New Contact Page

Since a few readers of this blog have had difficulty getting in touch with me to discuss issues off the blog, I’ve added a “Contact” page that will enable you to send me email without making me subject to loads of SPAM. I hope you find it useful.

Seaching this Blog

I’ve added a second way to search this blog. In addition to the search form that appears at the top of the right-hand column, there is now a Google search form at the bottom of the right-hand column [also near the top of the right hand column]. The two forms return slightly different results because they use different criteria to perform the search. If you don’t find what you’re looking for with one, try the other.

Deponency and Greek Lexicography, by Bernard Taylor

I just finished reading “Deponency and Greek Lexicography” by Bernard A. Taylor, in Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography. He works slowly up to the argument that we should dispense with the notion of “deponent” verbs altogether, arguing that this designation comes from Latin rather than Greek and no ancient Greek grammarian ever mentioned a similar notion.

He also argues for basing lexical entries on the aorist rather than the present. This is a notion we have kicked around here as well. Using the aorist infinitive would emphasize the “default” form of the verb. It’s nice to see a discussion already in print as of 2004 making this argument.

In the conclusion to his article, Taylor proposes a need to broaden the textual base for a lexicon of the Septuagint. Pointing to the work Frederick Danker has done in including non-Christian and non-Jewish works in the new version of BDAG (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition), Taylor urges a similarly broad base for a new lexicon of the LXX.

I hope to someday see that kind of broad base both for a new lexicon of the LXX and for a new Hellenistic Greek lexicon more broadly.

Searching the Online Grammar

I have added a search bar to the footer of every lesson in my online grammar and to the top of the list of contents on the Table of Contents page. This should make it somewhat easier to find a particular discussion that might interest you.

The search is powered by Google, and produces a brief text add at the top of each set of search results. It searches only the grammar, not the whole of or the web.

Randall Buth on Hellenistic Pronunciation

While I’m on the topic of Randall Buth’s recent contributions with regard to teaching Greek, I should point out his discussion of Hellenistic pronunciation that relates it directly to the task of teaching and learning Hellenistic Greek: Ἡ Κοινὴ Προφορά (Koine Pronunciation): Notes on the Pronunciation System of Phonemic Koine Greek (PDF).

He does a very nice job of summarizing the state of reconstruction of Greek pronunciation for the Hellenistic period and laying out key assumptions about the criteria a reconstructed pronunciation should meet.

Do any of you know how to get a copy of his Living Koine Greek For Everyone?

Randall Buth on Greek Lexicography

Today I had the pleasure of reading Randall Buth’s article, “Verbs Perception and Aspect: Greek Lexicography and Grammar.” It’s refreshing to read a Biblical Scholar talking about the work of Stephen Krashen on language acquisition.

While I did not find Buth’s argument about the aspect of Greek perfects convincing, his arguments for using the infinitival forms as the lemma in a lexicon is well informed and well presented. He argues for listing both the aorist and present infinitives, giving the aorist first place.

In the early part of the article he gives an insightful and challenging account of what happens in Biblical Greek classrooms and an honest acknowledgment of the results. This account forms the background for his proposal of a different type of lexicon. I would like to propose, though, that his critique has more far reaching implications. For the good of the field, we need major changes in the way Hellenistic Greek is taught. The methods currently employed do not produce fluent readers who can “think in Greek.”

I’ll try to find time later to write a post on the implications of Krashen’s work for the way we teach Greek. I have struggled with this issue for many years.

Smart Board

I have gone through all 21 lessons on a Smart Board to insure that everything works without complication. All of the exercises work perfectly, and the lessons display well enough to be read comfortably.

The Smart Board allows the teacher to highlight key parts of the lesson by simply dragging a finger across them, or write on the lesson with one of the pressure “pens” to highlight particular items.

If you are teaching Greek and have access to a Smart Board, give it a try and tell me what you would like changed, improved, etc.

Database Design and the Hellenistic Greek Lexicon

Over the last few days I have had some interesting conversations with people who design databases (including my eldest son) regarding what would be involved in designing a database to allow lexical information for Ancient Greek to be presented in an extremely flexible manner so that the user of the lexicon could use any form of a given Greek word as the lemma under which to organize the lexicon.

If you are familiar with database design, I would love to hear your comments on this issue. If you are not, I’d be glad to address any questions I’m competent to answer.

How do you think the database should be structured to support the kind of lexicon I have proposed?

Additions to Bibliography

Today I added three new books from Peter Lang’s “Studies in Biblical Greek” to my “Comprehensive Bibliography of Hellenistic Greek Linguistics.”

Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative: Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament (Studies in Biblical Greek) by Constantine R. Campbell (Paperback – Dec 30, 2007)

Verbal Aspect and Non-Indicative Verbs: Further Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament (Studies in Biblical Greek) by Constantine R. Campbell (Paperback – Jun 2008)

The Greek Imperative Mood in the New Testament: A Cognitive and Communicative Approach (Studies in Biblical Greek) by Joseph D. Fantin (Hardcover – Feb 15, 2010)