Learning Greek Syntax

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon May 27 09:47:05 EDT 2002

I have posted separately some URLs for web-resources for learning Greek.
I'd like, however, to highlight one paragraph that caught my fancy. I've
said something like this myself, namely that learning Greek ultimately is a
matter of familiarizing oneself with a terrain by walking it over back and
forth over a long period of time and coming thereby to know it intimately.
A roadmap or GPS graphic image will give you details the way that a grammar
might, but ultimately it's personal intimacy that one has to acquire.

Here's the source and the paragraph:
Bill Harris: "Intelligent Person's Guide to Greek"

     "Yes, there is such a thing as SYNTAX, which must be a growing body of
awarenesses in your mind, as you dip page after page into the books of
Homer, into the Drama, into the incomparably beautiful prose of Plato. It
is like the recollections of a tour through a foreign country. It resides
in your memory forever, and enables you to at the same future time come
back and know your ways around the streets of Paris or Athens, or find your
way around in towns which have no name, where you have never been before.
If grammatical forms are like the signs for street names and house numbers,
Syntax will be the map of a whole township, where you need to go down one
street and across another, to get from here to there.
     "You learn it by walking the streets, there is no other way."

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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