Thoughts on von Siebenthal's Ancient Greek Grammar

Post Reply
Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2942
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Thoughts on von Siebenthal's Ancient Greek Grammar

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 17th, 2020, 8:52 pm

I've got my copy of Siebenthal and am going through it. My first port of call is the article and I'm mystified by its treatment.

First you have § 130 detailing differences between Greek and English on the use of the (definite) article.

Then you have § 131 laying out the pronominal use of the article.

Only next in § 132 we are told of the standard use of the article, and it's "by and large" just like the English definite article.

Then § 133 is a big section about definiteness without the article.

So... the Greek definite article is just like the English one, except when it isn't--and the exceptions appear random and unmotivated. At times, the grammar even says that there's no rule. While I do think cross-linguistic comparisons are helpful, I doubt that such an English-centric approach (or German-centric in the original) is a good way to go about expounding Greek grammar.
1 x


Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 1062
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Thoughts on von Siebenthal's Ancient Greek Grammar

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 19th, 2020, 12:46 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 8:52 pm
So... the Greek definite article is just like the English one, except when it isn't--and the exceptions appear random and unmotivated. At times, the grammar even says that there's no rule. While I do think cross-linguistic comparisons are helpful, I doubt that such an English-centric approach (or German-centric in the original) is a good way to go about expounding Greek grammar.
Yes, I totally agree. Any approach that starts with:

the Greek definite article is just like the English|German|French|Spanish|Icelandic

is bound to fail. Forget the English article. It will just prevent you from discovering what is happening in Ancient Greek.
0 x
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Post Reply

Return to “Syntax and Grammar”