Re: (phonemes) Particle Construction of (Greek) Words

Date: Sun Mar 22 1998 - 11:49:40 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> >>
> >> >From the linguistic perspective: phonemes may be used to change
> >> meaning, in that words (or morphemes) are made up of phonemes, and
> >> when you change the phonemes you change the word or morpheme. But it
> >> is not quite right to say phonemes carry meaning.
> Let me add a bit here to what Mari is saying; I'd put it this way,
> morphemes are constructed from phonemes, and phonemes may change within
> morphemes, BUT only those phonemes that are themselves morphemes can carry
> meaning.

Thanks Carl~

At issue, of course, is word construction in sounds, which is
recognizable to the ear, and its representation in alphabetical
characters that are then recognizable to the eye, denoting those
sounds, and the consequent question ~ Is there ANY sound without
meaning, [given the context of its language] and if not, then is there
only one, or two, or only several meanings that one can expect to find
for one sound within one language. And the soup gets awfully thick
here, and awfully fast!!

My academic years, [back before the wheel was invented,] were spent
under the curse of a lousy memory ~ Hence my exiting from academia as
a profession. Now the curse did have a blessing attached, which was
that I was forced to make really complex and difficult conceptual
agglomerations of issues dirt simple so that I could simply understand
them at all. [And I've always admired folks like Mari who combine
fabulous memories with a bent for dirt-simple and fun explanations!!]
For example ~ Definition of Ethics ~ "So What?" Now Aristotle's
formulation of the single word we call essence is my favorite example
of simple thinking. Until I entered into this four word 'concept', I
simply could not 'make sense' of it. TO TI ESTAN EINAI in dirt simple
English literal transliteration means 'The what it was being to be',
and the key that unlocked it for me was the question I then asked
myself in its light: "What am I being to be?" [THAT question was a
real 'hanger' for a 25 year old Viet Nam vet who did NOT believe in
God!! (Trust me..)] Now if you take that 4 word formulation of
'essence' and, say, compress it into one Greek word ~ Say TOTESTENH ~
Then to understand the word, you would need to back it up, so to
speak, to its 'original' 4 word formulation. THEN you could begin to
'get' at its meaning. And this is indeed how I study and try to
understand the GNT. I simply do not have a memory that will recall
the literature of examples of a word's usage. I call this
'rope-a-dope' lex bound word substitution translating, where the
salvation of the method is presumed to lie in its entry into the
living thought of the Greek AS IT IS WRITTEN. In a word, without a
scholar's memory, I have to rely on intuition understood in the sense
I have described.

So when I see the word AIWN, I see A, a privative, "without", followed
by I, a short form of EI, meaning "if", and WN, meaning "being". So I
read it in English-Greek as "Without If Being", and I start the
'wondering' process... "What in blazing saddles could THAT possibly
mean???" The lex helps ~ Different words that try to rest on this
foundation of phonemes that make up a morpheme, as we like to say...
And the question suggests itself ~ "What IS being without IF?" As an
'AGE', does it mean that each age achieves some kind of 'being' that
has no IF to it? As ETERNAL would this be a matter of some
'permanency' of 'being'? Both are supported by the foundation of
'Without-If-Being', you see... And the Greek then comes alive in the
living thought that brought it forth in the first place. [EN ARXH!!!]

Using this approach on the Greek Aorist 'Tense' is another posting!!
Is anybody interested??


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