[B-Greek] "Attic Reduplication"

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Jun 19 09:28:45 EDT 2009

On Jun 19, 2009, at 8:33 AM, Mark Lightman wrote:

> 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?

The root is in fact one that takes three forms in what is called  
"Vowel gradation" or German "Ablaaut": ELEUQ (seen in the future  
ELEUSOMAI), ELOUQA (seen in the older "Attic-reduplicated" -- but more  
or less obsolete in NT Koine -- ELHLOUQA), and ELQ (syncopated from  
ELUQ, seen in the aorist HLQON). There are, in fact, quite a few of  
these verbs showing "Vowel Gradation" and generally displaying an E- 
grade with an E-diphthong, an O-grade with an O-diphthong, and a "zero- 
grade" with the simple form of the vowel Iota or Upsilon: PEIQW: PEIQ,  
POIQ (perfect PEPOIQA), PIQ (aorist EPIQOMHN -- obsolete in NT Koine).  
The better grammars will offer good accounts of Vowel gradataion/Ablaut.

> 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 for pointing that out; I'm sure that most B-Greekers have never  
encountered that locution before; I really did not mean to be so  

> 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."

We mortals are prone to redundant expressions: double negatives,  
double superlatives (the bard: "This was the most unkindest cut of  
all"). On the other hand, it's not unlikely that the ANA and "re" mean  
"from the start' ("da capo") since ANA/"re" means "backwards" or "from  
the beginning."

>  But anyway, I have my new password:  "Homeric diplasmiasmos."

Gotcha. Now we know that one too.

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

> --- 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  
> 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  
>> 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,  

More information about the B-Greek mailing list