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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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Preliminary Conclusions

Preliminary Conclusions

(p.227) 10 Preliminary Conclusions
Ancient Greek Accentuation

Philomen Probert (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates the accentual patterns found in words with -ro-, -to-, -no-, and -lo-, particularly the role of frequency. It argues that historically these suffixes form finally accented adjectives, except for o-grade -to- nouns (type phórtos), kámatos ‘toil’, thánatos ‘death’ (linked at least accentually to phórtos, etc.), and neuter nouns with -ano-. Adjectives that become nouns may cease to be segmented synchronically with these inherently adjectival suffixes. Subsequently, the accentuation associated with these suffixes may be replaced with default recessive accentuation. The frequency effects in -ro-, -to-, and -no- nouns arise because low frequency inhibits loss of analysis, while high frequency inhibits subsequent accentual regularization. The different pattern in nouns with -lo- is related to a higher overall loss of morphological analysis even in -lo- adjectives.

Keywords:   -ro-, -to-, -no, -lo-, o-grade, kámatos, thánatos, adjectives, nouns, morphological analysis

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