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Ancient Greek Grammar
Ancient Greek grammar is morphologically complex and preserves several features of Proto-Indo-European morphology. Nouns, adjectives, pronouns, articles, numerals and especially verbs are all highly inflected. A complication of Greek grammar is that different Greek authors wrote in different dialects, all of which have slightly different grammatical forms (see Ancient Greek dialects). For example, the history of Herodotus and medical works of Hippocrates are written in Ionic, the poems of Sappho in Aeolic, and the odes of Pindar in Doric; the poems of Homer are written in a mixed dialect, mostly Ionic, with many archaic and poetic forms. The grammar of Koine Greek (the Greek lingua franca spoken in the Hellenistic and later periods) also differs slightly from classical Greek. This article primarily discusses the morphology and syntax of Attic Greek, that is the Greek spoken at Athens in the century from 430 BC to 330 BC, as exemplified in the historical works of Thucydides and Xeno ...
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Proto-Indo-European Language
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Its proposed features have been derived by linguistic reconstruction from documented Indo-European languages. No direct record of Proto-Indo-European exists. Far more work has gone into reconstructing PIE than any other proto-language, and it is the best understood of all proto-languages of its age. The majority of linguistic work during the 19th century was devoted to the reconstruction of PIE or its daughter languages, and many of the modern techniques of linguistic reconstruction (such as the comparative method) were developed as a result. PIE is hypothesized to have been spoken as a single language from 4500 BC to 2500 BC during the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age, though estimates vary by more than a thousand years. According to the prevailing Kurgan hypothesis, the original homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans may have been in the Pontic–Caspian steppe of ...
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Lysias
Lysias (; el, Λυσίας; c. 445 – c. 380 BC) was a logographer (speech writer) in Ancient Greece. He was one of the ten Attic orators included in the "Alexandrian Canon" compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace in the third century BC. Life According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus and the author of the life ascribed to Plutarch, Lysias was born in 459 BC, which would accord with a tradition that Lysias reached, or passed, the age of eighty. This date was evidently obtained by reckoning back from the foundation of Thurii (444 BC), since there was a tradition that Lysias had gone there at the age of fifteen. Modern critics, in general, place his birth later, c. 445 BC, and place the trip to Thurii around 430 BC. Cephalus, his father, was a native of Syracuse, and on the invitation of Pericles had settled at Athens. The opening scene of Plato's ''Republic'' is set at the house of his eldest son, Polemarchus, in Piraeus. The tone of the picture ...
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Clitic
In morphology and syntax, a clitic (, backformed from Greek "leaning" or "enclitic"Crystal, David. ''A First Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics''. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1980. Print.) is a morpheme that has syntactic characteristics of a word, but depends phonologically on another word or phrase. In this sense, it is syntactically independent but phonologically dependent—always attached to a host.SIL International (2003). SIL Glossary of Linguistic Terms: What is a clitic? "This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003." Retrieved from . A clitic is pronounced like an affix, but plays a syntactic role at the phrase level. In other words, clitics have the ''form'' of affixes, but the distribution of function words. For example, the contracted forms of the auxiliary verbs in ''I'm'' and ''we've'' are clitics. Clitics can belong to any grammatical category, although they are commonly pronouns, determin ...
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Grave Accent
The grave accent () ( or ) is a diacritical mark used to varying degrees in French, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian and many other western European languages, as well as for a few unusual uses in English. It is also used in other languages using the Latin alphabet, such as Mohawk and Yoruba, and with non-Latin writing systems such as the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets and the Bopomofo or Zhuyin Fuhao semi-syllabary. It has no single meaning, but can indicate pitch, stress, or other features. For the most commonly encountered uses of the accent in the Latin and Greek alphabets, precomposed characters are available. For less-used and compound diacritics, a combining character facility is available. A free-standing version of the symbol, commonly called a backtick, also exists and has acquired other uses. Uses Pitch The grave accent first appeared in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek to mark a lower pitch than the high pitch of the acute accent. In modern practice, ...
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Acute Accent
The acute accent (), , is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts. For the most commonly encountered uses of the accent in the Latin and Greek alphabets, precomposed characters are available. Uses History An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels. Pitch Ancient Greek The acute accent was first used in the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, where it indicated a syllable with a high pitch. In Modern Greek, a stress accent has replaced the pitch accent, and the acute marks the stressed syllable of a word. The Greek name of the accented syllable was and is (''oxeîa'', Modern Greek ''oxía'') "sharp" or "high", which was calqued (loan-translated) into Latin as "sharpened". Stress The acute accent marks the stressed vowel of a word in several languages: *Blackfoot uses acute accents to show the place of stress in a word: soyóp ...
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Crasis
Crasis (; from the Greek , "mixing", "blending"); cf. , "I mix" ''wine with water''; '' kratēr'' "mixing-bowl" is related. is a type of contraction in which two vowels or diphthongs merge into one new vowel or diphthong, making one word out of two ( univerbation). Crasis occurs in many languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and French; it was first described in Ancient Greek. In some cases, as in the French examples, crasis involves the grammaticalization of two individual lexical items into one. However, in other cases, like in the Greek examples, crasis is the orthographic representation of the encliticization and the vowel reduction of one grammatical form with another. The difference between them is that the Greek examples involve two grammatical words and a single phonological word, but the French examples involve a single phonological word and grammatical word. Greek In both Ancient and Modern Greek, crasis merges a small word and long word that are closely conne ...
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Coronis (diacritic)
The smooth breathing ( grc, ψιλὸν πνεῦμα, psilòn pneûma; ell, ψιλή ''psilí''; la, spīritus lēnis) is a diacritical mark used in polytonic orthography. In Ancient Greek, it marks the absence of the voiceless glottal fricative from the beginning of a word. Some authorities have interpreted it as representing a glottal stop, but a final vowel at the end of a word is regularly elided (removed) when the following word starts with a vowel and elision would not happen if the second word began with a glottal stop (or any other form of stop consonant). In his ''Vox Graeca'', W.S. Allen accordingly regards the glottal stop interpretation as "highly improbable". The smooth breathing mark ( ) is written as on top of one initial vowel, on top of the second vowel of a diphthong or to the left of a capital and also, in certain editions, on the first of a pair of rhos. It did not occur on an initial upsilon, which always has rough breathing (thus the early name ...
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Smooth Breathing
The smooth breathing ( grc, ψιλὸν πνεῦμα, psilòn pneûma; ell, ψιλή ''psilí''; la, spīritus lēnis) is a diacritical mark used in polytonic orthography. In Ancient Greek, it marks the absence of the voiceless glottal fricative from the beginning of a word. Some authorities have interpreted it as representing a glottal stop, but a final vowel at the end of a word is regularly elided (removed) when the following word starts with a vowel and elision would not happen if the second word began with a glottal stop (or any other form of stop consonant). In his ''Vox Graeca'', W.S. Allen accordingly regards the glottal stop interpretation as "highly improbable". The smooth breathing mark ( ) is written as on top of one initial vowel, on top of the second vowel of a diphthong or to the left of a capital and also, in certain editions, on the first of a pair of rhos. It did not occur on an initial upsilon, which always has rough breathing (thus the early name ...
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Voiceless
In linguistics, voicelessness is the property of sounds being pronounced without the larynx vibrating. Phonologically, it is a type of phonation, which contrasts with other states of the larynx, but some object that the word phonation implies voicing and that voicelessness is the lack of phonation. The International Phonetic Alphabet has distinct letters for many voiceless and modally voiced pairs of consonants (the obstruents), such as . Also, there are diacritics for voicelessness, and , which is used for letters with a descender. Diacritics are typically used with letters for prototypically voiced sounds, such as vowels and sonorant consonants: . In Russian use of the IPA, the voicing diacritic may be turned for voicelessness, e.g. . Voiceless vowels and other sonorants Sonorants are sounds such as vowels and nasals that are voiced in most of the world's languages. However, in some languages sonorants may be voiceless, usually allophonically. For example, the Japane ...
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Rough Breathing
In the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, the rough breathing ( grc, δασὺ πνεῦμα, dasỳ pneûma or ''daseîa''; la, spīritus asper) character is a diacritical mark used to indicate the presence of an sound before a vowel, diphthong, or after rho. It remained in the polytonic orthography even after the Hellenistic period, when the sound disappeared from the Greek language. In the monotonic orthography of Modern Greek phonology, in use since 1982, it is not used at all. The absence of an sound is marked by the smooth breathing. The character, or those with similar shape such as , have also been used for a similar sound by Thomas Wade (and others) in the Wade–Giles system of romanization for Mandarin Chinese. Herbert Giles and others have used a left (opening) curved single quotation mark for the same purpose; the apostrophe, backtick, and visually similar characters are often seen as well. History The rough breathing comes from the left-hand half of the ...
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Iota Adscript
The iota subscript is a diacritic mark in the Greek alphabet shaped like a small vertical stroke or miniature iota placed below the letter. It can occur with the vowel letters eta , omega , and alpha . It represents the former presence of an offglide after the vowel, forming a so‐called "long diphthong". Such diphthongs (i.e., )—phonologically distinct from the corresponding normal or "short" diphthongs (i.e.,  )—were a feature of ancient Greek in the pre-classical and classical eras. The offglide was gradually lost in pronunciation, a process that started already during the classical period and continued during the Hellenistic period, with the result that, from approximately the 1st century BC onwards, the former long diphthongs were no longer distinguished in pronunciation from the simple long vowels (long monophthongs) respectively. During the Roman and Byzantine eras, the iota, now mute, was sometimes still written as a normal letter but was often simply le ...
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Hades
Hades (; grc-gre, ᾍδης, Háidēs; ), in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, with which his name became synonymous. Hades was the eldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although this also made him the last son to be regurgitated by his father. He and his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, defeated their father's generation of gods, the Titans, and claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, available to all three concurrently. In artistic depictions, Hades is typically portrayed holding a bident and wearing his helm with Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the underworld, standing to his side. The Etruscan god Aita and the Roman gods Dis Pater and Orcus were eventually taken as equivalent to Hades and merged into Pluto, a Latinisation of Plouton ( grc-gre, , Ploútōn), itself a euphemistic title often given ...
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