(To Carl) The emergence of QH and QHSO forms

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Mar 14 13:51:05 EST 2002

At 11:13 AM -0500 3/14/02, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>Let me ask some questions to Carl. He wrote:
>  [omitted material]
>> >(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

Moon, I have no idea what form you are referring to. It's not in the GNT;
the only aorists of hISTHMI/hISTAMAI in the GNT are 1st aor. active ESTHSA,
intr. aor. ESTHN, and the "passive" ESTAQHN which for the most part has the
same sense as ESTHN.

>> >(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?

Were you aware, Moon, of the many threads on this matter playing out in
October and November of 2001 on this subject (specifically, beginning Oct
10 with subject-header, "PAUW in the middle" and more or less ending Nov 23
with subject-header, "The New approach to Middle/Passive Verbs"? You might
look especially at "MIDDLE & PASSIVE: GINOMAI in the GNT 1" and "MIDDLE &
PASSIVE: GINOMAI in the GNT 2." You might check out the relative frequency
of the aorist form APEKRINATO (older) and APEKRIQH (newer) in the GNT and
in the LXX.

>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?

(a) I think it means that everyday verbs such as GINOMAI tended to retain
the old middle aorist EGENOMHN even while the newer EGENHQHN was being used
more and more;
(b) In the case of less-frequently used verbs, such as AGALLIAW/OMAI, I
think it shows confusion: the verb appears 6 times in the aorist in the
GNT, 1x active, 4x middle, 1x passive--and each time the verb has the same
intransitive sense, "rejoice."

>> >(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?

This is a more complicated historical question; in Homer the subjunctive
was most commonly used for a future. But above I speaking essentially of
futures built on an aorist stem, such as STHSOMAI or BHSOMAI or GNWSOMAI OR

>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?

You might look at the forms STHSOMAI (traditionally termed middle) and
STAQHSOMAI (which is traditionally termed passive) in the GNT. There's only
one "middle" (STHSONTAI) while there are six "passive" forms: STAQHSESQE
(1x), STAQHSETAI (5x). It takes some ingenuity to demonstrate that the
instances of STAQHSETAI really do convey a PASSIVE rather than an
intransitive sense.

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/

More information about the B-Greek mailing list