Re: SS to TT

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun May 11 1997 - 17:36:13 EDT

At 1:13 PM -0500 5/11/97, kdlitwak wrote:
>Ihave a small, technical question (which I guess I'd know if I'd
>learned Greek the LaSor way and notthe Machen way, by rote). I've
>encountered a few verbs, in particular (HSSAOMAI, that change the
>double Sigma to a double Tau, in an apparently unpredictable way
>(double Tau in the present/mid.pass part., double Sigma in the Future).
>Is there are sort of "rule" by which one can guess if they see a verb
>form with a double TT in it that the dictionary form has a double
>Sigma? It makes finding the word a challenge. Thanks.

Actually roots in gutturals + consonantal Y (e.g. from KHRUK, ALLAG, etc.)
form present stems in -TTo/e in Attic, -SSo/e in Ionic. The Ionic forms are
dominant in the Koine, but toward the end of the 1st century the Attic
standards are increasingly conformed to be "better" writers. I really
wouldn't expect the same writer to use the -TT- form in the present and
then the -SS- in the future, if it's a contract verb like hHSSAOMAI. On the
other hand, you must remember that one of those guttural roots (KHRUK-,
ALLAG-) is going to form its future in the regular way by adding So/e to
the root--KHRUXW, ALLAXW. The fact is that it's pretty hard to master Greek
morphology, whether it's verbs or nouns, without a basic knowledge of Greek
phonology. That's one of the matters dealt with very nicely in Black's
_Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek_.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:15 EDT