Vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound (for consonant length, see Geminates).
Vowel length is phonemic in Ancient Greek, as minimal pairs like the following show:
- tṓ ‘the two’ (nom.-acc. dual) : tó ‘the’ (nom.-acc. sing.)
- hós ‘who’ (masc. sg.) : hṓs ‘like, as’
Since at least Hermann (1816) vowel length has been measured in Greek in terms of moras: a short vowel has a single mora, while a long vowel or diphthong has two ( Allen 1987:100; 1973:161-63). Accentuation is conditioned by the moraic structure of a …