Prothesis
(1,072 words)

Abstract

Prothesis refers to the addition of a vowel at the beginning of a word.

Prothesis is properly the addition of a vowel at the beginning of a word, as seen in the Spanish loan espray for Englishspray. For Greek the term is used more generally for words in which Greek has a word-initial vowel that most of its sister languages lack; while some linguists treat these vowels as added (‘prothetic’) in Greek (e.g., Wyatt 1972), the general consensus is that they often come from vocalized laryngeal consonants in Proto-Indo-European. Greek usu…

Cite this page
Chris Golston, “Prothesis”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 26 June 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000520>
First published online: 2013



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