(524 words)


The term syncope refers to the loss of a medial, usually unaccented vowel.

Syncope is the loss of a medial, usually unaccented vowel, frequently associated with the effects of a stress accent. Although not common in Greek while the accent was one of pitch (Accentuation), there are isolated early examples, including: (i) the aorist stem of érkhomai ‘go, come’, elth- < eluth-, the latter already an archaism in Homer preserved only in the indicative ḗluthon and infinitive elutheîn; (ii) éstai ‘he will be’ < és(s)etai, again alread…

Cite this page
Rupert Thompson, “Syncope”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 16 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2013

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