Re: Lexicons and Principal parts (Long)

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Wed May 13 1998 - 11:29:30 EDT

At 10:25 AM 5/13/98 -0400, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> You don't need to know the principal parts for regular verbs--and
> most verbs really are regular, even if they are deficient (lack forms)
> in some tenses or voices. But there are about 60+ verbs (perhaps fewer
> for Koiné; that's my figure for Attic) that one really needs to know
> in order to recognize TENSE STEMS for the present, future, aorist
> active/middle, perfect active, perfect middle/passive, and aorist
> reflexive/passive.

I'm going to start work on the verb on the Little Greek 101 site in the
next month. I'd love to have this list - trimmed for Koiné, of course. The
lists I'm using right now have too many of the regular verbs in them. Maybe
separate lists for regular/irregular would be helpful.

I find verb morphology one of the most difficult things to memorize for
Greek, and would be grateful for any hints on how to teach it more
effectively. Frankly, each time I start trying to memorize the list of
principle parts, I eventually give up, but my recognition for the verb
forms is getting pretty good anyway. I would really like to memorize the
list of principle parts, but haven't found a way that works well for me. So
I'm extremely interested in the approaches different people have taken to
learning principle parts.

> Yes, it's a lot of memorization, but the effort is worthwhile
> Memorize them, but memorize them in such a way that you can
> instantly break apart a form like EPRACQHN and see how it is
> a form of PRATTW, or ETEQHN and see how it is a form of TIQHMI.

How would you teach this? What exercises are most helpful? I think that
Ward Powers has a very useful presentation in his grammar, using the 9
morph slots, that emphasizes the meaning of the grammatical forms.



Jonathan Robie

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