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Learn Greek (7 Of 7) - The Nominal System, Part Ii

Learn Greek (7 Of 7) - The Nominal System, Part Ii

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Published by: Bot Psalmerna on May 24, 2008
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7
The Nominal System
(Part 2)
Second Declension Nouns
(Module B)
 
Feminine and Neuter Nouns
§7.0 Introduction
 The acquisition of a new language is difficult. This difficulty may becompounded if it is not heard and spoken on a regular bBecause of this special challenge, it takes several exposur to new elements of NTGreek grammar before it isunderstood. Make no mistake about it; acquiring a newlanguage and the skills required is a daunting task! Anygrammar positing anything differently is selling something.asis.esMany enthusiastic students soon realize they are swimming—if notperhaps drowning—in information. Out of frustration, they blamethemselves and think they are not intelligent enough or too old to tackleGreek. What they do not realize is that this is the natural learning process.Babies are at first engulfed in a sea of meaningless noise before theygradually learn to detect and recognize meaningful sounds as words.Instead of frustration, the proper response is to continue to be enthusiasticand inquisitive about what you are learning, just like a child!Those studying NTGreek on their own may become unsure what they arelearning, especially when there is no authoritative source in their immediate vicinity to ask questions and gain needed reassurance that theyare on the right path. This uneasiness may continue until a “languagethreshold” is achieved. When this will occur depends upon the individualand the amount of time spent studying and practicing of the language.However, if the student does not quit, this threshold will be achieved.People have different levels of ability and different rates of progress. Beencouraged! The God of creation delights in diversity and variety andperfectionism is not a prerequisite to learn Greek. If perfectionism was arequirement (or to write a NTGreek grammar), then we all should stopnow! Do not compare yourself with someone else’s ability; enjoy what youare learning by keeping in mind the purpose for your language study.Everyone needs some grace of perseverance to learn and understand theGreek New Testament, including this author.
 
Lesson 7: The Second Declension (Module B) Page 136Feminine and Neuter Nouns ________________________________________________________________ 
§7.1 Second Declension Feminine Nouns
Lesson Six introduced the Greek nominal system, and that not all nounsare inflected in the same manner. Those patterns which are alike or nearlyalike when inflected are grouped together into one of three distinctdeclensions, either first, second or third declension. A substantive’sdeclension is determined by its stem termination, whether with a vowel(first and second declension) or a consonant (third declension).Any noun may correctly be called a substantive. A substantiveis an all-inclusive term for any part of speech that functions as anoun. Other parts of speech other than nouns may functionsubstantivally within a syntactical context, such as adjectives,pronouns, participles, infinitives, and at times the article.All word stems ending with the vowel
omikron
belong to the seconddeclension. The great majority of these are masculine or neuter in gender.However, sixty-seven nouns in the second declension are feminine. Thefeminine case endings are introduced next (before neuter seconddeclension nouns) because second declension feminine nouns areinflected in the same way that masculine nouns in the same declension.
h9o9doj
 
(road, way, journey, conduct)
o9do
+ case ending
Singular Plural
listen Article Noun Article Noun
Nominative
h9o9do/
j
ai9o9do
i/
 
Genitive
th=j o9d
ou=
tw~n o9d
w~n
 
Dative
th=  |o9d
w~|
tai=j o9do
i=j
 
Accusative
th/n o9do/
n
ta&j o9do
u/j 
   C  a  s  e  s
Vocative
o9d
e/
ai9o9do
i/
 
It must be clearly understood that second declension feminine caseendings are identical to second declension masculine case endings. Thedetermining factor between these two genders is lexical, and not forms.
© Dr. William D. RameyInTheBeginning.org 
 
Lesson 7: The Second Declension (Module B) Page 137Feminine and Neuter Nouns ________________________________________________________________ 
§7.11 Lexical form.
The lexical form of second declension femininenouns, like their masculine counterparts, is the nominative singular form.
The nominative singular formis the lexical entry, followedby the genitive singular, andthen the article.The above lexical citation is from
by Walter Bauer and translated into Englishby William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich (1979:553). Originally, this was aGreek-German lexicon.
The lexical form for all nouns is their nominative singular form.There is never an exception to this rule. The Greek-Englishlexicon (like the one above) lists only one form for each wordrather than all the forms of every paradigm. For example, if theform
o9dou=
 
is encountered in the Greek text, one would have toknow that
o9dou=
 
comes from
o9do/j
in order to look up the word’sdefinition. This is similar for looking up a word in an Englishdictionary. For example, to look up the definition for “women”,one would have to know that this plural noun is from the singular “woman” to find its definition.The best and recommended method to learn the gender of aGreek noun is to memorize the gender of the definite article whichis grammatically associated with its nominative singular form.
§7.12 Stems of Second Declension Feminine Nouns.
The stems of second declension feminine nouns terminate with an
omikron
just like themasculine second declension nouns. The appropriate case endings areadded to the vocalic stem according to the noun’s grammatical function inthe sentence (see examples under §7.14).
§7.13 Agreement
. When a modifier, such as an article modifies seconddeclension feminine nouns, they too are feminine. The reason for this isfor 
grammatical concord
(or 
agreement
). Because of grammaticalconcord, the article must be inflected to correspond to the substantive itmodifies grammatically. In other words, the article aligns itself in gender,number and case to the substantive because the article is the modifier.This is the reason the article must agree with its substantive.
© Dr. William D. RameyInTheBeginning.org 

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