Difference between -σμα & -σμός?

Eupolis

Member
I've seen βάπτισμα and βαπτισμός differentiated scripturally by scholars.
Are they really that different semantically?
And what about χάρισμα/χαρισμός, πόλισμα / πολισμός, μίασμα / μιασμός, κλύσμα / κλυσμός, and so forth?
 

limetrees

Civis Illustris

Eupolis

Member
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=baptismos&la=greek#lexicon
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=baptisma&la=greek#lexicon

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=xarisma&la=greek#lexicon
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=xarismos&la=greek#lexicon

so there is a difference for these two.
Have a look at the others, where at least fro klysma/klysmos, there doesn't seem to be a difference, but for miasmos/miasma, again there is a difference.
That's why I suspect the meanings of each pair of -σμα & -σμός are basically/originally the same, the differences are contextual / semantic shifts.
 

Christianos

New Member
Looking at the two examples, the semantic difference seems to tie in to the genders of the words. βαπτισμός and χαρισμός are both masculine nouns, and they seem to describe a process (the act of dipping in water and the act of bestowing a favour, respectively).

The two neuter nouns, βάπτισμα and χάρισμα seem to describe the final result of a process (a baptism is the result of being immersed in water, while a gift/favour is the result of the act of bestowing favours).

I think there's a somewhat similar difference in meaning in μίασμα and μιασμός. The masculine noun stands for a crime - a process - while the neuter noun has at its root meaning a sense of defilement that comes as a result of having committed some crime. It might be stretching it, but it seems this set of nouns keeps the process/result difference between the masculine and neuter forms.

Admittedly, this analysis does not hold up for κλύσμα and κλυσμός. This may be a simple exception, or I may be entirely wrong in my analysis.

I'd welcome any comments/rebuttal on the matter, since my reasoning is entirely speculative.

Hmm, the same semantic difference seems to crop up in πόλισμα and πολισμός. The masculine noun refers to the act of building a city, while the neuter refers to the buildings of a city.
 

Eupolis

Member
it seems this set of nouns keeps the process/result difference between the masculine and neuter forms.

Admittedly, this analysis does not hold up for κλύσμα and κλυσμός. This may be a simple exception, or I may be entirely wrong in my analysis.

I'd welcome any comments/rebuttal on the matter, since my reasoning is entirely speculative.
The process/result pattern is legit ( σχισμός / σχίσμα is another example).
But I don't think κλύσμα/κλυσμός is exceptional; it seems to be in the category of pairs like σεῖσμα /σεισμός , σπάσμα/σπασμός, and πλεόνασμα/πλεονασμός.
 

Christianos

New Member
But I don't think κλύσμα/κλυσμός is exceptional; it seems to be in the category of pairs like σεῖσμα /σεισμός , σπάσμα/σπασμός, and πλεόνασμα/πλεονασμός.
Hmm, I agree. What interests me more is how these categories came about. Is it possible that the semantic difference is developed over time (say in Koine rather than Attic) whereas those pairs without this difference date from the same period in the history of the language?

I can't answer that question, but I think further investigation into the matter may deliver interesting results. What do you say, Eupolis?
 

Eupolis

Member
That's why I suspect the meanings of each pair of -σμα & -σμός are basically/originally the same, the differences are contextual / semantic shifts.

Hmm, I agree. What interests me more is how these categories came about. Is it possible that the semantic difference is developed over time (say in Koine rather than Attic) whereas those pairs without this difference date from the same period in the history of the language?

I can't answer that question, but I think further investigation into the matter may deliver interesting results. What do you say, Eupolis?
I can't agree more. I'm counting on you. And I say please :)
 

Christianos

New Member
I might just spend one of my vacation days next week looking up when these types of words were used (thank goodness for LSJ and Diogenes) ;)
 

illa

Member
κλύσμα, μίασμα, πόλισμα are used by Plato and Herodotos, the forms on -σμος by younger writers such as Dionysius Halicarnassensis. As for he other words, they occur in both forms in early christian literature. In one particular case L&S is mentioning both forms in the same author, but in different works.
 
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