Greek 1001 Elementary Greek

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Ancient Greek for Everyone:
A New Digital Resource for
Beginning Greek
as taught at
Louisiana State University
Fall 2013
Richard Warga
Unit 16: Comparative and Superlative
Elementary Greek
This class (someday, Month ##, 2013)
AGE Unit 16: Comparative & Superlative
• You have already learned Greek adjectives and
adverbs.
• This Unit presents the other degrees of adjectives and
adverbs: the comparative and superlative.
Elementary Greek
From Unit 12: Greek Adjectives
• Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns. In order to
describe a noun, an adjective must match the noun in
gender, number and case.
• All Greek adjectives use the same three declensions of
endings as Greek nouns.
• Every adjective uses a specific declension’s ending for
each gender. Greek adjectives differ only in which
declension they use for the different genders.
Elementary Greek
Greek Adjectives
• Adjectives also have degree:
• The positive degree refers to the quality or quantity
conveyed by the meaning of the adjective: TALL
• The comparative degree refers to more of the quality or
quantity conveyed by the adjective: TALLER
• The superlative degree refers to the maximum of the quality
or quantity conveyed by the adjective: TALLEST
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
•
Positive degree is the regular form of the adjective:
σοφός -ή -όν “wise”
Comparative degree means the adjective has more
of its quality than someone or something else:
σοφώτερος -α -ον “wiser”
–
The marker –τερ– indicates the comparative degree in
Greek just as the ending –er does in English.
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
•
Positive degree is the regular form of the adjective:
σοφός -ή -όν “wise”
Superlative degree means the adjective has the most
of its quality: σοφώτατος -η -ον “wisest”
–
The marker –τατ– indicates the comparative degree in
Greek just as the ending –est does in English.
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
•
An ο or ω appears between the stem of the adjective and
the τερ/τατ marker of change in degree.
Generally speaking, the length of this vowel is opposite
that of the preceding vowel.
• μωρότερος -α -ον
σοφώτερος -α -ον
long short
•
short long
Since the comparative marker -τερ- ends in ρ, the feminine singular
regularly uses α in place of η (like φίλιος -α -ον).
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives in Greek form their
comparatives and superlatives differently.
The most common alternative marker for the
comparative degree is -ί- + ων -ον
•
–
•
•
For the declension of this type, see next slide.
The most common alternative marker for the
superlative degree is -στ-.
Sometimes these are just independent adjectives with
comparative or superlative meaning.
Elementary Greek
• From Unit 12: Greek Adjectives
βελτίων -ον (stem: βελτίον-) better
(just as δαίμων -ονος ὁ divinity)
•
•
•
•
Singular
Nom. βελτίων βέλτιον
Gen.
βελτίονος
Dat.
βελτίονι
Acc. βελτίονα βέλτιον
Greek Pronouns
(GPH p.28)
Plural
βελτίονες βελτίονα
βελτιόνων
βελτίοσι
βελτίονας βελτίονα
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
ἀγαθός -ή -όν “good”
•  ἀμείνων –ον “better, braver”
or βελτίων –ον “better, more virtuous”
or κρείττων –ον “better, stronger”
•  ἄριστος –η –ον “best, excellent”
or βέλτιστος –η –ον “best, most virtuous”
or κράτιστος –η –ον “best, strongest”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
αἰσχρός -ή -όν “shameful”
–  αἰσχίων –ον “more shameful”
–  αἴσχιστος –η –ον “most shameful”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
ἐχθρός -ή -όν “hostile”
–  ἐχθίων –ον “more hostile”
–  ἔχθιστος –η –ον “most hostile”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
ἡδύς –εῖα -ύν “sweet”
–  ἡδίων –ον “sweeter”
–  ἥδιστος –η –ον “sweetest”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
κακός -ή -όν “bad”
–  κακίων –ον “morally worse”
or χείρων –ον “worse”
or ἥττων –ον “worse, weaker”
–  κάκιστος –η –ον “morally worst”
or χείριστος –η –ον “worst”
ἥκιστα “least of all”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
καλός -ή -όν “beautiful”
–  καλλίων –ον “more beautiful”
–  κάλλιστος –η –ον “most beautiful”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
μέγας μεγάλη μέγα “big”
–  μείζων –ον “bigger”
–  μέγιστος –η –ον “biggest”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
μικρός -ά -όν “small”
–  μικρότερος –α –ον “smaller”
or ἐλάττων –ον “smaller”
or ἥττων –ον “less, worse, weaker”
or μείων –ον “smaller”
–  μικρότατος –η –ον “smallest”
or ἐλάχιστος -η -ον “smallest”
ἥκιστα “least of all”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
ὀλίγος -ή -όν “few”
–  μείων –ον “fewer”
or ἐλάττων –ον “fewer”
or ἥττων –ον “fewer, worse, weaker”
–  ὀλίγιστος -η -ον “fewest, least”
– or ἐλάχιστος -η -ον “fewest”
ἥκιστα “least of all”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
πολύς πολλά πολύ “many”
–  πλείων –ον or πλέων –ον “more”
–  πλεῖστος –η –ον “most”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
ῥᾴδιος –α –ον “easy”
–  ῥᾴων ῥᾷον “easier”
–  ῥᾷστος –η –ον “easiest”
Elementary Greek
Degrees of Greek Adjectives
•
As in English, some adjectives form their comparatives
and superlatives differently.
ταχύς ταχεῖα ταχύ “swift”
–  θάττων, θᾶττον “swifter”
–  τάχιστος –η –ον “swiftest”
Elementary Greek
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives in Greek
•
Note the forms and meanings of these adjectives:
– ἀμφότερος -α -ον “both”
– ἑκάτερος -α -ον “each (of two)”
ἕκαστος -η –ον “each”
– ἕτερος -α –ον “other”
– πότερος -α -ον “which (of two)?”
Elementary Greek
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives in Greek
•
Note the forms and meanings of these adjectives:
– πρότερος -α -ον “previous”
•
< πρῶτος -η –ον “first”
–
–
δεύτερος -η –ον “second”
ὕστερος -η –ον “later”
–
–
ἡμέτερος -η –ον “our”
ὑμέτερος -η –ον “your”
Elementary Greek
From Unit 14: Greek Adverbs
• Adverbs generally provide additional information about
the verbal action.
• This is a very broad category, so in practice adverbs cover
nearly everything not covered in the other categories of
words (verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, preposition,
conjunction).
• This unit covers only adverbs that are formed from
adjectives. Unit 20 will cover the remaining adverbs.
Elementary Greek
From Unit 14: Greek Adverbs
• The most common ending for an adverb is –ως.
– This ending corresponds almost exactly to the –ly ending in English.
• To form this type of adverb, start with the genitive plural of the
adjective and substitute –ς for the final –ν.
–
–
–
•
ἀληθής ἀληθές ἀληθῶν  ἀληθῶς
ἡδύς ἡδεῖα ἡδύ  ἡδέων  ἡδέως
κακός –ή –όν  κακῶν  κακῶς
Τhe adverb does not in fact derive from the genitive plural, but it does
provide a convenient way to determine the form of the adverb.
• Adverbs do not decline.
Elementary Greek
Comparative and Superlative Adverbs in Greek
• In Greek, adverbs do not have unique endings in the
comparative and superlative degrees.
• To form a comparative adverb, Greek uses the neuter
accusative singular form of the comparative adjective:
– σοφώτερον “more wisely”
– βέλτιον “better”
• To form a superlative adverb, Greek uses the neuter
accusative plural form of the superlative adjective:
– σοφώτατα “most wisely”
– τάχιστα “most swiftly, quickest”
Elementary Greek
Comparative and Superlative in Greek
• With a comparative, Greek uses the word ἤ to mean “than”
ὁ Σωκράτης ἐστὶ σοφώτερος ἢ Πολέμαρχος.
Socrates is wiser than Polemarchus.
ὁ Σωκράτης λέγει σοφώτερον ἢ Πολέμαρχος.
Socrates speaks more wisely than Polemarchus.
Elementary Greek
η! What’s that?
Pay close attention to the accent and breathing of ἤ, so you do not confuse
it with other words of totally different meaning.
•
ἤ or ἢ (smooth breathing, acute or grave accent)
–
–
•
“than” with a comparative
“or” otherwise
ἡ (rough breathing, no accent)
–
•
“the” fem. nom. sg. of definite article
ἥ or ἣ (rough breathing, acute or grave accent)
–
•
“who, which” fem. nom. sg. of relative pronoun
ἦ (smooth breathing, circumflex accent)
–
•
“I was” 1st sg. imperfect indicative active of εἰμί “be”
ᾗ (rough breathing, circumflex accent, iota subscript)
–
“to whom, to which, where” fem. dat. sg. of relative pronoun
Elementary Greek
Comparative and Superlative in Greek
• With a comparative, Greek uses the word ἤ to mean “than.”
• For variation, Greek can instead use the Genitive case to
indicate the comparison:
ὁ Σωκράτης ἐστὶ σοφώτερος ἢ Πολέμαρχος.
ὁ Σωκράτης ἐστὶ σοφώτερος Πολεμάρχου.
Socrates is wiser than Polemarchus.
ὁ Σωκράτης λέγει σοφώτερον ἢ Πολέμαρχος.
ὁ Σωκράτης λέγει σοφώτερον Πολεμάρχου.
Socrates speaks more wisely than Polemarchus.
Elementary Greek
• Next class (someday, Month ##, 2013)
– Unit 16 Biblical reading.
– Unit 16 Classical reading.
– Be able to:
• read the sentences aloud
• parse each verb, noun and pronoun
• translate the sentences into English.
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