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Ancient Greek AccentuationSynchronic Patterns, Frequency Effects, and Prehistory$
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Philomen Probert

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279609.001.0001

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Introduction to Part II

Introduction to Part II

(p.127) 5 Introduction to Part II
Ancient Greek Accentuation

Philomen Probert (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the problem addressed in Part II: why does the accentuation of some categories of Greek word appear subject to tendencies with exceptions? Historically, did exceptions arise in a previously more rule-governed system, or did tendencies to regularity develop in a previously less rule-governed system? Synchronically, what role did these ‘tendencies’ play in speakers’ competence? Two properties of the accent system are discussed as crucial to the account to be offered: the status of recessive accentuation as in some sense the most regular or default accentuation, and the way in which accentuation interacts with morphology. Finally, a question bearing on words with -ro-, -to-, -no-, and -lo-, and previous scholarship on this question, are introduced: why do adjectives with these suffixes tend to be accented differently from nouns?

Keywords:   exceptions, recessive accentuation, default accentuation, morphology, adjectives, nouns

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