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Headword: *du/nwmai
Adler number: delta,1579
Translated headword: I were able, I would be able
Vetting Status: high
It is formed out of du/nhmi, du/namai ["I am able"]:[1] [it is] subjunctive, [as in] e)a\n du/nwmai ["if I were able"] [1]. Every subjunctive which has an active voice[which is] perispomenon[2] is properispomenon[3] [sc. in the middle/passive]: i(stw= ["I set"], e)a\n i(stw=mai ["if I were set"]. But if [a verb] does not have an active voice, it is proparoxytone[4] [sc. in the middle-passive]: du/nwmai ["I were able"], du/nwntai ["they were able"].[5]
And Homer [writes]: "if I am able to fulfil, and it is a practicable thing". For [Aphrodite] has set a limit [saying that] the assignment received needs to be possible to fulfil and the matter itself has to be suitable for fulfillment.[6]
Greek Original:
*du/nwmai: gi/netai e)k tou= du/nhmi, du/namai: to\ u(potaktiko/n, e)a\n du/nwmai. pa=n de\ u(potaktiko\n e)/xon e)nerghtiko\n perispw/menon properispa=tai: i(stw=, e)a\n i(stw=mai. e)a\n de\ ou)k e)/xh| e)nerghtiko/n, proparocu/netai: du/nwmai, du/nwntai. kai\ *(/omhros: ei) du/namai tele/sai ge, kai\ ei) tetelesme/non e)sti/. periw/rike ga\r to\n e)pidexo/menon tele/sai dunato\n ei)=nai dei=n, kai\ au)to\ to\ pra=gma eu)/qeton ei)=nai pro\s th\n telei/wsin.
[1] du/namai is a deponent verb, and this theoretical active form du/nhmi is attested only in lexicographic texts, e.g. Etymologicum Magnum and Etymologicum Gudianum, always in explanation of du/namai. In Etym.Magn. 290.24 (probably taken from Choeroboscus’ commentaries on the Psalms) the same verb is glossed in the subjunctive mood, as here, but in the third person plural: "du/nwntai: from du/nhmi: from which [come] the passive du/namai; the subjunctive, e)a\n du/nwmai. And it should be e)a\n dunw=mai, like tiqw=mai, but there is a rule saying that a -mi verb is properispomenon in the subjunctive [middle-passive], whenever the present [active] form occurs in practice: e.g. ti/qhmi, e)a\n tiqw=mai, i(/sthmi, e)a\n i)stw=mai. But when this form does not occur in practice, then [in the middle-passive form] it is proparoxytone: e.g. du/nhmi, e)a\n du/nwmai, for du/nhmi does not occur in practice. And the plural [is] du/nwntai." Here Etym.Magn. seems not to take into account -numi verbs, which are proparoxytone in the subjunctive middle/passive voice: e.g. dei/knumi, subjunctive deiknu/wmai.
[2] Perispomenon: a word with circumflex accent on the last syllable: verbs that are perispomenon in the active voice are what we call contract verbs.
[3] Properispomenon: a word with circumflex accent on the penult. Nonetheless there is at least an exception for the second person singular, which is perispomenon also in the middle-passive form.
[4] Proparoxytone: a word with acute accent on the antepenult.
[5] Even if not explicitly as in Etymologicum Magnum, the compiler is recognising that the form du/nhmi does not exist in practice; cf. n.1 above.
[6] Homer, Iliad 14.196 (with the participle tetelesme/non translated according to G. Autenrieth: see web address 1 below), followed by Aristonicus’ scholion on the line.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: dialects, grammar, and etymology; epic; religion
Translated by: Stefano Sanfilippo on 4 March 2005@02:43:35.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaked headword, translation; streamlined notes; betacoding and other cosmetics) on 4 March 2005@04:58:44.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 4 March 2005@14:30:45.
Catharine Roth (typos) on 25 March 2008@00:55:21.
Catharine Roth (tweaked links) on 3 August 2011@22:34:15.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics) on 7 October 2011@11:22:05.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 7 October 2011@15:36:46.
Catharine Roth on 8 October 2011@12:46:23.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 19 July 2012@04:33:25.
Catharine Roth (tweaks) on 17 December 2014@13:19:50.
David Whitehead on 18 December 2014@02:47:24.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 27 September 2016@01:19:39.


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