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How to find Abstract Nouns in Greek?

greek syntax

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#1 dazzur



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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:35 AM

Was wondering how to search for Abstract Nouns in Greek?

#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:39 AM

Nouns are not tagged as being abstract or concrete, so there is no way to search for this.

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#3 Marco V. Fabbri

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

Sometimes I had to perform this search. This is what I thought of: we know of several suffixes that are characteristic of abstract nouns. I can list:

  1. nomina actionis, with the -σις suffix, such as παράβασις, or πρᾶξις, or θλῖψις
  2. nomina actionis with the -εία suffix, like χρεία
  3. nomina actionis with the -σία suffix, like ἐξουσία
  4. nomina actionis with the -μός suffix, like πειρασμός

  5. nomina qualitatis with the -σύνη suffix, like ταπεινοφροσύνη

  6. nomina qualitatis with the -ία suffix, like μακροθυμία

  7. nomina qualitatis with the -της suffix, like χρηστότης

  8. nomina qualitatis with the -ος suffix, like πένθος (not πάθος)

The problem is that not all such nouns are abstract. A search for all these would contains false positives. For instance, σωτηρία may mean salvation in abstract, or an act that brings salvation, or the result of that act. Again, βασιλεία may be the kingship, or a kingdom.

Some forms are always abstract. This happens with nomina qualitatis with the -ία suffix, when they start with a negating ἀ-, e.g. ἀφθαρσία, or ἀθανασία.


It is very difficult to search for all forms together, but you may perform several searches, such as:




and so on.


I hope this helps.

I didn't say so, but I would view this as an issue of morphology, rather than syntax.

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Marco Valerio Fabbri
P. Università della S. Croce
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#4 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:56 AM

Very enlightening Marco. Thank you!

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