Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Spirantization
(816 words)

Abstract

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 2004:20…

Cite this page
Alcorac Alonso Déniz, “Spirantization”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 22 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000536>
First published online: 2013



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