Re. explanation of aorist morphology

From: Rod Decker (
Date: Fri Oct 24 1997 - 06:26:51 EDT

>Let me set them out in logical
>fashion, describing the words in the group, and then giving the aorist
>1. Roots ending in -E- plus a liquid I.A
> (as in EMEINA, from MENW - the iota
> before the nu and the alpha after it
> together indicate "aorist", and are
> termed a "discontinuous morph")

I have always taught these as regular liquids, observing that at times a
preceeding vowel will ablaut (somewhat like compensatory lengthening in
Hebrew). Are there particular linguistic reasons for avoiding such an
explanation? Perhaps this is a generalization and oversimplification, but
from the beginning student's perspective, seems adequate--or amy I missing
something crucial here?

As I've (briefly) browsed the liquids, I see that -E- forms are certainly
the most frequent such formulations, but that are others which, by using
ablaut in my explanation, I don't have to explain separately:

GAMEW > EGHMA (though it also has a first aor. form, EGAMHSA)
KERDAINW > EKERDANA (also with a first aorist EKERDHSA)
EUFRAINW > HUFRANA (and quite a few other -AINW verbs)


 Rodney J. Decker Baptist Bible Seminary
 Asst. Prof./NT P O Box 800 Clarks Summit PA 18411 USA

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