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Headword: Γλῶττα
Adler number: gamma,302
Translated headword: tongue
Vetting Status: high
"This is moistened by most of the flavors, but is also made drier by some: for instance by pepper and salt-fish and numerous other things which, although they are tastable, have a drying effect; not because they are succulent but through some tangible quality like dryness or warmth. For dry bread does not make [the tongue] dry -- or if one should encounter crumbs and something similar -- but by being dry or warm it makes the moist quality in the tongue get wet. Evidence that it is necessary that the tongue be moist in potential but not in actuality: those who have tongues that are excessively dry or moist are unable to perceive tastes. And this is the reason why the tongue that is too moist does not perceive flavors, because the moistness in it, being juicy, strikes it first and becomes the very sense of touch of the tongue, providing perception of itself; in this way it does not allow perception of something from outside. Evidence of this: that those who have first tasted another flavor, even a very strong one, no longer perceive those that follow in the same way."[1]
"Nature made the tongue for two tasks, of which one contributes to the being of those that have it, namely the sense of taste and the ability to distinguish among the flavors; but the other [contributes] to well-being, that is, [the capacity] for communication. Thus also it created two tasks for respiration: the first for being, for it contributes to the cooling of internal warmth; but additionally for well-being, namely communication. Of this, as it is necessary, it is a work of nature and a cause of survival. The exhaled air [is] the medium of speech. The productive cause [is] nature, the instrumental [cause] the rough windpipe; for it is like a reed-pipe. Of course younger people have a more pleasant voice since it [sc. the windpipe] is smooth, but old men have a more unpleasant voice since theirs is rougher. But the final cause [is] signification: for the purpose of the voice for an animal [is] to signify through it the dispositions of the soul. Of communication speech [is] the medium, the rational soul the productive cause, the tongue and the upper parts and the teeth the instrumental cause, and the final [cause] the signification of thoughts. The instrument of the voice [is] the pharynx."[2]
"Those of the birds whose tongues and jaws are arranged in a way similar to those of humans are able to imitate conversation; the jays and parrots and suchlike, for instance."[3]
Greek Original:
Γλῶττα: ὅτι αὕτη ὑπὸ μὲν τῶν πλειόνων χυμῶν ὑγραίνεται, ὑπ' ἐνίων δὲ καὶ ξηροτέρα γίνεται: ὡς ὑπὸ πεπέρεως καὶ ταρίχου καὶ μυρίων ἄλλων, καίτοι γευστῶν ὄντων, ξηραίνεται: οὐχ ὡς ἔγχυμα, ἀλλὰ διά τινα ἁπτὴν ποιότητα, οἷον ξηρότητα ἢ θερμότητα. οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ ξηρὸς ἄρτος ξηραίνει, ἢ εἰ τύχοι τρωγάλια καὶ τὰ ὅμοια, ἀλλὰ τῷ ξηρὰ εἶναι ἢ θερμὰ ἐξικμάζει τὴν ἐν τῇ γλώττῃ ὑγρότητα. σημεῖον δὲ τοῦ δεῖν τὴν γλῶτταν δυνάμει μὲν ὑγρὰν εἶναι, ἐνεργείᾳ δὲ οὔ: ὅσοι δὲ τὴν γλῶτταν ἀμέτρως ἢ ξηρὰν ἔχουσιν ἢ ὑγρὰν, οὗτοι οὐκ ἀντιλαμβάνονται τῶν γευστῶν. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἀντιλαμβάνεται ἡ λίαν ὑγρὰ γλῶττα τῶν χυμῶν, διότι ἡ ἐν αὐτῇ ὑγρότης ἔγχυμος οὖσα καὶ πρώτη αὐτῇ προσβάλλουσα γίνεται γλώττης ἁφὴ αὐτὴ ἑαυτῆς ἀντίληψιν παρέχουσα, καὶ ταύτῃ οὐκ ἐῶσα ἀντιλαβέσθαι τῆς ἔξωθεν. σημεῖον δὲ τούτου, ὅτι οἱ προγευσάμενοι ἄλλου χυμοῦ καὶ μάλιστα σφοδροτέρου οὐκέτι τῶν δευτέρων ὁμοίως αἰσθάνονται. ὅτι τὴν γλῶτταν ἐποίησεν ἡ φύσις πρὸς δύο ἔργα, ὧν τὸ μὲν εἰς τὸ εἶναι συμβάλλεται τοῖς ἔχουσιν, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἡ γεῦσις καὶ κρίσις ἡ περὶ τοὺς χυμούς: τὸ δὲ εἰς τὸ εὖ εἶναι, οἷον πρὸς τὴν διάλεκτον. οὕτω καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ἀναπνοῆς δύο ἐποίησεν ἔργα, τὸ μὲν πρῶτον πρὸς τὸ εἶναι: πρὸς γὰρ τὴν τοῦ ἐντὸς θερμοῦ κατάψυξιν συμβάλλεται: τὸ δὲ λοιπὸν πρὸς τὸ εὖ εἶναι, οἷον διάλεκτον. τῆς δὲ, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀναγκαῖον ἔργον τῆς φύσεως καὶ διαμονῆς αἴτιον. φωνῆς ὕλη ὁ ἐκπνεόμενος ἀήρ. ποιητικὸν δὲ αἴτιον φύσις, ὀργανικὸν δὲ τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία: οἷον γὰρ αὐλός ἐστιν. ἀμέλει οἱ μὲν νέοι εὐφωνότεροί εἰσιν ὡς λείαν ἔχοντες αὐτήν, οἱ δὲ γέροντες κακοφωνότεροι ὡς τραχυτέραν αὐτὴν ἔχοντες. τελικὸν δὲ ἡ σημασία: τέλος γὰρ τῷ ζῴῳ τῆς φωνῆς τὸ σημαίνειν δι' αὐτῆς τὰς τῆς ψυχῆς διαθέσεις. τῆς διαλέκτου ὕλη μὲν ἡ φωνή, ποιητικὸν δὲ αἴτιον ἡ λογικὴ ψυχή, ὀργανικὸν δὲ γλῶττα καὶ ὑπερῷα καὶ ὀδόντες, τελικὸν δὲ ἡ σημασία τῶν νοημάτων. ὄργανον δὲ τῆς φωνῆς ὁ φάρυγξ. ὅτι τῶν πτηνῶν ὅσα παραπλησίαν ἔχει τὴν γλῶτταν καὶ τὴν τῶν γενύων διάθεσιν ταῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων, δύναται μιμεῖσθαι διάλεκτον, οἷον κίτται καὶ ψιττακοὶ καὶ τὰ ὅμοια.
Three excerpts from John Philoponus' Commentary on Aristotle's De anima.
[1] 405.21-406.7 (here abridged).
[2] 380.27-381.22 (here abridged, and with some garbling). For the pharynx see phi 117.
[3] 380.13-16 (here slightly abridged). Material in entries on jays (kappa 1683) and parrots (psi 115) is derived from the same source.
Keywords: daily life; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; imagery; medicine; meter and music; philosophy; science and technology; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 1 October 2003@13:48:58.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 2 October 2003@06:14:47.
David Whitehead (another keyword; minor cosmetics) on 8 June 2012@05:25:04.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 11 September 2012@02:02:20.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; cosmetics) on 28 September 2015@05:32:57.


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