Part twenty-four of a tour through Greek inflectional morphology to help get students thinking more systematically about the word forms they see (and maybe teach a bit of general linguistics along the way).

Now let’s look at the imperfect forms corresponding to the active omega verbs we looked at in the present way back in part 4.

We’ll use IA-1 through IA-5 for the distinguisher patterns corresponding to the verbs that followed PA-1 through PA-5 in the present.

  IA-1 IA-2 IA-3 IA-4 IA-5
1SG Xον Xουν Xουν Xων Xων
2SG Xες Xεις Xους Xᾱς Xης
3SG Xε(ν) Xει Xου Xᾱ
1PL Xομεν Xοῦμεν Xοῦμεν Xῶμεν Xῶμεν
2PL Xετε Xεῖτε Xοῦτε Xᾶτε Xῆτε
3PL Xον Xουν Xουν Xων Xων


PA-1 barytone omega verbs
PA-2 circumflex omega verbs with INF -εῖν / 3SG -εῖ
PA-3 circumflex omega verbs with INF -οῦν / 3SG -οῖ
PA-4 circumflex omega verbs with INF -ᾶν / 3SG -ᾷ
PA-5 ζάω + compounds

It is clear that the imperfect endings shown above had a theme vowel (alternating ο/ε exactly as with the present) which historically contracted with the preceding vowel (if it existed) under exactly the same rules as with the present forms (explained in detail in part 8).

  theme vowel - ending
1SG ο - ν
2SG ε - ς
3SG ε -
1PL ο - μεν
2PL ε - τε
3PL ο - ν

Too often with paradigms we only look at the person/number alternations within a fixed tense/aspect/voice. Let’s now look at the possible present / imperfect alternations in the endings we’ve seen (ignoring the augment for now):

1SG Xον
Xῶ Xουν or Xων
2SG Xεις Xες
Xεῖς Xεις
Xοῖς Xους
Xᾷς Xᾱς
Xῇς Xης
3SG Xει Xε(ν)
Xεῖ Xει
Xοῖ Xου
Xᾷ Xᾱ
3PL Xουσι(ν) Xον
Xοῦσι(ν) Xουν
Xῶσι(ν) Xων

With 1PL and 2PL endings identical between present and imperfect.