Epigraphy Page: Sara B. Aleshire Center for the Study of Greek Epigraphy

Ancient Greek Epigraphy: the Ephesus InscriptionI have updated the Epigraphy Page at Greek-Language.com and GreekLinguistics.com, adding a link to The Sara B. Aleshire Center for the Study of Greek Epigraphy at the University of California, Birkley and updating information on several other organizations.

While the Sara B. Aleshire Center is focused primarily on encouraging and supporting the research of UC Berkeley faculty and graduate students, it provides resources that are of significant value for anyone studying ancient Greek inscriptions, including images of the inscriptions in their possession.

SBL 2018 – Popup Greek?

Once again this November, Jonathan Robie and I will present an update on the work we are doing to create free materials for teaching Hellenistic Greek as a living language.

Photo by Steven Gerner, Blue Bear at the Convention Center

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  There will be plenty to do and a lot of great papers. Our presentation will take place at 1:00 pm. We have the first slot in the session, Innovative Approaches to Teaching Biblical Languages, joint session by Global Education & Research Technology and Academic Teaching & Biblical Studies.

Here is an abstract like the one that will appear in the program book:

Teachers increasingly recognize the importance of teaching biblical Greek using the same kind of effective techniques used to teach modern languages in schools and universities. These techniques focus on carefully designed learning activities that require the student to think in the target language in order to respond appropriately.

There are now several university level courses that take this approach to teaching Greek, but we believe that there is a real need for a course that (1) can be taught by anyone with a solid reading knowledge of Greek (using the teacher’s notes and recordings we provide), (2) concentrates on texts drawn from the New Testament, and (3) is freely available. For those who do not have access to a teacher, we believe that it is also important to be able to learn online.

The course we are developing works through New Testament texts using pictures, TPR, and asking and answering questions in Greek. Each lesson has (1) a content objective focused an authentic Greek text and (2) a language objective expressing the skill to be mastered.

Linguistic terms are taught after students have experienced the construct they describe. Before introducing a term like “1st person singular,” we expose students to the word ἐγώ and verb forms that correspond to it. Before introducing terms like “nominative, genitive, dative, accusative,” we teach how to ask and answer questions using the forms τίς, τίνος, τίνι, τίνα. Before introducing terms like “circumstantial participle,” we act out scenarios that illustrate the relationship between two verbs.

In keeping with the philosophy of this course, our presentation will focus on presenting sample teaching activities live rather than talking about them, followed by discussion of the specific content or language objective and why we teach it the way we do.

Join us for a lively discussion.

In the same session several other topics will be discussed, all related to teaching biblical languages.

While I’m writing about SBL, I might as well make one more plug for Mike Aubrey’s presentation that will take place at 9:00 am on the same day as these: Compounding and Cognitive Processes in Word Formation with ὑδροποτέω and its relatives: Was anyone ever a “water drinker”?  I had a bit to say about this earlier, and Mike has written about it Koine-Greek.com as well.

SBL Presentation on ὑδροποτέω

Dove drinking water with prohibited symbol
ὑδροποτέω ≠ drink water

I look forward to hearing Mike Aubrey’s SBL paper, “Compounding and Cognitive Processes in Word Formation with ὑδροποτέω and its relatives.”

It is often the case that compound words mean something more than or other than the combined meanings of the two words in the compound. This is apparently the case with ὑδροποτέω. The usage of the word shows that it means something different from simply ὕδωρ plus ποτέω.

You can read the abstract of Dr. Aubrey’s paper here. He will present it in the Cognitive Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation Section at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Denver, Colorado in late November.

Recommended Post: What to do when you must teach explicit grammar

The PatrologistSeumas Macdonald has posted a great discussion of a problem facing many who are using communicative methods to teach Ancient Greek in institutions that require students to know the traditional metalanguage for talking about Greek rather than simply speaking Greek. I highly recommend it.

You can find the post here.

HTTPS rather than HTTP at HellenisticGreek.com

Raphael: Philosophers
HellenisticGreek.com

I have added a few lines of behind-the-scenes code to the online grammar (HellenisticGreek.com) to force all pages to load securely (https rather than http). The site has been available on a secure server for some time now, but with these changes it will be impossible to load any pages insecurely.

The same encoding applies to NTGrk.com as well since that URL now redirects to HellenisticGreek.com.

I hope you enjoy the added security.

Greek Readers

I have added a Readers page that can be accessed through the Learn Greek page at either Greek-Language.com or GreekLinguistics.com. The new page provides downloadable copies of a number of readers designed to supplement ones study of Ancient Greek.

I have found far more of these for Classical Greek than Hellenistic Greek. If you are aware of any good Hellenistic (Koine) readers that are available for download, please let me know and I will add them. You can contact me through the Contact page.

HellenisticGreek.com

Lesson 23 imageThe domain name HellenisticGreek.com has until yesterday pointed to the online grammar that has for several years been housed at Greek-Language.com/grammar (and, more recently, at GreekLinguistics.com/grammar). Now, however, I have moved the content of those directories so that all of the grammar materials are housed directly at HellenisticGreek.com. That way, the grammar materials only need to be updated in a single location.

Greek-Language.com/grammar and GreekLinguistics.com/grammar now both redirect to HellenisticGreek.com rather than the other way around. Unfortunately, that means that if you have bookmarked any of the lessons, you will need to update your bookmarks. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

For a few days, HellenisticGreek.com may show up in your browser as insecure. But that problem will resolve itself in a few days when the domain name registration is finished migrating to a new provider. Since there are no transactions to be completed on the site anyway, it will not be a problem.

LaParola.net

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Richard Wilson, designer of LaParola.net, for the work he has put into producing an online reader for the Greek New Testament complete with variant readings.

What is particularly outstanding about the site is that it is based on the work of many people committed to open resources. For morphological tagging, for example, he uses James Tauber’s MorphGNT. The Greek text is the SBLGNT (not completely open source, but open enough to allow what LaParola is doing with it). And Wilson has also provided access to Westcott and Hort (1881) and Tischendorf (8th edition; 1869-1872) drawing on open source materials, and he has even made it possible to embed these materials in other websites.

This is a real gift to the wider community.

Use of Flashcards in teaching Communicative Ancient Greek

Book Cover: Teaching with Tech 2016

In Teaching with Tech 2016: Language Educators Talking Tech, Paul Nitz has recently published an article arguing for using digital flashcards in teaching Ancient Greek even when using a communicative approach. This is something of an unusual proposal, but Dr. Nitz accompanies  it with compelling arguments. In particular, he recognizes the differences between modern language teaching where immersion in the language is possible and extremely useful, and ancient language classes where the same level of immersion in the language is simply not a reasonable possibility.

You can read Paul’s article online at SmashWords.com. I’d love to hear what you think.

ὁ κῆπός μου νιφοστιβής ἐστιν

ὁ κῆπός μου νιφοστιβής

Thanks to Sententia Antiquae for the snow-related vocabulary. What an appropriate post for our current situation! We don’t have a lot of snow here in Chapel Hill, but it’s enough to make minor roads dangerous, causing local schools to be closed for the day.