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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(2,611 words)

Author(s): Nicolas Bertrand
Abstract Modifiers are syntactically optional elements used to restrict or specify the meaning of their head. In Ancient Greek, noun modifiers may be adjectives, genitive noun phrases, relative and participial clauses, but also adverbs, adpositional phrases and appositive nouns. Outside the noun phrase, modification is achieved by adverbs and adpositional phrases. Modifiers are elements used to modify the meaning (or the reference) of the head of their phrase. They are optional in that they may be removed without changing the syntactic structur…
Date: 2013-11-01


(783 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Monophthongization is the reduction of a diphthong to a long vowel. Monophthongization is the reduction of a diphthong to a long vowel. It is a gradual natural assimilatory phenomenon (assimilation) caused by the total conflation of the diphthong’s elements. Evidence for the early monophthongization of the diphthongs /ei̯/ and /ou̯/ is found in various dialects: PotEdán = Poteidán ‘Poseidon’ (Corinth, 6th c. BCE; for Cor. <E> = /eː/, see del Barrio Vega 2010), katékhe = katékhei ‘(s)he detains’ (Ambracia, 6th c. BCE), tôto = toûto ‘that’ (Ionia, 6th c. BCE). The reduction…
Date: 2013-11-01

Mood and Modality

(4,826 words)

Author(s): Emilia Ruiz Yamuza
Abstract Verbal mood is a grammatical category that expresses modality contents. The Greek moods are imperative, subjunctive, optative and indicative. Modality is a super category loosely structured. Recognized types of modality are epistemic modalities, agent-oriented modalities, speaker-oriented modalities and subordinating modalities. This article examines the notions of mood and modality in Ancient Greek along the aforementioned categorization of modalities. 1. Mood and Modality Defined Verbal mood is a grammatical category that is a tool used to express…
Date: 2013-11-01

Mood (énklisis), Ancient Theories of

(1,975 words)

Author(s): Jean Lallot
Abstract The Greek grammarians identified five moods (ἐγκλίσεις, enklíseis): indicative, imperative, optative, subjunctive and infinitive. The first three correspond to specific speech acts (respectively: assertions, directives, wishes), while the last is described as a kind of zero mode. As for the subjunctive, as its name suggests, it is a subordinate mode. Its value varies according to the function of the conjunction preceding it. The Greek grammarians’ theory of mood was rooted in the identification of the principal speech acts by the philosophers and r…
Date: 2013-11-01


(2,768 words)

Author(s): Leo Wetzels | Ben Hermans
Abstract The mora is an abstract unit of syllable weight. Light syllables have one mora, heavy syllables two. Short vowels have one mora, long vowels and diphthongs two; codas contribute an additional mora to the weight of a syllable. 1. Introduction Syllable weight plays an important role in phonological descriptions. It is modeled in phonological theory by way of the mora: a heavy syllable has two moras, whereas a light syllable only one.   The mora is also used to express segmental length. Geminates are defined as moraic, while single consonants are non-moraic. In …
Date: 2014-01-22

Morphological Change

(3,432 words)

Author(s): Helena Maquieira
Abstract Morphological change is a type of language change that may affect the phonetic representation of, the meaning conveyed by or the usage rules of a given morpheme. Morphological change may be triggered by phonetic developments, psychological or sociolinguistic factors, etc. In fact, psychological factors like analogy are often considered to be the most important motivation for change at the morphological level. Morphological change is a type of variation in the grammatical component of the language that may affect the phonetic representation of th…
Date: 2013-11-01

Movable Consonants

(871 words)

Author(s): David Goldstein
Abstract A movable consonant is a segment occurring at the end of a word that alternates with zero under certain conditions. The term “movable consonant” refers to a set of lexically-specified consonants ( n, s, k) that alternate with zero under certain conditions at the edge of a word. In the linguistics literature, they are more often known as “latent segments” (e.g. Hansson 2005); Devine and Stephens (1994:252) also use the term “antihiatic consonant”. Of the three movable consonants, nu, which was termed nu ephelkustikón (‘attracted, suffixed’) by ancient grammarians, has b…
Date: 2013-11-01

Movable s

(818 words)

Author(s): Georgios K. Giannakis
Abstract Among the movable consonants in Ancient Greek a special case is word-initial s-, due to the fact that in etymologically cognate word sets some items have this s- and others lack it. Despite the various explanations offered so far none seems to be entirely satisfactory. The phonotactics of root structure of Indo-European allows roots of the shape sCV, e.g. PIE *speḱ-/*spoḱ- ‘to see, watch’, as in Lat. speciō ‘I look at’, Av. spasiieiti ‘(s)he/it looks at’, Skt. causative spāśáyate ‘(s)he/it shows’, OHG spehōn ‘watcher’ (cf. Eng. spy) and Gk. sképtomai ‘I see, think’ and skopéō ‘I …
Date: 2013-11-01