[B-Greek] Passive Imperative
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at ioa.com
Mon Aug 15 12:56:27 EDT 2005
On Aug 15, 2005, at 12:41 PM, Mitch Larramore wrote:
> Mitch wrote:
>>> If so, I seem to recall
>>> your indicating that these SAMHN, SW, SATO forms
>> were semantically Middle (not Passive). Hence my
>>> Why would an exclusively Middle conjugation give
>> way to a Middle-Passive conjugation?
> Dr. Conrad replied:
>> I would not and don't think that I ever did say that
>> the -SAMHN KTL
>> forms were exclusively middle.
> Mitch now writes:
> I had this comment in mind...
> At 3:31 PM -0700 8/5/03, waldo slusher wrote: <snip>
> (What follows is Dr. Conrad's reply to waldo...)
> BUT: IF my supposition of the above paragraph IS
> right, I would NOT expect
> to find many first-aorist forms in -SAMHN/SW/SATO
> bearing passive meaning;
> rather I think that in the development of the language
> the polarity of
> first-aorist actives in -SA and aorist MPs in -QHN is
> the dominant
> development, while the first-aorist middles in
> -SAMHN/SW/SATO constitute a
> relatively short-lived morphoparadigm in the classical
> Attic period.
> Mitch writes again...
> Could you clarify the above for me? I took this to
> mean that the SAMHN/SW/SATO were exclusively Middle.
Yes, I realize that some clarification is necessary. If we're talking
about the first-aorist (sigmatic) middle forms in -SAMHN, SW, SATO,
SAMEQA, SASQE, SANTO, they do tend to be middle only semantically.
But the endings -MHN/SO/TO/MEQA/SQE/NTO are NOT exclusively mddle but
may be ambivalent like the -MAI/SAI/TAI/MEQA/SQE/NTAI endings of the
other tenses. Transitive verbs with a first aorist are the verbs most
likely to have a full complement of forms with active, middle, and
passive meanings respectively, e.g. EPOIHSA, EPOIHSAMHN, EPOIHQHN.
That's not so consistently true of second-aorist (thematic) middle
forms such as EGENOMHN or APWLOMHN, which forms are capable of
bearing a passive sense.
One key point here is that the -QH- forms have essentially the same
voice-ambivalence as do the MAI/SAI/TAI/MHN/SO/TO forms; they may
sometimes bear middle, sometimes passive semantic force. It is often
said that in the Koine the middle voice is dying out in favor of the
passive, but that's not really true; rather what's happening is that
the -QH- forms are becoming the dominant forms to bear middle and
passive meaning in the aorist and future.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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