A School Grammar of Attic Greek

Thomas Dwight Goodell

VERBS/ The Ω-Conjugation: Vowel Verbs, Contracting in the Present

322. A few verb-stems in -α and -ε, with still fewer in -ο, do not lengthen that vowel in any system; some of these assume σ in the perfect middle or in the passive system or both:

Verb-stems...

γελα-

σπα-

τελε-

Meaning... laugh draw finish
Presentγελάω σπάωτελέω
Futureγελάσω σπάσωτελέσω
Aoristἐγέλασα ἔσπασαἐτέλεσα
Perf. Act.--- ἔσπακα τετέλεκα
Perf. Mid.--- ἔσπασμαιτετέλεσμαι
Aor. Pass.ἐγελάσθην ἐσπάσθηνἐτελέσθην

The stem αἰνε- approve neither lengthens ε in Attic nor takes σ; two compounds, ἐπ-αινέω praise and παρ-αινέω advise, are frequent. (But ᾔνημαι is found.)

a. In some verbs (as τελε-, cp. τὸ τέλος end) the σ clearly belonged to the original stem, and has been lost except before μ and τ; others appear to have imitated these by inserting σ before μ and τ.

b. The perfect and pluperfect indicative middle have in the third plural a compound form; the whole inflection (showing also the form of the participle) is as follows:

Middle Voice
Perfect Indicative Pluperfect Indicative

Sing.

 

 

 

Plur.

 

 

 

Dual

 

1.

2.

3.

 

1.

2.

3.

 

2.

3.

τετέλεσ-μαι

τετέλε-σαι

τετέλεσ-ται

 

τετελέσ-μεθα

τετέλε-σθε

τετελεσ-μένοι εἰσί

 

τετέλε-σθον

τετέλε-σθον

ἐτετελέσ-μην

ἐτετέλε-σο

ἐτετέλεσ-το

 

ἐτετελέσ-μεθα

ἐτετέλε-σθε

τελεσ-μένοι ἦσαν

 

ἐτετέλε-σθον

ἐτετελέ-σθην

c. The future of τελέω finish and of καλέω call commonly drops σ and contracts, thus becoming like the present: τελῶ, τελεῖς, τελεῖ, etc.

So also μαχοῦμαι for μαχέσομαι, from μάχομαι (μαχ-, μαχε-) fight, and ἐλῶ for ἐλάσω, from ἐλαύνω (ἐλα-) drive.

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