Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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DECLENSION 194

Declension deals with variations of number, gender, and case.

195

Number.—There are three numbers: singular, dual, and plural. The dual speaks of two or a pair, as τὼ ὀφθαλμώ the two eyes; but it is not often used, and the plural (which denotes more than one) is frequently substituted for it (οἱ ὀφθαλμοί the eyes).

196

Gender.—There are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter.

a. Gender strictly marks sex-distinction. But in Greek, as in German and French, many inanimate objects are regarded as masculine or feminine. Such words are said to have ‘grammatical’ gender, which is determined only by their form. Words denoting objects without natural gender usually show their grammatical gender by the form of the adjective, as μακρὸς λόγος a long speech, μακρὰ_ νῆσος a long island, μακρὸν τεῖχος a long wall.

b. The gender of Greek words is usually indicated by means of the article: for masculine, for feminine, τό for neuter.

197

Rule of Natural Gender.—Nouns denoting male persons are masculine, nouns denoting female persons are feminine. Thus, ὁ ναύτης seaman, ὁ στρατιώτης soldier, ἡ γυνή woman, ἡ κόρη maiden.

a. A whole class is designated by the masculine: οἱ ἄνθρωποι men, i.e. men and women.

b. EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE OF NATURAL GENDER.—Diminutives in -ιον are neuter ( cross199 d), as τὸ ἀνθρώπιον manikin (ὁ ἄνθρωπος man), τὸ παιδίον little child (male or female, or ἡ παῖς child), τὸ γύναιον little woman (ἡ γυνή woman). Also the words τέκνον, τέκος child (strictly ‘thing born’), ἀνδράποδον captive.

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198

Common Gender.—Many nouns denoting persons are either masculine or feminine. Thus, ὁ παῖς boy, ἡ παῖς girl, ὁ θεός god, ἡ θεός (ἡ θεά_ poet.) goddess. So with names of animals: ὁ βοῦς ox, ἡ βοῦς cow, ὁ ἵππος horse, ἡ ἵππος mare.

a. Some names of animals have only one grammatical gender without regard to sex, as ὁ λαγώς he-hare or she-hare, ἡ ἀλώπηξ he-fox or she-fox.

199

Gender of Sexless Objects.—The gender of most nouns denoting sexless objects has to be learned by the endings ( cross211, cross228, cross255) and by observation. The following general rules should be noted.

a. Masculine are the names of winds, months, and most rivers. Thus, ὁ Βορέα_ς the North Wind, ὁ Ἑκατομβαιών Hecatombaeon, ὁ Κηφισσός Cephissus.

N.—The gender of these proper names is made to correspond to ὁ ἄνεμος wind, ὁ μήν month, ὁ ποταμός river. In the case of winds and rivers the gender may be due in part to personification.

b. Feminine are the names of almost all countries, islands, cities, trees, and plants. Thus, ἡ Ἀττική Attica, ἡ Δῆλος Delos, ἡ Κόρινθος Corinth, ἡ πίτυς pine, ἡ ἄμπελος vine. The gender here follows that of ἡ γῆ or ἡ χώρα_ land, country, ἡ νῆσος island, ἡ πόλις city, ἡ δρῦς, originally tree in general, but later oak (τὸ δένδρον is the ordinary word for tree).

c. Feminine are most abstract words, that is, words denoting a quality or a condition. Thus, ἡ ἀρετή virtue, ἡ εὔνοια good-will, ἡ ταχύτης swiftness, ἡ ἐλπίς hope.

d. Neuter are diminutives ( cross197 b), words and expressions quoted, letters of the alphabet, infinitives, and indeclinable nouns. Thus, τὸ ὑ_μεῖς the wordyou,’ τὸ γνῶθι σεαυτόν the sayinglearn to know thyself,’ τὸ ἄλφα alpha, τὸ παιδεύειν to educate, τὸ χρεών necessity.

N.—But some names of women end in -ιον ( cross197 b): ἡ Γλυκέριον Glycerium.

200

Remarks.—a. Most of the exceptions to 199 a-b are due to the endings; e.g. ἡ Λήθη Lethe, ἡ Στύξ Styx (rivers of the Lower World), τὸ Ἄργος Argos, ὁ Καλυδών Calydon, τὸ Ἴ_λιον Ilium, οἱ Δελφοί Delphi, ὁ λωτός lotus.

b. Change in gender is often associated with change in form: ὁ λύκος he-wolf, ἡ λύκαινα she-wolf, ὁ ποιητής poet, ἡ ποιήτρια poetess, ὁ βίοτος and ἡ βιοτή life, ὁ τρόπος manner, ἡ τροπή rout.

c. The gender of one word may influence that of another word of like meaning. Thus ἡ νῆσος island and ἡ λίθος stone are feminine probably because of ἡ γῆ land and ἡ πέτρα_ rock.

201

Cases.—There are five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative. The genitive denotes from as well as of, the dative denotes to or for and also by, with, on, in, at, etc. The other cases are used as in Latin.

a. The genitive, dative, and accusative are called oblique cases to distinguish them from the nominative and vocative.

202

The vocative is often like the nominative in the singular; in the plural it is always the same. Nominative, vocative, and accusative have the same form in neuter words, and always have α in the

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plural. In the dual there are two forms, one for nominative, accusative, and vocative, the other for genitive and dative.

203

Lost Cases.—Greek has generally lost the forms of the instrumental and locative cases (which have become fused with the dative) and of the ablative. The Greek dative is used to express by, as in βίᾳ, Lat. υι_ ; with, as in λίθοις with stones; and in, on, as in γῇ on the earth. From may be expressed by the genitive: πόρρω Σπάρτης far from Sparta. When the genitive and dative do duty for the ablative, prepositions are often used. Instances of the forms of the lost cases are given in 341.

204

Declensions.—There are three declensions, which are named from the stems to which the case endings are attached.

1. First or Â-declension, with stems in α_) Vowel Declension.

2. Second or O-declension, with stems in ο)

3. Third or Consonant declension, with stems in a consonant or in ι and υ.

The nominative and accusative are alike in the singular and plural of all neuter nouns. The nominative and vocative are alike in the plural.

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Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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