The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learned

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learned

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 16th, 2015, 7:06 pm

While teaching Luke, I've been noticing that participles and infinitives are really quite common, even though they are usually taught later and sometimes treated as an advanced feature of the language. In today's blog post, I ranked these verb forms, and found that 2 of the top 10 verb forms are participles, 4 of the top 20. 2 of the top 10 verbs are middle voice.

Should we be working to teach the most common forms first, even if students don't yet understand how they are derived?

Here are the first 20 in the list:

Code: Select all

<frequency>
   <word rank="1"
         count="573"
         lemma="λέγω"
         tense="aorist"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">εἶπεν</word>
   <word rank="2"
         count="570"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">ἐστιν</word>
   <word rank="3"
         count="330"
         lemma="λέγω"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">λέγει</word>
   <word rank="4"
         count="301"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="imperfect"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">ἦν</word>
   <word rank="5"
         count="198"
         lemma="λέγω"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">λέγω</word>
   <word rank="6"
         count="178"
         lemma="λέγω"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="participle">λέγων</word>
   <word rank="7"
         count="169"
         lemma="γίνομαι"
         tense="aorist"
         voice="middle"
         mood="indicative">ἐγένετο</word>
   <word rank="8"
         count="150"
         lemma="λέγω"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="participle">λέγοντες</word>
   <word rank="9"
         count="143"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">ἔστιν</word>
   <word rank="10"
         count="117"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="future"
         voice="middle"
         mood="indicative">ἔσται</word>
   <word rank="11"
         count="114"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="infinitive">εἶναι</word>
   <word rank="12"
         count="108"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">ἐστὶν</word>
   <word rank="13"
         count="103"
         lemma="ἔχω"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">ἔχει</word>
   <word rank="14"
         count="94"
         lemma="λέγω"
         tense="aorist"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">εἶπαν</word>
   <word rank="15"
         count="93"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">εἰμι</word>
   <word rank="16"
         count="92"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">εἶ</word>
   <word rank="17"
         count="89"
         lemma="ἀποκρίνομαι"
         tense="aorist"
         voice="passive"
         mood="participle">ἀποκριθεὶς</word>
   <word rank="18"
         count="88"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="imperfect"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">ἦσαν</word>
   <word rank="19"
         count="86"
         lemma="ἔχω"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="participle">ἔχων</word>
   <word rank="20"
         count="86"
         lemma="εἰμί"
         tense="present"
         voice="active"
         mood="indicative">εἰσιν</word>
Here is a complete list.
0 x


ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jtauber
Posts: 60
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 11:34 am
Location: Burlington, MA, USA
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by jtauber » November 16th, 2015, 11:16 pm

I made a similar point in my BibleTech 2015 talk http://jktauber.com/2015/05/06/my-bibletech-2015-talk/ .

From about 17:37 thru 18:20 I specifically talked about why students could learn forms like ἔδωκεν long before knowing how δίδωμι conjugates in the present.

I think students could learn all those forms you mention before learning a single paradigm.

Also interesting is which cells in the verb paradigm are most common. See my talk from 18:20 thru 19:12.

In short, the top 10 most common verb paradigm cells (out of 379) account for a whopping 41% of verb forms in the GNT!

And as I say at the end of that section: "there's an argument to be made for learning forms that are more common rather than having to learn an entire paradigm in order to be able to a word in one particular cell of that paradigm".
0 x
James Tauber
http://jktauber.com/

jtauber
Posts: 60
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 11:34 am
Location: Burlington, MA, USA
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by jtauber » November 16th, 2015, 11:44 pm

My thinking in http://jktauber.com/2015/11/13/initial- ... ning-form/ follows from the question: if you do start learning the most frequent *forms* first, at what point do you assume the reader can infer the rest of the forms for a lexeme?

Thinking out loud: the student learns common forms and when they've seen a particular *distinguisher* a certain number of times (say three) you point it out: "hey notice these 3rd person singular active aorist verbs all ending in εν". And then at some point soon after that you can assume any lexeme they've already seen in the aorist active or middle they will know recognize the 3rd person singular of. Maybe you show the "active weak aorist paradigm so far" every time a distinguisher has been seen the requisite number of times and not before.
0 x
James Tauber
http://jktauber.com/

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 17th, 2015, 12:48 am

Jonathan, Is that a complete Lucian list or just the part of Luke that you've been through to date?
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

jtauber
Posts: 60
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 11:34 am
Location: Burlington, MA, USA
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by jtauber » November 17th, 2015, 1:04 am

I presume that list is the entire GNT, although my numbers are different:

896 ἐστί(ν)
610 εἶπε(ν)
336 λέγει
314 ἦν
211 λέγω
201 ἐγένετο
178 λέγων
156 εἰσί(ν)
150 λέγοντες
138 εἰμί

That's using

Code: Select all

grep " V- " *.txt | awk '{print $6}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -r | head
on MorphGNT.
0 x
James Tauber
http://jktauber.com/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 30th, 2015, 4:55 pm

jtauber wrote:I made a similar point in my BibleTech 2015 talk http://jktauber.com/2015/05/06/my-bibletech-2015-talk/ .

From about 17:37 thru 18:20 I specifically talked about why students could learn forms like ἔδωκεν long before knowing how δίδωμι conjugates in the present.

I think students could learn all those forms you mention before learning a single paradigm.

Also interesting is which cells in the verb paradigm are most common. See my talk from 18:20 thru 19:12.

In short, the top 10 most common verb paradigm cells (out of 379) account for a whopping 41% of verb forms in the GNT!
Thanks for recording this, I wasn't at Bible Tech this year, I could have saved some time had I seen this.
jtauber wrote:And as I say at the end of that section: "there's an argument to be made for learning forms that are more common rather than having to learn an entire paradigm in order to be able to a word in one particular cell of that paradigm".
Exactly.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 30th, 2015, 4:57 pm

jtauber wrote:I presume that list is the entire GNT, although my numbers are different:

896 ἐστί(ν)
610 εἶπε(ν)
336 λέγει
314 ἦν
211 λέγω
201 ἐγένετο
178 λέγων
156 εἰσί(ν)
150 λέγοντες
138 εἰμί

That's using

Code: Select all

grep " V- " *.txt | awk '{print $6}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -r | head
on MorphGNT.
Yes, it is the entire GNT. The SBLGNT syntax tree doesn't have normalized surface forms, so I think capitalization and enclitics messed up my counts. A reminder that the command line is useful for simple things ...
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 30th, 2015, 6:55 pm

jtauber wrote:That's using

Code: Select all

grep " V- " *.txt | awk '{print $6}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -r | head
on MorphGNT.
Hmm, on my system I need to specify the -g parameter to the final `sort`:

Code: Select all

$ grep " V- " *.txt | awk '{print $6}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -g -r | head
The -g says to sort numerically. Without it, the counts don't sort correctly for me.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jtauber
Posts: 60
Joined: May 31st, 2011, 11:34 am
Location: Burlington, MA, USA
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by jtauber » November 30th, 2015, 8:49 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:The SBLGNT syntax tree doesn't have normalized surface forms, so I think capitalization and enclitics messed up my counts. A reminder that the command line is useful for simple things ...
Also a reminder why I added the normalisation field to MorphGNT :-)
0 x
James Tauber
http://jktauber.com/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: The most frequent verb forms - not the first ones learne

Post by Jonathan Robie » November 30th, 2015, 8:57 pm

jtauber wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:The SBLGNT syntax tree doesn't have normalized surface forms, so I think capitalization and enclitics messed up my counts. A reminder that the command line is useful for simple things ...
Also a reminder why I added the normalisation field to MorphGNT :-)
OK, I get it - we need to add this back.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Post Reply