Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

Get access

Laryngeal Changes
(2,207 words)


The so-called laryngeals were consonants in Proto-Indo-European which are partly preserved in the Anatolian languages. They are lost everywhere in Greek, but they caused extensive changes to the Greek vowel system, and many seeming irregularities such as atypical ablaut patterns, the peculiar Attic reduplication, and prothetic vowels (e.g. astḗr ~ English star < *h₂stēr-, cf. Hittite ḫasterza) can be traced to the presence of laryngeals in the proto-language. 

The laryngeals were Proto-Indo-Europeanconsonants, now deno…

Cite this page
Miles Beckwith, “Laryngeal Changes”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 09 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000206>
First published online: 2013

▲   Back to top   ▲