[B-Greek] "Attic Reduplication"

Mark Lightman lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 19 08:33:08 EDT 2009

Carl wrote:
 <Well, of course, there's ELHLUQA, which is not uncommon.>
You bet.  To recognize this as Attic reduplication you have to
know that the root is ELEUQ.  I guess you would call the
EU-U ablaut.  Are there other examples of EU becoming U,
or EU becoming anything other than HU?  Why isn't the form ELHLHUQA?
Carl: <They'll say, "If Attic Reduplication was good enough
 for St. Paul, it's good enough for me!">
Carl's humor can be dry and subtle, so in case you missed it,
he is revising here the old joke "If the King James Bible was good
enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."  The earliest form of
this joke is actually found in the Talmud: "If the Septuagint was good
enough for Moses, it's good enough for me!"
Thanks.  I missed these.  Both are in LSJ and apparently
DIPLASIASMOS is still used in Modern Greek.  I guess the
re in reduplication answers to the ANA in ANADIPLWSIS, but
I'm still not sure what the force is.  I guess you could ask the
same about the re in "redouble your efforts."  
But anyway, I have my new password:  "Homeric diplasmiasmos."
Mark L. 

--- On Wed, 6/17/09, Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com> wrote:

From: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] "Attic Reduplication"
To: "Mark Lightman" <lightmanmark at yahoo.com>
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 4:58 AM

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. ERCOMAI, ELEUSOMAI, HLQON, ELHLUQA; EGEIRW, EGERW, HGEIRA, EGRHGORA, 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 (DIDUMHSIS)


> 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 KOAX KOAX"

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


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