Morphology of ζαω

Biblical Greek morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
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Jacob Rhoden
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Morphology of ζαω

Post by Jacob Rhoden » January 26th, 2020, 10:19 pm

My dictionary, and Accordance tell me that "I live" is 'ζαω', so one would expect it to decline like the left column below. But when I look at the LXX/NT it actually declines like the list on the right:

Code: Select all

  ζῶ        ζῶ          
  ζᾷς       ζῇς     
  ζᾷ        ζῇ  
  ζῶμεν     ζῶμεν  
  ζᾶτε      ζῆτε    
  ζῶσιν     ζῶσιν  
Is this a case of "languages don't always follow neat rules, get over it". Or is there some hidden secret mystery rule that would suggest there is some predictability to this?
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Peng Huiguo
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Re: Morphology of ζαω

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 27th, 2020, 2:58 am

There was a thread about this, echoed here.

But this claims that the α in ζάω existed, was long, and resulted in the final contraction. This is corroborated by a little article (pg. 65) floating in Carl Conrad's (he commented in that thread but didn't mention this) site. If Mr. Conrad is reading this, I'd like to hear his comment.
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Megan Spencer
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Re: Morphology of ζαω

Post by Megan Spencer » January 27th, 2020, 3:35 am

So what do people here think? Is the root ζαω or simply ζω?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Morphology of ζαω

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 27th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Megan Spencer wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 3:35 am
So what do people here think? Is the root ζαω or simply ζω?
One of the fun things about Greek is that it has surprises... :lol:

ζώω [v.] ‘to live’ (Il.). «IE *gweih3-, *gwieh3- ‘live’»

•VAR Homer has only uncontracted forms: ζώω, ζώεις, ζώει, inf. ζωέμεν, ζώοντ-; *ζάω is a grammarians’ construction.
Beekes, R. (2010). A. Lubotsky (Ed.), Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Vol. 1 & 2, p. 505). Leiden; Boston: Brill.

The "grammarians' reconstruction" is based on the way we see other α-contract verbs working.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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cwconrad
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Re: Morphology of ζαω

Post by cwconrad » January 27th, 2020, 1:34 pm

I have, in fact, been reading this thread. I noted with great satisfaction the reference to the good note on this subject by Rod Decker (of blessed I'm in full agreement with everything Rod wrote on the matter of this verb. I would add that I rhink the verb χρώμια (root χρήση) elongated in this same category of ηω verbs.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Peng Huiguo
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Re: Morphology of ζαω

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 28th, 2020, 9:36 am

So what's this about?
Vowels: Attic-Ionic shift of α to η

Indo-European long *a asurvived in most Greek dialects, but in Attic-Ionic it evolved into a long flat e (English drag), which subsequently became assimilated to long open e (French tête), spelled η. In Ionic dialect this change of quality was carried through uniformly, while in the Attic dialect it was inhibited when the original *a was preceded by ε, ι or ρ. Note the following dialectal equivalents:
Doric: ἁ ἁμέρα
Attic: ἡ ἡμέρα
Ionic: ἡ ἡμέρη
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cwconrad
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Re: Morphology of ζαω

Post by cwconrad » January 28th, 2020, 12:51 pm

Yes,that’s the rule for the great Attic-Ionic shift of original long-A to Eta, with exception in Attic that the original long-A is retained after Iota and Rho. The verbs ζην and χρήσθαι are different. In these the Eta is the original vowel in the verb’s root.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

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