(To Carl) The emergence of QH and QHSO forms

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Mar 15 07:09:06 EST 2002


At 2:21 AM -0500 3/15/02, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>
>Hmm, at last the Greek morphoparadigm is clearly drawn in my mind.
>I could not stand the unsymmetry that the present form of the "middle
>ending" can has both middle and passive meaning, whereas the aorist form
>of the "middle
>ending" has only the middle meaning with the QH form assigned for the
>passive meaning.

Moon, I'd urge you not to become too complacent about Greek conforming to
your psychological demand for symmetry. Grammarians and parsing manuals
will, of course, perpetuate the nonsense about -QH- passives and deponents
for generations to come. And although the -QH- forms were always capable of
representing semantic middle, passive, or intransitive, a distinction
between aorist middle and passive does seem evident in some older Attic
formulations. I called attention to one fascinating instance of this that I
discovered back in November:

At 12:01 PM -0500 11/18/01, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>It has been argued and may very well be true that the distinction such as
>Ward Powers insists upon in the meaning and semantic functions of ELUOMHN
>and ELUQHN once in earlier Attic Greek really did exist and can be
>demonstrated to have existed (although my perspective is diachronic, I have
>concerned myself with evidence at present only from the GNT since the tools
>for that research are more readily available to me where I am currently
>located).
>
>I should note that I have found one interesting passage in Plato's dialogue
>Parmenides wherein both verb-forms are found together, apparently with a
>distinction between the "middle" and the "passive"--in this instance in the
>future tense. In a discussion of how "the One" is wholly removed from
>participation in time and temporal change, At 141d-e Parmenides asks
>Socrates, TO HN KAI TO GEGONE KAI TO EGIGNETO OU CRONOU MEQEXIN DOKEI
>SHMAINEIN TOU POTE GEGONOTOS? and Socrates agrees. Then he asks TI DE? TO
>ESTAI KAI TO GENHSETAI KAI TO GENHQHSETAI OU TOU EPEITA? and Socrates again
>assents. The Loeb translator, Shorey, renders this as: ""Well, and do not
>the words 'was,' 'has become,' and 'was becoming' appear to denote
>participation in past time?" "Certainly."  "And 'will be,' 'will become,'
>and 'will be made to become,' in future time?" "Yes." We shall have to say
>that this text certainly implies that a distinction of semantic and
>function was recognized by Plato as potentially present in the two
>morphoparadigms, although I think further exploration of usage of
>EGENHQHN/GENHQHSOMAI in the classical era would be needed to establish that
>this was a regularly-observed distinction. Surely what Plato is attempting
>here is to offer an exhaustive list of possible ways of expressing
>participation in time.

-- 

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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