Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.

Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Postby GlennDean » March 4th, 2012, 1:08 pm

Hi:

I had always thought that when a Greek word had multiple forms (for example present active indicative.2p and present active imperative.2p) it could only have two forms, one in the indicative and one in the non-indicative. But then I came across this word which seems to have three forms: the word is agapate (how do I make this so it shows in Greek?):

present active indicative.2p agapa + e + te (ae contracts to a)

present active subjuntive.2p agapa + h + te (ah contracts to a)

present active imperative.2p agapa + e + te (ae contracts to a)

How do I display Greek letters in my posts?

Thank-you for your assistance
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Re: Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Postby Stephen Carlson » March 4th, 2012, 5:48 pm

GlennDean wrote:I had always thought that when a Greek word had multiple forms (for example present active indicative.2p and present active imperative.2p) it could only have two forms, one in the indicative and one in the non-indicative. But then I came across this word which seems to have three forms: the word is agapate (how do I make this so it shows in Greek?):

present active indicative.2p agapa + e + te (ae contracts to a)
present active subjuntive.2p agapa + h + te (ah contracts to a)
present active imperative.2p agapa + e + te (ae contracts to a)


I'm assuming whether you are asking whether the same form has more than two different parsings. There are a number of verb forms that have three different parsings:

  • λύῃ could be
    • 3d sg. pres. act. subj.
    • 2d sg. pres. mid. ind.
    • 2d sg. pres. mid. subj.
  • λύσῃ could be
    • 2d sg. fut. act. ind.
    • 3d sg. aor. act. subj.
    • 2d sg. aor. mid. subj.

As for the first word, there is also a rare noun λύη meaning "dissolution," so λύῃ could also be a dative singular for a fourth parsing.

GlennDean wrote:How do I display Greek letters in my posts?


You need a Greek "keyboard" and set your input language to Greek (EL). I use the one that comes standard with Windows.

Stephen
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala
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Re: Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Postby Louis L Sorenson » March 4th, 2012, 6:03 pm

Check out Perseus' Parser at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?. (Drag it to your toolbar). Perseus Hopper-Morph give all most extant forms. αγαπατε could be from three different words. See http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=agapate&la=greek

ἀγαπάω
ἀγαπᾶτε verb 2nd pl pres subj act contr
ἀγαπᾶτε verb 2nd pl pres imperat act contr
ἀγαπᾶτε verb 2nd pl pres ind act contr
ἀγαπᾶτε verb 2nd pl imperf ind act doric aeolic contr

ἀγαπάζω
ἀγαπᾶτε verb 2nd pl fut ind act contr

ἀγαπητός
ἀγαπᾶτε adj sg masc voc doric
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Re: Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Postby GlennDean » March 4th, 2012, 7:40 pm

Thanxs Stephen for the info - that answer a secondary question (which was could a word have two different parsings for say the subjunctive (or two for the imperative or ....)

Thanxs Louis - Perseus is great!
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Re: Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Postby David Lim » March 4th, 2012, 9:36 pm

GlennDean wrote:Thanxs Stephen for the info - that answer a secondary question (which was could a word have two different parsings for say the subjunctive (or two for the imperative or ....)

Thanxs Louis - Perseus is great!


Note that Perseus gives only forms in its database so it may not list all possible grammatical forms. Also, of the forms that Perseus gives there are forms in many different dialects, so sometimes there may seem to be more plausible forms than are actually understood in any particular time period and geographic region.
δαυιδ λιμ
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Re: Can Greek words have more than two forms?

Postby Louis L Sorenson » March 4th, 2012, 9:47 pm

Perseus also gives variant accentuations which I really don't always understand. But it is a good tool.
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