Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Lesbian Accentuation
(413 words)


Lesbian accentuation refers to the distribution of tones (the pitch-accent) in the large dialect centered around the island of Lesbos. Nouns, verbs and adjectives in Lesbian Greek had recessive accent, so that Attic Pierídes ‘Pierian muses’ shows up in Sappho as Piérides with a high tone as far back as it can go.

The Lesbian (and Aeolic Asian) dialect is best known from the lyric poets Sappho and Alcaeus, whose speech was accented in a manner different from those of other dialects. In most Greek dialects we find a mix of accentuation: …

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Chris Golston, “Lesbian Accentuation”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 15 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_000045>
First published online: 2013

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