Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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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, n…

Cite this page
Miles Beckwith, “Laryngeal Changes”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 20 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000206>
First published online: 2013

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