Philosophy

attention to authentic grammar

Morpheus is not a linguistic program. It is intended to help in process of reading and understanding the text, and not to study the dubious theoretical concept of “language.” Therefore, the development takes into account first of all not the modern linguistic theory, but the grammar used by the author of the text.

Simple example:

In the Gospel the word αἰώνιός - “eternal” is used approximately 55 times. 50 times in combination ζωὴ αἰώνιός, “life eternal”, 5 times in combination πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον, “the eternal fire” - biblehub.com.

Do you want to understand why the “eternal flame” in this text is almost always used with the article, and “eternal life” - almost always without the article?

The answer is simple and known to any educated Greek. (Here I simplify somewhat, for clarity). At least the answer was known to the leading grammarian of antiquity, Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Δύσκολος - Apollonius Dyscolus (perisher, wet blanket). Names are used with the article when we talk about what is known for us, for example, when we express our opinion or when we express our attitude (generally the speaker’s attitude) to the subject. Then they are called “epithets”. Epithet is part of the speech for the ancient Greek. In modern grammar, the ratio of the speaker to the subject remains in such moods of the verbs as subjunctive or desirable. The fact that names (for us they appear as nouns) can also carry the meaning of a relationship, in modern grammar is forgotten. And in the ancient grammar it is the basis of the foundations. In ancient grammar, the relation of the speaker to the object is called ἕξις - heksis. For the first time the theory of hexis was developed by Aristotle. (And yes, ancient grammar does not know either nouns nor adjectives. This knowledge is useless in understanding and must be eliminated).

Now an answer:

The “eternal fire” is a poetic image, in fact the fire, if you do not throw firewood on it, will go out. And the image is obviously our opinion, something we know in advance. Therefore, it is used with the article. And life really has the property of being eternal. Cats were running around here, running around now, and they will always run. Therefore, “eternal life” is not an image, not an epithet, but a story about an essential property of life. Therefore, this expression can be used without the article.

(I must emphasize that I’m not talking about the Christian understanding of this expression, it’s a separate topic, I’m talking about how this would be understood by an educated Greek, not a Christian for the present).

Which modern grammar can explain this, if it is a “theory”, and not a practical art of correct speaking? Show me it, please. It can add another one “ad hoc” epicycle, for the sake of “saving phenomena”. From this, it will not become a practical art of speaking, it remains “theory”.

Knowledge of modern Greek grammar in this matter does not help you. And nothing modern will help if your task is understanding of an ancient or foreign cultural author. To understand the author, modern grammar has to be “forgotten”, for the time being discarded. It is superfluous.

Now it is clear to you, by the way, why the name Dyscolus is used with the article, i.e. “ὁ Δύσκολος”. This is a nickname, that is, the opinion of people, something known to be known. Article is required, it is a must here.

Figuratively, this principle can be explained as follows.

What did the medieval “physicist” think, watching how water remains in the glass when it is lifted from the water by the bottom? Why does not the water pour down? Because then there would be a void in the glass. And nature does not tolerate emptiness, any educated “medieval physicist” knows this. And the knowledge of modern physics will not help us in any way, if we want to know what he thought watching the process, and not what the modern physics thinks about. Modern physics in this case should be “forgotten”, “discarded”. We need to know - nature does not tolerate emptiness, “natura abhorret vacuum”, just that, and nothing more.

By the way, I have nothing against modern physics, or against modern linguistics. But in the task of automating the reading of foreign cultural text, they are not needed. A superfluous - deprives (“лишнее - лишает”, on Russian). ( V.V. Bibikhin )

The ancient grammar is ontologically loaded. To speak competently, you are always obliged to find out how things really are, and to speak in accordance with this. Modern grammar is ontologically neutral. (At least it claims that it is a pure study of the formal properties of words, but this is an erroneous view, and really it is also ontologically loaded (for us, this is not important at the moment)). Therefore, the ancient and the modern are logically incompatible ( V.S. Bibler ). Ancient grammar, - the art of speaking convincingly and understandably - can be stated in modern words. From this it will not become part of modern theory. This is another way of seeking the truth.

Therefore Morpheus is projected and developed with attention to the adequate grammar. For the Greek it’s Apollonius Dyskolus, for Sanskrit - Panini, for the Chinese, Tibetan, etc I do not know yet, but I’ll try to find out.