[B-Greek] "Attic Reduplication"

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Wed Jun 17 06:58:24 EDT 2009

Of course, there's really no reason to learn all this arcane lore  
unless you're interested in linguistic archeology. I'm one of those  
nuts, of course (just got my Christidis, Hisory of Ancient Greek --  
all 1500+ pages of it -- yesterday; figured that if Amazon slashes 1/4  
off the list-price, it's ALMOST a bargain. It is every bit as big as  
ATR's big grammar and weighs twice as much).

If your primary objective is learning to read Greek, all that you  
really need to do is learn the principal parts of all irregular verbs,  
i.e., all verbs, the major tense-stems f which are unpredictable (e.g.  
EGHGERMAI, HGERQHN). You don't need to know that some people call  
ELHLUQA  an instance of "Attic Reduplication," or that some people  
call EGERW an instance of "Attic future."

On Jun 17, 2009, at 12:23 AM, Mark Lightman wrote:

> Top Ten Reasons to avoid the term “Attic Reduplication:”
> 10.  It won’t help you get any dates.

Ah -- but it WILL win you an entry into the B-Greek Archives.

>  9.    Attic Reduplication is actually more common in Homer than in  
> Attic.

As are lots of other things, including Aeolic and Ionic dialect forms,  
hidden digammas, etc., etc. But then, those who don't read the Homeric  
corpus as literature tend to research it for the linguistic  
archaeology of the Greek language. If ;you do both, like me, you can  
call it "Homeric Reduplication."

>  8.  Why mess with a category for which there are only two N.T.  
> examples (HGAGON and AKHKOA?)

Well, of course, there's ELHLUQA, which is not uncommon; and although  
the active of EGEIRW/EGEIROMAI,  EGRHGORA is obsolete in NT Koine, the  
middle EGHGERMAI appears 11x.
I was just curious enough to check on "Attic reduplication" in  
standard Koine reference works; BDF has a note in §68 and ATR in the  
big grammar deals with it, but linguistic archaeology was ATR's forte.

> 7.  People will say, “Why would I want two attics?”

And if they do, you can advise them about the "Attic Future" -- as in,  
"The future of M/NW is MENW=; the future of ELPIZW is ELPIW=  
(transliteration: = following a vowel for circumflex on the vowel)."

>  5.  Why are we using a Latin word when perfectly good Greek  


> and English (doubling) words are available? For a fine discussion of  
> the damage caused by applying a Latin term to Greek, check out the b- 
> greek archives under “Top Ten Reasons to avoid the term  
> ‘Deponent.’”

And you'll waste your effort searching for it, although I have  
certainly done my "ad nauseam" routine on avoidance of the term.
It appears to me, moreever, that we use Latin-derived words for MOST  
designations of grammatical elements in Greek. "Aorist" is the only  
common Greek-derived term that comes readily to my mind. Or, you can  
follow Randall's lead and start talking about PARATATIKH KTL.

>  If we need a term for this madness we ought to call it “Ionic  
> Doubling.”

Or you can call it "John," or you can call it "James," or you can call  
it "Dorothy" ...
But I give you fair warning: try to change the name of any standard  
item of Greek grammar (especially of those that nobody has bothered to  
learn) and you'll run into a stone wall. They'll say, "If Attic  
Reduplication was good enough for St. Paul, it's good enough for me!"

>  3.  People will think you are talking about an Alternative Rock  
> band from the early 1990’s.

I somewhat doubt this, but maybe somebody somewhere will do so.

>  2.  Because, to quote Christophe Rico (p. 288) in his terrific new  
> book “Polis:  Parler Le Grec Ancien Comme Une Langue Vivante,”  
> our purpose in teaching Greek should be  ̔ίνα πυλῶσιν  
> ἐισέλθωσιν εἰς τήν πόλιν hINA PULWSIN  
> EISELQWSIN EIS THN POLIN.  Rico makes the case that Greek is a  
> living Polis, and we ought to enter it the way ancient Greek  
> citizens did, through the gates of living speech.  Nobody ever  
> entered the Polis carrying the term “Attic Reduplication” in  
> their PHRA.  And, no, the term is not found in Rico’s book.

Well, we know that you have done a needle-in-a-haystack search of the  
book. The French term for "far-fetched" is "recherché" -- what we'd  
ordinarily English as "researhed."

>  And the number one reason to avoid the term “Attic  
> Reduplication:”
> 1.  It is my e-trade password.

Well, now that you've made it public knowledge, you'll need to reset  
it with a new one. Howzabout: "Anadiplosis"? It sure ain't Latin! Or  
George has made you a fine suggestion: borrow some of the frogs of  
Hades from Aristophanes and have them cry out in unision, "BREKEKEKEX  

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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