Ancient Greek: φύτωρ

Michael Zwingli

Senior Member
English (U.S.A. - New England)
This appears to mean "father". Does the meaning differ from that of πᾰτήρ (which has the etymological meaning of "protector")? If so, how? This seems to obviously derive from verb φῠ́ω, which primarily means "generate", "produce". Can φύτωρ, then, also mean "progenitor", "forefather", or even "patriarch"? How broad is the semantic field of φύτωρ? I ask this, because from an etymological perspective, φύτωρ seems to be a direct synonym of γενέτωρ/γενέτης. Finally, can φύτορ be considered to be an "alternate form" of φύτωρ (I saw φύτορ online while searching for info about this)?
 
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  • ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    In the Greek school book -τωρ appears as an ending for substantives that are produced from verbs and express the person who acts, ex. πράκτωρ < πράττω.
     

    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Derived from φύω φύτωρ should mean the one that brings forth, produces, thus the father.
    The μετοχή of the verb is also used to mean father, according to LSJ, ὁ φύσας, or parents, οἱ φύσαντες.
     

    Michael Zwingli

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.A. - New England)
    In the Greek school book -τωρ appears as an ending for substantives that are produced from verbs and express the person who acts, ex. πράκτωρ < πράττω.
    Yes, an "agent noun" producing suffix, this was "-tor" in Latin, as in "victor" (< vinco "to win" + -tor, agent noun suffix, = "he that wins").
    Derived from φύω φύτωρ should mean the one that brings forth, produces, thus the father.
    What is interesting to me in this is that it inherently defines "the father" as "begetter" ("he that begets"/"producer" (he that produces"), rather than as "protector", as in Greek πᾰτήρ and Latin pater. I still wonder if the semantic field of φύτωρ includes any meanings to reflect that nuance, as suggested above, or not.
     

    Michael Zwingli

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.A. - New England)
    The μετοχή of the verb is also used to mean father, according to LSJ, ὁ φύσας, or parents, οἱ φύσαντες.
    Not that I'm questioning this, but I really can't understand that grammatically. How can a present active partciple (or, would this represent a past active participle, being aorist?? I don't know) represent an agent noun, as opposed to a verbal noun?
     
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    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Not that I'm questioning this, but I really can't understand that grammatically. How can a present active partciple (or, would this represent a past active participle, being aorist?? I don't know) represent an agent noun, as opposed to a verbal noun?
    φύσας is metohí aorist, about the grammar issues don't know. I assume from the definition of aorist it is someone who performed or performs the action in a point in time. From a point of view of logic it makes sense.
     

    Michael Zwingli

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.A. - New England)
    I assume from the definition of aorist it is someone who performed or performs the action in a point in time. From a point of view of logic it makes sense.
    I agree...I think I agree...umm...(there are a lot of moving parts contributing to the semantics of that) 😉
     

    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    I'm completely out of my league discussing grammar and usually try to stay away from it as much as possible and stick only to the indispensable for comprehension, but besides being a verb the μετοχή also works as an adjective, there are adjectives who work as nouns.
     

    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    BTW, if that's what is confusing you, they are declined and have to agree in number, gender and case with the subject.
     

    Michael Zwingli

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.A. - New England)
    ...besides being a verb the μετοχή also works as an adjective, there are adjectives who work as nouns.
    Yes, é claro! All participles share duties as verbs, adjectives, and nouns, but verbal nouns in particular...similar to gerunds. An agent noun, however has quite a different relationship to it's verb from a verbal noun, and I can't quite wrap my head around how the participle can be thusly used.

    Must be getting late over there. Hope it hasn't been too hot there in Portugal. I understand England has been having unprecedented heat this summer. Good night to you.
     

    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Yes, é claro! All participles share duties as verbs, adjectives, and nouns, but verbal nouns in particular...similar to gerunds. An agent noun, however has quite a different relationship to it's verb from a verbal noun, and I can't quite wrap my head around how the participle can be thusly used.

    Must be getting late over there. Hope it hasn't been too hot there in Portugal. I understand England has been having unprecedented heat this summer. Good night to you.
    First of all I must apologize for systematically using the Greek terms but I don't know how most of these things are called in English, nor in my own language.

    To me it doesn't make a lot of confusion since both adjectives and verbs can be used as nouns. I don't think there is something quite exactly as the ancient μετοχή in English or Portuguese, not even in modern Greek, since it is a verb but also has gender and can be declined. Don't know how ancient Greek speakers were perceiving it though. There is a Greek teacher who posts lessons in Youtube and she often mentions the importance of an "experiential relation" with ancient Greek language. I imagine through it one may eventually come to understand better these things.

    A bit, thanks for your concern.
     

    Michael Zwingli

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.A. - New England)
    I don't think there is something quite exactly as the ancient μετοχή in English or Portuguese, not even in modern Greek, since it is a verb but also has gender and can be declined...
    Hello, good morning.
    Though it differs a bit by the inclusion of grammatical gender, the "μετοχή" seems simply to be the "participle" in English, "o participio" in Portuguese, and "participium" in Latin. Indeed, all these terms mean the same... "that which takes a part"; μετοχή derives from the verb μετέχω which means "to take a part (in), to participate (in)". I started a new thread (here: φῡ́σᾱς) to gain a better idea of the meaning of these μετοχαί, and have had a very telling answer already, which seems to indicate that the aorist active μετοχή is the grammatical equivalent of the Latin perfect active participium, and the aorist middle/mediopassive μετοχή the equivalent of the Latin perfect passive participium. Don't know if you've studied Latin at all, but for myself, establishing these equivalencies seems to make understanding the different types of μετοχαί much easier.
     
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    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Hello, good morning.
    Though it differs a bit by the inclusion of grammatical gender, the "μετοχή" seems simply to be the "participle" in English, "o participio" in Portuguese, and "participium" in Latin. I started a new thread to gain a better idea of the meaning of these μετοχαί, and have had a very telling answer already, which seems to indicate that the aorist active μετοχή is the grammatical equivalent of the Latin perfect active participium, and the aorist middle/mediopassive μετοχή the equivalent of the Latin perfect passive participium. Don't know if you've studied Latin at all, but for myself, establishing these equivalencies seems to make understanding the different types of μετοχαί much easier.
    Thank you, then what I wrote above is wrong since the Portuguese particípio also has gender and number, it is not declined but there are no declined cases in Portuguese. I also understand now your difficulty in drawing a correspondence, ignorance can be a blessing sometimes.

    Never learned Latin.
     
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    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Looking better at the Portuguese particípio passado, and assuming I'm understanding things right, I very easily confuse these things, it doesn't look that strange after all. We often say of a man who sells himself that he is a "vendido", or as a noun o vendido, the same for o desejado, the desired one, and there was a famous soap opera called "O Bem-amado", "the well-loved".
     
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    ianis

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    One thing I'm noticing is that, unlike ὁ φύσας, in Portuguese it seems the past participles commonly used as nouns only describe the person suffering the action, that is the one that was loved, desired, disgraced, etc.
    Also in modern Greek, as far as I know, unlike ancient Greek, only the passive form can be declined and has gender.
     
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    Michael Zwingli

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.A. - New England)
    One thing I'm noticing is that, unlike ὁ φύσας, in Portuguese it seems the past participles commonly used as nouns only describe the person suffering the action, that is the one that was loved, desired, disgraced, etc.
    Also in modern Greek, as far as I know, unlike ancient Greek, only the passive form can be declined and has gender.
    Yes, with a clear reason to one who has studied Latin. That grammatical ancestor of Portuguese did not use past active participles (that I can think of)...only present active ones in -ns (e.g. vincens, "conquering", "winning"). The only "past tense" participles in Latin are the perfect passive ones in -tus (victus, "conquered", "beaten"), which is why, as you say, "...in Portuguese it seems the past participles commonly used as nouns only describe the person (the passive object) suffering the action..." In fact, the present active and perfect passive participles account for about 90+% of participlar derivation in Latin. I first studied Latin, so when I encountered past active participles in Ancient Greek, I first found them a bit hard to grasp. They definitely appear somehow more nominal (and somehow less adjectival) in nature to me than other participles; I think that this appears so because of the addition of grammatical gender to their conjugation. At least, that's how they appear to me at present.
     
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    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Forget about Latin or Portuguese. The ancient Greek participial system is completely symmetric.
    Active present: ὁ γράφων = he who writes, the writer
    Active future: ὁ γράψων = he who will write
    Active past (aorist): ὁ γράψας = he who wrote
    Active perfect: ὁ γεγραφώς = he who has written
    Passive present: ὁ γραφόμενος = he who is being written
    Passive future: ὁ γραφησόμενος = he who will be written
    Passive past (aorist): ὁ γραφείς = he who was written
    Passive perfect: ὁ γεγραμμένος = he who has been written
    (Let us ignore for the moment the complication of 'middle' future and aorist.)
    In modern English (and most modern European languages), there is only a present participle, which is active, and a "past participle', which is passive in meaning. Latin was like that, too, except that it also had a future active participle. Russian, I think, has an active past participle, mostly used in the written language.
    In modern Greek, too, only the present active adverbial participle (γράφοντας = in/by/while writing) and the past passive participle (γραμμένος) are really alive, but the present passive participle is also in common use (sometimes even with verbs that don't have a passive voice, such as τρεχούμενο νερό = running water), and the adjectival present active as well as the active and passive aorist participles are also used, mostly in set expressions, such as:
    • ο γράφων = the present writer
    • ο υπογράφων = the undersigned
    • o πρώτος διδάξας = the initiator (of a doctrine)
    • η διδαχθείσα ύλη = the material actually taught (as opposed to
      η διδακτέα ύλη, the material supposed to be taught)
    • οι επιζώντες or οι επιζήσαντες = the survivors
    • το ανακοινωθέν = the communiqué
    • ο εις μίαν μόνην ώραν την γην παίξας, την γην χάσας
      εις του Βατερλώ την χώραν (=Napoleon)
    etc.
     
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