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Declension/Conjugation (klísis), Ancient Theories of

(2,107 words)

Author(s): Lara Pagani
Abstract The expressions klísis onomátōn and rhēmátōn refer to noun and verb inflection, namely the modifications a part of speech endowed with case and a verb can undergo. An overview of the elements involved in inflection is found in the khnē grammatikḗ attributed to Dionysius Thrax: the noun is characterized by gender, number and case; the verb has moods, voices, numbers, persons, tenses. The most ancient reflection, starting from Aristotle and, subsequently, Stoic philosophy, the Hellenistic scholars, Apollonius Dyscolus and Aeli…
Date: 2014-01-22

Linguistic Correctness (hellēnismós), Ancient Theories of

(3,233 words)

Author(s): Lara Pagani
Abstract One of the key issues of ancient Greek linguistic theory was determining linguistic correctness concerning both single words and word combinations. Errors that could affect the language were seen as barbarisms and solecisms. A single word form or a special construction could be accepted as correct or incorrect Greek on the basis of certain criteria, which varied slightly depending on the sources and were likely to be the object of debate. The principal criteria were analogy, usage, liter…
Date: 2013-11-01

Diathesis (diáthesis), Ancient Theories of

(2,255 words)

Author(s): Lara Pagani
Abstract In the ancient grammatical sphere, diáthesis indicated mainly the verbal voice, although the term, attested originally in the field of philosophy and medicine, never acquired a univocal technical meaning. The earliest distinction was between active and passive, used to classify verbs expressing an action or a condition resulting from an action, respectively. The first attestation of the concept of middle voice is found in P.Rain. I 19. In Apollonius Dyscolus, diáthesis has a multiplicity of meanings, referring to characteristics and conditions of the verb …
Date: 2013-11-01