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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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Continuity and Change in Greek Accentuation

Continuity and Change in Greek Accentuation

Chapter:
(p.83) 3 Continuity and Change in Greek Accentuation
Source:
Ancient Greek Accentuation
Author(s):

Philomen Probert (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279609.003.0004

The evidence for ancient Greek accentuation is tantalizingly achronological, and there is no direct evidence until the Hellenistic period. This chapter surveys the indirect evidence pointing to elements of continuity between different periods in the history (or prehistory) of the Greek accent system up to the Hellenistic period, and to elements of change. Evidence for continuity is drawn from comparisons with accentuation in other Indo-European languages, especially Vedic Sanskrit; from comparison between the accent systems attested for different Greek dialects; and from the relative chronology of the law of limitation and quantitative metathesis. Significant prehistoric Greek innovations are the law of limitation; the recessive accentuation of the finite verb; and the accent shifts described by Wheeler’s law, Vendryes’ law, and Bartoli’s law. Wheeler’s law is treated in particular detail.

Keywords:   Sanskrit, law of limitation, quantitative metathesis, Greek dialects, Wheeler’s law, Vendryes’ law, Bartoli’s law

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