Greek Lexicon – How to differentiate words with similar meanings
|July 15, 2013||Posted by tverity under Greek, Studying Texts|
Recommended Online Lexicon:
Lexicons are useful for finding the meaning of one word in a particular context, but it is also helpful for differentiating the meaning of two words with similar meanings.
1) Select a at least two words whose meanings are similar. For example, we can consider the difference between two verbs of understanding: συνίημι and ἐπίσταμαι.
1) Open the link provided.
2) Under “Non-subscribers,” click TLG Canon.
3) Choose your Greek font on the next page. Beta Code or Unicode usually work well.
4) Type the name of an author in the box next to red circle. You will use this author’s works to examine the group of words in question.
5) Once you find the author you searched for, you must take note of the author’s identification number. We will use Homer as an example. His number is 0012.
6)Repeat steps 4 and 5 for another author. It is useful to search for authors who wrote in different styles to see if the meaning of words changes according to genre. It may also be valuable to search authors who wrote in different centuries to see if the meaning of the words varies over time. For this example, we will use Plato.
6) Search the words in LSJ online (http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=1&context=lsj). Here you will begin to understand how the words are used in different contexts. If you click here on an author, work, and passage…
7)…you will be directed to this page where you will find lemma search on the left hand side. Click on it.
8) Enter your Greek word by clicking on the typewriter icon. Be sure to include diacritical marks
9) Enter the number of the author from Step 4. Then, press lemma search.
10) Choose the form of the word you wish to look up. If you select all forms of the word, you will find all instances that author uses the word. This is beneficial for determining what context the word is typically used in based on the number of times it is used. It is also helpful for showing whether the word is preferred in a specific genre like prose or poetry.
If you favor working with books, here is the print version of the LSJ:
Liddell, Henry George. A Greek-English Lexicon. Rev. and augm. throughout. Oxford : New York: Clarendon Press ;
Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.
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