Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Mood (énklisis), Ancient Theories of
(1,975 words)


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 sp…

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Jean Lallot, “Mood (énklisis), Ancient Theories of”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 10 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000239>
First published online: 2013

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