Example of a chat session from a 2009/2010 Greek 1 Session meeting
The names of the participating students have been changed to protect the students' privacy.
We should talk for a minute about the Second Declension Noun Quiz.
I had some trouble
Where the quiz asks for the declension of a noun "with articles", the article should appear before the noun, with one space in between. But don't forget grave accent!
Mrs. Esposito I don't understand articles could you please explain them to me.
That is, to/n lo/gon is sure to be incorrect, since an acute accent on the ultima changes to grave when followed by another word. It needs to be: to\n lo/gon.
Eustace: Absolutely. Thanks for asking.
Oh, I get it now. I knew it was about accents.
We talked about the MEANING of the article last week, when we looked at section 16.4 on pp. 29-30.
I understand now.
But we need to take a closer look at section 16.2, where the connection between articles and nouns is explained.
The article changes depending on whether it is Nom.,Gen.,etc???
Articles usually precede the nouns they modify, as in English ("the man" -> o( a)/nthro:pos), but sometimes they follow the noun they modify ("the man of the island" -> a)/nthro:pos o( te:^s ne:/sou), and sometimes other words come in between ("the man of the island" -> o( te:^s ne:/sou a)/nthro:pos).
To allow these different options in word order, Greek needs more indicators than word order alone to show that any article goes with any particular noun.
So the article comes in three gender: masculine, feminine, and neuter.
*three genders, that is :)
The article also, as eustace points out, declines into all of the cases and numbers that nouns do.
So for an article to modify any given noun, the article must have the same Case, Gender, and Number as the noun.
So, a)nthro:/pois is masculine, dative, and plural.
If we want to say, "to/for the men" instead of just "to/for men", what form will the article modifying a)nthro:/pois need to take?
m., dat., pl
Susan: That's right. toi^s is masculine, dative, and plural, so it can modify a)nthro:/pois, which is also masculine, dative and plural.
Eustace: Do you have any questions so far?
how do we find out if it is a M. dat. pl.?
Eustace: Do you mean the noun or the article?
Eustace: Another excellent question. Every noun in Greek has a fixed gender, which we'll learn along with its meaning when we study vocabulary.
Were does it say in the vocab?
Eustace: Here is where it will begin to feel circular, but I promise it works -- the gender of nouns is indicate in the vocabulary by the accompanying ARTICLE listed after the nominative and genitive singular.
So looking at the vocabulary on page 31 which you studied for today, ἀγορά, ἀγορᾶς, ἡ is the first noun entry.
ἀγορά is the nominative singular. This is the form in which we can recognize the persistent accent.
ἀγορᾶς is the genitive singular. This is the form from which we can derive the NOUN STEM.
To decline any noun, we remove the genitive singular ending (in this case, -ας) from the genitive singular, and add the case and number endings to the stem that remains (in this case, ἀγορ-).
So the nominative is listed to tell us the persistent accent, and the genitive is listed to tell us the noun stem.
Finally, the article is listed to tell us the gender.
So far so good?
yep, so the article is there incase there are words like ne:sos?
Susan: You're a step ahead of me :)
The article uses second declension endings to indicate the masculine gender, second declension neuter endings to indicate the neuter gender, and first declension endings to indicate the feminine gender. This is because MOST first declension nouns are feminine, and MOST second declension nouns are either masculine or neuter. But not all of them are!
oh, okay ;)
As Susan points out, we can't always guess the gender of a word by its nominative and genitive ending.
The vocabulary entry for νῆσος is νῆσος, νήσου, ἡ.
What declension endings are -ος and -ου?
Eustace: That's right.
So ne:^sos is a second declension noun.
But despite the fact that the article uses endings similar to those of the second declension to indicate the masculine and neuter genders (ὁ, τοῦ, τῷ, τόν, etc., for the masculine, and τό, τοῦ, τῷ, τό, etc., for the neuter),
the ἡ that follows νῆσος, νήσου in the vocabulary entry indicates that νῆσος is a FEMININE noun.
I guess ne:sos is a tomboy then :)
Since articles MUST agree with their nouns in case, gender, and number (no exceptions!), νε^σος with the article declines: ἡ νῆσος, τῆς νήσου, τῇ νήσῳ, τὴν νῆσον, etc.
Susan: Sure :)
So remember to identify actual case, gender, and number, and DON'T just look at what the endings look or sound like.
So does the Masc.is idicated by ~o)
Eustace: That's right. And the neuter is indicated by to/.
Eustace: though it's really ὁ, with rough breathing (pronounced "ho")
Okay I'm starting to get it.
Rules with no exceptions are always good things when you're studying a language, and this is one of them: the article agrees with the noun it modifies in case, gender, and number.
Are there questions on the vocabulary?
i wish greek was like latin and didn't have any articles :(
Lucy: You may change your mind later :) But if not, articles are more of an Attic thing -- you can get away with them if you read Homer.
get away FROM them, that is.
lol, ok ;)
Hansen and Quinn has a strange way of presenting vocabulary, wherein they sometimes put essential information in the vocabulary notes, instead of in the vocabulary list -- even though they also put a lot of less essential information in the vocabulary notes.
There's nothing too egregiously absent from the vocabulary list proper in Unit 1, but watch out for this :)
The note about ὦ is mainly directed at translationese -- Greek normally uses ὦ to preface a vocative address, whereas in English using "O" is a special exception. H&Q therefore likes for us to reverse the usage -- if the Greek uses ὦ, don't use "O" in English, but if the Greek leaves out the ὦ, that's the more marked, exceptional thing to do in Greek, so we can use "O" in English.
I'm not sure that using "O" in English (as in, "O Homer! It's great how you don't employ articles!") is really the SAME kind of impression that NOT using ὦ in Greek gives, but it's okay for our purposes here :)
Does everyone understand the vocative case? It's used for someone's name when you're speaking directly to them.
Of course, you can use the vocative for other words, if you want to address a ship or a tree or whatever you're talking to.
Vocatives can't really be the subjects or objects of other words; they fit into the syntax of a sentence like an interjection (such as ὦ itself).
Shall we take a look at Drill IV?
If everyone is very alert, I think we can go through the Drill most efficiently by going around the room.
So Susan for IV.1, Peter for IV.2, and so forth (but wait turns).
1. tou\s a)delphou/s
How did you translate this, Susan?
Can I do 4.
Sure! We can't tell in English that it needs to be the accusative direct object of something.
So should I type in the parsing?
Eustace: I think Edmund is fourth in line but you can give your translation also if you have a question about it.
Susan: That's okay; I'm just pointing it out.
wait what should I do if eustace does 4?
2. ἐν τῇ νήσῳ
I won't do 4.
on the island
ἐν means "in", but can also mean "on", where appropriate (as pointed out in the vocabulary notes). Nice work, Peter.
3. ἐν νήσοις
In the islands??
I don't know.
on an island?
Eustace: You had it, you just supplied "the" where there is no τοῖς in Greek (in Latin, we often supply "the", but since Greek has its own article, we don't.)
(nvm about mine its pl.
Lucy: that's right
Lucy: That is, your correction of your number error is right :)
Peter, Susan: your translation of e)n ne:/sois is right :)
Eustace: Do you see how that works now? ἐν means "in" or "on", and is a preposition that goes with a word in the dative case. νήσοις is dative. There's no article so we don't supply "the" the way we might in Latin. So the translation is simply, "in islands" or "on islands".
Arts. Nominative Plural.
Edmund: Very good. What's the one other (rather slim) possibility for case?
It could be vocative.
(I'm thinking of Drill I.(b)1 on the previous page)
Peter, Edmund, Susan: very good.
5. εἰς ἀγοράν
into/to the market place
Good. Usually "into", but sometimes in English we say "to" where "into" is implied ("I'm going to the store (and presumably entering it)") so either translation is correct in this case.
Back to Susan?
of the brothers
Susan: Except what am I about to say about "the"? :)
oops of brothers
7. τὴν τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ ψυχήν
In/To the brothers soul?
the soul of the brother
I thought I was going answer it:)
Eustace: That's perfect except the in/to. There's no preposition ἐν here (the word that means "in" or "into"), and dative is the case that can imply "to/for" as part of its translation.
τὴν ψυχήν is accusative (which English only indicates by word order, normally, so there's no special way of indicating the accusative case in a translation of a phrase like this).
Peter: that's correct.
So, "the soul of the brother" or "the brother's soul"
(Notice the two ways that English forms the possessive genitive.)
8. τὴν ψυχὴν τοῦ Ὁμήρου
eustace? This phrase is very similar to the one you just translated (the word order is different, but it's attributive position all the same).
In/To the soul of the___?
(Or, I guess it could technically be out of attributive position, but the genitive clearly goes with psuche:/n, as there are no other words in the phrase!)
the soul of Homer
I don't know.
Eustace: What are you translating as "In/To"?
I think it is Homer
Eustace: Yes -- Ὁμήρου is "Homer"
Eustace: Ah okay. τήν is just the fem. acc. sg. article. Say it aloud ("TAIN") and it will be harder to mix up with ἐν ("EN").
So τὴν ψυχήν is just "the soul"
τήν translates as "the" (and the case indicates that it's an accusative direct object).
o so ~te:\n
is = "the"
Eustace: That's right. In the feminine, accusative, singular form, to agree with psuche:/n.
Notice that when you look up words in the vocabulary, the vocabulary list won't help you with the declined forms!
That is, the vocabulary entry for τήν is ὁ, ἡ, τό
Only if you know the chart on page 28 will you know that τήν is the same word as ἡ.
to/for work. Dative Singular.
Edmund: Sure. This could be "'to/for' work". I think it's even more likely to be an instrumental dative.
How would that translate?
(I'm asking about how we interpret the dative case in this instance.)
(The reason I think it's instrumental is because of the meaning of to\ e)/rgon.)
Edmund: "by/with" but not "from" ("from" would take the genitive case).
Thucydides and the sophists are always distinguishing things done in e)/rgo:_ and things done in lo/go:_, so we'll see this again.
Okay. For Friday, we will finish Drill IV in class (not necessarily going around the room again, so review all the sentences), and let's prepare Unit 1 Exercises 1-5.
ok, thank you for class!
Do we have class on wed.
Sorry; FOR WEDNESDAY is what I intended to say.
bye everyone, i got to run!
ok lol gotcha :)
Ok, see you!
There's a new Vocabulary and Transliteration Quiz on Unit 1 nouns which is open book -- it's to help you practice translateration.
okay thanks for the class!
Bye everyone Thank you for Class!!!
Transliteration, let's hope :)
Thanks for the help!
Scholars Online is accredited by AdvancED and the Northwest Accreditation Commission.