Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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(780 words)


Vowels are segments articulated with an open vocal tract. Greek had twelve vowels: /i iː y yː e eː ɛː o oː ɔː a aː/.

The vowel system of late fifth-century Classical Attic is well known for its asymmetry, as it has almost twice as many front vowels as back. Considerable debate surrounds this topic, and one is hard pressed to find any two (synchronic or diachronic) accounts of the Attic vowel system that agree in all their details. See Brixhe (1996); Threatte (1980) for the inscriptional evidence; Lejeune (1972), Meier-Brügger (1992), Rix (1992…

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David Goldstein, “Vowels”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 05 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000549>
First published online: 2013

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