Wiktionary talk:About Ancient Greek

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Nasal infix[edit]

A category that should be created under Category:Ancient Greek terms by etymology is Category:Ancient Greek words with nasal infix or something like it, for categorizing Ancient Greek words created by w:Nasal infix. This includes many present-tense stems like λαμβάνω (lambánō), λανθάνω (lanthánō), μανθάνω, and so on. Most of these also have the suffix -ανω. Perhaps I will do this myself sometime. — Eru·tuon 06:01, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

A link to the relevant section in Smyth's Greek Grammar, listing examples.

Does anyone know off the top of their head of any etymological templates that do something similar to this (i.e., note a derivation of a word by prefix or infix or something and categorize the entry)? Eru·tuon 08:29, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Cross-posted at Wiktionary talk:About Latin#Nasal infix. Check there for my comments regarding {{infix}}. Eru·tuon 09:59, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure if the nasal infix should be considered an etymological feature. Of course it's inherited from PIE, but it seems to me that the category's purpose is to list verbs that synchronically have a nasal infix? —CodeCat 14:24, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Here's my suggestion from the my posting on the Latin page, transferred to a Greek example. In the Etymology section of λαμβάνω, phrasing like this could be used: (The present stem λαμβάν- originates) from *lh₂⟨n⟩gʷ-: zero-grade of *sleh₂gʷ- with nasal infix *n. Thus this would be a "diachronic" template, categorizing words with a certain PIE morpheme, when these words can be traced back to a particular PIE form. Eru·tuon 17:48, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

After a little thought, I think this idea would work better as a general PIE morphology template that includes more than just nasal infix. I posted that idea in About Proto-Indo-European. Eru·tuon 18:10, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Template:grc-pron: phonemic transcription of pitch accent[edit]

Hey, this topic has probably been beaten dead already, but here goes. I noticed that in {{grc-pron}}, pitch accent on two-mora syllables is transcribed using the diacritics for high and mid pitch. Thus, ὗς (hûs) is transcribed /hy᷇ːs/, χείρ (kheír) /kʰe᷄ːr/. This represents a change from {{grc-ipa-rows}}, which transcribes the latter word as /kʰe͜ér/.

Since this is intended to be a phonemic transcription, the latter is better: the mid pitch is not phonologically distinctive in Ancient Greek, but only the high pitch. Words are distinguished by which mora the high pitch is placed on: for instance, τόμος τομός /tó.mos to.mós/ "slice, sharp"; ἤτε ἦτε /ɛɛ́.te ɛ́ɛ.te/ "or, you are".

Perhaps the idea is that writing in mid pitches is phonetically accurate, but that's not actually true. Unaccented morae did not have level mid pitch; rather, according to Allen, the morae before the high-pitched mora had a rising pitch contour, and the morae after had a falling pitch contour. (I suspect the actual reality was a little more complex, and depended on sandhi, position in syntactic units, etc., but I haven't read up about this.) Marking unaccented syllables with the mid-pitch diacritic seems to indicate that this rising and falling did not occur, and thus is misleading.

So I propose that we return to the earlier transcription: /hý͜ys kʰe͜ér/, for instance. This transcription is phonemically accurate, since it breaks things into morae and only marks the accented mora. Using symbols for pitch contours would make the phonemic contrasts less clear (since it doesn't show how pitch contours derive from high pitch on a single mora), but is at least phonetically accurate: [hŷːs kʰěːr].

I suspect part of the reason for the change is the oddity of representing a long vowel or diphthong with two vowel letters, and of using the tie, and the question of ambiguity between diphthongs and two-vowel sequences. However, there's no ambiguity, even without the tie, if all syllable breaks are written; then any two vowel letters without a syllable break between them count as one syllable: for instance, in φιλέεις /pʰi.lé.ees/; Homeric ἐύ /e.ý/, Attic εὖ /éu/. Using both non-syllabic diacritics and syllable breaks — [pʰi.lé.ee̯s éu̯] — would be redundant.

Of course, even if there's technically no ambiguity, it would still be confusing to non-specialists, so maybe a non-syllabic diacritic or tie would be necessary to help people out.

If we wanted to have a phonetically accurate transcription, I think it would be much more complex: rising pitch before the accented mora would have to be transcribed, and falling pitch after — though perhaps only the falling pitch, since it is more important: αἰτία would be transcribed [aǐ.tí.âː] or [ai.tí.âː]. I have a theory that the second is more accurate stress-wise, and might therefore be best as a phonetic transcription, but regrettably I have not fully formulated or published this, so that's just an aside. Eru·tuon 01:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Declension table cleanup[edit]

This conversation got a little long, so I moved it to Wiktionary talk: About Ancient Greek/Declension table cleanup. ObsequiousNewt (ἔβαζα|ἐτλέλεσα) 13:46, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Unmarked vowel length[edit]

@ObsequiousNewt: you commented on vowel length in ὑμεῖς‎ (humeîs‎), and I thought I'd answer here. I also noticed that the LSJ doesn't mark the length, and I'm stumped as to why. From line 2.75 of the Iliad (μεῖς δ' ἄλλοθεν ἄλλος ἐρητύειν ἐπέεσσιν), which I noted in my edit summary, it's clear the υ is long, and also from the fact that ὔμμες, the Aeolic form of the word (used in Homer), has a double μ. This is a case of the s in a Proto-Indo-European sonorant cluster being elided and causing compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel (Attic) or the following consonant (Aeolic): usm- > uum- or umm-. But not sure why the LSJ doesn't mention it. Eru·tuon 00:22, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Double rhos[edit]

The page says:

There exists a convention in some older works of adding a smooth and rough breathing mark to internal double rhos. Ancient Greek on Wiktionary prefers unmarked internal rhos. Consequently Βορρᾶς (Borrhâs) is correct, and Βοῤῥᾶς (Borrhâs) is incorrect.

I think that's unnecessarily rigid, and doesn't help people who might be looking up terms that have the breath marks. What do people think of having things like Βοῤῥᾶς hard-redirect to Βορρᾶς rather than prohibiting them? Even the new search function doesn't recognize -ῤῥ- as a form of ρρ, so there's no automatic redirect from the search box (the way searching for bóring, for example, automatically takes you to boring). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm fine with this. Could we get automatic linking to strip the breathing marks from double rhos. Also, what is our policy on graves since the way they are used is based on an arbitrary Byzantine Greek rule that encodes no phonetic information? —JohnC5 01:42, 25 May 2015 (UTC)