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Re: CHAT Graeca sine flexione (was: Greek plosives)

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Sunday, February 5, 2006, 12:02
(Re-sent to the list because Ray didn't put a reply-to warning and I
didn't check before sending!)

On 2/4/06, R A Brown <ray@...> wrote:
> MG normally uses the neuter plural form as an adverb, tho a few use > neuter sing.
I can only think of "poly" at the moment that does that.
> I guess GSF should not distinguish.
Either that, or use the neuter plural form as an adverb marker.
> > Roman alphabet may be an optional alternative. Just using the traditional > > transliteration. To mark stress with an acute (if necessary) - > > If the modern accentuation is used, then it will be necessary, just as > it is in the modern Greek spelling.
Bah. I think the position of accent is unambiguous enough - and the ambiguous words are probably not worse than e.g. having both "invalid" and "invalid" in English. (For example, "khoros" being either "dance" or "place" in modern Greek, or "pisti" being either "faith" or the subjunctive of "to be convinced".)
> PAST > MG has two synthetic past tenses: imperfect and aorist. These are, in > fact, the past tense forms of the two aspectual stems. Many languages > make similar distinctions and I think GSF should also do. It would seem > logical to use a particle in a similar way to /Ta/ for the future. But what? > MG also has a series of perfect forms, formed by using the verb "to > have" followed by an invariant verb form (which is the same as the 3rd > sing. of the present).
Eh? No, it's the 3rd person singular, sure, but of what used to be called the aorist subjunctive, not the normal subjunctive. "Exei grapsei", not "Exei grafei", for example. Though for GSF, the simple present form could be used instead -- I just wanted to correct the misconception about GCF.
> The Tsakonian dialect forms the imperfect by using the past tense of "to > be" with the present participle. A flexionless language does not have > participles, of course. "was" in MG is /itan/; I suppose we could > shorten it to /tan/ as a preverbal particle. > > For the invariable verb form, the obvious thing is surely to use exactly > the same as MG does with "have", i.e. 3rd sing. of pres. indicative.
Or just ditch imperfect altogether and simply have a future/present/past distinction. Heck, my German idiolect does without the imperfect in quite a few cases, substituting the perfect instead.
> INFINITIVES & PARTICIPLES > MG, as many know, has dispensed with the infinitive, using a clause > beginning with _na_ instead.
And either the present subjunctive or the aorist subjunctive, depending on aspect (with aorist subjunctive being more common).
> Participles are strictly unnecessary as we can always use a relative > clause instead - and the MG relative pronoun _pou_ /pu/ is invariable :)
And the present participle is fairly dead in MG as well, at least in adjectival use -- I think it's only used adverbially, as in "singing, the boy entered the room" but not "the singing boy".
> ACTIVE & PASSIVE > here I am stuck. MG still uses synthetic passives. Obviously GSF cannot. > All the above, of course, is indicative - no problem. Could the passive > be formed using an auxiliary verb such as 'receive' or 'suffer'?
Or "become", as in German? I know that device is used to form the passive of "receive", which is morphologically passive -- "dexomai" is "receive", and "ginomai dektos" (literally, "become received") is "be received". On 2/4/06, Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...> wrote:
> th hesitates between t and f<T, e.g. > biblioteka, orfografiya, and, funny teologiya but feofaniya ("theophany").
Perhaps based on the date of the borrowing? European H also seems to vary between g ~ kh, depending on the date of the borrowing, with earlier loans having G and later ones having KH.
> To add a particle _méno_ from the participial suffix?
Sounds like an idea.
> A side note - I still miss plurals.
Yes. Even fairly analytical English has retained them, after all!
> Any alternative suggestions? Maybe to indicate it with a > different form of the article, e.g. _tus_?
Or how about going the neuter route and using the article _ta_ and a noun ending -a?
> Shall we have different forms for subject and object?
I say yes, on the analogy of, say, English and French. As for position, though, I'd probably put personal pronouns after the verb, as with normal nouns -- "ego vlepi afton" rather than "ego ton vlepi"; "ego dini afto se sena" rather than "ego sou to dini".
> Oh yes, what about deponential verbs and verbs in -mi? I see MG mostly > substitute them.
I'd vote to integrate the ones in -mi into ones in -o.
> Also the 3rd declension nouns have often changed to > something more usable in MG: _polis_, > gen. _poleos_ > _poli_. Shall we use the modeern form, > or the ancient one?
Both! Modern Greek typically regularised such forms based on the accusative, so if we do the same, the result is the same. So "N polis, G poleos, A polin" becomes simply "poli" (accustive -n's being dropped as a general rule anyway), and "N patir, G patros, A patera" becomes "patera". Nouns in -tis would become -tita, as in modern Greek. etc. etc. Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>


Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>