Re: Acts 6:11 AKHKOAMEN - I heard a verb in my attic!

Carl W. Conrad (
Mon, 6 Jan 1997 09:14:19 -0600

At 8:50 AM -0600 1/6/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I've been playing "guess the verb" using Nathan Han's "A Parsing Guide to
>the Greek New Testament" - I read a passage, and write down the parse codes
>for each verb, then compare them with Han.
>In Acts 6:11, Han says that AKHKOAMEN is a 2d perfect in the Attic dialect
>(1 p. pl. 2 perf. act. ind. Att). But the same form is treated differently
>when used in 1 John. Here is what he says for three examples:
>Acts 6:11 1 p. pl. 2 perf. act. ind. Att
>1Joh 1:1 1 p. pl. perf. act. ind
>1Joh 1:5 1 p. pl. perf. act. ind. Att
>Is there a reason that these three examples are treated differently?

Not really. All are perfect active indicative; all may be called "second
perfect" because this is a term applied to older perfect active stems that
are not formed with the -KA suffix; finally, and I think this is where the
confusion probably arises, it is not so distinctly an Attic dialect form,
but this peculiar sort of reduplication of vocalic verb stems (whereby a
whole initial syllable consisting of vowel + consonant is repeated but the
vowel lengthened in the second syllable: AK-HK-OA, OP-WP-A, EL-HL-OUQA,
etc.) is quite rare and is called "Attic" by grammarians for no good reason
(Smyth, #446, says "The name 'Attic' was given by the Greek grammarians to
this form of reduplication though it occurs in Homer and in the other
dialects."). So the exact same designations could have been used for all
three forms and it would be much more consistent to do so. There's really
no reason to use the "Att" designation here, as it can only be confusing to
those who are not, like myself, grammatical antiquarians (or antiquated

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR