Principal parts

I've been plugging away at the JACT reading Greek series for almost a year now and have been happily working my way through this( currently at chapter 17). As I'm nearing the end of this I bought a copy of one of the readers produced by JACT as well as North and Hillards prose composition.

So all is going well until I look up principal parts on Google.

The principal parts in JACT are present - main stem - future - aorist - perfect - aorist passive. This is the order I've put some serious time into learning.

Everywhere else the order is present - future - aorist - perfect - perfect middle - aorist passive.

So my question is why is the JACT order different and which one is correct? Please tell me I've not been wasting my time.

Thanks
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
The JACT order seems a little strange — the perfect middle tends to be guessable from the other principal parts, but not always, so it's a little odd not to include it. From a quick google search of the JACT books, it looks like the "main stem" is mainly there to help you for the past tense verbs in their unaugmented forms (like the aorist indicative ἠθέλησα (I was willing) would have an aorist infinitive ἐθελήσαι without the lengthened first vowel). Except for a couple irregular verbs, though, it's always possible to deduce the unaugmented version from the augmented form, so that's not necessary.

My guess is that the JACT books want to make things easier by providing the "main stem", and they didn't include perfect middle because it's not common enough to be worth learning at an early stage, and it's always possible to go back through and fill in the gaps. In theory if you've been learning the JACT order you haven't been "wasting your time" — the only thing you'd have to do is go back and pick up the perfect middle, or at least learn the general rules for its formation until you can recognize it. The thing about the principal parts is that the specific forms chosen are kind of arbitrary, the point is just to distill all the relevant stems of a verb into an easily learnable group. So if you haven't learned the "standard" principal parts it doesn't really matter as long as you can still produce all the necessary forms of the verb.
 
Thanks for replying.

I should have said that the perfect middle and passive have been introduced. All the way back in section 13 ( of 20). There it is explained in a fair amount of detail as the same as the active but without the -k- and with the middle endings. There is then info given about how the final consonant changes to take the middle endings.

Perfect middle and passives infinitives/ participles are also introduced. Then a few sections later perfect subjunctive middle and passives. The future perfect and finally in section 16 the perfect middle and passive optatives.

All these forms pop up in the readings fairly frequently so there must be an expectation that the student will possess the ability to recognise all forms of the perfect middle.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
In that case, if they've explained consistently how to form it, there shouldn't be much of an issue. The only peculiarity that comes to mind for me at the moment is that γιγνώσκω has perfect active ἔγνωκα and perfect middle ἔγνωσμαι, and I'm not sure the additional σ is logically explained, and a couple of the -μι verbs shorten the vowel in the perfect middle.

Otherwise it seems like the JACT principal parts are fine even though they don't align with the standard. The most common dictionary for Greek just lists all the relevant forms in a cluster like this without even giving the principal parts systematically.
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Thanks Dantius.

I just had another look through the books and way back in section 9 they mention briefly principle parts. At that point they mention the standard order then decide to tell the student to memorise 120 verbs with a different order later on.

Just to be safe I'm going to abandon the JACT order and learn the standard order one just to be safe.

I've only memorised 40 of these verbs so far so as you say it shouldn't be too difficult to add the perfect passive in.

Thanks again chief.

Thanks
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
would have an aorist infinitive ἐθελήσαι
What you’ve got there is aorist optative, which treats final αι as long. Infinitive would have circumflex over eta. A real nuisance.
Just to be safe I'm going to abandon the JACT order and learn the standard order
That is wise. As Mr. Alighieri mentioned, the perf. pass. can be problematic (but then, so can everything in G verbs), and so deserves special treatment. Sigmas appear, on analogy with certain important verbs (e.g. κέκασμαι, πέφασμαι); aspirants come and go like so many phantoms (e.g. κέκλοφα:κέκλεμμαι); root vowels can (& very often do) reduce (e.g. δέδομαι, τέθραμμαι); and in the case of heavily suppleted verbs like ὁράω, it’s the roll of a die as to which root supplies the perf. pass. (in this case it’s οπ-).
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
Right, oops.
You know I gotta flex my rotten Greek on you ‘cause the breadth of yr Latin spans many volumes. I barely got past puellam video.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
But that’s all the Latin I need, if you catch my drift.
:cool:
 
Thank you all for your input.

Now I need a reference grammar. Any recommendations?

I see there is a Greek grammar by Morwood. I have his Latin grammar, which is nice and clear but is lacking a lot of the info that would be handy. Is the Greek any good?

Ideally a Greek grammar of a similar kind as Kennedy's Latin grammar would be perfect.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
Smyth is the gold standard, I think, but it is very dense. I haven't heard of Kennedy's Latin grammar.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
Smyth is indeed gargantuan & often much more than one needs, but it is nevertheless indispensable. I’m sure you can rip off a .pdf somewhere, & I think it’s available thru Perseus (& its proxy Diogenes, which has a nifty desktop app).
 
Thanks folks, Perseus has it and it is indeed gargantuan. I've got a copy of Gildersleeve Latin grammar and I thought that was large, in comparison to Smyth maybe it's not.

I also bought a copy of Morwoods grammar, don't know if it'll be any good but it was only £7 so I thought I might as well.

Thanks
 
Morwoods grammar lists 7 principle parts, he for some reason includes the future passive. I had learned the the future passive is just the same as the aorist passive minus the augment and with the normal passive endings added. As far as I can see every irregular verb he lists adheres to this. Why then add the future passive?

Cheers
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
That is downright nonsense. If there is a morphological justification for this, it’s not worth looking into.
I will say that yr arrival at the fut. pass. forms is somewhat strange to me, but whatever does it, does it.

G’luck, my ‘one-from-the-same-womb’ (etym. of G αδελφός).
 
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