If you’ve been over to the main LGPSI interface lately, you’ll see it’s currently at chapter 12. Actually I have written up to chapter 16, but with a little delay in posting some of those until I’ve had at least an initial chance to revise and review.
My plan this year is to get to at least chapter 20. But I’m also at a point where I need to pause and assess a few things. It’s not too difficult for me to bang out a chapter of relatively simple Greek and move the story along, but on any given chapter I need to be thinking about: what vocab is being introduced and how, what structures are being introduced and how, and what on earth is happening in the story.
So, I have a bit of planning work to do. Particularly I have two tasks on my plate that I want to get somewhat sorted at least before moving forwards.
The first is I need a better awareness of overall vocabulary mapping. In particular, LGPSI volume 1 has as its end point a core vocabulary that builds towards students being set-up to move on to the New Testament, Lysias, Plato, Xenophon, and Herodotus. I’m not promising that the transition will be seamless, but that’s the kind of core vocabulary I’m interested in baking into LGPSI so learners get to the end with a good deal of vocabulary exposure.
The second is I need a better awareness of grammar features. In a truly acquisition driven model, you wouldn’t worry so much about sequencing grammar, provided it’s comprehensible. That is… difficult with a static text. What I’d like to do is have a good roadmap for myself in the first instance, so I can see at a glance what’s been introduced, where, and what needs to be held off, restricted, or repeated, reinforced.
So those two things are on my to-do list, before I try to move too far forwards.
And, if you’re wondering what I mean by ‘volume 1’, well. Essentially I envisage that there will be a first/core LGPSI series of chapters (aka ‘book’) of 50 chapters. Or so. Maybe more, maybe less. But because I think of this as a really open-ended venture, it leaves lots of space for (i) sequels, (ii) parallel stories/episodes, (iii) expansions of particular parts, (iv) prequels? (v) new stories in different time periods, (vi) sequel volumes that work towards particular authors. All that is big picture and long term stuff, but I like to dream big and lay a wide foundation.
Thanks to everyone who’s reading/using/talking about/generally supporting LGPSI. It means a lot to me and I’m excited to see this project going forward.
Question Seumas, about your vocabulary goals. It obviously makes a lot of sense to target specific volumes to prepare for (NT, Xenephon et al.), but as you note there will always be limits. Do you have specific goals then, at this stage of writing, what coverage level you’re aiming for? Rough estimate of lexical items seen by the end of volume 1? I’m assuming you’ll at least in part be shaped by frequency lists for your target corpus, so I’m just curious how LGPSI would compare in vocab to a 1 year greek course. General coverage down to 50 times? 20 times? Beyond? Of course I’m using those as figures for the NT, not your broader corpus.
I do love the idea of supplementary volumes for specialised vocab. I’ve been particularly aware of the limitations of learning vocab with flashcards lately. The problems there are with learning all the ‘meta-info’ about a word such as transitivity, case of object etc. A narrative solves so many of those problems. To give a recent simpler example I’ve found LGPSI particularly helpful just getting used to the genitive object of ἀκούω.
I think of my vocabulary goals as simply “expanding concentric rings”. In the middle are the super most-frequent words. They are/should be so unavoidable that they recur again and again. But having those in a list helps me keep an eye on them.
I don’t know where LGPSI will end up vocabulary wise. Ideally, I’d like a core LGPSI to expand to the point where it covers a robust 2000 set of mostly frequent lemmas (though I can tolerate some less frequent items as the stories demand). That’s an ambitious number because it requires a large volume of text to sustain it, but it would far outstrip the ambitions of any first-year Greek course that exists, and if it’s done well, it would really set anyone up to go on to further Greek from a good basis.