Greek Questions

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Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Dec 16 2021 4:10 PM

Hello I have several Greek questions.

Why there is a neuter gender in some Indo-European languages, and others apparently dropped it?

Why does it have the -ον ending? I would expect, instead, to see αἰωνίαν, so that the adjective would more clearly match the gender of the noun. ὁ πιστεύων εἰς τὸν υἱὸν ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον· ὁ δὲ ἀπειθῶν τῷ υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωήν, ἀλλ’ ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐπ’ αὐτόν. John 3:36

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 16 2021 4:51 PM

Christian Alexander:
Why there is a neuter gender in some Indo-European languages, and others apparently dropped it?

For the same reason that the dual number or the 10 verbal classes or etc... were dropped. Or as it is commonly (and jokingly said) Sanskritists find Greek amazingly simplified; Greek scholars find Latin amazingly simplified. A "for dummies"book discription would probably be something like (a) the sound changes that occured within the language, often influenced by the surrounding languages, make some distinctions null because the phonemes have merged. (b) Being conquered - put into exile - changes the environment of the language and can result in large imports of foriegn words either to speak to your rulers or to describe the new environment. The morphology of the languages involved influence each other (c) cultural changes render grammatical distinctions unnecessary e.g. the honorific second person .... in short, the simple answer is a 1 semester course in historical linguistics with an interterm class on pidginization.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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