Osthoff’s Law
(756 words)


“Osthoff’s Law” is a phonological process in Greek (and some other IE languages) by which long vowels were shortened when they occurred before sonorants in syllable-coda position that were followed by another consonant, e.g. Gk dat. pl. -ois < PIE *-ōis. Since “Osthoff-shortening” is a typologically natural strategy of “overlength avoidance”, similar shortenings elsewhere in IE are independent of the Greek version of Osthoff’s Law.  

“Osthoff’s Law” is a phonological process within the history of Greek (and som…

Cite this page
Brent Vine, “Osthoff’s Law”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 16 January 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000505>
First published online: 2013

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