Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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(816 words)


Spirantization is the change whereby oral stops turn into fricatives.

Spirantization (Consonant Changes) is the change of oral stops to fricatives (spirants). Voiced stops undergo spirantization as a result of the reduction of oral compression to facilitate glottal voicing: /b/ > /β/, /d/ > /ð/ and /g/ > /ɣ/. In voiceless aspirated stops, the release is often misinterpreted by listeners as frication, i.e. /pʰ/ > /pᵠ/, /tʰ/ > /tᶿ/ and /kʰ/ > /kˣ/, and these affricates further evolve into fricatives /f/, /θ/ and /x/ ( Stuart-Smith …

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Alcorac Alonso Déniz, “Spirantization”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 22 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000536>
First published online: 2013

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