Ancient Greek - written only once

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by cardano, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. cardano New Member

    Hi everyone!

    I am writing a text where I am using the technical expression in linguistics ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, usually transliterated as "hapax legomenon", with the purpose of indicating that a word has been used only once –and ἅπαξ λεγόμενα for several of these words. In order to extend this expression to indicate that a letter has been written only once, would it be correct to use ἅπαξ γραμμένος and ἅπαξ γραμμένα?

    Thank you!
  2. Perseas Senior Member

    "λεγόμενον" is present participle, so the equivalent is "γραφόμενον" or "γραφόμενα" in plural. The present perfect particple in Anc. Greek is "γεγραμμένος-η-ον" in singular and "γεγραμμένοι-αι-α" in plural. "Letter" (correspondence) in Greek translates as "επιστολή" (fem.), which is formal language, or "γράμμα" (neuter), which is basically informal.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  3. sotos Senior Member

    Yes. Άπαξ γραμμένο, or άπαξ γεγραμμένο or άπαξ γέγραπται, εγράφη άπαξ etc, depending on the context. You can use άπαξ even in a δημοτική text, which puts some emphasis on the "once only".
  4. cardano New Member

    Thank you very much, Perseas and sotos. Your answers are very informative and valuable.

    My apologies as I am realizing that I was ambiguous using the term "letter". My intention was to refer to the symbols of the writing system, i.e., "sign" or "character", or in technical terms, the "graphemes", without caring about the technical execution of them –they could be painted, inscribed, etcetera. Therefore, if I correctly follow your answers, "άπαξ γραφόμενον" or "άπαξ γεγραμμένο" would be appropriate, as "άπαξ γεγραμμένον" in Ancient Greek.

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