[INDOLOGY] Greek accent

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Sat Oct 12 09:33:12 EDT 2019


Thanks, Matthew.  Will look up Probert's book.  Best,

Madhav

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]


On Sat, Oct 12, 2019 at 5:31 AM Matthew Scarborough <
matthew.scarborough at cantab.net> wrote:

> Dear Madhav,
>
> Normally in Greek the rules of verbal accentuation are different from
> Sanskrit, where the prosodic accent is retained, has become recessive,
> limited to the final three syllables, and placement conditioned by the
> syllabic weight of the two.
>
> However, there are two verbs that do not obey these rules – εἰμί 'I am' (=
> ásmi < *h₁es-) and φημί 'I say' (< *bʰeh₂-) – which are enclitic in the
> indicative and *do* behave similarly to Vedic where they loose their
> prosodic accent when followed by a non-verb. One exception to this is that
> ἐιμί normally bears an accented as ἔστιν 'there is' when clause-initial and
> has existential meaning. I think this is the same as verbal accentuation in
> Vedic, if I am recalling how verbal accentuation in Vedic works correctly.
>
> From the historical point of view, as far as I recall I think it's
> generally regarded that these two enclitic verbs continue an inherited
> situation shared with Sanskrit since it seems fairly clear that the law of
> limitation – which with a few exceptions normally affects all nominal as
> well as (finite) verbal accentual placement – clearly appears to be a
> secondary innovation on the part of Greek.
>
> As a good recent descriptive guide to Greek accentuation, I would
> recommend Philomen Probert's *A New Short Guide to the Accentuation of
> Ancient Greek* (Bristol, 2003).
>
> I hope this helps clarify your question.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Matthew
> ---
> Dr. M. J. C. Scarborough
> Sessional Lecturer (Classics)
>
> Department of the Humanities
> MacEwan University
> Room 7-353C, City Centre Campus
> 10700 104 Ave, Edmonton AB, T5J 4S2
>
>
> On 2019-10-12 05:05, Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY wrote:
>
> Someone asked me if Greek verb accent has the prosodic loss of accent, if
> it comes after a non-verb, like the Sanskrit verb accent [cf. Pāṇini: तिङ्
> अतिङ:]?  I have only secondary knowledge about Greek, and could not answer
> this question.  Hope someone can clarify this issue to me.  Best,
>
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
>
> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
>
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