thinks that it "Seems kinda weird." Quite a few here would agree with you, including Randall Buth and Stephen Carlson who would argue that the lexical form should be the infinitive, which is a real form and which also gives the critical information. For example: τιμᾶν for τιμάω or ποιεῖν for ποιέω. I believe there is also a suggestion that the aorist infinitive should be included as a standard part of the lexical information.
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WAnderson
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by WAnderson » February 10th, 2016, 3:19 am

Thanks. Is this the case with the "lexical" form of all, most, or just some contract verbs?
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cwconrad
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by cwconrad » February 10th, 2016, 9:27 am

WAnderson wrote:Thanks. Is this the case with the "lexical" form of all, most, or just some contract verbs?
As with most bold generalizations about a language, "never" is too strong a word: you will see uncontracted forms of verbs in Ionic dialect -- if you ever have occasion to read a text composed in Ionic (Herodotus and some others); it's generally the case with Attic and with the Koine that you'll regularly see ποιῶ, δηλῶ, τιμῶ rather than ποιέω, δηλόω, τιμάω. That's one reason why many of us have been voicing a preference for the present infinitive as the lexical form for verbs; the forms ποιεῖν, δηλοῦν, τιμᾶν clearly indicate that these are contract verbs with stems in -ε-ειν, -ο-ειν, -α-ειν, respectively.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 10th, 2016, 10:34 am

cwconrad wrote:
WAnderson wrote:Thanks. Is this the case with the "lexical" form of all, most, or just some contract verbs?
As with most bold generalizations about a language, "never" is too strong a word: you will see uncontracted forms of verbs in Ionic dialect -- if you ever have occasion to read a text composed in Ionic (Herodotus and some others); it's generally the case with Attic and with the Koine that you'll regularly see ποιῶ, δηλῶ, τιμῶ rather than ποιέω, δηλόω, τιμάω. That's one reason why many of us have been voicing a preference for the present infinitive as the lexical form for verbs; the forms ποιεῖν, δηλοῦν, τιμᾶν clearly indicate that these are contract verbs with stems in -ε-ειν, -ο-ειν, -α-ειν, respectively.
However it's done, it's helpful to make the distinction, and helps people to distinguish between shouting and becoming a cow. :lol:
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cwconrad
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by cwconrad » February 10th, 2016, 10:52 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
cwconrad wrote:
WAnderson wrote:Thanks. Is this the case with the "lexical" form of all, most, or just some contract verbs?
As with most bold generalizations about a language, "never" is too strong a word: you will see uncontracted forms of verbs in Ionic dialect -- if you ever have occasion to read a text composed in Ionic (Herodotus and some others); it's generally the case with Attic and with the Koine that you'll regularly see ποιῶ, δηλῶ, τιμῶ rather than ποιέω, δηλόω, τιμάω. That's one reason why many of us have been voicing a preference for the present infinitive as the lexical form for verbs; the forms ποιεῖν, δηλοῦν, τιμᾶν clearly indicate that these are contract verbs with stems in -ε-ειν, -ο-ειν, -α-ειν, respectively.
However it's done, it's helpful to make the distinction, and helps people to distinguish between shouting and becoming a cow. :lol:
I never saw a purple cow;
I never hope to see one;
but I can tell you this right now:
I'd rather shout than be one. :D
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » February 10th, 2016, 12:41 pm

cwconrad wrote: ... That's one reason why many of us have been voicing a preference for the present infinitive as the lexical form for verbs; the forms ποιεῖν, δηλοῦν, τιμᾶν clearly indicate that these are contract verbs with stems in -ε-ειν, -ο-ειν, -α-ειν, respectively.
-ε-ειν, -ο-ουν, -α-αν respectively
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 10th, 2016, 1:06 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:However it's done, it's helpful to make the distinction, and helps people to distinguish between shouting and becoming a cow. :lol:
I think the English idiom "she had a cow" is probably based on a mistranslation from the Greek.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » February 10th, 2016, 1:38 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:However it's done, it's helpful to make the distinction, and helps people to distinguish between shouting and becoming a cow. :lol:
I think the English idiom "she had a cow" is probably based on a mistranslation from the Greek.
Or at least we all fervently hope that to be the case!
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cwconrad
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Re: Question about contract verbs (first principal part)

Post by cwconrad » February 10th, 2016, 2:06 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:
cwconrad wrote: ... That's one reason why many of us have been voicing a preference for the present infinitive as the lexical form for verbs; the forms ποιεῖν, δηλοῦν, τιμᾶν clearly indicate that these are contract verbs with stems in -ε-ειν, -ο-ειν, -α-ειν, respectively.
-ε-ειν, -ο-ουν, -α-αν respectively
I'm not quite sure what is intended by that last line. What I intended to indicate was that contract verbs in -εῖν involve a contraction of ε + ειν, contract verbs in -οῦν involve a contraction of ο + ειν and contract verbs in -ᾶν involve a contraction of α + ειν. The infinitives are each contractions of the stem vowel ε, ο, or α with the infinitive ending -ειν.
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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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