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Month: June 2017

Are Ancient Greek ο declension masculine and α feminine the most perfect declensions?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-18 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Fascinating question. I mean, adjectives and nouns have declensions, and so do articles and pronouns. If an article is going to have a declension, better it have a declension that’s strongly associated with genders (since gender signalling is a core function of adjectives), than the third declension, which did not differentiate masculines and feminines. The […]

What did Socrates mean when he said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-17 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Literature

Not quite “not worth living”. The Greek is more absolute than that. I’ve been feeling guilty about Nick Nicholas’ answer to Since the active and middle voices of the 2nd aorist forms of “to stand” are intransitive (ἵστημι – ἔστην vs ἐστάμην), are these forms synonymous?, where I basically dismissed nuance in Ancient Greek as […]

If present/imperfect middle forms of ἵστημι can be transitive or intransitive, is their intransitive meaning similar to the perfect/pluperfect forms?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Ancient Greek verbs. Gotta love ’em. Well, actually, no. Don’t gotta love ’em. So. As Stephen Nelson continues to be thrown by the middle voice, I continue with the series “Ancient Greek Middle Voice: Booooo”, last installment being Nick Nicholas’ answer to Since the active and middle voices of the 2nd aorist forms of “to […]

Have the Eclogues and Florilegium of Stobaeus been translated into English?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-15 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Literature

To confirm what Alberto Yagos said: The best Princeton’s database of Byzantine translations has is Iamblichus’ Life of Pythagoras, or, Pythagoric life, which includes some sentences by Stobaeus. Here’s some bits translated online: The Gentle Exit ” Stobaeus Extracts Sentences and Precepts. By bits, I mean one paragraph. Here’s Roger Pearse, Patristic blogger, asking the […]

Is it true that Klingon is a living language, and that people who don’t speak the same earth languages can communicate with it?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-14 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages

I have had conversations in Klingon, including with the guy who was trying to teach his kid to speak in Klingon. (The kid lost interest in it, and I have found a photo of the kid, 15 years later, jumping into a mosh pit. He’s turned out fine. 🙂 The vocabulary admittedly can be a […]

Since the active and middle voices of the 2nd aorist forms of “to stand” are intransitive (ἵστημι – ἔστην vs ἐστάμην), are these forms synonymous?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

James Garry’s answer to Since the active and middle voices of the 2nd aorist forms of “to stand” are intransitive (ἵστημι – ἔστην vs ἐστάμην), are these forms synonymous? This is the answer to this question. And my thanks, James. What I’m writing here is an answer to a more general question: how much do […]

How did Plato address Socrates? Teacher? Master?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Literature

Originally Answered: How does Plato call Socrates? Of course, we don’t have transcripts by Plato of chats with Socrates, we have dialogues he made up. But Socrates is constantly addressed in Plato’s dialogues as “O Socrates” (ὦ Σώκρατες), with monotonous regularity—over 1200 times in the works of Plato. Socrates in turn addresses his trollees (er, […]

How are the clusters “μψ” and “γξ” pronounced in Modern Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Modern Greek has nasal Sandhi. That means that following a word ending in /n/, any voiceless stop is voiced. (And in the case of /ks/ and /ps/, so is the following /s/.) The /n/ in turn assimilates in place of articulation to what follows. So: patera “father”, san patera [sam batera] “like a father” keo […]

Does βαμπίρ have female and plural forms in modern Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Being a foreign word ending in a non-Greek ending, there is no plural. In Modern Greek, if a noun ends in something other than a vowel or sigma, it can’t be declined. (Nu is archaic; rho xi psi even more so.) So το βαμπίρ, τα βαμπίρ. I see that at least one person online has […]

Are βαμπιρ and βρικόλακας the same word in modern Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-12 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

As other answers have pointed out, the vrikolakas is an indigenous Greek creature rising from the grave, with its own mythology, which is only somewhat similar with that of the vampire. Andreas Karkavitsas‘ harrowing novella The Beggar (1897) depicts the associated superstitions in detail. When I was a kid, as far as I remember, the […]

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