Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Etymological Dictionaries: Theory of Greek Etymology
(1,569 words)


The word etymology is based on the Greek adjective étymos (-os, -on / -ē, -on) ‘true’ and -log-ía  (from leg-/log- ‘gather; say’) and originally referred to the ‘true’ or correct analysis of morphological components in Greek words. This practice was prescriptive in origin and is akin to such prescriptivist pronouncements as “The actual meaning of terrific is ‘causing terror’ and not ‘exceptional’.” Devoid of these prescriptive attitudes, the earliest etymology was what we would now call derivational morphol…

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Martin Huld, “Etymological Dictionaries: Theory of Greek Etymology”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 04 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000384>
First published online: 2013

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