Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

Get access Subject: Language And Linguistics

General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis
Associate Editors: Vit Bubenik, Emilio Crespo, Chris Golston, Alexandra Lianeri, Silvia Luraghi, Stephanos Matthaios

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The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (EAGLL) is a unique work that brings together the latest research from across a range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of Ancient Greek. It is an indispensable research tool for scholars and students of Greek, of linguistics, and of other Indo-European languages, as well as of Biblical literature.

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Gortyn Code

(794 words)

Author(s): Ines Calero Secall
Abstract The term ‘Gortyn Code’ refers to the inscription found in the ruins of archaic Gortyn in Crete, which contains a law code from the 5th c. BCE. The Gortyn Code is the most important legal document of ancient Greece and contains a set of laws concerning family and property in the Cretan society. The Code was inscribed on stones found in the ruins of the archaic Cretan city of Gortyn. The first column (nr. XI) was discovered by the Frenchman L. Thenon in 1857, but the complete discovery of the Code was made possible at a later time thanks to the deviation o…
Date: 2013-11-01

Government Binding and Greek

(2,751 words)

Author(s): Nikolaos Lavidas
Abstract Government and Binding (GB) Theory (Chomsky 1981, 1982, 1986a, 1986b) and its descendants involve the systematic description and analysis of the syntax of a multitude of languages. Ancient Greek has shed light on GB as GB has shed light on Ancient Greek, from the earliest stages of the theory to its current manifestation as the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1993, 1995, et seq.). The relationship between the ideas of GB and the Ancient Greek data provide an excellent example of a constant b…
Date: 2014-01-22


(9 words)

Abstract   See Ablaut (Apophony, Gradation) Bibliography  
Date: 2014-01-27


(691 words)

Author(s): Beatriz Moncó-Taracena
Abstract Graffiti can be defined as unofficial inscriptions on walls or objects, whose primary function is unrelated to them. There are testimonies of Greek graffiti starting from the 8th c. BCE. The most important categories are: proper names, marks of ownership and trademarks (on vases), graffiti of sexual and erotic content, literary graffiti, and obscenities and insults. The term graffiti refers to unofficial messages normally scratched —but also painted— on objects whose primary function is unrelated to them. Graffiti can be texts as well as imag…
Date: 2013-11-01


(8 words)

Abstract   See Syntactic Change Bibliography  
Date: 2014-01-27

Grassmann’s Law

(711 words)

Author(s): Brent Vine
Abstract “Grassmann’s Law” describes the dissimilatory loss of aspiration in one of two non-adjacent aspirated consonants, e.g. Proto-Gk. *hékhō > Gk. ékhō ‘I have’. Grassmann’s Law alternations sometimes remain intact, but are often removed by analogy. Grassmann’s Law in Greek was independent from Grassmann’s Law in Sanskrit, and is probably a post-Mycenaean development. “Grassmann’s Law” (Grassmann 1863, cf. Collinge 1985:47-61 for a detailed survey of initial reaction and subsequent debate) is a phonological rule within the history of Greek that des…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Anatolian Languages

(2,886 words)

Author(s): Sarah Rose
Abstract The discovery of the Hittite imperial archives early in the 20th c. provided copious evidence of the extensive links between Bronze Age Greece and Anatolia. Anatolian influence affected virtually every aspect of life in the Aegean region, including trade and technology, population diffusion, religious ritual and observance, poetic tradition, warfare, even athletics. An extensive body of multidisciplinary scholarship has arisen over the last hundred years to address the nature and extent …
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Arabic (Early Contacts)

(2,245 words)

Author(s): Vit Bubenik
Abstract Our direct documentation of Arabic in pre-Islamic centuries is limited to the inscriptions in Early North Arabic, which does not allow us to study language contact phenomena as is the case with other Semitic and Hamitic peoples who lived within the states of the Seleucids and the Ptolemies. During the Hellenistic period about twenty Greek loanwords were for certain borrowed into Arabic via Aramaic and Middle Persian, and during the post-Islamic centuries numerous Greek words were adopted…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Aramaic

(2,331 words)

Author(s): Vit Bubenik
Abstract Our primary evidence for the impact of Greek on Aramaic comes from the post-Christian centuries. The Rabbinic literature in Hebrew and Aramaic (3rd - 7th c. CE) manifests pervasive influence of Hellenistic and Early Byzantine Greek in its lexicon (the Palestinian Talmud, Midrashim and Targums contain more than 3000 words of Greek origin); further research is necessary regarding their structural influence. Vice versa, Hellenistic inscriptions from Palestine display no Aramaisms (or Hebraisms), in contrast with the situation in …
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Armenian

(2,241 words)

Author(s): James Clackson
Abstract Speakers of Greek have interacted with speakers of Armenian from the 5th c. BCE, but the first direct evidence for language contact comes from Greek loanwords in Armenian texts, including the Bible translation, from the 5th c. CE. Greek influence on the syntax of the Armenian Bible translation is limited, but later translations show the adaptation of Greek syntactic features. A papyrus from Egypt shows Greek written in Armenian script, sometime between the 5th and 7th c. CE.  There is no direct record of the Armenian language before the 5th c. CE. Armenia officially adopted Chr…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Carian

(2,213 words)

Author(s): Theo van den Hout
Abstract Carian is an indigenous IE language of the Anatolian branch attested between the 7th and 4th c. BCE. It had its own alphabetic script and sources come from Egypt and Caria proper, in the SW corner of Anatolia. For most of its historical period Caria was the seat of a Persian satrapy under the rule of the Hecatomnids. 1. Definition and Name Geographically classical Caria covered the south-western corner of Anatolia with the Maeander and Indos rivers roughly as its northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The area of the Maeander valley up to the Messogis mountain range …
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Celtic

(2,091 words)

Author(s): Elisa Roma
Abstract The two main areas of long-standing contact between Greek and the Celtic languages in the Ancient World were the Greek colonies of Southern France and the central part of the Anatolian Peninsula, Galatia. Greek authors call the Celtic peoples of the West Keltoí or Galátai, while the Eastern Celts are almost invariably referred to as Galátai. The earliest Gaulish inscriptions of Transalpine Celts (end of the 3rd c. BCE) come from the region close to the Greek colony of Marseille and employ the Greek alphabet: the Gauls apparently began writin…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Egyptian, and Coptic

(1,689 words)

Author(s): Antonio Loprieno
Abstract The entry presents an overview on language contact features between Greek and Ancient Egyptian/Coptic. 1. Introduction Ancient Egyptian (including its successor Coptic) is attested from the 3rd millennium BCE until at least the mid-2nd millennium CE when it was finally superseded by Arabic. Diachronically it is divided into Earlier Egyptian (covering Old and Middle Egyptian, roughly 3rd and 2nd millennium BCE) and Later Egyptian (covering Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic, from roughly 1500 BCE to 1500 CE). The consonantal system lacks the opposition …
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Etruscan

(2,693 words)

Author(s): Paolo Martino
Abstract The Etruscan language, documented by over ten thousand inscriptions and about seventy glosses in Greek and Latin authors, demonstrates affinities with Greek that are significant, but not sufficient to establish a genetic kinship. Starting in the 8th c. BCE, the Etruscans had especially intense relations with Magna Graecia and with the Mediterranean East. They received the alphabetic script of the Euboeans of Cuma, adapting it to the needs of their language, and transmitted these influenc…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Hebrew

(3,154 words)

Author(s): Dorota Hartman
Abstract This article deals with the contacts between Hebrew and Greek from the pre-exilic period up to the Mišnah. As a result of Hellenization, Hebrew progressively lost its importance to the fast-spreading Greek, remaining mainly a literary and liturgic language. In the Diaspora, Hebrew gave way to Greek with the important translation of the Bible known as the Septuagint. Although Judaic society was trying to prevent Hellenization, Greek found its way into inscriptions, documents, and finally …
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Illyrian

(2,384 words)

Author(s): Christos Tzitzilis
Abstract The study of Greek-Illyrian relations presents the same problems as the study of the relationships between Greek and the other ancient Balkan languages, but in a particularly acute form as the data at our disposal are extremely scarce. The study of the Illyrian language is based on the analysis of personal names, place names, and mainly on the analysis of glosses, although an in-depth analysis of Greek-Illyrian linguistic relations largely depends on the solution to the still open questi…
Date: 2014-01-22

Greek and Indian Languages

(2,234 words)

Author(s): Marina Benedetti
Abstract Although Greek knowledge of India (initially mediated through Persia) dates back to the 6th-5th c. BCE, it was only with Alexander the Great’s Indian campaign (ca 330 BCE) that the Greeks came into direct contact with the Indian world, founding colonies and settling in Indian regions (especially in Bactria) as soldiers, settlers, diplomats, traders, and even rulers of kingdoms. The conspicuous presence of Greeks in India is attested by some of the edicts of Aśoka (3rd c. BCE). The main G…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Iranian

(2,333 words)

Author(s): Maria Carmela Benvenuto
Abstract The history of the interaction between the Greek and Iranian civilizations is complex, largely due to issues regarding the timeframe of the contact, the diversity and reciprocity of such contact and its ultimate effects. This interaction is, in fact, present throughout the history of Greek from Archaic Greece to the Hellenistic period. Greek sources regarding the contact of mainland Greece with Persia only occasionally contain original Iranian words. Nevertheless, the number of loanwords…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Latin

(2,108 words)

Author(s): Luca Lorenzetti
Abstract Social, historical and geographical varieties of Greek and Latin have been in contact for more than two millennia, possibly from Mycenaean times to Byzantium, with a subsequent great impact on the development of both languages. Through the analysis of their mutual influences it is possible to investigate the extent and the nature of the relationships between the two great civilizations of the ancient Western world. Greek and Latin, the languages of the two greatest cultures of the ancient Western world, have been in contact through more than two millennia. Along this e…
Date: 2013-11-01

Greek and Lycian

(1,910 words)

Author(s): Craig Melchert
Abstract Contact effects between Greek and Lycian, the autochthonous Indo-European Anatolian language of Lycia, definitely include some culturally based loanwords, calques and borrowed phraseology, and more arguably influences on the use of lexemes and on configurational syntax. Naming practices also show a complex cultural interaction, with direct transposition from one language to the other, calques and various degrees of morphological adaptation. Lycian is attested in more than 175 inscriptions, nearly all on stone and mostly dating from the 5th and 4t…
Date: 2013-11-01
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