6 more derivational morphemes that will help you read New Testament Greek more easily

In the last post we discussed noun forming morphology. This post focuses on morphemes that form verbs.

There are 28,056 verbs in the GNT that represent 1,853 lexical items. Of these, 425 only occur once.

The table below shows how many lexical items in the GNT are formed using a given suffix and how many times that verb occurs in the GNT.

Suffix Lemmas Occurrences Hapax

έω 334 3867 115 άω 91 1483 28 όω 88 551 27 ζω 225 1594 82 ίζω 130 842 48 άζω 85 618 29 εύω 75 668 36 πτω 57 404 18 σσω 41 308 12 λλω 39 676 11 αίνω 30 354 6 νυμι 30 138 7 σκω 28 769 6

By looking at the table we can see that -εω forms 334 of the 1,853 lexemes in the GNT, thought 115 of these occur only once. This makes it a helpful suffix to know as it will help us guess the meaning of uncommon vocabulary. The same can be said of other morphemes as well.

The list below seems to be the most helpful for the learner since Smythe and Wiktionary do not give a specific meaning to the others that would help learners.

Smythe's grammar notes the following about these suffixes:

  • -εω are often intransitive and describe a "condition or an activity".

  • -αω verbs express "to do, to be, or to have, that which is expressed by the stem."

  • -οω verbs often express "to causes or to make".

  • -ιζω and -ιαζω verbs express "an adoption of language, manners, opinions, or politics"

  • -αινω verbs seem to express "to cause X to be Y" looking at the examples given by Smythe. Smythe gives, but he does not make that statement. Take this with a grain of salt.

  • (Wiktionary) says that -ευω verbs are usually added to nouns and mean either indicate that the subject is the noun does the usual activity of the noun.

See Also