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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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Words with Suffix ‐το‐

Words with Suffix ‐το‐

(p.174) 7 Words with Suffix ‐το‐
Ancient Greek Accentuation

Philomen Probert (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the formation of words with -to-, comparative evidence for their accentuation, and descriptive accounts of their accentuation in Greek. An analysis of simplex words formed historically with -to- shows that the adjectives are all accented on the final syllable. Two groups of nouns are consistently recessive: those formed on an o-grade root (type phórtos ‘load’), and two with a laryngeal-final root in CVRV form (kámatos ‘toil’; thánatos ‘death’). The other nouns are predominantly accented on the final syllable, but some are recessive; those with -eto- show the same pattern. A prima facie correlation between accentuation and first attestation in or after Homer does not demonstrate a chronological shift, but word frequency and accentuation are correlated in the same non-linear fashion as for words with -ro-.

Keywords:   adjectives, nouns, o-grade, thánatos, kámatos, -eto-, chronology, frequency

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