Re: Exceptionless rules in Greek

From: Kevin and Sandi Anderson (
Date: Sat Apr 19 1997 - 22:14:45 EDT

One little rule that I picked up from a prof. somewhere in my adventures in
Greek study is as follows:

<<Adjectives with an alpha-privative will always be two-termination

I have found this to be invariably true, although I haven't subjected this
rule to more rigorous, scientific testing.

Kevin L. Anderson
Ph.D. student
Graduate Theological Union
> From: Ward Powers <>
> To:
> Subject: Exceptionless rules in Greek
> Date: Friday, April 18, 1997 9:37 PM
> At 08:35 97/04/15 -0700, S M Baugh wrote:
> >There are exceptions to *everything* in Greek (one of the
> >few rules of Greek grammar without exceptions--I call it "Baugh's Law
> >#1").
> >
> This gave me pause for thought.
> Recently one of my students in Beginners Greek wrongly identified a word
> form as being dative case, and I pointed out that it could not be dative
> it did not have a iota (full or subscript) in its ending. Apart from the
> special form IHSOU there is, I said, an invariable rule that every dative
> form will have a iota in its ending. (From a linguistic perspective, this
> iota is a dative "indicator".)
> This opened up the whole question of exceptions in Greek grammar, and I
> postulated the proposition, "In Greek, there are exceptions to every rule
> including this one." So now I am at the beginnning of compiling a list of
> "exceptionless rules". My first candidate is the one I have just
> "Every dative form will have a iota included in its ending (subscript for
> First and Second Declension singular forms)."
> My second "exceptionless rule" is: "For every neuter word, the accusative
> case form is identical with the nominative case form."
> I feel pretty confident about this as a third: "When in any word a morph
> ending in a dental consonant (D, T, Q, or Z) is followed by a morph
> beginning with a consonant, the dental drops out." (I call this, of
> the "Dental Drop-out Rule".) Examples: KALUPTW becomes in the future
> KALUPSW; SWZW becomes in the aorist ESWSA.
> Should this also qualify for the list?: "When an adjective is used
> predicatively ("in the predicative position"), it is never preceded by
> article."
> I am at present checking out this for a fifth: "An adjective (including
> article) always agrees with the noun to which it refers in number and
> Then there are constructions which perhaps are what they are by
> Or do they qualify for inclusion as "exceptionless rules"? Example: "When
> and MH are used in combination as an emphatic negative, the order is
> OU MH."
> Do the foregoing qualify for a list of "exceptionless rules in Greek"?
> And, What other rules can b-greekers put forward as additions to the
> Ward Powers
> --
> Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Email:
> 10 Grosvenor Crescent International Tel: +61-2-9799-7501
> SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 Australian Tel: (02) 9799-7501

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