Part twenty-six 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).

We’ve looked at the imperfect endings for the thematic actives and middles. Now let’s look at the athematic active endings.

  IA-6 IA-7 IA-8 IA-9 IA-9b IA-10 IA-11
1SG Xῡν Xην/Xειν Xουν Xην Xην ἦ/ἦν ᾖα/ᾔειν
2SG Xῡς Xεις Xους Xης Xης/Xησθα ἦς/ἦσθα ᾔεις/ᾔεισθα
3SG Xῡ Xει Xου ἦν ᾔει/ᾔειν
1PL Xυμεν Xεμεν Xομεν Xαμεν Xαμεν ἦμεν ᾖμεν
2PL Xυτε Xετε Xοτε Xατε Xατε ἦτε ᾖτε
3PL Xυσαν Xεσαν Xοσαν Xασαν Xασαν ἦσαν ᾖσαν/ᾔεσαν

IA-6 is the -νυ- verbs like δείκνυμι. There is ablaut between the singular and plural (ῡ vs υ).

IA-9 is ἵστημι and compounds. There is again the expected singular/plural ablaut (η vs α).

IA-8 is δίδωμι and compounds. There is a vowel alternative but it is ου/ο and not ω/ο ablaut like in the present.

IA-7 is τίθημι, ἵημι and their compounds. The vowel alternation here is ει/ε and not η/ε ablaut like in the present except for the η in the 1SG.

IA-9b is φημί which is like ἵστημι but with the added 2SG Xησθα.

IA-10 and IA-11 are εἰμί and εἶμι respectively. The -σθα 2SG ending comes up again but there are other differences that we will eventually want to unpack.

For the most part, the endings follow those of the thematic imperfects. The consistent difference is the 3PL -σαν (although see below).

We’ll save for later posts what’s going on with the -σθα ending and with various parts of the IA-10 and IA-11 paradigms. But I want to note something intriguing about the unexpected vowel alternations in IA-7 and IA-8.

Xουν ~ Xους ~ Xου is what we see in IA-3 and Xεις ~ Xει in IA-2. This suggests that these athematic verbs were starting to be inflected as if they were thematic.

Along similar lines, John 21.18 has ἐζώννυες with a theme vowel. Acts 27.1 has παρεδίδουν for the plural (yet παρεδίδοσαν in Acts 16.4).