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Rhotacism

(597 words)

Author(s): Jesse Lundquist
Abstract The term rhotacism refers to the replacement of a non [r] sound with [r], in the case of Greek referring to the rare change [s] > [r] intervocalically and word-finally.   The term rhotacism refers to the replacement of a non [r] sound with [r]; more specifically in the case of Greek this phenomenon refers to the change [s] > [r] intervocalically and less commonly in word-final position. The term derives ultimately from the name of the Greek letter ‘rho’ (cf. the linguistic term ‘rhotic’). The change of s > r occurred primarily in two Greek dialects: it is attested epigraphica…
Date: 2013-11-01

Assimilation

(780 words)

Author(s): Jesse Lundquist
Abstract The phonological process whereby two different segments become more similar or identical (cf. Lat. assimilare ‘to liken, be similar’). Assimilation is the most common phonological process cross-linguistically, examples from English including ‘gimme’ for ‘give me’ or ‘impossible’ from the prefix ‘in-’ before [p]. The opposite process is dissimilation. Despite its prevalence, its causes and effects are not always easy to identify (Miller 2010:178-181). Assimilation of consonants may be usefully categorized according to a number of parameters, of whi…
Date: 2013-11-01

Psilosis

(870 words)

Author(s): Jesse Lundquist
Abstract 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 PIE consonants, namely * s- (e.g. Gk. h eptá ‘seven’,…
Date: 2013-11-01