What are some examples of sentences that can be either Ancient Greek or Modern Greek?

By: | Post date: 2016-12-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Modern Greek

Hm. No participles, no infinitives, no relativisers, no conditionals. Some conjunctions are the same, but you can already see we’re surrendering a lot of syntactic complexity to do this.

No future or perfect, no unaccented augments, no datives, no prepositions with genitives (and the rest look different anyway), bits of the 1st and 3rd declensions out of bounds, as are most inflections of the copula, and 3pl forms. And of course almost none of the modal particles.

And worst of all: most final nu movables are going to sound archaic in Modern Greek nowadays, and you said Modern Greek, not Katharevousa. Which kills a lot off too.

I mean, it’s doable, but the sentences are going to be clauses early on in Ancient Greek textbooks.

So, I got me an Ancient Greek Textbook: http://cdn.textkit.net/WS_A_Firs…

Not easy. I’m settling for allowing slightly marked sound. And it took me 8 exercises.

  • Ὀ φιλόσοφος τὰ καλὰ θαυμάζει, “the philosopher admires beautiful (Ancient)/good (Modern) things.” (Marked syntax in Modern) §8
  • Τὰ μεγάλα δῶρα τῆς τύχης οἱ σοφοὶ φοβοῦνται, “wise men fear the great gifts of Fortune (Ancient)/Chance (Modern)” (Marked syntax in Modern) §23

Or:

Ὀ ναύτης ἀκούει ὅτι ὁ μαθητὴς ἔμαθε τὸ μάθημα, “the sailor hears that the student learned the lesson”

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