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sigmatic aorist

English translation: = Ancient Greek grammar term (forms have cognates in other Indo-European languages)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Latin term or phrase:sigmatic aorist
English translation:= Ancient Greek grammar term (forms have cognates in other Indo-European languages)
Entered by: Stephen C. Farrand
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23:49 Sep 6, 2008
Latin to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics
Latin term or phrase: sigmatic aorist
Not really a translation issue. I'm trying to figure out what the above phrase means. It's taken from Woodcock's 'A New Latin Syntax'. The context: "In early Latin the commonest form is the sigmatic aorist (faxim, servassim, etc) which refers to the future." Example from Plautus: 'di te servassint semper' - 'may the Gods always preserve you'
Anders Dalström
Germany
Local time: 05:10
= Indo-European linguistics term
Explanation:
Since I don't have Woodcock at hand, I'm not completely clear on the context. But sigmatic aorist is a term of ancient Greek grammar that has parallels in other I-E languages, e.g. Old Church Slavonic, Sanskrit, Old Irish.

Greek verbs in general have three stems: present, aorist and perfect. Each of these categories is aspectual--they describe the performance of the action apart from time. Present stem signifies a beginning and process for the action; aorist signifies the action, pure and simple; perfect stresses the completion of the action (and relevance of its consequences).

One way of producing the aorist is to add an -s- (sigma) to the strong or lengthened grade of the verb stem. So Greek λύω ('I am letting loose', present, with long upsilon) has sigmatic aorist ἔλυσα ('I let loose', also long upsilon); δεικνυμι 'I am showing' has sigmatic aorist ἔδειξα 'I showed'. Coming back to Latin, faxo is found in Early Latin as the future of facio (= Classical Latin faciam). Faxim would be the subjunctive from this stem--a subjunctive from the sigmatic aorist stem.

Preservation of these forms in Classical Latin makes examples such as Cicero's di faxint (Fam. xiv 3.3) and the examples from Woodcock easier to understand--they aren't 'perfect subjunctives', rather surviving present subjunctives from the aorist stem. Hope this helps!
Selected response from:

Stephen C. Farrand
United States
Local time: 23:10
Grading comment
Thanks! Woodcock knows his stuff, but sometimes he explains things that are blindingly obvious and at other time drops phrases like this without any form of explanation...
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2= Indo-European linguistics term
Stephen C. Farrand


  

Answers


2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
= Indo-European linguistics term


Explanation:
Since I don't have Woodcock at hand, I'm not completely clear on the context. But sigmatic aorist is a term of ancient Greek grammar that has parallels in other I-E languages, e.g. Old Church Slavonic, Sanskrit, Old Irish.

Greek verbs in general have three stems: present, aorist and perfect. Each of these categories is aspectual--they describe the performance of the action apart from time. Present stem signifies a beginning and process for the action; aorist signifies the action, pure and simple; perfect stresses the completion of the action (and relevance of its consequences).

One way of producing the aorist is to add an -s- (sigma) to the strong or lengthened grade of the verb stem. So Greek λύω ('I am letting loose', present, with long upsilon) has sigmatic aorist ἔλυσα ('I let loose', also long upsilon); δεικνυμι 'I am showing' has sigmatic aorist ἔδειξα 'I showed'. Coming back to Latin, faxo is found in Early Latin as the future of facio (= Classical Latin faciam). Faxim would be the subjunctive from this stem--a subjunctive from the sigmatic aorist stem.

Preservation of these forms in Classical Latin makes examples such as Cicero's di faxint (Fam. xiv 3.3) and the examples from Woodcock easier to understand--they aren't 'perfect subjunctives', rather surviving present subjunctives from the aorist stem. Hope this helps!

Stephen C. Farrand
United States
Local time: 23:10
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks! Woodcock knows his stuff, but sometimes he explains things that are blindingly obvious and at other time drops phrases like this without any form of explanation...

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maria Ferstl: If I remember correctly, "ausim" (instead of "audeam") is another example
6 hrs
  -> Quite right! Gratias tibi ago!

agree  Olga Cartlidge: aorist signifies an action in the past - pure and simple - e.g. eidon kai ethaumasa ( I saw it and was filled with admiration) - Herodotus.
17 hrs
  -> Aorist indicative, generally, yes. But note so-called empiric and gnomic aorists, which express universals and are grammatically primary tenses. Aorist participles have no intrinsic relation to past time, e.g. King Leonidas's μολὼν λαβέ!
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Changes made by editors
Sep 7, 2008 - Changes made by Stephen C. Farrand:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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