The grammar of Dionysios Thrax

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The grammar of Dionysios Thrax  (1874) 
by Dionysios Thrax, translated by Thomas Davidson

(Reprinted from the Journal of Speculative Philosophy)

 This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Public domainPublic domainfalsefalse


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Public domainPublic domainfalsefalse


[This famous little pamphlet, the first attempt at a systematic grammar made in the Western World, and for many generations a text-book in the schools of the Roman Empire, appears, I believe, now for the first time in English. Pretty nearly all that we know about the person of Dionysios is what we are told by Suidas, who says:

"Dionysios the Alexandrian, called the Thracian from [the native country of] his father Teros, was a disciple of Aristarchos, and a grammarian. He was a public professor (ἐσοφίστευσεν) in Rome in the time of Pompey the Great, and was preceptor to Tyrannion the Elder. He composed a very large number of grammatical works, as well as set treatises and commentaries." – Cf. Max Müller, Lectures on the Science of Language, 1st Ser., p. 90 (English ed.); Lentz, Herodiani Technici Reliquiæ, Præf. p. clxvi.; Steinthal, Gesch. der Sprachw. bei den Griechen und Römern, pp. 478, 568 sqq.

The Grammar of Dionysios was first printed (I believe, though Lersch says "zuletzt abgedruckt") in 1816. in Immanuel Bekker's Anecdota Græca (pp. 629-643) along with the scholia of Chœroboskos, Diomedes, Melampous, Porphyry, and Stephanos (pp. 647-972). The genuineness and authenticity of the work have been impugned, but have been defended by Lersch. Die Sprachphilosophie der Alten, Pt. II. pp. 64 sqq., and are now generally admitted. Cf. K. E. A. Schmidt, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Grammatik des Gr. und des Lat., pp. 81, 189, 216, 519.

To my very literal translation I have added a few explanatory notes which seemed necessary, and a number of references for the convenience of persons who may wish to pursue the subject further. – Translator.]

1. On Grammar. (γραμματική).

Grammar is an experimental knowledge (ἐμπειρία) of the usages of language as generally current among poets and prose writers. It is divided into six parts:

1°. Trained reading with due regard to Prosody.[1]
2°. Explanation according to poetical figures.
3°. Ready statement of dialectical peculiarities[2] and allusions (ἱστορίαι).
4°. Discovery of Etymology.
5°. An accurate account of analogies.[3]
6°. Criticism[4] of poetical productions, which is the noblest part of grammatic art.

2. On Reading (ἀνάγνωσις).

Reading is the rendering of poetic or prose productions without stumbling or hesitancy. It must be done with due regard to expression, prosody, and pauses. Through the expression[5] we learn the merit (ἀρετή) of the piece; from the prosody, the art of the reader; and from the pauses, the meaning intended to be conveyed. In this way we read tragedy heroically, comedy conversationally, elegiacs thrillingly, epics sustainedly, lyric poetry musically, and dirges softly and plaintively. Any reading done without due observance of these rules degrades the merits of the poets and makes the habits of readers ridiculous.

3. On Tone (τόνος).

Tone[6] is the resonance of a voice endowed with harmony. It is heightened in the acute, balanced in the grave, and broken in the circumflex.

4. On Punctuation (στιγμή).[7]

There are three punctuation marks: the full stop, the semicolon, and the comma.[8] The full stop denotes that the sense is complete; the semicolon is a sign of where to take breath; the comma shows that the sense is not yet complete, but that something further must be added.

5. Wherein does the full stop differ from the comma?

(τίνι διαφέρει στιγμὴ ὑποστιγμῆς;)

[9] In time. At the full stop the pause is long, at the comma, very short.

6. On Rhapsody (ῥαψῳδία).

A Rhapsody is a part of a poem including a certain (definite) argument. It is called a rhapsody, that is, rhabdody, because those who recited the Homeric poems were girt with a laurel branch (ῥάβδος).[10]

7. On Elements (στοιχεῖα).[11]

There are twenty-four letters from α to ω. They are called letters (γράμματα) from being formed of lines and scratches. For to write (γράψαι), among the ancients, meant to scratch (ξύσαι), as in Homer:

νῦν δέ μ᾽ ἐπιγράψας ταρσὸν ποδὸς εὔχεαι αὔτως.

They are also called elements (στοιχεῖα) from being in a certain series (στοιχός) or arrangement. Of these letters, seven are Vowels: α, ε, η, ι, ο, υ, and ω. They are called vowels (φωνήεντα) because they form a complete sound (φωνή) by themselves. Of the vowels, two are long, η and ω; two are short, ε and ο; and three are doubtful, α, ι, υ. They are called doubtful[12] because they may be either lengthened or shortened. Five of the vowels are prepositive, α, ε, η, ο, ω. They are called prepositive because, when placed before ι or υ, they form a syllable, as αι, αυ. Two are subjunctive, ι and υ. Υ is sometimes prepositive to ι, as in μυῖα, ἅρπυια, υἱός, and the like. There are six diphthongs, αι, αυ, ει, ευ, οι, ου. The remaining seventeen letters are Consonants, β, γ, δ, ζ, θ, κ, λ, μ, ν, ξ, π, ρ, σ, τ, φ, χ, ψ. They are called consonants because by themselves they have no sound, but produce a sound only when they are combined with vowels.[13] Of the consonants, eight are Semivowels, ζ, ξ, ψ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, ς. They are called semivowels because, being less easily sounded than the vowels, when attempted to be pronounced alone, they result in hisses and mumblings. There are nine Mutes, β, γ, δ, θ, κ, π, τ, φ, χ. They are called mutes because they are more disagreeable in sound than the others, just as we say that a tragedian with a disagreeable voice is mute (ἄφωνος = voiceless). Of these, three are smooth, κ, π, τ; three are rough, θ, φ, χ, and three are medial, β, γ, δ. The last are called medials because they are rougher than the smooths, and smoother than the roughs. And β is the medial between π and φ, γ between κ and χ, and δ between τ and θ. The roughs stand related to the smooths thus:

φ to πἀλλά μοι εἴφ’ ὅπῃ ἔσχες ἰὼν εὐεργέα νῆα·
χ to καὐτίχ’ ὁ μὲν χλαῖνάν τε χιτῶνά τε ἕννυτ’ Ὀδυσσεύς·
θ to τὣς ἔφαθ’, οἱ δ’ ἄρα πάντες ἀκὴν ἐγένοντο σιωπῇ.

Again, of the consonants, three are double, ζ, ξ, ψ. They are called double because each one of them is composed of two consonants, ζ of ς and δ,[14] ξ of κ and σ, ψ of π and σ. Four are unchangeable. They are called unchangeable because they do not change in the futures of verbs or the inflections of nouns. They are likewise called liquids. The final elements of masculine nouns, in the nominative case, singular number, are five, ν, ξ, ρ, σ, ψ, as Δίων, Φοῖνιξ, Νέστωρ, Πάρις, Πέλοψ); of feminine nouns, eight, α, η, ω, ν, ξ, ρ, σ, ψ, as Μοῦσα, Ἑλένη, Κλειώ, χελιδών, ἕλιξ, μήτηρ, Θέτις, λαῖλαψ; of neuters, six, α, ι, ν, ρ, σ, υ, as ἅρμα, μέλι, δένδρον, ὕδωρ, δέπας, δόρυ. Some add also ο, as in ἐκεῖνο, τοῦτο, ἄλλο. The final elements of duals are three, α, ε, ω, as Ἀτρείδα, Ἕκτορε, φίλω; of plurals, four, ι, ς, α, η, as φίλοι, Ἕκτορες, βιβλία, βέλη.

8. On Syllables (συλλαβαί).[15]

A Syllable is properly the combination of a vowel[16] with a consonant or consonants, as Κᾶρ, βοῦς. Improperly we speak of a syllable as composed of a single vowel, as , .

9. On Long Syllables (μακραὶ συλλαβαί).

A long syllable may come about in eight ways, three by nature and five by position[17]: by nature, when it is represented by the long elements, as ἥρως—or when one of the doubtful elements is assumed as long, as Ἄρης—or when it contains one of the diphthongs, as Αἴας; by position, either when it ends in two consonants, as ἅλς—or when a short or shortened[18] vowel is followed by two consonants, as ἀργός—or when it ends in a single consonant and the next syllable begins with a consonant, as ἔργον—or when it is followed by a double consonant, as ἔξω—or when it ends in a double consonant, as ἅπαξ.

10. On Short Syllables (βραχεῖαι συλλαβαί).

A syllable becomes short in two ways, either when it contains a vowel naturally short, as βρέφος—or when it has a doubtful vowel assumed as short, as Ἄρης.[19]

11. On Common Syllables (κοιναὶ συλλαβαί).

A syllable is common in three ways, either when it ends in a long vowel while the next syllable begins with a vowel, as

Οὐτί μοι αἰτίη ἐσσί· θεοί νύ μοι αἴτιοί εἰσιν

or when a shortened vowel is followed by two consonants, whereof the latter is an unchangeable, while the former is by itself a mute, as

Πάτροκλέ μοι δειλῇ πλεῖστον κεχαρισμένε θυμῷ

or when, being short, it stands at the end of a part of speech and the next syllable begins with a vowel, as

Νέστορα δ’ οὐκ ἔλαθεν ἰαχὴ πίνοντά περ ἔμπης.

12. On the Word (λέξις).

A Word is the smallest part of an ordered sentence.[20]

13. On the Sentence (λόγος).[21]

A Sentence is combination of words, either in prose or in verse, making complete sense. There are eight parts of speech: Noun, Verb, Participle, Article, Pronoun, Preposition, Adverb, and Conjunction. The proper noun, as a species, is subordinate to the noun.[22]

14. On the Noun (ὄνομα).

A Noun is a declinable part of speech, signifying something either concrete or abstract (concrete, as stone; abstract, as education); common or proper (common, as man, horse; proper, as Socrates, Plato).[23] It has five accidents: genders, species, forms, numbers, and cases.

There are three Genders, the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter. Some add to these two more, the common and the epicene—common, as man, horse; epicene, as swallow, eagle.

There are two Species of nouns, the primitive and the derivative. A primitive noun is one which is said according to original imposition, as γῆ (earth); a derivative noun is one which derives its origin from another noun, as γαιήιος (earthborn). There are seven classes of derivatives: Patronymics, Possessives, Comparatives, Diminutives, Nominals, Superlatives, and Verbals. A Patronymic is properly a noun formed from the name of a father, improperly a noun formed from the name of another ancestor, e.g., Achilleus is called both Peleides and Aiakides. Of masculine patronymics there are three forms, one in δης, one in ων and one in άδιος—e.g. Atreion, Atreides, and the form peculiar to the Æolians, Hyrradios. (Pittakos was the son of Hyrras.) Of feminine patronymics there are likewise three forms, one in ις, as Priamis; one in ας, as Pelias; one in νη, as Adrastinê. From the names of mothers, Homer forms no species of patronymics; later authors do. A Possessive is a noun which denotes possession and includes the possessor, as Νηλήιαι ἵπποι (Neleian mares), Ἑκτόρεος χιτών (Hektorean robe), Πλατωνικὸν βιβλίον (Platonic book). A Comparative is a noun making a comparison of one individual with another individual of the same genus, e.g. Achilleus braver than Aias; or of one individual with many of a different genus, e.g. Achilleus braver than the Trojans. Of comparatives there are three forms, one in τερος, as ὀξύτερος, βραδύτερος; one in ων pure, as βελτίων, καλλίων; one in σων, as κρείσσων, ἦσσων. A Superlative is a noun used to express the superiority, of one individual over many in a comparison. There are two forms of it, one in τατος, as ὀξύτατος, βραδύτατος; and one in στος, as μέγιστος, ἄριστος. A Diminutive is a noun expressing a diminution of the primitive word without comparison, as ἀνθρωπίσκος (mannikin), λίθαξ (stonelet), μειρακύλλιον (stripling). A Nominal is a word formed alongside a noun, or as from a noun, as Theon, Tryphon. A Verbal is a noun derived from a verb, as Philemon, Noëmon.

There are three Forms of nouns, simple, compound, and super-compound—simple, as Memnon; compound, as Agamemnon; super-compound, as Agamemnonides, Philippides. Of compounds there are four kinds; 1°. those compounded of two complete words, as Cheirisophos; 2°. those compounded of two incomplete words, as Sophokles; 3°. those compounded of an incomplete and a complete word, as Philodemos; and 4°. those compounded of a complete word and an incomplete, as Periklês.

There are three Numbers, singular, dual, and plural; singular, as Ὅμηρος (Homer); dual, as τὼ Ὁμήρω (both Homers); plural, as Ὅμηροι (Homers). There are some singular designations used of plural objects, as δῆμος (people), χορός (chorus); and plural designations used of singular and dual objects—of singular, as Ἀθῆναι, Θῆβαι (Athens, Thebes)—of dual, as ἀμφότεροι (both).

There are five Cases, the right, the generic,[24] the dative, the accusative, and the vocative. The right case is called also the nominative and the direct; the generic, the possessive, and the patrial; the dative, the injunctive; while the accusative is named from cause, and the vocative is called the allocutive.

The following terms, expressive of accidents belonging to the noun, are also called Species: proper, appellative, adjective, relative, quasi-relative, homonym, synonym, pheronym, dionym, eponym, national, interrogative, indefinite, anaphoric (also called assimilative, demonstrative, and retributive), collective, distributive, inclusive, onomatopoetic, general, special, ordinal, numeral, participative, independent.

A Proper noun is one signifying a peculiar substance,[25] as Homer, Sokrates. An Appellative is one that signifies a common substance, as man, horse. An Adjective noun is one that is applied homonymously[26] to proper or appellative nouns, and signifies either praise or blame. It is derived from three sources, from the soul, the body, and external things: from the soul, as sage, licentious; from the body, as swift, slow; from external things, as rich, poor. A Relative noun is such as father, son, friend, right (hand). A quasi-Relative is such as night, day, death, life. A Homonym is a noun predicated homonymously of many things, as of proper nouns, e.g. Telamonian Aias, Oïlean Aias; of aplative nouns, as sea-mouse, land-mouse. A Synonym is a noun which, by several designations, signifies the same thing, as glaive, sword, bludgeon, blade, brand. A Pheronym is a name given from some accident, as Tisamenos and Megapenthes. A Dionym is a couple of names applied to the same proper noun, as Alexander and Paris, without there being any reciprocity in their signification; e.g., if one is Alexander, it does not follow that he is Paris. An Eponym (also called Dionym) is a noun which, along with another proper noun, is applied to one object, as Poseidón is called Enosichthon, and Apollo, Phœbos. A National name is one showing to what nation an individual belongs, as Phrygian, Galatian. An Interrogative (also called an Inquisitive) is so called from being employed in interrogations, as τίς; (who?)—ποῖος; (of what sort?)—πόσος; (how great?)—πηλίκος; (how old?) An Indefinite is a noun placed in opposition to an Interrogative, as ὅστις (whosoever), ὁποῖος (of whatever sort), ὁπόσος (however great), ὁπηλίκος (of whatever age). An Anaphoric noun (called also an Assimilative, a Demonstrative, or an Attributive) is one signifying similarity, as τοιοῦτος (as great), τηλικοῦτος (as old), τοιοῦτος (such). A Collective noun is one which, in the singular number, signifies a multitude, e.g. δῆμος (people), χορός (chorus), ὄχλος (crowd). A Distributive noun is one having a relation to one out of two or more, as ἕτερος (the other), ἑκάτερος (each), ἕκαστος (every one). An Inclusive noun is one that shows what is contained in it, as δαφνών (laurel-grove), παρθενών (virgin's abode). An Onomatopoetic noun is one formed imitatively from the peculiarities of sounds, as φλοῖσβος (dashing), ῥοῖζος (whistling), ὀρυμαγδός (rattle). A General noun is one that can be divided into a number of species, as animal, plant. A Special noun is one of those into which a genus is divided, e.g. ox, horse; vine, olive. An Ordinal is a noun showing order, as first, second, third. A Numeral is a noun signifying number, as one, two, three. A Participative is a noun partaking of a certain substance, as golden, silvern. An Independent noun is one which is thought by itself, as God, Reason.

The Dispositions of the noun are two. Activity and Passivity; Activity, as the judge, the judging; Passivity, as judgeable, the judged.

15. On the Verb (ῥῆμα).[27]

A Verb is an indeclinable word, indicating time, person and number, and showing activity or passivity. The verb has eight accidents: Moods, Dispositions (voices!), Species, Forms, Numbers, Tenses, Persons, Conjugations. There are five Moods: Indicative, Imperative, Optative, Subjunctive, and Infinitive. There are three Dispositions[28]: Activity, Passivity, and Mediality—Activity, as τύπτω (I strike); Passivity, as τύπτομαι (I am struck); Mediality, marking partly activity and partly passivity, as πέποιθα (I trust), διέφθορα (I waste), ἐποιησάμην (I became), ἐγραψάμην (I registered). There are two Species: Primitive and Derivative—Primitive, as ἄρδω; Derivative, as ἀρδεύω. There are three Forms: Simple, Compound, and Super-Compound—Simple, as φρονῶ; Compound, as καταφρονῶ; Super-Compound, as ἀντιγονίζω (I Antigonize), φιλιππίζω (I Philippize). There are three Numbers: Singular, Dual, and Plural—Singular, as τύπτω; Dual, as τύπτετον Plural, as τύπτομεν. There are three Persons: First, Second, and Third. The First is the person from whom the assertion is; the Second, the one to whom it is; and the Third, the one concerning whom it is. There are three Tenses: Present, Past, Future. Of these, the Past has four sub-species—Imperfect, Perfect, Pluperfect, and Aorist—which stand in three respective relations: the Present is related to the Imperfect, the Perfect to the Pluperfect, and the Aorist to the Future.

16. On Conjugation (συζυγία).

Conjugation is the consecutive inflection of Verbs. Of Barytone Verbs there are six conjugations, of which the First is characterized by β, φ, π, or πτ, as λείβω, γράφω, τέρπω, κόπτω; the Second by γ, κ, χ, or κτ, as λέγω, πλέκω, τρέχω, τίκτω; the Third by δ, θ, or τ, as ᾄδω, πλήθω, ἀνύτω; the Fourth by ζ or σσ, as φράζω, νύσσω, ὀρύσσω; the Fifth by the four unchangeables, λ, μ, ν, ρ, as πάλλω, νέμω; and the Sixth by a pure, as ἱππεύω, πλέω, βασιλεύω, ἀκούω. Some also introduce a Seventh Conjugation, characterized by ξ and ψ, as ἀλέξω, ἕψω.

17. On Circumflexed Verbs (περισπώμενα).

Of Circumflexed Verbs there are three Conjugations, of which the First is characterized in the second and third persons by the diphthong ει, as νοῶ, νοεῖς, νοεῖ; the Second by the diphthong , as βοῶ, βοᾷς, βοᾷ (the ι being added in writing,[29] but not pronounced); and the Third by the diphthong οι, as χρυσῶ, χρυσοῖς, χρυσοῖ.

18. On Verbs in μι (τὰ εἰς μι).

Of Verbs ending in μι there are four conjugations, of which the First is characterized from the first of the Circumflexed Conjugations, as from τιθῶ comes τίθημι; the Second from the second, as from ἱστῶ, ἵστημι; the Third from the third, as from διδῶ, δίδωμι; and the Fourth from the sixth of the Barytone Conjugations, as from πηγνύω, πήγνυμι.

19. On the Participle (μετοχή).

A Participle is a word partaking of the nature both of nouns and verbs. It has all the accidents which belong to nouns as well as those which belong to verbs, except mood and person.

20. On the Article (ἄρθρον).

An Article is a declinable part of speech prefixed or subjoined to the various cases of nouns, taking, when prefixed, the form , and, when subjoined, the form ὅς.[30]. It has three accidents: Gender, Number, and Case. The Genders are three, as ὁ ποιητής, ἡ ποίησις, τὸ ποίημα. The Numbers are three: Singular, Dual, and Plural—Singular, as , , τό; Dual, as τώ, τά; Plural, as οἱ, αἱ, τά. The Cases are—, τοῦ, τῷ, τόν, ; , τῆς, τῇ, τήν, ; τό, τοῦ, τῷ, τό, .

21. On the Pronoun (ἀντωνυμία.)[31]

A Pronoun is a word assumed instead of a noun, and indicating definite persons. It has six accidents: Person, Gender, Number, Case, Form, and Species.

22. On Primitive Pronouns.

The Persons of the Primitive Pronouns are ἐνώ, σύ, ; those of the Derivative Pronouns, ἐμός, σός, ὅς. The Genders of the Primitive Pronouns are not expressed in speech, but by the indication which they make, as ἐγώ (I), whereas the Genders of the Derivatives are expressed in speech, as ὁ ἐμός, ἡ ἐμή, τὸ ἐμόν. The Numbers of the Primitives are—Singular, ἐγώ, σύ, ; Dual, νῶϊ, σφῶϊ; Plural, ἡμεῖς, ὑμεῖς, σφεῖς: those of the Derivatives—Singular, ἐμός, σός, ὅς; Dual, ἐμώ, σώ, ; Plural, ἐμοί, σοί, οἵ. The Cases of the Primitives are—Direct, ἐγώ, σύ, ; Generic, ἐμοῦ, σοῦ, οὗ; Dative, ἐμοί, σοί, οἷ; Accusative, ἐμέ, σέ, ; Vocative, σύ: those of the Derivatives are ἐμός, σός, ὅς; ἐμοῦ, σοῦ, οὗ; ἐμῷ, σῷ, · ἐμόν, σόν, ὅν. There are two Forms: Simple and Compound—Simple, ἐμοῦ, σοῦ, οὗ; Compound, ἐμαυτοῦ, σαυτοῦ, ἑαυτοῦ. There are two Species, inasmuch as some are Primitive, as ἐγώ, σύ, , and others Derivative, as are all the Possessives, which are also called Bi-personals. They are thus derived—from Singulars, those designating one possessor, as ἐμοῦ, ἐμός; from Duals, those designating two, as from νῶϊ, νωίτερος; from Plurals, those designating many, as from ἡμεῖς, ἡμέτερος. Of the Pronouns, some are [used] without the article and some with it—without the article, as ἐγώ; with the article, as ὁ ἐμός.

23. On Prepositions (πρόθεσις).[32]

A Preposition is a word placed before any of the parts of speech, both in Composition and in Syntax. The number of Prepositions is eighteen, whereof six are monosyllabic, ἐν, εἰς, ἔξ, πρό, πρός, σύν—which are incapable of anastrophé—and twelve are dissyllabic, ἀνά, κατά, διά, μετά, παρά, ἀντί, ἐπί, περί, ἀμφί, ἀπό, ὑπό, ὑπέρ.

24. On the Adverb (ἐπίῤῥημα).[33]

An Adverb is an indeclinable part of speech, said of a verb or added to a verb. Of the Adverbs, some are Simple, and others Compound—Simple, as πάλαι; Compound, as πρόπαλαι. Some are indicative of time, as νῦν, τότε, αὖθις: to these we must subordinate as species those that connote particular times or seasons, as σήμερον, αὔριον, τόφρα, τέως, πηνίκα. Some indicate manner, as καλῶς, σοφῶς, δυνατῶς; some, quality, as πύξ, λάξ, βοτρυδόν, ἀγεληδόν; some, quantity, as πολλάκις, ὀλιγάκις, μυριάκις; some, number, as δίς, τρίς, τετράκις; some, place, as ἄνω, κάτω—of these there are three kinds, those signifying in a place, those signifying to a place, and those signifying from a place, as οἴκοι, οἴκαδε, οἴκοθεν. Some Adverbs signify a wish, as εἴθε, αἴθε, ἄβαλε; some express horror, as παπαί, ἰού, φεῦ; some, denial or negation, as οὔ, οὐχί, οὐ δῆτα, οὐδαμῶς; some, agreement, as ναί, ναίχι; some, prohibition, as μή, μὴ δῆτα, μηδαμῶς; some, comparison or similarity, as ὥς, ὥσπερ, ἠΰτε, καθά, καθάτερ; some, surprise, as βαβαί; some, probability, as ἴσως, τάχα, τυχόν; some, order, as ἑξῆς, ἐφεξῆς, χωρίς; some, congregation, as ἄρδην, ἅμα, ἤλιθα; some, command, as εἶα, ἄγε, φέρε; some, comparison, as μᾶλλον, ἦττον; some, interrogation, as πόθεν, ποῦ, πηνίκα, πῶς; some, vehemence, as σφόδρα, ἄγαν, πάνυ, μάλιστα; some, coincidence, as ἅμα, ὁμοῦ, ἄμυδις; some are deprecative, as μά; some are asseverative, as νή; some are positive, as ἀγνωστέον, γραπτέον, πλευστέον; some express ratification, as δηλαδή; and some enthusiasm, as εὐοῖ, εὐάν.

25. On Conjunctions (σύνδεσμος).[34]

A Conjunction is a word binding together a thought in order and filling up the hiatuses of speech. Of conjunctions, some are copulative, some disjunctive, some conjunctive, some præter-conjunctive, some causative, some dubitative, some conclusive, and some expletive. Copulative Conjunctions are those which bind together a discourse which flows on indefinitely: they are these, μέν, δέ, τέ, καί, ἀλλά, ἠμέν, ἠδέ, ἀτάρ, αὐτάρ, ἤτοι. Disjunctive Conjunctions are those which bind the phrase more firmly together, and disjoin the facts expressed: they are these, , ἤτοι, ἠέ. Conjunctive Conjunctions are those which do not indicate any actual existence, but signify sequence: they are these, εἰ, εἴπερ, εἰδή, εἰδήπερ. The Præter-conjunctives are those which, along with actual existence, show also order: they are these, ἐπεί, ἐπείπερ, ἐπειδή, ἐπειδήπερ. Causatives are those which are taken to express cause: they are these, ἵνα, ὄφρα, ὅπως, ἕνεκα, οὕνεκα, ὅτι, διό, διότι, καθό, καθότι, καθόσον. Dubitatives are those which we are wont to use when we are in doubt; they are these, ἆρα, κἆτα, μῶν. Inferentials are those which lend themselves readily to conclusions and summings-up of demonstrations: they are these, ἄρα, ἀλλά, ἀλλὰ μέν, τοίνυν, τοιγάρτοι, τοιγαροῦν. Expletives are those which are used for the sake of metre or ornament: they are these, δή, ῥά, νύ, ποῦ, τοί, θήν, ἄρ, δῆτα, πέρ, πώ, μήν, ἄν, αὖ, οὖν, κέν, γέ. Some persons add also Adversatives, as ἔμπης, ὅμως.

  1. Prosody (προσῳδία), in the Greek sense, includes everything designated by diacritical marks — aspiration, accentuation, quantity, and sometimes pauses. Vid. Bekker, Anecdota Græca, pp. 679 sqq. ; K. E. A. Schmidt, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Grammatik, pp. 181 sqq. Prosody had nothing whatsoever to do with verse-making, although it was related to music.
  2. Vid. Waitz, Aristotelis Organon, vol. i. pp. 323 sq.
  3. Here came in all that we generally understand by Grammar. The whole of the first part of Lersch's Sprachphilosophie der Alten is devoted to the question of Analogy and Anomaly.
  4. Such Criticism apparently did not include a discussion of the poetical merits of a piece (κρίνει δὲ τὰ ποιήματα οὐχ ὅτι καλά ἐστιν ἢ κακά· ποιητοῦ γὰρ ἂν εἴη τὸ τοιοῦτον.)
  5. Expression (ὑπόκρισις) is defined as being equivalent to μίμησις or Imitation.
  6. Tone is what we usually call accent. The Latin accentus, however, formed in imitation of the Greek προσῳδία, was undoubtedly intended to have the same width of meaning as the latter. Vid. Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 190 sqq.
  7. On this whole question, vid. Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 506-570.
  8. These terms are hardly accurate; the sequel explains their meaning.
  9. It will be seen that in practice Dionysios distinguishes only two punctuation marks, the στιγμὴ μέση (semicolon) being really not one at all.
  10. Cf. Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. ii. p. 141, note; Wolf. Proleg., pp. 58 sqq. (Edit. Calvary); K. O. Müller, Hist. of Lit. of Ancient Greece, pp. 33 sqq.
  11. On Στοιχεῖον, vid. Aristotle, Metaph. I. 1 (1026, b. 12); Bonitz, Aristotelis Metaph. pp. 225 sq.; Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 80 sqq., 126. Aristotle's definition of στοιχεῖον, as meaning a sound, is: "An element is an indivisible sound, not applicable, however, to every such sound, but only to those which are capable of entering into the formation of intelligible speech." — Poet. cap. xx. Cf. Steinthal, Gesch. der Sprachw. bei den Gr. und Röm., pp. 248 sq.
  12. Δίχρονοι = of twofold time. Cf. Rossbach und Westphal, Metrik der Griech., vol. ii. pp. 66 sqq.
  13. Aristotle, Poetics, cap. xx., makes three divisions of sounds — τό τε φωνῆεν και τὸ ἡμίφωνον καὶ ἄφωνον — vowels, semivowels, and mutes. Cf. with the whole of Dionysios' classification, Schleicher, Compend. der verg. Grammatik der Indoger. Spr., pp. 54 sqq. et passim; Curtius, Grundzüge der griech Etymologie, pp. 85 sqq.; Max Müller, Lectures, 2nd Series, Lect. III.
  14. Cf. Aristotle, Metaph., A 9 (993a 5), v 6 (1093a 20); Kühner, Ausführ. Gram. der Gr. Spr., vol. i. p. 55.
  15. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics, cap. xx.; Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 126-180; Steinthal, Sprachw. bei den Gr. und Röm., p. 254.
  16. Or diphthong, evidently.
  17. Position (θέσις), in this connection, does not mean, as is generally supposed, place, but convention, arbitrary imposition, as opposed to nature (φύσις). Vid. Lersch, Sprachphilosophie Pt. I p. 5; Rossbach und Westphal, Metrik der Griechen. vol. ii. p. 74. This shows the utter absurdity of the rule, laid down in so many Greek and Latin grammars, that a vowel followed by two consonants is long.
  18. A short vowel is either ε or ο; a shortened vowel is a doubtful vowel (α, ι, υ) assumed as short.
  19. Cf. Hom. Il., v. 31:
    Ὰρες, Ἄρες, βροτολοιγέ, μιαιφόνε, τειχεσιπλῆτα.
  20. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics, capp. xix.-xxii.; Waitz, Aristotelis Organon, vol. i. pp. 323 sq.; Steinthal, Gesch. des Sprachwiss., pp. 285 sqq.; J. Vahlen, Aristoteles Lehre von der Rangfolge der Theile der Tragœdie, in Symbola Philologorum Bonnensium, pp. 180 sqq.
  21. Aristotle (De Interp., cap. iv.) defines λόγος as "significant sound, whereof any one part is separately significant as an expression, but not as an affirmation." Cf. Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 218 sqq.; Steinthal, Sprachwiss. bei den Gr. und Röm., pp. 568 sqq.; Lersch, Sprachphilosophie, Pt. II., passim.
  22. Directed against the Stoics, who made the προσηγορία a distinct part of speech.
  23. Aristotle (De Interp., cap. ii.) says: "A noun is a sound significant according to convention (θέσις = position), timeless, whereof no part is separately significant." Cf. Schmidt, Beiträge, p. 227 sqq.
  24. Γενική, on no account to be rendered by genitivus (genitive), as the Romans did. Vid. Max Müller, Lectures, 1st Series, p. 180 sq. (Eng. edit.); Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 320 sqq.
  25. Cf. Aristotle, Categ., cap. v.
  26. Cf. Aristotle, Categ., cap. i.: "Things which have a common name, but whereof the notions corresponding to that name are different, are said to be homonymous."
  27. Aristotle (De Interp., cap. iii.) says: "A Verb is that which adds a time-specification, of which no part separately signifies anything, and which is always asserted of something else." Cf. Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 344 sqq.; Harris, Hermes, Book I. cap. 6.
  28. Διάθεσις, the word which Roman stupidity rendered by Vox (voice).
  29. It was not subscribed till the twelfth century of our era. Vid. Kühner, Ausführ. Gram. der Gr. Spr., vol. i. p. 59, note (2nd edit.) Chœroboskos (Bekker, Anec. Græca, vol. p. 1186) says: "It must be understood that grammarians, whose attention is directed to pronunciation, say that the ι is unpronounced when it is found with (follows) α long, η, or ω, * * * *; but musicians, who stickle for accuracy, say that it is pronounced, but is not distinctly heard on account of the length of the [preceding] long vowels."
  30. The ancient ἄρθρον included both the article and the relative pronoun. Cf. Lersch, Sprachphilosophie, Pt. II. pp. 132 sqq.; Steinthal, Sprachw. bei den Gr. und Röm., pp. 660 sqq.; Harris, Hermes, Bk. II., cap. i.
  31. Lersch, Pt. II. passim: Steinthal, pp. 663 sqq.; Harris, Hermes, Bk. I. cap. v.
  32. Lersch, passim; Steinthal, 671 sqq.; Harris, Hermes, Bk. II. cap. iii.
  33. Lersch, passim; Steinthal, 672; Harris, Hermes, Bk. I. cap. xi.; Schmidt, Beiträge, pp. 485 sqq.
  34. Aristotle, Poet., cap. xx.; Lersch, passim; Steinthal, pp. 673 sqq.; Harris. Hermes, Bk. II. cap. ii.