previous next
[1457a] [1] which neither hinders nor causes the formation of a single significant sound or phrase out of several sounds, and which, if the phrase stands by itself, cannot properly stand at the beginning of it, e.g. μέν, δή, τοί, δέ; or else it is a sound without meaning capable of forming one significant sound or phrase out of several sounds having each a meaning of their own, e.g. ἀμφί, περί.

A joint is a sound without meaning which marks the beginning or end of a phrase or a division in it, and naturally stands at either end or in the middle.1

A noun is a composite sound with a meaning, not indicative of time, no part of which has a meaning by itself; for in compounds we do not use each part as having a meaning of its own, for instance, in "Theodorus," there is no meaning of δῶρον (gift).

A verb is a composite sound with a meaning, indicative of time, no part of which has a meaning by itself—just as in nouns. "Man" or "white" does not signify time, but "walks" and "has walked" connote present and past time respectively.

A case(or inflection)of a noun or verb is that which signifies either "of" or "to" a thing and the like; [20] or gives the sense of "one or many" e.g. men and man; or else it may depend on the delivery, for example question and command. "Walked?" and "Walk!" are verbal "cases" of this kind.

A phrase2 is a composite sound with a meaning, some parts of which mean something by themselves. It is not true to say that every "phrase" is made up of nouns and verbs, e.g. the definition of man3; but although it is possible to have a "phrase" without verbs, yet some part of it will always have a meaning of its own, for example, Cleon in "Cleon walks." A "phrase" may be a unit in two ways; either it signifies one thing or it is a combination of several "phrases." The unity of the Iliad, for instance, is due to such combination, but the definition of man is "one phrase" because it signifies one thing.

Nouns are of two kinds. There is the simple noun, by which I mean one made up of parts that have no meaning, like γῆ, and there is the compound noun. These may be made up either of a part which has no meaning and a part which has a meaning—though it does not have its meaning in the compound—or of two parts both having a meaning. A compound noun may be triple and quadruple and multiple, e.g. many of the bombastic names like Hermocaicoxanthus.4

1 This paragraph remains a cause of despair. Bywater's notes suggest a restoration.

2 There is no exact English equivalent of this meaning of λόγος, which has been used already in 7 above without explanation. "Statement" and "proposition" also cover part of its meaning.

3 Probably one of the two definitions given in the Topics, "a two-footed land animal" and "an animal amenable to reason."

4 A compound of the names of three rivers, Hermus, Caicus, and Xanthus.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1966)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Xanthos (Turkey) (1)
Caicus (Turkey) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (19 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: