Ancient Greek Accentuation: Synchronic Patterns, Frequency by Philomen Probert

By Philomen Probert

The accessory of many Greek phrases has lengthy been thought of arbitrary, yet Philomen Probert issues to a few impressive correlations among accentuation and a word's synchronic morphological transparency, and among accentuation and observe frequency, that provide clues to the prehistory of the accessory approach. Bringing jointly comparative proof for the Indo-European accentuation of the suitable different types with fresh insights into the results that lack of transparency and be aware frequency have on language switch, Probert makes use of the synchronically observable correlations to bridge the space among the accentuation styles reconstructable for Indo-European and people without delay attested for Greek from the Hellenistic interval onwards.

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Extra resources for Ancient Greek Accentuation: Synchronic Patterns, Frequency Effects, and Prehistory (Oxford Classical Monographs)

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117, 149 I treat ºØªıæüò ‘shrill’, with its various forms for diVerent cases, numbers, and genders, as if it contained a suYx -æï- alternating with -æïı; -æø-, and so on, and have occasion to note that the derivational suYx -æï- is often accented where it is the last derivational suYx in a word. Thus, ºØªıæïýò has the accent on the derivational suYx, here in its form -æïı-. In the form ºØªıæïýò the syllable on which the accent falls is thus related to the fact that -æïı- is a form of the derivational suYx -æï-, while the type of 10 Introduction accent (acute rather than circumXex) is accounted for by the presence of the accusative plural ending -ïıò.

31 26 1 Evidence for the Greek Accent The Alexandrians spoke a form of Greek, namely educated Hellenistic Koine. 33 For this large number of words, the accent prescribed by the Alexandrians was almost always that of their own Koine (cf. Wackernagel 1893: 37–8; 1914b: 121–7). It is a common misconception that the system of ancient Greek accentuation handed down to us was simply invented by Hellenistic grammarians. The Koine spoken by the grammarians was, however, a real language, not an invented one.

Pl. ) would also have an ‘ending’ -ò if the preceding vowel were taken to belong to the derivational suYx. On the other hand, a stem that genuinely ended in -æ would require a diVerent set of case endings. Thus, the accusative plural of ðÆôÞæ ‘father’ (stem ðÆôçæ alternating with ðÆôåæ- and ðÆôæ-) is ðÆôÝæÆò, with ending -Æò. Notice that the point being made here is a synchronic one, not a historical one. Historically, the derivational suYx of ºØªıæüò was originally *-ro-, and ºØªıæüò is formed from the stem liguro- and the nominative singular masculine ending -s, while the accusative plural masculine ºØªıæïýò comes from *liguro´ns, that is to say the stem liguro- and an accusative plural marker *-ns.

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