Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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(870 words)


Psilosis is the loss of word-initial aspiration occurring at various times in certain Greek dialects.

The word-initial glottal fricative [h] in Greek, represented in literary texts by the so-called spiritus asper < ‘ > and in epigraphic texts by <H>, tended to be lost from the Greek dialects, affecting certain dialects earlier than others; this loss is known as psilosis (derived from the adjective psilós ‘bare, stripped’), the dialects showing this loss psilotic (Aspiration). Greek initial [h] is often the reflex of earlier …

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Jesse Lundquist, “Psilosis”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000521>
First published online: 2013

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