greek word for woman or wife

greek word for woman or wife

Postby Charles Terrizzi » January 2nd, 2012, 9:37 am

Is gunaika a declension of gunay?
Is it always used for wife?
Sometimes the same subject is referred to as a gunaika and then to a gunay.
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby Jason Hare » January 2nd, 2012, 7:34 pm

Charles Terrizzi wrote:Is gunaika a declension of gunay?
Is it always used for wife?
Sometimes the same subject is referred to as a gunaika and then to a gunay.


Hi, Charles, and welcome to the forum! :)

We like to look at the Greek around here. In this case, the word in question is γυνή. As you begin to learn Greek, you will see that there are different forms that a word takes to serve various functions in a sentence.

Nominative is the case for the subject of a sentence or the "predicate nominative".
Genitive is the case of possession and belonging (with other notable functions as well, of course - this is a very basic explanation).
Dative is the case for the indirect object, instrumentality etc.
Accusative is the case of the direct object.
Vocative is the case of direct address.

We (that is, B-Greekers) would encourage you to look into an introductory grammar to start to learn how these things work. The basics of noun declension (showing the form of words as they function in various cases) is usually covered in the first chapter of a Greek textbook.

In this case, γυνή ("gynē") is the nominative case of the word that translates as "wife" or "woman" in the singular. γυναῖκα ("gynaika") is the accusative case of the same word. This means that when this word appears as the subject of a finite verb (or a predicate nominative), it will appear as γυνή, but when it appears as the direct object of a verb it will take the form γυναῖκα.

Have you thought about taking a basic Greek course? Were you aware that study groups form online from time to time?

Let me know if you want more information about where you can contact others who might be interested in starting up a study with you!
Jason A. Hare
Rehovot, Israel
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby David Lim » January 2nd, 2012, 8:34 pm

Charles Terrizzi wrote:Is gunaika a declension of gunay?
Is it always used for wife?
Sometimes the same subject is referred to as a gunaika and then to a gunay.


To add to what Jason has said, the word you are referring to belongs to the third declension:
Stem: γυναικ-
NSF: γυνή
ASF: γυναῖκα
DSF: γυναικί
GSF: γυναικός
VSF: γύναι
NPF: γυναῖκες
APF: γυναῖκας
DPF: γυναιξί(ν)
GPF: γυναικῶν
VPF: γυναῖκες
(See http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-11.html and http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-15.html.)

The nominative singular is irregular. The dative plural is γυναικ+σιν > γυναιξίν. The consonant at the end of the stem is dropped in the vocative singular. The meaning of the word is roughly "woman (opposite of man)" / "wife (opposite of husband)". In the New Testament, "γυνή" is always used for "wife", but it is also used for "woman", which is probably the basic meaning.
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby Jason Hare » January 2nd, 2012, 8:51 pm

David,

I've added accents to your contribution. I was hoping to avoid putting so much information out there. Since it's third-declension, it would be a while before a beginner ran into all of the forms. Better to learn the first and second declensions first, I think.

Either way, the abbreviations (like NSF, for instance) probably aren't clear to a new person. Try to remember that we might be dealing with someone for whom Greek is a completely foreign language ("It's Greek to me!"). :)

---
Charles,

I hope that we haven't muddied the water for you too much. Out of curiosity, have you already begun any kind of study into the Greek language? Do you need any recommendations?
Jason A. Hare
Rehovot, Israel
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby David Lim » January 2nd, 2012, 9:45 pm

Jason Hare wrote:David,

I've added accents to your contribution. I was hoping to avoid putting so much information out there. Since it's third-declension, it would be a while before a beginner ran into all of the forms. Better to learn the first and second declensions first, I think.

Either way, the abbreviations (like NSF, for instance) probably aren't clear to a new person. Try to remember that we might be dealing with someone for whom Greek is a completely foreign language ("It's Greek to me!"). :)


Sure, thanks! I just thought it might be helpful to have a nice concise chart of all the forms and how they are derived.
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby Charles Terrizzi » January 2nd, 2012, 10:59 pm

12 years ago I studied the declensions....I did not continue enough to remember. I need to. Is there any good android app for greek grammar?

Thanks for the clarification on gunay.
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby David Lim » January 3rd, 2012, 12:23 pm

Charles Terrizzi wrote:12 years ago I studied the declensions....I did not continue enough to remember. I need to. Is there any good android app for greek grammar?

Thanks for the clarification on gunay.


The grammar I cited is the one I am most familiar with but there are errors here and there in the HTML version (the various formats of the scanned pages can be found at http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/funk-grammar/), and certainly there are other references that other people that are more familiar with and can recommend to you. :)
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Re: greek word for woman or wife

Postby Jason Hare » January 4th, 2012, 7:49 pm

Charles Terrizzi wrote:12 years ago I studied the declensions....I did not continue enough to remember. I need to. Is there any good android app for greek grammar?

Thanks for the clarification on gunay.


Have you given any thought to starting up a Greek study again? Are you interested in advice as far as directions are concerned?
Jason A. Hare
Rehovot, Israel
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