Scribes don’t augment right

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Alan Bunning
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Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Alan Bunning » September 10th, 2018, 11:49 am

I have noticed a lot of words where the scribe leaves off the augment when it should have been present according to the normal rules of conjugation (and sometimes even puts augments on words where it doesn’t belong). Perseus has a lot of such forms labelled as “unaugmented”. Is there a pattern or certain conjugations or circumstances where this is allowed to occur? Or is it random and Perseus is just recording some of the forms where it commonly occurs?
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MAubrey
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by MAubrey » September 10th, 2018, 4:08 pm

Without checking I don't know for sure, but I'd expect that the majority of unaugmented verbs in Perseus are in poetry, particularly since Perseus is heavily weighted toward the Classical period.
Threatte (1996, 02) wrote:"Both the syllabic and temporal augment are frequently omitted in metrical inscriptures of all periods whenever the omission facilitates the metre. But the augment is virtually never omitted in Attic inscriptions in prose.
What you're seeing with scribes is probably the decline of the augment's use in general in Byzantine Greek.
Horrocks (2010,77) wrote:The syllabic augment, after a long period of uncertainty, eventually disappeared unless accented, with exceptions in Pontus (still) and western Asia Minor (formerly), the Dodecanese, Chios, many of the Cyclades, and some parts of the Peloponnese, Crete and the Ionian islands.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Alan Bunning » September 11th, 2018, 8:01 am

MAubrey wrote:
September 10th, 2018, 4:08 pm
Without checking I don't know for sure, but I'd expect that the majority of unaugmented verbs in Perseus are in poetry, particularly since Perseus is heavily weighted toward the Classical period.
Threatte (1996, 02) wrote:"Both the syllabic and temporal augment are frequently omitted in metrical inscriptures of all periods whenever the omission facilitates the metre. But the augment is virtually never omitted in Attic inscriptions in prose.
What you're seeing with scribes is probably the decline of the augment's use in general in Byzantine Greek.
Horrocks (2010,77) wrote:The syllabic augment, after a long period of uncertainty, eventually disappeared unless accented, with exceptions in Pontus (still) and western Asia Minor (formerly), the Dodecanese, Chios, many of the Cyclades, and some parts of the Peloponnese, Crete and the Ionian islands.
Thanks, that is good to know. I guess I will then view such unaugmented words as a valid phenomenon, rather than scribal errors.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 12th, 2018, 2:12 am

It might be interesting to see some examples of missing augments, especially if they are pretonic.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Alan Bunning » September 12th, 2018, 8:34 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 12th, 2018, 2:12 am
It might be interesting to see some examples of missing augments, especially if they are pretonic.
I will try to remember to keep a list of them as I come across them while I am morphologically parsing the texts. I don't remember seeing very many of them, but just enough to raise a flag with me. Some of them probably have already been marked as scribal errors, but now I will probably tag them differently.
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Alan Bunning » February 23rd, 2019, 11:18 am

I had started keeping a list, but there were quite a few so I stopped writing them down. A list can be easily generated from the Perseus data, but here are two observations:

1. It seems to me that most of them were imperfects, but not so much aorists. Anecdotally, I was surprised at how often that it occurred on so many different verbs (because I was watching for it), but percentage wise, it probably is not significant.

2. I ton of them were for any verb beginning with ευ which remained unaugmented instead of the expected ηυ, regardless of whether it was imperfect or aorist. I am not sure though whether I should view that as a conjugational feature, or whether it should be treated as an alternative spelling. It seems to me that there would be little difference between ευ and ηυ phonetically when pronounced. Any insights into that?
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S Walch
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by S Walch » February 23rd, 2019, 12:15 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
February 23rd, 2019, 11:18 am
2. I ton of them were for any verb beginning with ευ which remained unaugmented instead of the expected ηυ, regardless of whether it was imperfect or aorist. I am not sure though whether I should view that as a conjugational feature, or whether it should be treated as an alternative spelling. It seems to me that there would be little difference between ευ and ηυ phonetically when pronounced. Any insights into that?
Well if most of them were where the augment should have been ηυ as opposed to ευ, then I would put that down more not to the scribes being unable to augment correctly, but more a confusion of the letters ε/η in pronunciation, and hence in writting.

The papyri, and even great uncial's, are replete with such confusion of similar pronounced letters and/or phonemic vowels: ει/ι ; η/ι ; ε/η ; ε/ι ; ι/ει ; αι/η ; ω/ο ; οι/υ. The Biblical Language Cent[re] has a page on it: https://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com/ ... unciation/

You'll also see more than enough instances of νγ where γγ should be written etc.

Your list probably covers them.

I also wouldn't mind seeing the list, if you still have it? :)
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 23rd, 2019, 5:36 pm

Alan Bunning wrote:
February 23rd, 2019, 11:18 am
I had started keeping a list, but there were quite a few so I stopped writing them down. A list can be easily generated from the Perseus data, but here are two observations:

1. It seems to me that most of them were imperfects, but not so much aorists. Anecdotally, I was surprised at how often that it occurred on so many different verbs (because I was watching for it), but percentage wise, it probably is not significant.

2. I ton of them were for any verb beginning with ευ which remained unaugmented instead of the expected ηυ, regardless of whether it was imperfect or aorist. I am not sure though whether I should view that as a conjugational feature, or whether it should be treated as an alternative spelling. It seems to me that there would be little difference between ευ and ηυ phonetically when pronounced. Any insights into that?
1. How many of these are from Homer, where unaugmented forms, both imperfect and aorist, abound?

2. The ευ/ηυ issue is well known, even beginning grammars often commenting on it (earlier Greek tends to augment it, later Greek no so much).
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Alan Bunning » February 23rd, 2019, 6:18 pm

S Walch wrote:
February 23rd, 2019, 12:15 pm
I also wouldn't mind seeing the list, if you still have it? :)
I didn't keep it because I realized that it would not be difficult to generate such a list from my data, but I probably won't get around to that for while. But I do happen to have the Perseus data handy, and it had records for over 32000 unaugmented forms representing 5559 different verbs.
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Alan Bunning
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Re: Scribes don’t augment right

Post by Alan Bunning » February 23rd, 2019, 6:24 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
February 23rd, 2019, 5:36 pm
2. The ευ/ηυ issue is well known, even beginning grammars often commenting on it (earlier Greek tends to augment it, later Greek no so much).
My dilemma is not finding them, but classifying them. I have classified them all one way, but I am second guessing that. Given only 2 choices, alternative spelling of an augmented form (phonetic sound-a-like) or an unaugmented form, how would you classify these?
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