I wanted to pick a -μι verb to use as a paradigm to memorize for Homeric and koine, so I thought I would use ἀφίημι. I looked up the present-tense conjugation on U Chicago's morpho utility, and then noticed that the third person forms have π rather than φ, ἀπιεῖ. What is going on here? Is this a regular stem change, similar to the aorist of -ω verbs, or some other regular thing, or is this verb just irregular?

  • Is this utility a free online tool? If so, a link would make it easier for others to find it.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 4 '21 at 15:11
  • Thanks! It's unfortunately pretty common to be unable to link to specific pages in an online dictionary or morphological analyzer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 4 '21 at 15:27
  • 1
    It sounds as though this is a case of 'You get what you pay for.' It could be giving dialectical forms that don't have the aspiration (and that accent with circumflex on the ultima), or it could be giving forms of ἄπειμι for some reason. You'd be far better served by consulting the conjugation charts in a reputable textbook or grammar.
    – cnread
    Mar 4 '21 at 17:57

The forms with π are Ionic, which is a dialect that drops word-initial aspiration. It does not normally turn φ into π, but in this case the φ is a result of the π of the preposition ἀπό interacting with the initial aspiration of ἵημι.

The normal active present indicative third person singular in Attic is ἀφίησι(ν) or ἀφιεῖ.

  • Actually regarding the circumflex on the ultima for the second form both of the textbooks I have in front of me have it but neither explains where it comes from. One does say there's considerable confusion between it and the (in my view expected) paroxytone attested. If someone else knows more about that I'd be glad to hear it.
    – Cairnarvon
    Mar 4 '21 at 18:40
  • Interesting. I only ever learned the Attic form as ἀφίησι(ν) (though I did learn ἀφιεῖς as an alternative 2nd person singular form). Certainly, at first glance, Smyth appears to suggest that ἀφιεῖ is only dialectical (attributing it to Homer, Herodotus), but I haven't looked closely at all his notes.
    – cnread
    Mar 4 '21 at 19:23
  • 3
    The circumflex is due to conjugating the verb as if it were an epsilon contract verb. See Smyth para. 746: perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/…
    – TKR
    Mar 4 '21 at 22:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy