1st Declension form pure eta

1st Declension form pure eta

Postby A R Wentt Jr » May 24th, 2013, 4:33 pm

This is my very first post so forgive any fumbles I may make. I would like to know why does the genitive and dative cases take the circumflex rather than retain the acute in the singular form? The plural of these two cases also takes the circumflex and I have been puzzled as to why.

As background, I am a self study newbie with no former experience. My purpose for the study is to read the bible in its original language. I am using Croy's A Primer of Biblical Greek as my base text. I have Mounce and a ton of other books, which I will not burden this question with.

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.

-Allan
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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby Louis L Sorenson » May 24th, 2013, 11:23 pm

The genitive and dative of 1st declension nouns are always circumflex (perispomenon), IF accented on the ultima, and never accute; the nominative singular and accusative singular, if η and if accented, is always accute (oxytone). Note that 1st declension genitive plurals are always accented on the ultima, unlike the other declensions. (Well, I cannot get cut text from Logos' Smyth or from the UChicago Smyth to appear correctly, so here is a snapshot of the relevant sections.) You can find the UofChicago Smyth at http://artflx.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.9:3:0.NewPerseusMonographs. Smyth, H. W. (1920). A Greek Grammar for Colleges (48–49). New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company. You can get a copy of Smyth for about $45US. See the thread about Smyth's grammar at http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1020&hilit=smyth. I think the real question is why the nominative and accusative take the accute accent. I'm going to post this and let others comment. I don't want to lose the inline images.

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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby A R Wentt Jr » May 25th, 2013, 12:51 am

Louis,

Thank you for your instructive response. I have Smyth's work in my Logos library. I take the liberty to infer from your answer that you would recommend Smyth as a reference to expand upon issues raised by more basic texts.

If I may ask of you another related but probably more elementary question. It is my understanding that primary sources for the New Testament Greek were copied without punctuation marks or accents. If this is so, am I to understand that the system of accents are a more recent development?

Is there a resource that covers the development of this system and by whom it was originated? I hope I am not being a bore, but I remember things better when I am supplied the rationale.
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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby timothy_p_mcmahon » May 25th, 2013, 11:17 pm

For a brief, not too technical treatment, you could try D.A. Carson's book on accents.
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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby A R Wentt Jr » May 26th, 2013, 2:08 pm

Timothy,

Thanks for your recommendation. D.A.Carson seems an unlikely source of scholarship in this area, but I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt on your recommendation. One of the reviews on AMZ gives mention to Philomen Probert's work: http://www.amazon.com/Short-Accentuation-Ancient-Advanced-Language/dp/1853995991/ref=sr_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369589394&sr=1-17&keywords=probert

His area of scholarship would appear to make him an authority in this area. So, I am also going to purchase his work. I wish I had had the opportunity to read your response before I'd made another purchase by Henry William Chandler http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1313163236/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Well, thanks once again.

-Allan
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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 27th, 2013, 7:45 am

Probert is an authority on Greek accentuation. I'm not familar with this book mentioned here, but some of his articles can be really technical.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby A R Wentt Jr » May 27th, 2013, 1:37 pm

Thank you Stephen,
To correct myself, Philomen Probert is a she. She is on the faculty of and a lecturer at Oxford. I extract the following from a page on the internet: she "is interested in ancient Greek, Latin, Anatolian and Indo-European linguistics, and in the Graeco-Roman grammatical tradition. She very much likes working on ancient Greek accentuation, and on historical syntax. She has written on the prehistory of the Greek accentuation system, its contribution to historical linguistics and phonological theory, and its description in ancient grammatical texts."
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Re: 1st Declension form pure eta

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 27th, 2013, 1:43 pm

Thanks for that.
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