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Synizesis

(748 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Synizesis is the loss of syllabicity of a vowel in hiatus. Synizesis is the loss of syllabicity (desyllabification) of a vowel followed in hiatus, e.g. Sp. línea [ˈline̯a] ‘line’, cacao [kaˈkao̯] ‘cocoa’. Like contraction, elision and aphaeresis, it is a strategy to avoid hiatus. After synizesis, the reduced vowel often rises: Lat. habeat > It. abbia [ˈabbja] ‘may (s)he have’, Ioannes > Sp. Juan [ˈxwan] ‘John’. Synizesis can be right- or left-orientated: Lat. ego > * eo > Port. eu [eu̯], Sp. yo [ʝo] ‘I’. The phenomenon is well attested in Ancient Greek for /i/ as shown by scansion:…
Date: 2013-11-01

Glides

(585 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract A ‘glide’ is the transitional semivowel between /i/ and /u/ and a following mid or low vowel. Although the term ‘glide’ can be used as a synonym of semivowel, in a narrower sense it describes the transitional semivowel between /i/ and /u/ and a following mid or low vowel, cf. French plier /pliˈ(j)e/. Glides have no phonological status in Ancient Greek and they are not usually represented in writing. However, glide-notation appears sometimes in early Greek inscriptions. A [j] glide, spelled with iôta < i>, is found in the Ion. p.n. Diiophánēs and in Sicyonian Sekuwṓniios ‘of Sicyon…
Date: 2013-11-01

Semivowels

(606 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Semivowels are vowel-like sounds that behave as consonants. Semivowels /j/ and /w/ are the non-syllabic counterparts of /i/ and /u/. Semivowels are vowel-like sounds that behave as consonants. Crosslinguistically, the palatal /j/ and labio-velar /w/ are the most common semivowels. Phonologically, these sounds are the non-syllabic counterparts of the high vowels /i/ and /u/: cf. ímen ‘we go’ vs. eîmi ‘I go’ and zugón ‘yoke’ vs. zeûgos ‘yoke of beasts’. /w/, inherited from PIE, survived in Mycenaean and many first-millennium Greek dialects. The early Greek local alphabets …
Date: 2013-11-01

Epenthesis

(559 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Epenthesis is the intrusion of a stop in a consonant cluster. Epenthesis is a cover term for the insertion of any vocalic or consonantal sound. Since vowel epenthesis is further known as anaptyxis, epenthesis can be restrictively used to refer to just the intrusion of a stop in a consonant cluster: cf. Lat. humerum > * homro > Spanish hombro ‘shoulder’. According to the Syllable Contact Law, at a syllable boundary a coda should be more sonorant than the following onset ( Vennemann 1988). Therefore, the [b] in hombro ([m.b]) is introduced to improve the syllable contact [m.r] of * homro…
Date: 2013-11-01

Apocope

(843 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Apocope is the deletion of a final unstressed vowel Apocope is the deletion of a final unstressed vowel. As in many other languages, the domain of apocope in Ancient Greek is almost exclusively grammatical words, cf. Lat. multum > OSp. muito > Sp. muy ‘very’ vs. mucho ‘a lot’. Apocope is particularly well documented in preverbs and prepositions with a phonological pattern (C)VCV. Some forms are more prone to undergo reduction than others and the nature of the initial consonant of the following word plays a fundamental role. The evidenc…
Date: 2013-11-01

Assibilation

(895 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Assibilation refers to the change in which dental voiceless stops /t, tʰ/ become /s/ before /i/. Assibilation is a change in which a sound becomes a fricative or sibilant. In Greek linguistics, it refers more specifically to the development of  voiceless dental stops /t, tʰ/ before /i/. The phenomenon is triggered by co-articulatory, aerodynamic and acoustic factors. The bursting release of a stop following total closure is significantly protracted due to the movement of the tongue towards the locus required for the production…
Date: 2013-11-01

Contraction

(919 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Contraction is the coalescence of two adjacent vowels into a long vowel or a diphthong. Contraction is the coalescence of two adjacent vowels into a long vowel or a diphthong. It is one of the possible strategies for eliminating hiatus (Diphthongization; Synizesis). In Ancient Greek contractions ensued from loss of intervocalic /s/, /j/ and /w/. The term ‘contraction’ refers to coalescence of vowels word-internally. For the same phenomenon in word junctures, see Crasis. Similar vowels coalesce into the corresponding long vowel: * kréwaa > kréā ‘meat (nom./acc. pl.)’, * pólii…
Date: 2013-11-01

Syllables

(2,303 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract The syllable is a phonological unit composed of sounds around a sonority peak. Ancient Greek belongs to the set of languages with complex syllable structure. Evidence for syllabic structure in Ancient Greek is drawn from meter, stress rules, phonological developments, and script. 1. Introduction The syllable is a phonological unit composed of sounds. Although its phonetic basis and a precise definition are still controversial, speakers of typologically different languages have an intuitive (psychological) notion of the syllable ( Ohala & Kawasaki-Fukumori 1996). Mor…
Date: 2013-11-01

Spirantization

(816 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Spirantization is the change whereby oral stops turn into fricatives. Spirantization (Consonant Changes) is the change of oral stops to fricatives (spirants). Voiced stops undergo spirantization as a result of the reduction of oral compression to facilitate glottal voicing: /b/ > /β/, /d/ > /ð/ and /g/ > /ɣ/. In voiceless aspirated stops, the release is often misinterpreted by listeners as frication, i.e. /pʰ/ > /pᵠ/, /tʰ/ > /tᶿ/ and /kʰ/ > /kˣ/, and these affricates further evolve into fricatives /f/, /θ/ and /x/ ( Stuart-Smith 2004:202-203). Ancient Greek voiceless asp…
Date: 2013-11-01

Aspiration

(789 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Classical Greek aspiration (/h/) was a phoneme almost restricted to word-initial position ( spiritus asper, pneûma dasú). Aspiration is the friction made by the air passing through an open glottis (Eng. heaven /ˈhεvən/). In Classical Greek /h/ was a phoneme almost restricted to word-initial position. Archaic alphabets used the sign <Η> (originally called hêta, see Sch. D. T., p. 486, 32-35) for aspiration. Although <Η> was gradually abandoned after the 4th c. BCE, due to the extension of the Ionic script (in which <Η> was recycled with a new value /εː/, due to the …
Date: 2013-11-01

Yodization

(470 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Yodization is any change resulting in a palatal semivowel /j/. Yodization is any change resulting in a palatal semivowel /j/, i.e. ‘yod’. In Greek, the phenomenon affects particularly /i/ and /e/ in hiatus and is best known as synizesis: theós ‘god’ > [tʰe̯ós] > Lac. siós [sjós]. The semivowel /j/ may become a fricative through fortition: Anc. Gk. iatrós [iaːtrós] ‘doctor’ > [jaːtrós] > Mod. Gk. γιατρός [ʝaˈtros], Anc. Gk. heortḗ [heortέː] ‘feast’ > [e̯ortέː] > [jorˈti] > Mod. Gk. γιορτή [ʝorˈti].  There is little evidence of yodization affecting the consonants of An…
Date: 2013-11-01

Anaptyxis

(698 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Anaptyxis is the insertion of a vowel between two consonants. Anaptyxis or vowel epenthesis is the insertion of a vowel between two consonants. Cross-linguistically, anaptyctic vowels (also referred to by the Sanskrit term as svarabhakti vowels) develop between clusters of stop + sonorant (Skt. ratna ‘jewel’ > Pali ratana), sonorant + stop (Lat. argentum ‘silver’ > Osc. abl. sg. aragetud) and sibilant + stop (Eng. speed > Korean [sɨpʰidɨ]). Dissimilatory in nature, vowel epenthesis is due to a tendency to broaden the perceptual and articulatory distan…
Date: 2013-11-01

Elision

(903 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract In Ancient Greek elision is the complete elimination of a vowel (generally short) that is followed by another vowel in composition or at word-juncture. Elision (Lat. elisiō, Gr. ékthlipsis, from ekthlíbō ‘squeeze out’) is the complete elimination of a vowel followed by another vowel. With crasis (or contraction) and aphaeresis, it is one of the strategies to eliminate vowel hiatus. In Ancient Greek elision occurs in the domain of composition (compound nouns) and word-juncture:        epágō ‘lead on’ = epı́ + ágō, ep’ ṓmōn ‘over the shoulders’ = epı́ + ṓmōn        philánthrōpos
Date: 2013-11-01

Monophthongization

(783 words)

Author(s): Alcorac Alonso Déniz
Abstract Monophthongization is the reduction of a diphthong to a long vowel. Monophthongization is the reduction of a diphthong to a long vowel. It is a gradual natural assimilatory phenomenon (assimilation) caused by the total conflation of the diphthong’s elements. Evidence for the early monophthongization of the diphthongs /ei̯/ and /ou̯/ is found in various dialects: PotEdán = Poteidán ‘Poseidon’ ( Corinth, 6th c. BCE; for Cor. <E> = /eː/, see del Barrio Vega 2010), katékhe = katékhei ‘(s)he detains’ ( Ambracia, 6th c. BCE), tôto = toûto ‘that’ ( Ionia, 6th c. BCE). The reduction…
Date: 2013-11-01