[B-Greek] Forming Nouns from Verbs?
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Oct 30 14:28:07 EDT 2009
If you are serious about getting these names to appear authentic, I
would suggest you do some studying of Smth's grammar section on word-
formation (Part III of Smyth's grammar). It's accessible at pages
Quicker, more convenient:
Slower, somewhat awkward:
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
On Oct 29, 2009, at 7:43 AM, Timothy S. Nelson wrote:
> Hi all. I'll start by giving a little background to my question;
> maybe it will help.
> I'm about to begin participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel
> Writer's Month; 50,000 words in November), and I've decided to try
> to do a novel written in English, but in which all the names are
> Koine (using the actual letters, too, not English
> transliterations). The character's names, rather than being actual
> Greek names, are instead Greek nouns (I hope nouns is the word I
> want here :) ). So for example, I have a main character called
> Θυγάτηρ (QUGA/THR) which I'm hoping means "daughter" (my
> Analytical Greek Lexicon by Wesley J. Perschbacher says it does).
> Just to make things more fun, I'm pretty much a complete beginner in
> Greek (I once got up to lesson 17 in Wenham's "The Elements of New
> Testament Greek" before circumstances forced me out of the class I
> was in; I also spent some time with a Greek NT and an Analytical
> Lexicon on the train, picking up bits that way, but not much).
> These names are intended to indicate something about the character.
> But I'm also hoping that they will give people a bit of a feel for
> words in NT Greek that are not immediately familiar to an English-
> speaking person (although some of them are); to this end, I've been
> using "Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek", by Bruce
> M. Metzger, which groups words by how often they appear; I'm
> attempting to select words that appear at least moderately frequently.
> Names such as the one mentioned above are hopefully fairly
> straightforward, but there are some names that I'd like to use where
> I have a verb, and would like to form a noun from it. I've borrowed
> "A New Short Grammar of the Greek Testament (10th Edition)", by A.
> T. Robertson and W. Hershey Davis, which seems to indicate that this
> can be done. I'd thus like to ask for help with two particular
> names, in hopes that, by seeing how things work in these two cases,
> I can figure out some of the rest myself. I'd have spent more time
> on this, and gotten more resources, but I'd really like to get the
> names nailed down better before 2 November, when I start my novel.
> The first name I'd like to ask about is to be formed from the verb
> Χωρέω (XWRE/W). The character's job in the book it walk before
> the Governor in the street shouting "Make way, make way". So I
> figured he'd be an Agent. The book I have says that most nouns of
> this type are formed with the -της (-THS) suffix. My first
> question is, is there a way to tell whether this is the right
> suffix, or do I just have to know which one goes with which word? My
> second question is, while I know that the long vowel constrains the
> accent to the final two syllables, is there a way to tell which it
> is? I note that all the -της (-THS) words offered as examples
> have it on that syllable; is this always the case?
> My guess is Χωρετής (XWRETH/S). But I'm so
> The second name I want to ask about is to be formed from the verb
> Θέλω (QE/LW). The thing I want to convey about this character is
> that they're quite strong-willed. I'm aware that there's a
> different word that translates roughly as self-willed
> (αυθαδεις (AUQADEIS)), but I'm not so keen on using that
> because it doesn't seem to appear as often, and also this character
> changes from someone who is indeed selfish (self-willed) to someone
> who is strong-willed, but (hopefully) puts their strong will to
> better use. So I'm wondering if here the suffix I want isn't a
> Quality one (I hope Quality is a standard category for this sort of
> thing; it's the label my book uses, anyway). The options offered by
> my grammar are:
> -τητ nom. -της (-THT, nominative -THS)
> -συνα nom. -σύνη (-SUNA, nominative -SU/NH)
> -ια (-IA)
> Again, is there a way to tell which to use? And since this is a
> female character, is there a feminine form I should be using?
> Thanks for any help!
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