[B-Greek] QHN QHS QH... as Middle
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Aug 16 17:42:32 EDT 2007
On Aug 16, 2007, at 2:03 PM, Delbert Flora wrote:
> I've read some of the archives in which the traditional Aorist Passive
> Indicative is said to include the Middle as well.
> Could you provide at least two or three examples in which a E-QHN
> QHS QH...
> form could NOT POSSIBLY by taken as Passive?
Well, there come readily to mind EPOREUQHN, aorist of POREUOMAI --
HDUNHQHN, aorist of DUNAMAI. These verbs were traditionally called
"passive deponents" and the claim made that they were passive in form
only. The fact is that it is erroneous to think of the -QH- endings
as distinctly passive; they are, like the MAI/SAI/TAI,MHN/SO/TO
endings, ambivalently middle-passive. An important fact of Greek
linguistic history is that the -QH- forms increasingly came to
replace the older second-aorist MHN/SO/TO aorists. E.g., the form
EGENHQHN supplants the older form EGENOMHN with no demonstrable
difference in meaning from EGENOMHN.
There are also several verbs that I consider fundamentally "middle"
verbs because their middles are intransitive, even though they have
active causative forms, e.g. EGEIROMAI "wake up/rise up" (active
causative EGEIRW "awaken") with aorist HGERQHN "I rose, awoke"). I
would argue that FAINOMAI belongs in this group too; there's an
active causative FAINW with its active causative aorist EFHNA, but
the aorist of FAINOMAI is EFANHN ("I appeared."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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