(To Carl) The emergence of QH and QHSO forms

Moon-Ryul Jung moon at sogang.ac.kr
Thu Mar 14 11:13:09 EST 2002

Let me ask some questions to Carl. He wrote:

> At 9:08 AM -0500 3/13/02, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
> >> Yes, precisely. What I have argued is that the -QH- morphoparadigms have
> >> become in Hellenistic/Koine Greek pretty much "first middle-passive" in
> >> relation to the older MAI/SAI/TAI;MHN/SO/TO "second middle-passive"--i.e.,
> >> a newer standard form of middle-passive for the aorist and future that is
> >> increasingly displacing older "second middle-passive" morphoparadigms:
> >> that's the simple explanation for the equivalency of EGENETO/EGENHQH and
> >> APEKRINATO/APEKRIQH. And I think this is exactly what Geoffrey Horrocks is
> >> saying in _Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers_, pp. 54 and
> >> 76.
> >>
> >
> >Why would only the future and aorist have the "first middle-passive"
> >forms?
> >Is it purely accidental? I know this is a question with no answers.
> >But I cannot resist asking it.
> It's NOT a question with no answers. I've responded to it before; here's my
> hypothetical historical explanation, if you really care about an answer,
> from a few months ago in my message to the list with subject-header,
> "[b-greek] Response to Ward Powers re Voice (2)."
> >Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 10:02:46 -0500
> >
> >What I've said about the origin and spread of the -QH- forms is essentially
> >as follows; I hope I can make a bit clearer my sense of how these changes
> >may have or probably occurred:
> >
> >(a) In addition to older second-aorist thematic forms in -OMHN/ESO/ETO
> >which once were, I believe, as much middle AND passive in meaning as the
> >MAI/SAI/TAI forms in other tenses, there was a "third" non-thematic aorist
> >which tended to have intransitive or even "quasi-passive" semantic
> >functions. Thus for hISTAMAI and its compounds there was ESTHN and its
> >compounds, and for FAINOMAI there was EFANHN. A form such as KATESTHN
> >STRATHGOS from KAQISTHMI/KAQISTAMAI might mean "I became Strategos" or "I
> >was elected Strategos" (the only public office that Pericles ever held was
> >Strategos), while a form such as EFANH TOUTO TO SHMEION might mean "This
> >omen appeared" or "This omen was revealed."
> >
> >(b) With the growing adoption of the sigmatic or first aorist active
> >morpholoparadigm, the opposition of voice-forms in the aorist for verbs
> >such as FAINW/FAINOMAI and hISTHMI/hISTAMAI became neatly:
> >"active/causative" EFHNA (originally EFANSA) and ESTHSA,
> >"intransitive/quasi-passive" EFANHN and ESTHN.
> >

Where does the middle form of hISTHMI, ESTAMHN, fit if ESTHN is


> >(c) At some point (and since there are a few such forms in Homer, it must
> >have been a fairly early but not immediately sweeping development), an
> >extended form of this morphoparadigm (long-vowel, normally Eta, secondary
> >ACTIVE endings: N/S/_/MEN/TE/SAN) emerged in -QH- conjugated in the same
> >fashion as the -HN/HS/H type. My hypothesis (and I honestly don't think I
> >invented this but I'm trying to show why understanding it may help us
> >understand the ambivalence of the -QH- morphoparadigm) is that these -QH-
> >aorist forms probably spread in common usage among Greek-speakers in
> >roughly the same time frame that the Sigmatic active aorists in -SA spread.
> >And of course, I'm also saying that these -QH- forms carried the same
> >ambivalence as the -HN/HS/H forms: they were
> >"intransitive/quasi-passive"--they might even convey "middle" semantics.
> >
> >(d) It appears to be the case (but the evidence needs to be gathered to see
> >whether this is really the case) that as the -QH- aorist morphoparadigms
> >came increasingly into use, the older -MHN/SO/TO aorist morphoparadigm of
> >the same verbs became obsolete. 

What kind of evidence do you have for this claim?

It appears that there are VERY FEW KOINE
> >GREEK VERBS--certainly very few in the GNT--that display BOTH -MHN/SO/TO
> >aorists and -QH- aorists for non-active forms.

Does it mean that  active (transitive) verbs have both MHN/SO/TO aorists
and -QH- aorists? What does the fact that very few non-active
verbs have both types of aorists indicate? 

> >
> >(e) Future-tense forms in Greek may be based upon a present stem, but
> >actually the present stem is most commonly formed with an extension of the
> >verb root that differentiates the present stem from other tense-system
> >stems. Not always, but more often than not, the future stem is built upon
> >the same form of the verb root as the aorist stem. I would guess that just
> >as, with expansion of the -SA aorist, futures in -SW/SOMAI came
> >increasingly to complement aorist actives in -SA/SAMHN; 

Does it mean that another form of future existed before the -SW/SOMAI 
form emerged?

in the same manner
> >future-tense stems of the -QH- morphoparadigm developed -QHSOMAI/Hi/ETAI
> >forms to complement the -QHN/QHS/QH aorist forms and that these future
> >forms also carried the same ambivalence as the -QH- aorists: intransitive,
> >quasi-passive, middle semantics as called for by the particular verb and
> >the context. 

And here too, by and large, the futures in -QHSOMAI tended to
> >supplant the older middle futures in -SOMAI.
> >

What kind of evidence do you have for this claim?

> >That's a hypothetical account of how I think these morphoparadigms may have
> >developed and spread--and I believe it helps to explain WHY they spread
> >also.
> -- 
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
> WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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