ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

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Re: Grammar question: what construction is this?

Postby rotzi » 2009-11-01, 14:51

modus.irrealis wrote:πεινῆν is the infinitive here that's governed directly by ἦν. παρατρίψαντα here is the accusative because it goes with the implicit subject of that infinitive (and the subject of the infinitive is always in the accusative).
Oh dear. Thank you! It's actually so simple. So the participle construction is a circumstantial (in this case: of means) accusative absolute, describing the means by which to accomplish the unfulfillable wish expressed as an imperfect einai with infinitive.

-- I'm quite familiar with the Greeks as φιλομέτοχοι... though it really took me some time to absorb all the different uses for the participle. And this time I just didn't see the forest for the trees.

Thanks again!
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-12-14, 0:47

Is there a reason why no one puts any kind of accent on «ἐστι(ν)»? My book, Athenaze, says there's an accent in the second syllable (ἐστί(ν)), but in the following passage which uses the word at least 5 times has no accent, and neither does the word in this thread. :?

Oh, also, does anyone perhaps know why they put a nu in parentheses? :P
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby modus.irrealis » 2009-12-14, 1:17

It's a little complicated. Basically ἐστί is normally an enclitic, which means that it doesn't have it's accent but forms an accent-group with the word before it and whether and which accent it gets depends on the previous word. A good site that covers this (and accentuation in general) is http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/ ... tionU.html. Sometimes the word is not enclitic (e.g. when it's emphatic or means "there is") and it that case it's accented ἔστι.

The ν in parentheses indicates that it's a nu-movable, which means it occurs when the following word starts in a vowel or the word comes at the end of a clause, although there are exceptions.

These are things though that you pick up the more you get exposed to them.

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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby modus.irrealis » 2009-12-16, 9:12

What is the flag used on this site for Ancient Greek? I mean [flag]grc[/flag].

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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby KingHarvest » 2009-12-16, 18:40

It's apparently a Byzantine standard or emblem of some sort. At least that's what someone told me before.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby modus.irrealis » 2009-12-16, 19:16

Thanks. A little googling after that suggests that it was the flag of the Palaeologus dynasty.

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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby md0 » 2010-10-10, 17:01

I am wondering how foreigners are taught the Ancient Greek language.
Here in Cyprus and Greece (in High schools) the language is taught in the format of learning conjugation tables of pronouns, verbs, nouns etc and then trying to translate to Modern Greek in order to understand what the text says.
Little is done for the student to actually understand the Attic dialect (this is the variant taught most of the time, not that they bother explain that there are other dialects or Koiné) and produce his own sentences (it would be fun, imho. I wanna try it sometime). (Oh, and of course we are not taught the reconstructed pronunciation).
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby ILuvEire » 2010-10-10, 17:21

meidei wrote:I am wondering how foreigners are taught the Ancient Greek language.
Here in Cyprus and Greece (in High schools) the language is taught in the format of learning conjugation tables of pronouns, verbs, nouns etc and then trying to translate to Modern Greek in order to understand what the text says.
Little is done for the student to actually understand the Attic dialect (this is the variant taught most of the time, not that they bother explain that there are other dialects or Koiné) and produce his own sentences (it would be fun, imho. I wanna try it sometime). (Oh, and of course we are not taught the reconstructed pronunciation).
It's taught exactly the same in the USA, except for the fact that uni or a private religious school are the only places you'll find classes.

Actually, I wanna ask a question now. For someone that wants to eventually have a good working knowledge of both Ancient Greek and Latin, which would be a good place to start? I think there's more Latin things I'd like to read (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus and of course "Homer" vs. Cicero, Virgil, Satyricon, Cato the Elder, Ovid, Horace, Seneca the Elder, Petrarch and probably more) but I much prefer Ancient Greece to Rome, from a historical standpoint.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-10-10, 18:47

It's taught exactly the same in the USA, except for the fact that uni or a private religious school are the only places you'll find classes.


Exeter teaches it as do a few other schools around here.

It's not taught that way in the US. Yes, you have to memorize endings, but you're going to have know that very well if you want to expect to understand anything, but there is plenty of emphasis put on how sentences are constructed and there is certainly prose composition taught (especially at the PhD level - every program I know of requires a class taken in prose composition).

Actually, I wanna ask a question now. For someone that wants to eventually have a good working knowledge of both Ancient Greek and Latin, which would be a good place to start? I think there's more Latin things I'd like to read (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus and of course "Homer" vs. Cicero, Virgil, Satyricon, Cato the Elder, Ovid, Horace, Seneca the Elder, Petrarch and probably more) but I much prefer Ancient Greece to Rome, from a historical standpoint.


Well, the Latin literary corpus is far larger than the Greek, so that's a bit unfair :P Why do you want to read Cato the Elder? There's nothing particularly interesting there. And why is Homer in quotation marks?

I'm also not quite sure what you're asking. Are you looking for what authors should you start with? What textbooks to use?
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby md0 » 2010-10-10, 18:55

I am only interested in reading Plato's Symposium in the original myself. My cousin brainwashed me about this.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby ILuvEire » 2010-10-11, 4:04

KingHarvest wrote:It's not taught that way in the US. Yes, you have to memorize endings, but you're going to have know that very well if you want to expect to understand anything, but there is plenty of emphasis put on how sentences are constructed and there is certainly prose composition taught (especially at the PhD level - every program I know of requires a class taken in prose composition).
I think I misunderstood Meidei a bit then. I mean, some level of composition is taught, but the focus is no where near the amount given to German or Spanish, right?

Well, the Latin literary corpus is far larger than the Greek, so that's a bit unfair :P Why do you want to read Cato the Elder? There's nothing particularly interesting there. And why is Homer in quotation marks?

I'm also not quite sure what you're asking. Are you looking for what authors should you start with? What textbooks to use?
I mean, I just through out a few authors I was mildly interested in, Cato's stuff is interesting for the historical information, but not really as literature. I said "Homer" because I like to read the Homeric conspiracy theories about him not being a single person and all that jazz. It floats my boat :D

My question was more with which language to start with. From cursory studies, I've also seen the Ancient Greek is significantly more difficult than Latin as well. Which do classical students usually start with?
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-10-11, 4:42

I think I misunderstood Meidei a bit then. I mean, some level of composition is taught, but the focus is no where near the amount given to German or Spanish, right?


Well, of course not. Who are you going to be writing and talking to. Plus the goal is to be able to be reading high brow literature as quickly as possible, so you don't want to waste too much time worrying about writing things in Greek.

(on a side note: you young'uns don't always seem to realize that there's only so far that you can push your knowledge of a language that is only written)

Cato's stuff is interesting for the historical information, but not really as literature


He's really not any more interesting in Latin than in English. He's also more than a bit of a dick.

I said "Homer" because I like to read the Homeric conspiracy theories about him not being a single person and all that jazz. It floats my boat :D


Why? It doesn't contribute to anything, and it will certainly hamper your understanding of the Iliad and Odyssey and why they are incredible literature (the Homeric Hymns are actually by random different poets, but that is less important, though they do have their moments as well).

My question was more with which language to start with. From cursory studies, I've also seen the Ancient Greek is significantly more difficult than Latin as well. Which do classical students usually start with?


Usually Latin, but that's because Latin is offered far more frequently in high schools than Greek is. I haven't noticed any particular trend in Classics students who haven't found the enlightened path until college.

Latin is objectively easier than Greek (at least grammar wise, there's a certain truth to Latin literature being more difficult than Greek), and in many ways is a pretty good primer for Greek for people who have never encountered a language significantly different from your modern Western European languages. I seem to remember you know at least a little Finnish and Hebrew, so I wouldn't really worry too much about whether Latin or Greek is easier to make this decision for you, I would just choose whichever one interests you more.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby ypopsia » 2010-10-11, 18:12

meidei wrote:I am only interested in reading Plato's Symposium in the original myself. My cousin brainwashed me about this.

Meidei, I am not an expert but I like reading ancient texts and watch the language, symposium is an easy text. But I prefer Aristophanes :D Although it is poetry and somehow difficult at the beginning it is supposed to be closer to the way they really spoke... and it is fun to see which words we still use in Greek, especially jargon :D

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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby md0 » 2010-10-11, 18:15

ypopsia wrote:
meidei wrote:I am only interested in reading Plato's Symposium in the original myself. My cousin brainwashed me about this.

Meidei, I am not an expert but I like reading ancient texts and watch the language, symposium is an easy text. But I prefer Aristophanes :D Although it is poetry and somehow difficult at the beginning it is supposed to be closer to the way they really spoke... and it is fun to see which words we still use in Greek, especially jargon :D

Yeah, Aristophanes as well. AFAIK, Aristophanes' persona is present in the Symposium, and that's the part I mainly wanna read.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby Oleksij » 2010-10-12, 18:06

Does anyone have Spartan King Charilaos' quote 'men of few words require few laws' in the original?
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby modus.irrealis » 2010-10-12, 18:28

From Plutarch's Lycurgus: Χαρίλαος δὲ ὁ ἀδελφιδοῦς τοῦ Λυκούργου περὶ τῆς ὀλιγότητος αὐτοῦ τῶν νόμων ἐρωτηθείς, εἶπεν ὡς οἱ λόγοις μὴ χρώμενοι πολλοῖς οὐδὲ νόμων δέονται πολλῶν.

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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby Oleksij » 2010-10-12, 18:51

Μερσί μποκού!
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2010-12-13, 0:39

So, I'm... an occasional student of Classical Greek, and I'd like to share the phonology that I've made up for it. :P Basically, a number of things struck me as too difficult:

- The pitch accent. I have a lot of trouble with anything that's not a simple stress accent.

- The aspiration distinction. I'm totally comfortable using unaspirated plosives (e.g. in Spanish) or aspirated plosives (e.g. in German) as needed, but I find it much harder to maintain a consistent contrast between the two within one language.

- The prescribed values of ε, η, ο, and ω. Being familiar with languages like German and Latin, I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of having long open [ɛː], [ɔː] contrasting with short close [e], [o]. It's like nodding my head and saying "no".

It's not that I find these things impossible, it's just that they make it more of a chore for me to pronounce the language. In this respect, I was influenced by the phonology I had chosen for Latin - basically classical, but lacking some of the more "exotic" features like velarized [ɫ] and nasalized vowels. I don't think we need to perfectly imitate the norms of one city (be it Rome or Athens) during one short period. And given the foundational role played by Greek and Latin in Western civilization (and the extensive borrowing of Greek words into Latin), I wanted to find a phonological scheme that I could use for both languages. I think everyone would agree that it's barbaric to apply the Latin stress rule to Greek, but aside from that, I pretty much use the same sounds for both. Here's what I've settled on:

α - short [ɐ], long [aː] (possibly [a] when unstressed)
ε - [ɛ]
η - [eː] (possibly [e] when unstressed)
ι - short [ɪ], long [iː] (possibly [i] when unstressed)
ο - [ɔ]
υ - short [ʏ], long [yː] (possibly [y] when unstressed)
ω - [oː] (possibly [o] when unstressed)

αι - [ɐe]
ει - [ɛɪ]
οι - [ɔe]

αυ - [ɐo]
ευ - [ɛʊ]
ου - [uː]

(In my transcription of the diphthongs, I'm influenced by Canepari and other linguists who suggest that putative open-to-[ɪ] and open-to-[ʊ] diphthongs are generally better written with [e] and [o].)

β - [b]
γ - [ɡ], or [ŋ] before velars
δ - [d]
ζ - [z]
θ - [θ]
κ - [k]
λ - [l]
μ - [m]
ν - [n]
ξ - [ks]
π - [p]
ρ - [r] or [ɾ]
σ - [s], or [z] before voiced consonants
τ - [t]
φ - [f]
χ - [x]
ψ - [ps]
rough breathing - [h] with a vowel, null with ρ

For stress, I simply treat an acute or circumflex accent as a primary stress, imitating Modern Greek. Indeed, I like to omit the diacritics altogether when writing Classical Greek (with the exception of the dieresis), relying on a Hebrew-style "you just gotta know" approach.

...

So basically, this is the scheme that appeals most to me (coming from a decidedly western and somewhat Germanic perspective); your mileage may vary.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby KingHarvest » 2010-12-13, 3:45

- The prescribed values of ε, η, ο, and ω. Being familiar with languages like German and Latin, I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of having long open [ɛː], [ɔː] contrasting with short close [e], [o]. It's like nodding my head and saying "no".


The contrast between ε and η, and ο and ω is purely quantity, there's no difference in quality. They are [ɛ] vs [ɛ:] and [ɔ] vs [ɔ:]. The digraphs ει and ου early on represented both [e] and [eɪ], and [o] and [oʊ] respectively until these diphthongs monophthongized in the Classical period. In Attic υ was fronted and so ου was raised to [u] to compensate.

- The pitch accent. I have a lot of trouble with anything that's not a simple stress accent.


My way of dealing with the accent is to treat syllables with a grave accent as though they are not accented and then to accent syllables with circumflexes and accutes. It's not perfect, but it works most of the time.

I don't think we need to perfectly imitate the norms of one city (be it Rome or Athens) during one short period.


Well, since you're probably learning Attic Greek, it does kind of make sense to imitate the norms of Athens since that is how their dialect was spoken :P . The other dialects are of course pronounced differently.

(In my transcription of the diphthongs, I'm influenced by Canepari and other linguists who suggest that putative open-to-[ɪ] and open-to-[ʊ] diphthongs are generally better written with [e] and [o].)


I'd be surprised if this were true given that the Romans consciously used ae and oe vs Greek αι and οι since their diphthongs had lower releases.

ζ - [z]


Why not [zd]?

For stress, I simply treat an acute or circumflex accent as a primary stress, imitating Modern Greek. Indeed, I like to omit the diacritics altogether when writing Classical Greek (with the exception of the dieresis), relying on a Hebrew-inspired "you just gotta know" approach


I would highly suggest that you use the diacritics, if nothing more the diacritics are going to force you to remember the forms that are otherwise written the same are actually distinct from one another in speech and meaning. No one wants to be the guy to mess up ειμι-ibo and ειμι-sum.
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Re: ἑλληνὶς γλῶττα - ancient Greek

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2010-12-13, 4:34

KingHarvest wrote:The contrast between ε and η, and ο and ω is purely quantity, there's no difference in quality. They are [ɛ] vs [ɛ:] and [ɔ] vs [ɔ:].

A lot of sources I've seen online (Wiki, not that I trust them; also Canepari, pardon his system) claim that the short vowels were closer than the open vowels, but you may be right.

The digraphs ει and ου early on represented both [e] and [eɪ], and [o] and [oʊ] respectively until these diphthongs monophthongized in the Classical period. In Attic υ was fronted and so ου was raised to [u] to compensate.

Yeah, my use of [ɛɪ] is just intended to maintain the distinctiveness of orthographic ει. It's influenced by the presence of [ɛɪ] as a marginal phoneme in Latin, even though Greek ει becomes i when borrowed. In fact, I might even change my mind and use [iː].

My way of dealing with the accent is to treat syllables with a grave accent as though they are not accented and then to accent syllables with circumflexes and accutes. It's not perfect, but it works most of the time.

Yeah, that's what I do.

Well, since you're probably learning Attic Greek, it does kind of make sense to imitate the norms of Athens since that is how their dialect was spoken :P . The other dialects are of course pronounced differently.

I don't entirely agree. I mean we should use them as a model, but I don't think we should slavishly adhere to their (reconstructed) phonology if there's an easier alternative. In the case of Latin, for example, I don't see the point in pronouncing "-um" with a nasalized vowel when a simple [m] will do. In the case of Greek, I think it's easier to turn the aspirated plosives into fricatives than to maintain a three-series plosive distinction.

I'd be surprised if this were true given that the Romans consciously used ae and oe vs Greek αι and οι since their diphthongs had lower releases.

I'm not making any claims about how Attic Greek was actually pronounced - I'm just going for the value that's more compatible with Latin and German.

Why not [zd]?

I've seen a lot of disagreement over its phonetic value, and [z] is simpler.

I would highly suggest that you use the diacritics, if nothing more the diacritics are going to force you to remember the forms that are otherwise written the same are actually distinct from one another in speech and meaning. No one wants to be the guy to mess up ειμι-ibo and ειμι-sum.

It's mainly laziness on my part - I'm comfortable with the Modern Greek keyboard layout, but I've never bothered to figure out the polytonic layout.
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