Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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(1,002 words)


The Greek optative suffixes -iē-, -i- continue the Proto-Indo-European *-i̯éh₁-, *-ih₁- and, after contraction with the final vowel of the tense-stem, appear as -oi-, -ai-, -ei-, and -iē-. With án (or Hom. ) the optative expresses potentiality, and it is also used in purpose clauses, causal clauses, object clauses after verbs of effort and fearing, and in conditionals. Without án the optative has a desiderative or an imperative meaning. A subordinate verb dependent on a past-tense verb may…

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Nikolaos Lavidas, “Optative”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 29 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000503>
First published online: 2013

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