aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.

aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby GlennDean » September 24th, 2012, 7:44 pm

Hi:

In 1 John 1:8, the verse starts off as

ἐὰν εἴπωμεν

The word εἴπωμεν is the aorist active subjunctive of λεγω. My understanding is the stem for the aorist active is either *ϝιπ or it is *ιπ

If I form the 2nd aorist active subjunctive I would go

stem + "lengthen connecting vowel" + "primary ending"

In my case, this would be either ιπ + ω + μεν or ϝιπ + ω + μεν

My question is: how do we get from one of the above to εἴπωμεν

Thank-you,

Glenn
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Re: aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby cwconrad » September 24th, 2012, 8:07 pm

GlennDean wrote:Hi:

In 1 John 1:8, the verse starts off as

ἐὰν εἴπωμεν

The word εἴπωμεν is the aorist active subjunctive of λεγω. My understanding is the stem for the aorist active is either *ϝιπ or it is *ιπ

If I form the 2nd aorist active subjunctive I would go

stem + "lengthen connecting vowel" + "primary ending"

In my case, this would be either ιπ + ω + μεν or ϝιπ + ω + μεν

My question is: how do we get from one of the above to εἴπωμεν


The aorist stem of λέγειν is εἰπ- This is an irregular verb, the principal parts of which you must know -- you cannot necessarily deduce the root of an irregular verb from the aorist 1st sg. indic. active. The initial ε of εἳπον is not an augment -- and a subjunctive form such as εἴπωμεν would not be augmented in any case (only indicative secondary tenses are augmented); in fact this aorist stem was originally ϝεϝεπ- -- a reduplicated form of the e-grade of the root ϝεπ-/ϝοπ (it is etymologically related to Latin *voc-). The digammas of ϝεϝεπ- evanesced, leaving ε-επ-, and ε-επ- contracted to ειπ-. Irregular verbs with roots or stems in vowels or diphthongs are just plain ornery -- a good lexicon will show you what the various forms of the different tenses are in extant literature, but you won't be able to deduce them as you can with verbs like λύειν and παιδεύειν which are neatly obedient to all the rules of tense-formation.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby GlennDean » September 24th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Thanxs Carl for the info! I'll update the textbook I use with the info that the aorist active stem is *ειπ,

Glenn
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Re: aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby RandallButh » September 25th, 2012, 1:57 am

GlennDean wrote:Thanxs Carl for the info! I'll update the textbook I use with the info that the aorist active stem is *ειπ,

Glenn


I would 'amen' Carl's explanation, but for pedagogy of teaching Greek there is a more basic point.

Please remember to use real words, and only real words, when teaching beginning Greek.

It is counterproductive to use roots and rules as the conduit into a fluent use of a language.
In this case, that means teaching words like εἰπεῖν. If Greek teachers don't understand this during the first year Greek course they will set their students backwards and make things more difficult for students to press into fluency.

And of course I must now add the caveat for the simple reason that if the above is not understood, and it is routinely misunderstood in the halls of ancient language pedagogy, a false conclusion is inevitably made. So FTR, I am 100% in favor of teaching etymology and the history of the Greek language or any language, even English. It just isn't the conduit into fluency, it is part of a secondary historical understanding of a language. It has it's rightful place in studies and training, but after a basic fluent core has started to be developed. And a historical understanding of a language is vital to research and analysis. Vital. So is fluency. Vital. But training a student to think primarily through rules slows down or even blocks fluency. And that leads to one of many pedagogical ironies: reducing a language to abstract and compact rules does not lead to faster learning or arrival at fluency and higher level reading skills.
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Re: aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby GlennDean » September 25th, 2012, 11:33 am

Thanxs Randall for the guidance - using non-existent words is a bad habit I learned from the "get-go" (and I need to break this bad habit).

Oh, btw, it almost sounded like you thought I was teaching Greek? No,no,no,not by a long shot! I've been stuck somewhere between completing basic Greek and starting intermediate Greek for almost 18 months. I hope to finish intermediate Greek by 2014 (but even that might be overly optimistic). When I said "the textbook that I use" I meant "the textbook that I am using to learn Greek"
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Re: aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby cwconrad » September 25th, 2012, 12:01 pm

RandallButh wrote:
GlennDean wrote:Thanxs Carl for the info! I'll update the textbook I use with the info that the aorist active stem is *ειπ,

Glenn


I would 'amen' Carl's explanation, but for pedagogy of teaching Greek there is a more basic point.

Please remember to use real words, and only real words, when teaching beginning Greek.

It is counterproductive to use roots and rules as the conduit into a fluent use of a language.
In this case, that means teaching words like εἰπεῖν. If Greek teachers don't understand this during the first year Greek course they will set their students backwards and make things more difficult for students to press into fluency.

And of course I must now add the caveat for the simple reason that if the above is not understood, and it is routinely misunderstood in the halls of ancient language pedagogy, a false conclusion is inevitably made. So FTR, I am 100% in favor of teaching etymology and the history of the Greek language or any language, even English. It just isn't the conduit into fluency, it is part of a secondary historical understanding of a language. It has it's rightful place in studies and training, but after a basic fluent core has started to be developed. And a historical understanding of a language is vital to research and analysis. Vital. So is fluency. Vital. But training a student to think primarily through rules slows down or even blocks fluency. And that leads to one of many pedagogical ironies: reducing a language to abstract and compact rules does not lead to faster learning or arrival at fluency and higher level reading skills.


I find myself too frequently adding notes to the effect, "Lest I be misunderstood ... " I don't disagree one bit with Randall's assertions here. I do believe that grammatical explanation and understanding the how and why of a language's usage are secondary to understanding what is spoken and heard or written and read. But questions being raised in this forum are coming from and will continue to come from beginners who are learning by means of a "grammar/translation" pedagogy and using textbooks that are based on that pedagogy. Surely we can respond to these questions by correcting misinformation promulgated in the textbook and the classroom; must we take every question coming from beginners as an opportunity to inveigh against continued use of the "grammar/translation" pedagogy. I guess we can do both, but I don't think we should stop trying to help those who are working with a pedagogical method that we think is far less effective.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: aorist active subjunction of λεγω

Postby RandallButh » September 26th, 2012, 4:31 am

Sometimes there are simple items that are easy to grasp and implement even within 'Grammar Translation' curricula:

> 'Please remember to use real words, and only real words, when teaching beginning Greek.'

and ... 'when learning Greek'

This can help a student plan how to be thinking.
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