Re: parse

Carl W. Conrad (
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 21:12:12 -0600

At 10:42 PM -0600 1/18/97, Isidoros wrote:
>>Can anyone please parse the following word which I can't find in use
>>anywhere but which has come up in a lesson for a guy I'm tutoring?
>>The word is HQWTHSAN
>>Thank you >John
>most likely a misspelling of HRWTHSAN, ordinarily met as ERWTHSAN,
>"(they) asked, inquired, queried." Mah very "own" pc can't come up
>with anything else that looks nearly like it (of course, is well past
>midnight in Athens and batteries kind of low right now, but I still would
>wager on it. Trust it). Think now you can figure grammar, if you like.

Clearly the word HAS been misspelled, and if it fits the context, HRWTHSAN
is the logical candidate for HQWTHSAN; another potential candidate would be
that it's a misspelling for HQETHSAN from AQETEW, "reject," "nullify."

The procedure I recommend to students is to analyze the verb into its
probable constituent elements:
1. H- is most likely the augment for a verb-stem beginning with
either A- or E-.
2. -SAN is clearly a 1st aorist 3 pl. active ending.
3. -H- preceding -SAN most likely derives from lengthening the stem
vowel--either -A- or -E- -- of a contract vowel.
4. Therefore, given the form HQWTHSAN, one looks for a lexicon
entry among the following possibilities: AQWTEW, EQWTEW, AQWTAW, EQWTEW.
5. If there is no lexicon entry for any of these forms, then there
must have been an error in the form as originally recorded. Isidoros
thought immediately of Q miswritten for R; I thought of W miswritten for E;
but in any case, it seemed highly likely that there was an error in the
recorded form.

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