H. W. Smyth

Greek Grammar (First Edition)

Part 2, §§439-461

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439. Reduplication is the doubling of the sound standing at the beginning of a word. It is used in the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect tenses in all the moods, to denote completed action. It is sometimes found also in the present and second aorist.

440. Verbs beginning with a simple consonant (except ρ) or with a stop and a liquid (λ, μ, ν, ρ) place the initial consonant with ε before the stem.  λύ̄ω loose, λέ-λυκα, λε-λυκέναι, λέ-λυμαι, λε-λύ̄σομαι; γράφω write, γέ-γραφα; κλί̄νω incline, κέ-κλικα; βλάπτω injure, βέ-βλαφα; πρί̄ω saw, πέ-πρῑσμαι.

440. Verbs beginning with a simple consonant (except ρ) or with a stop and a liquid (λ, μ, ν, ρ) place the initial consonant with ε before the stem. λύ̄ω loose, λέ-λυκα, λε-λυκέναι, λέ-λυμαι, λε-λύ̄σομαι; γράφω write, γέ-γραφα; κλί̄νω incline, κέ-κλικα; βλάπτω injure, βέ-βλαφα; πρί̄ω saw, πέ-πρῑσμαι.

a. Exceptions: verbs beginning with γν, most of those with γλ, and some with βλ. Thus, γνωρίζω recognize, ἐ-γνώρικα; γι-γνώσκω know, ἔ-γνωκα; γλύφω carve, ἔ-γλυφα; βλαστάνω sprout, ἐ-βλάστηκα (usu. βεβλάστηκα).

441. An initial aspirate is reduplicated by the corresponding smooth stop:  φονεύω murder, πε-φόνευκα; θύ̄ω sacrifice, τέ-θυκα; χορεύω dance, κε-χόρευκα.

442. In all other cases the reduplication is formed like the augment.

a. Verbs beginning with a short vowel lengthen the vowel, as ἄγω lead, ἦχα; ὀρθόω set upright, ὤρθωκα; ἀγγέλλω announce, ἤγγελκα.

b. Verbs beginning with two or more consonants (except a stop with a liquid),a double consonant, and ρ simply prefix ε. ρ is here doubled (cp. 429 a).


Thus, κτίζω found, ἔ-κτικα; σπείρω sow, ἔ-σπαρμαι; στρατηγέω am general, ἐ-στρατήγηκα; ζητέω seek, ἐ-ζήτηκα; ψαύω touch, ἔ-ψαυκα; ῥί̄πτω throw, ἔρρῑφα.

N. – μιμνῄσκω remind and κτάομαι acquire are exceptions: μέ-μνημαι, ἐ-μεμνήμην; κέ-κτημαι, ἐ-κε-κτήμην.

443. The verbs mentioned in 431 which originally began with a consonant now lost, reduplicate regularly.  Since the reduplicated consonant has disappeared only ε is left, and this often contracts with the initial vowel of the theme.  Thus, ἔᾱγα for Ϝε-Ϝᾱγα from Ϝάγνῡμι break; ἔωσμαι for Ϝε-Ϝωσμαι from Ϝωθέω push; ἕστηκα for σεστηκα from ἵστημι set; εἷκα for σεσεκα from ἵ̄ημι (σι-σημι) send.

444. Pluperfect. – The pluperfect prefixes the syllabic augment ε to the reduplicated perfect beginning with a consonant; when the perfect stem begins with a vowel the pluperfect retains the prefix of the perfect.

Thus perf. λέλυκα, λέλυμαι, plup. ἐ-λελύκη, ἐ-λελύμην; perf. ἔ-σταλκα, ἔ-σταλμαι, plup. ἐ-στάλκη, ἐ-στάλμην from στέλλω send; perf. ἠγόρευκα, plup. ἠγορεύκη from ἀγορεύω harangue; perf. ᾕρηκα, plup. ᾑρήκη from αἱρέω seize.

a. Verbs showing ‘Attic’ reduplication (446), in almost all cases augment the pluperfect.

b. The verbs of 431 follow the perfects of 443; as ἐά̄γη (ἄγνῡμι), ἐώσμην (ὠθέω), εἵμην (ἵ̄ημι), ἐρρώγη from (Ϝ)ρήγνῡμι. ἵστημι forms εἱστήκη ( = ἐ-(σ)εστηκη), Ion. and poet. ἑστήκη (rare in Att. prose). ἔοικα am like forms ἐῴκη.

445. Some verbs beginning with a liquid or μ take ει instead of the reduplication: λαμβάνω (λαβ-) take, εἴ-ληφα, εἴ-λημμαι, εἰ-λήφη; λαγχάνω (λαχ-) obtain by lot, εἴ-ληχα, εἰ-λήχη; λέγω collect (in composition) -εἴ-λοχα, -εἰ-λόχη, -εἴ-λεγμαι (rarely λέ-λεγμαι); μείρομαι receive a share, εἵ-μαρται it is fated, εἵ-μαρτο with rough breathing; also the stems επ, ρη say, εἴ-ρηκα, εἰ-ρήκη.

a. εἴληφα is from σε-σληφα by 37 (cp. Hom. ἔλλαβον for ἐ-σλαβον), εἵμαρται is from σε-σμαρται (cp. Hom. ἔμμορε).  The other forms are probably analogues of εἴληφα.

446. Attic Reduplication. – Some verbs whose themes begin with α, ε, or ο, followed by a single consonant, reduplicate by repeating the initial vowel and the consonant and by lengthening α and ε to η, ο to ω.  Thus ἀγείρω collect, ἀγ-ήγερκα, ἀγ-ήγερμαι; ἐγείρω awaken,


ἐγ-ήγερμαι; ἐλέγχω confute, ἐλ-ήλεγμαι; ὀρύττω dig, ὀρ-ώρυχα, ὀρ-ώρυγμαι; ὄμ-νῡμι swear, ὀμ-ώμοκα; ὄλ-λῡμι destroy, ὀλ-ώλεκα.  So also φέρω bear, ἐν-ήνοχα, ἐν-ήνεγμαι.

a. The name ‘Attic’ was given by the Greek grammarians to this form of reduplication though it occurs in Homer and in the other dialects.

b. ἀκούω hear has ἀκ-ήκοα for ἀκ-ήκου̯α; ἄγω has ἀγ-ήοχα for ἀγ-ή(γ)οχα.  The pluperfect augments except in the case of verbs with initial ε : ἠκ-ηκόη, ὠμ-ωμόκη, ἀπωλώλη; but ἐλ-ηλύθη, ἐν-ηνέγμην.

447. Reduplication in the Present.– A few verbs reduplicate in the present by prefixing the initial consonant and ι, as γί-γνομαι, γι-γνώσκω, μι-μνῄσκω, τί-κτω for τι-τ(ε)κω, πί̄-πτω for πι-π(ε)τω, ἵ-στημι for σι-στημι, τί-θημι for θι-θημι (125 a), δί-δωμι.  πίμ-πλη-μι fill (πλα-, πλη-) and πίμπρημι burn (πρα-, πρη-) insert μ.

a. In some verbs the reduplication belongs to the verbal stem:  βιβάζω make go ἐβίβασα, διδάσκω teach ἐδίδαξα.

448. Reduplication in the Second Aorist. – ἄγω lead forms the second aorist ἤγ-αγον, ἀγ-άγω, ἀγ-άγοιμι, ἀγ-αγεῖν, middle ἠγ-αγόμην.  So also ἤν-εγκα and ἤν-εγκον from φέρω.

position of augment and reduplication in compound verbs

449. In verbs compounded with a preposition, augment and reduplication stand between the preposition and the verb.

Thus, ὑπερβαίνω pass over, ὑπερέβαινον, ὑπερβέβηκα; εἰσβάλλω throw into, εἰσέβαλλον, εἰσβέβληκα.

a. Before ε of the augment ἐκ regains its fuller form ἐξ (133 a), and ἐν and σύν reappear in their proper forms which were modified in the present. Thus ἐκβάλλω throw out, ἐξέβαλλον, ἐκβέβληκα; ἐμβάλλω throw into, ἐνέβαλλον; συλλέγω collect, συνέλεγον, συνείλοχα; συρρί̄πτω throw together, συνέρρῑψα, συνέρρῑφα; συσκευάζω pack together, συνεσκεύαζον, συνεσκευάσθην.

b. Prepositions (except περί and πρό) drop their final vowel:  ἀποβάλλω throw away, ἀπ-έβαλλον; but περιβάλλω throw around, περιέβαλλον, προβαίνω step forward, προέβην.  But πρό may contract with the augment (προὔβην).

450. But some verbs, which are not often used except as compounds, are treated like uncompound verbs and take the augment before the preposition, as ἐκαθήμην sat from κάθημαι, ἐκάθιζον set, sat from καθίζω, ἠμφίεσα clothed from ἀμφιέννῡμι, ἐκάθευδον (and καθηῡδον) slept from καθεύδω, ἠπιστάμην, ἠπιστήθην from ἐπίσταμαι understand̄ημι forms ἀφί̄ει and ἠφί̄ει.  The simple verbs occur mostly in poetry. But ἀπολαύω enjoy makes ἀπολέλαυκα, ἐξετάζω review ἐξήτακα.


451. Double Augment. – Some verbs take two augments, one before and the other after the preposition, as ἠν-ειχόμην, ἠν-εσχόμην from ἀν-έχομαι endure, ἠν-ώχλουν from ἐνοχλέω annoy, ἐπηνώρθωμαι from ἐπανορθόω set upright.  So also, by analogy to the foregoing, a few verbs derived from compound words:  ἠμφεσβήτουν from ἀηφισβητέω dispute, ἠντεδέκει from ἀντιδικέω go to law (ἀντίδικος).

452. Compounds of δυς- ill and εὖ well. (1) δυστυχέω am unhappy, ἐ-δυστύχουν, δε-δυσ-τύχηκα. δυσ-ηρέστουν, δυσ-ηρέστηκα from δυσ-αρεστέω do not occur. (2) εὐεργετέω do good, εὐεργέτησαν, εὐεργέτηκα (inscrip.) εὐηργέτηκα (texts).

453. Verbs derived from compound nouns take the augment and the reduplication at the beginning; as ἐμῡθολόγουν, μεμῡθολόγηκα from μῡθολογέω tell legends (μῡθολόγος teller of legends); ᾠκοδόμουν, ᾠκοδόμηκα from οἰκοδομέω build (οἰκοδόμος house-builder); ἠμπόλων, ἠμπόληκα  from ἐμπολάω traffic in (ἐμπολή traffic).

a. ἐκκλησιάζω hold an assembly (ἐκκλησίᾱ) makes ἠκ-κλησίαζον or ἐξ-ε-κλησίαζον.  ἐγγυάω pledge makes ἐνεγύων, ἐνεγύησα and (better) ἠγγύων, ἠγγύησα.

454. Verbs derived from compound nouns whose first part is a preposition are commonly treated as if compounded of a preposition and a simple verb; as κατηγορέω accuse (κατήγορος), κατηγόρουν, κατηγόρηκα; ἐνθῡμέομαι ponder (ἔνθῡμος) ἐνεθῡμήθην, ἐντεθῡμῆσθαι; ἐπιορκέω swear falsely (ἐπίορκος), ἐπιώρκηκα; ἐγχειρίζω entrust (ἐν χειρί), ἐνεχείρισα.

a. But several verbs are not treated as compounds, such as ἀπατάω deceive, ἀπιστέω distrust, ἀπορέω am in difficulty, παρρησιάζομαι speak freely.

tense-suffixes, thematic vowel, mood-suffixes

455. Tense-Suffixes. – The tense-suffixes, which are added to the verb-stem to form the tense-stems, consist of the thematic vowel and certain other letters. No tense-suffixes are added to the verb-stem (1) in the second aorist active and middle, and second perfect and pluperfect, of μι-verbs; (2) in the perfect and pluperfect middle of verbs in and -μι.  The tense-suffixes are as follows: –

1. Present system, -όε-, -τόε-, -ι ̯όε-, -νόε-, -ανόε-, -νεόε-, -να-, -νυ-, -(ι)σκόε; or none, as in φα-μέν.

2. Future system, -σόε-.

3. First aorist sytem, -σα-.

4. Second aorist system, -όε-; or none, as in ἔ-στη-ν.

5. First perfect system, -κα- (plupf. -κη- from -κεα-; -κει- from -κεε-; -κε-).

6. Second perfect system, -α- (plupf. -η-, -ει-, or -ε-); or none, as in ἕ-στα-τε.

7. Perfect middle system, none (future perfect -σόε-).

8. First passive system, θη-, -θε- (future passive -θησόε-).

9. Second passive system, η, -ε- (future passive -ησόε-).

Nα in the aorist is properly a relic of the personal ending (666).

456. Thematic Vowel. – The thematic, or variable, vowel appears at the end of the tense-stems in the present, imperfect, and second aorist active and


middle of ω-verbs, and in all futures and future perfects. The thematic vowel in the indicative is ο before μ or ν (and in the optative of the tenses mentioned); elsewhere it is ε.  Thus, λῡόε-, λιπόε-, λῡσόε-, λυθησόε-, λελῡσόε-; λύ̄ο-ῑ-μι.  In the subjunctive it is ώη.

a. Attic inscriptions have both -εσθων and -οσθων in the imperative.

457. Subjunctive. – In the subjunctive of all verbs the thematic vowel is ώη-.  Thus, λύ̄ω-μεν, λύ̄η-τε, λύ̄σω-μεν, στείλη-τε.

a. Verbs in -νῡμι form their subjunctive like ω-verbs.

458. In the present and second aorist of μι-verbs, and in the aorist passive, ώη is added to the tense stem.  Thus τιθῶμεν from τιθέ-ω-μεν, θῶ from θέ-ω, τιθῆτε from τιθέ-η-τε, λυθῶ from λυθέ-ω.

459. Suffix of the Optative. – The optative adds the mood suffix -ῑ-, or -ιη- which contracts with the final vowel of the tense-stem: λύ̄οιμι for λύ̄ο-ῑ-μι, φιλοίην for φιλεο-ίη-ν, τιθείην for τιθε-ίη-ν. -ιη- occurs only before active endings.  When the suffix is -ιη-, the 1 pers. sing. ends in -ν; as τῑμαο-ίη-ν,  τῑμῴην; when it is -ῑ-, the 1 pers. sing. ends in -μι, as τῑμάο-ῑ-μι, τῑμῷμι.

460. ιη is used as follows (in all other cases -ῑ-): –

a. In contracted verbs in the singular, rarely in the dual and plural. -ῑ- appears in the dual and plural, rarely in the singular.

b. In liquid verbs in the future active singular:  φανοίη-ν for φανεο-ίη-ν.  In the dual and plural -ῑ- : φανοῖτον, φανοῖμεν for φανεό-ῑ-τον, φανεό-ῑ-μεν.

c. In the singular of μι-verbs :  τιθείην for τιθε-ίη-ν, διδοίην for διδο-ίη-ν, θείην for θε-ίη-ν.  Here the modal sign is added to the tense-stem without any thematic vowel. -ῑ- is more common in the dual and plural : τιθεῖμεν for τιθέ-ῑ-μεν, διδοῖμεν for διδό-ῑ-μεν, θεῖτε for θέ-ῑ-τε.  Verbs in -νῡμι make their optatives like λύ̄ω.

d. In the aorist passive : λυθείην for λυθε-ίη-ν, φανείην for φανε-ίη-ν.  In the dual and plural -ῑ- is more common: λυθεῖμεν for λυθέ-ῑ-μεν, φανεῖτε for φανέ-ῑ-τε.

e. In some second perfects, as προεληλυθοίης, and in the second aorist σχοίην from ἔχω (but -σχοῖμι in composition).

N.– In the 3 pl. -ιε- is regular before -ν : λύ̄ο-ιε-ν, τιθε-ῖε-ν, λυθε-ῖε-ν.

461a. In the 1 aor. opt. act. of ω-verbs the endings -ειας, -ειε, and -ειαν are more common than -αις, -αι, -αιεν.

b. In the aor. opt. passive of all verbs and in the opt. of μι-verbs and of contract verbs -ιτον, -ιτην, -ιμεν, -ιτε, -ιεν are commoner than -ιητον, -ιητην, -ιημεν, -ιητε, -ιησαν.  Prose writers use either the shorter or the longer forms; poets use only the shorter forms.  Except in contract verbs -ιητε is very common in the 2 pl. and is sometimes the only form in the Mss., as δοίητε, θείητε, γνοίητε, -βαίητε, λυθείητε, φανείητε; but the forms in question occur in prose writers and their genuineness is therefore unsupported by metrical evidence.

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