γνωναι

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
mtrue
Posts: 2
Joined: April 6th, 2016, 9:10 pm

γνωναι

Post by mtrue » April 6th, 2016, 9:21 pm

So I’ve been really struggling with this word and if someone could help that would be amazing.

I know that it is an aorist infinitive form of γινωσκω.

I’m having issues with how to form it and my prof. told me that it is active when the only way I could figure it out is passive.

Here is what my prof. said: 2nd aorist/active/infinitive
γνων + σαι

First, he is using a 1st aorist ending with a 2nd aorist word. Second, if this were true, wouldn’t the ν drop out before the ς? Also how can the ν even be there because the root is actually γνω and my prof. is keeping the 1st person singular aorist active indicative ending?

I’m baffled. Here is how I did it: 2nd aorist/passive/infinitive
γνω + ηναι

Here you can either say that the ω swallowed up the η or this is an athematic verb.

Help please!
0 x



Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: γνωναι

Post by Wes Wood » April 9th, 2016, 9:09 pm

Perhaps it would help to consider this verb in a different category than either a first or second aorist. There are some verbs that form the aorist active infinitive using the ending -nai without a connecting vowel. These verbs are similar to the present active infinitives of the -mi verbs (didwmi---didonai). There are a few verbs that fit into this category: egnwn (aor. inf. gnwvai), ealwn (alwnai), ebhn (bhnai), and esthn (sthvai). (Please, forgive me for the transliteration. I am on my phone.) I must admit I owe this understanding to Carl Conrad's writings, but I don't know from which one(a) I acquired it. However, any mistakes I have made in expressing his thoughts are my own.
0 x
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

cwconrad
Posts: 2109
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: γνωναι

Post by cwconrad » April 10th, 2016, 7:10 am

Wes Wood wrote:Perhaps it would help to consider this verb in a different category than either a first or second aorist. There are some verbs that form the aorist active infinitive using the ending -nai without a connecting vowel. These verbs are similar to the present active infinitives of the -μι verbs (δίδωμι---διδόναι). There are a few verbs that fit into this category: ἔγνων (aor. inf. γνῶναι), ἑάλων (ἁλῶναι), ἔβην (βῆναι), and ἔστην (στῆναι). I must admit I owe this understanding to Carl Conrad's writings, but I don't know from which one(a) I acquired it. However, any mistakes I have made in expressing his thoughts are my own.
I guess I'm in the accusative case!I'm in the dock ἵνα ἀπολογήσωμαι. I did make this point recently, but I didn't recall doing it in this forum. It dawned on me long ago that the so-called aorist passives in θη/η are conjugated with "active" secondary endings (ν/ς/_/μεν/τε/σαν) and looked, for all intents and purposes, exactly like athematic aorist active verbs (ἐφάνην, ἔστην, ἔβην ἑάλων, ἔγνων, ἔφυν). Only recently did it dawn on me that the aorist passives really are athematic aorist active forms. They are intransitive and generally indicate attaining a state. And this is the case with ἔγνων/ἕγνως/ἔγνω. There's the marvelous phrasing of the opening of Homer's Odyssey, the song about the man who roamed far over land and sea:
πολλῶν δ’ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἕγνω.
"Many are the people whose towns he got to see and whose mentality he came to discern."
There's a lot more that needs to be said about the aorist active; I'm not at all sure I'm competent to do it, but I have a few inklings, including the following:
a. The aorist active is the "original" tense-aspect form of the Greek verb. From the earliest relics of written Greek there are at least four types of aorist that students must eventually come to terms with and master. First of all, there's the stigmatic aorist, rightly (or wrongly) called "First" aorist (not because it πρώτιστα ἐγένετο, but because it's the most prominent of aorist inflections): the stigmatic aorist in -σα. Then there's the "second" aorist that comes in several varieties, including the thematic type in -ον/ες/ε (inf. -εῖν), the athematic type in ν/ς/_ (info. -ναι) and the most irregular verbs of all that have -κα aorists (ἔδωκα, ἔθηκα, [ἀφ]ῆκα).
b. One aorist pattern we learn early to recognize is the transitive pattern for verbs of strong transitivity: there's a stigmatic aorist active (ἔλυσεν ὁ ᾶνήρ τὸν ἵππον, "the man untied the horse"), aorist middle (ἐλύσατο ὁ ἀνὴρ τὸν ἵππον, "the man untied his horse"), aorist passive ἐλύθη ὁ ἵππος, "the horse got loose" -- with or without the assistance of the man).
c. Aorists in -(θ)ῆναι, -ῦναι, -ῶναι are intransitive and involve entry into a state; passive transformations of transitive active verbs and intransitive verbs of locomotion (among others) take this inflection (ἁλίσκομαι "I get caught", ἑάλων "I got caught", ἵσταται "he stands, comes to a halt"; ἕστη "he stood, came to a halt.")
d. Thematic aorist actives fall into varieties that are difficult to categorize.
That's all too cursory a statement. Suffice it to say that there's a lot more to say about active aorist forms.

At any rate, γνῶναι, the intransitive aorist of γινώσκειν is itself a fascinating verb. It is a verb of perception, inherently subject-affected, but is marked for subject-affectedness only in the future γνώσεσθαι, where the intentionality of the process is deliberately marked.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: γνωναι

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 11th, 2016, 3:03 am

I’m having issues with how to form it and my prof. told me that it is active when the only way I could figure it out is passive.

Here is what my prof. said: 2nd aorist/active/infinitive
γνων + σαι

First, he is using a 1st aorist ending with a 2nd aorist word. Second, if this were true, wouldn’t the ν drop out before the ς? Also how can the ν even be there because the root is actually γνω and my prof. is keeping the 1st person singular aorist active indicative ending?
It is always good to go back to the person in question for clarification or exemplification of what they have said. The passive form of the infinitive would have a -σθαι ending. In the indicative, σαι would be the second person singular.

They are a number approaches to how to break words down into their components. Katabiblon gives the following two alternatives γν(ω)·ναι & γν(ω)·εναι. The omega is bracketed because otherwise is an alternative to omicron - which is used in other forms.

The verb appears to be first aorist indicative in the third person singular (ἔγνωσαν), but actually, the ending of the third person plural subject of a verb is -σαν.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
Posts: 2109
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: γνωναι

Post by cwconrad » April 11th, 2016, 7:15 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
I’m having issues with how to form it and my prof. told me that it is active when the only way I could figure it out is passive.

Here is what my prof. said: 2nd aorist/active/infinitive
γνων + σαι

First, he is using a 1st aorist ending with a 2nd aorist word. Second, if this were true, wouldn’t the ν drop out before the ς? Also how can the ν even be there because the root is actually γνω and my prof. is keeping the 1st person singular aorist active indicative ending?
It is always good to go back to the person in question for clarification or exemplification of what they have said. The passive form of the infinitive would have a -σθαι ending. In the indicative, σαι would be the second person singular.

They are a number approaches to how to break words down into their components. Katabiblon gives the following two alternatives γν(ω)·ναι & γν(ω)·εναι. The omega is bracketed because otherwise is an alternative to omicron - which is used in other forms.

The verb appears to be first aorist indicative in the third person singular (ἔγνωσαν), but actually, the ending of the third person plural subject of a verb is -σαν.
I don't understand the above at all. This verb γινώσκειν is irregular; in the present it's γινώσκειν (regular -ω verb); its future is γνώσεσθαι (regular future middle thematic), its aorist is γνῶναι (athematic second aorist), its perfect is ἐγνωκέναι (regular -κα perfect), there's a perfect middle ἐγνῶσθαι. There is no first aorist; the form ἔγνωσαν is not first aorist but athematic aorist ἐ + γνω + σαν. That -σαν ending is, to be sure, derivative from the -σα First Aorist forms, but what we are dealing with here is the gradual spread of endings from the first aorist -σα and -α endings into other secondary-tense paradigms. The 3d pl. -σαν ending is seen also in the 3rd pl. of ἔστησαν, (στῆναι), ἐβλάφθησαν (βλαφθῆναι).

The infinitive is indeed γνῶναι; the ending -ναι attaches directly to the vocalic root/stem. We can say that the aorist stem of this verb is γνω/γνο, but the weak-vowel -ο- stems is seen only in the aorist participle, γνούς, gen. γνόντος etc.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: γνωναι

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 11th, 2016, 7:48 am

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
I’m having issues with how to form it and my prof. told me that it is active when the only way I could figure it out is passive.

Here is what my prof. said: 2nd aorist/active/infinitive
γνων + σαι

First, he is using a 1st aorist ending with a 2nd aorist word. Second, if this were true, wouldn’t the ν drop out before the ς? Also how can the ν even be there because the root is actually γνω and my prof. is keeping the 1st person singular aorist active indicative ending?
It is always good to go back to the person in question for clarification or exemplification of what they have said. The passive form of the infinitive would have a -σθαι ending. In the indicative, σαι would be the second person singular.

They are a number approaches to how to break words down into their components. Katabiblon gives the following two alternatives γν(ω)·ναι & γν(ω)·εναι. The omega is bracketed because otherwise is an alternative to omicron - which is used in other forms.

The verb appears to be first aorist indicative in the third person singular (ἔγνωσαν), but actually, the ending of the third person plural subject of a verb is -σαν.
I don't understand the above at all. This verb γινώσκειν is irregular; in the present it's γινώσκειν (regular -ω verb); its future is γνώσεσθαι (regular future middle thematic), its aorist is γνῶναι (athematic second aorist), its perfect is ἐγνωκέναι (regular -κα perfect), there's a perfect middle ἐγνῶσθαι. There is no first aorist; the form ἔγνωσαν is not first aorist but athematic aorist ἐ + γνω + σαν. That -σαν ending is, to be sure, derivative from the -σα First Aorist forms, but what we are dealing with here is the gradual spread of endings from the first aorist -σα and -α endings into other secondary-tense paradigms. The 3d pl. -σαν ending is seen also in the 3rd pl. of ἔστησαν, (στῆναι), ἐβλάφθησαν (βλαφθῆναι).

The infinitive is indeed γνῶναι; the ending -ναι attaches directly to the vocalic root/stem. We can say that the aorist stem of this verb is γνω/γνο, but the weak-vowel -ο- stems is seen only in the aorist participle, γνούς, gen. γνόντος etc.
The issue of 1st aorist was brought up in the original question, in reference to what their teacher had said. I am saying that the only place in the conjugation it might look like a first aorist is ἔγνωσαν, but as I said and you say, it is not.

I think that there are effectively three roots in this verb; γνο, γνω and γνωσ. I don't think that γνων is a root. The person asking this question's teacher may have a valid reason for saying what they did. I'm suggesting that the information gleaned from asking the participants on B-Greek what they think be used with humility within the teacher-student relationship that has been described with their professor. We are all learners, and nobody has mastered everything. Disillusionment with a teacher is something that must best be managed by best containment and calming.

Perhaps some of that was lost in translation.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
Posts: 2109
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: γνωναι

Post by cwconrad » April 11th, 2016, 9:12 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:I think that there are effectively three roots in this verb; γνο, γνω and γνωσ. I don't think that γνων is a root. The person asking this question's teacher may have a valid reason for saying what they did. I'm suggesting that the information gleaned from asking the participants on B-Greek what they think be used with humility within the teacher-student relationship that has been described with their professor. We are all learners, and nobody has mastered everything. Disillusionment with a teacher is something that must best be managed by best containment and calming.

Perhaps some of that was lost in translation.
Just a couple points in response:
1. I'd distinguish between verbal roots and tense-aspect stems. I think the root of this verb is γνω/ο, i.e. there's a long-vowel form and a short-vowel form. The root is identical with the stem in the aorist of this verb. The -σ- in the future γνώσεσθαι is a formative element regularly used for futures; on the other hand, the -σ- in the perfect middle-passive ἐγνῶσμαι is a prosthetic consonant facilitating linkage of stem and ending. But I confess, that's a quibble; some prefer to analyze the paradigms in terms of what's common to a whole paradigm: ἐγνῶσμαι, ἐγνῶσαι, ἐγνῶσται ...

2. I concur 100% with the sentiment that we are all learners. I've always felt, however, that teachers and learners are intent upon the learning process together; when students are puzzled, they should raise questions about what they don't understand in a textbook or in what the teacher has stated. In my years of teaching, I've learned a lot from my own students who have always felt free to raise questions about what the textbook asserts or what I have presented to the class. It's true, however, that I've never had a class in Greek with more than a dozen students in it. Perhaps some authority structure would be needed in a larger class, but I'd like to encourage students to look for reasons underlying an assertion that they don't understand.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: γνωναι

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 11th, 2016, 2:38 pm

cwconrad wrote:2. I concur 100% with the sentiment that we are all learners. I've always felt, however, that teachers and learners are intent upon the learning process together; when students are puzzled, they should raise questions about what they don't understand in a textbook or in what the teacher has stated. In my years of teaching, I've learned a lot from my own students who have always felt free to raise questions about what the textbook asserts or what I have presented to the class. It's true, however, that I've never had a class in Greek with more than a dozen students in it. Perhaps some authority structure would be needed in a larger class, but I'd like to encourage students to look for reasons underlying an assertion that they don't understand.
I suspect that the B-Greek policy against beginners asking homework questions on the forum grew out of concerns for fairness, avoidance of academic misconduct and the real value of grappling with Greek oneself. Taking the second one - the one concerned with student ethics - a little deeper, there is a reflection of the power structure based in knowledge and expressed in grades that exists between those who are taught and their teachers. Having worked within the politics of a number of staff rooms, I would say that the more diplomatically a colleague gives advice to another teacher's charge, the better. Perhaps you would be surprised to know there are any, but this is one of the few things that the bull treads gently about in the china shop. Turning attention away (or keeping it away) from who is right to what is right, is a good way to engender harmony in carrying out the "learning process" as you put it.

Anyway... Storm in a teacup.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

mtrue
Posts: 2
Joined: April 6th, 2016, 9:10 pm

Re: γνωναι

Post by mtrue » April 21st, 2016, 11:29 am

Hi! I’m the one who posted the original question. The reason I wanted to ask for y’all’s thoughts on this is because I discussed this word for about 20 minutes with my professor and was still certain that he wasn’t forming this verb correctly. I have a great relationship with my professor, he is actually my favorite, it’s just that I didn’t feel satisfied with his solution to forming this word. This professor is very open to hearing what his students are thinking and there have been several times where his view has been changed and he tells us outright in class that he has learned from us, it was just this one time that he stood firm in his decision of how to form this word and I was very confused and had a very strong feeling that it wasn’t correct. Thank y’all for clearing things up for me.
0 x

Paul-Nitz
Posts: 434
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am
Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Re: γνωναι

Post by Paul-Nitz » April 23rd, 2016, 11:34 am

cwconrad wrote:At any rate, γνῶναι, the intransitive aorist of γινώσκειν is itself a fascinating verb. It is a verb of perception, inherently subject-affected, but is marked for subject-affectedness only in the future γνώσεσθαι, where the intentionality of the process is deliberately marked.
Carl, I had been understanding -θῆναι -ηναι forms as subject affected (ἑαυτική). So, I saw επορεύθην as simply the past version of πορεύομαι. Help.
0 x
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Post Reply