RE: Machen Revisited

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Sep 16 1997 - 06:55:19 EDT

At 12:00 AM 9/16/97 -0500, Jim Oxford wrote:
>At 1:02 PM 9/15/97, Clayton Bartholomew wrote:

If anybody sends me an elementary text that I'm thrilled by, I'll mention it
in the Little Greek Home Page
(""). So far, few texts
deserve mention there.

>One question and comment regarding your post. Are you saying that during
>that first year when you were learning syntax, you paid little or no
>attention to morphology? That would seem rather difficult to me--to begin
>to grasp an inflected language without a morphological foundation.

That is what I did for the first six months or so - I used morphologically
tagged texts, and focused on syntax rather than morphology. I did pick up
some morphology by ear that way, and I also learned enough syntax to know
why I wanted to know the morphology.

Many computer Bible programs will also identify the morphology for you as
you read, so it is feasible to start this way. I am not saying that this is
the ideal way to learn, but it is possible, and I think it worked better for
me than learning the morphology first, which would have bored me to death. I
occasionally have nightmares in which Machen appears to me and starts
explaining Greek accents...

But this is not an either/or thing. A textbook could use many more examples
to illustrate each new point that it introduces, and that would nicely
capture my attention. The intermediate texts do that, but I haven't found an
elementary text with enough examples and enough plain reading for someone
like me, plus lots and lots of solved exercises. Which is why I've tended to
learn more from the intermediate texts, using the elementary texts only as a
source of drill. When I compare Greek texts to foreign language texts for
German and French, the modern language texts are designed much better, and
are easier to learn from.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:29 EDT