Morphology of ἐρωτάω: 1st & 2nd pl. Imp. Ind. Act.

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
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Murray Hogg
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Joined: September 21st, 2011, 3:15 pm

Morphology of ἐρωτάω: 1st & 2nd pl. Imp. Ind. Act.

Post by Murray Hogg »

When I'm a bit uncertain of Greek forms, I normally plug them into the Perseus Greek Word Study Tool <>.

I've just done this with what I believe to be the 1st & 2nd Plural Imperfect Indicative Active of (ἐπ)ερωταω and gotten the response "no information was found for [the respective forms]"

I take these forms to be:

1st pl. Imp. Ind. Act.: ἐπηρωτωμεν
2nd pl. Imp. Ind. Act: ἐπηρωτατε

So, the obvious question is whether I'm missing something, or does the problem lie with the Perseus GWS Tool?

If the latter, is there a better online tool for checking Greek morphology?

Murray Hogg
Melbourne, Australia
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714

Re: Morphology of ἐρωτάω: 1st & 2nd pl. Imp. Ind. Act.

Post by cwconrad »

In the first place, your forms are certainly correct, although they are lacking accents:
1 pl. impf. indic. act. ἐπηρωτῶμεν, 2 pl. impf. indic. act. ἐπηρωτὰτε

I've never thought to use a parsing tool at all. What I would consult if I felt insecure
about these particular forms is the paradigms in Smyth's grammar; I would expect
the forms for ἐπερωτάω to follow strictly the paradigm of alpha-contract verbs.

Why Perseus doesn't work for these forms I don't know, unless it's that these forms simply do not
appear in any of the texts in the Perseus corpus -- but I don't know whether the parsing tool is
supposed to fit all regular verbs or not.

Another resource for verb forms you might like to know about is Kalos software at:

It has downloadable programs for Windows and a .jar platform-independent one that will do
verb analysis and produce charts. The most recent version is kalos 4.4, released in January
of 2011. Kalos will do a number of different things, including definitions in English, French,
and Spanish.

For irregular verbs, I would always check the initial section of LSJ entries for verbs, where all forms that are unpredictable are listed.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
Louis L Sorenson
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 9:21 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN, USA

Re: Morphology of ἐρωτάω: 1st & 2nd pl. Imp. Ind. Act.

Post by Louis L Sorenson »

If you enter the form without the attached ἑπι Perseus returns

ἠρωτῶμεν verb 1st pl imperf ind act contr
ἠρωτᾶτε is not found.

Perseus only returns forms that are extant. It does not return all possible forms. However, ἠρωτᾶτε does occur 4 times (twice in Joannes Chrysostomus and twice in Theodoretus in TLG)
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