Diachronic and Synchronic Explanations of Verbs (was Re:- diachronic explanation of 1st/2nd aorist)

Alexander Hopkins alexali at surf.net.au
Mon May 27 16:51:42 EDT 2002

I'd like to make a comment on a detail of a recent post from Ward Powers
which my more northerly Australian friend was mainly addressing the
terminology of the third aorist, though my note is not in reference to the
third aorist.  Ward mentioned in what was a comment in passing,

>(We can note here that the Second Conjugation [e.g. BALLW] is not
differentiated from the First in its pattern of pronoun endings, but
by taking a durative infix in its stem, in the case of BALLW a second

Ward, I'd be inclined not to teach students that BALLW has taken a second
lambda as an infix, but to explain its development in relation to the yod
suffix.  In this way it can be linked to a large group of such words.

However, I wouldn't teach the yod suffix to all students.  For some, it
might make the Greek language appear a cold, cerebral thing, and so
actually do them a disservice;  but for some of us, it's a fascinating bit
of the history of the language which actually makes more understandable
what is observed in the pattern of certain verbs (and their relation to
certain nouns).

See e.g. Goodwin (Grk. Gr, 84, 579-602), Smyth (20, 37a, 507-522),
(Comp. Gr. of Grk and Latin, 181-188, 360).

Alex Hopkins
Melbourne, Australia

[PS If this message should appear twice, my apologies.  It seems that
there is a difficulty with my email at the moment; this (second) attempt I
am submitting through the BGreek page.]

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