Re: preverbs

On 4 Nov 1994, Lindsay J. Whaley wrote:

> Bernard Coulie writes: "The weakening of the preverb's meaning is considered
> to be one of the koine
> features, leading to the creation of verbs with two (or more) preverbs,
> these being then considered as witnesses of a more vernacular level of
> language."
> Though it wouldn't surprise me if this were true, is anyone aware of research
> which has established it as fact.  My interest in "preverb stacking" actually
> began when reading Herodotus.  My sense was that it was just as common there
> as in any Koine literature. Am I off on this subjective judgment?

Let me add to the subjective judgment (someday we'll have to assemble 
some facts!): already in classical Attic a clear distinction between 
poetic and prose usage exists regarding compounded verbs, which are 
commonly used in prose (and, presumably, on the street) and the simplex, 
or uncompounded forms which are properly used in poetry--precisely 
because they have an ARCHAIC flavor. The same is true of Latin poetry and 
prose, and it is certainly a fact of later Latin that compound verbs 
multiply and replace in common usage the simplex forms (just as 
frequentatives formed from the passive participial stem become standard 
in the first conjugation and replace old second, third, and fourth 
conjugation verbs (viso for video, canto for cano, etc.).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com

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