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Accent confusion

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Accent confusion

Postby Bert » Sun Mar 07, 2004 4:28 am

Can some one tell me why the accent pattern is different for [face=SPIonic]path/r patro/j[/face] and [face=SPIonic]quga/thr qugatro/j[/face] ?
Nouns are said to have persistent accents but I can't detect a reason why the accent in [face=SPIonic]quga/thr [/face]moves from the penult to the ultima.

Thank you.
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Postby annis » Sun Mar 07, 2004 1:49 pm

I think these just have to be memorized (along with [face=spionic]mh/thr[/face]).
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Postby chad » Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:38 pm

william, do you know a good book describing the early history of how these accents were applied and worked out by the alexandrian grammarians? i only know the bare fact that it was someone named aristophanes (i think) who started applying the accents for the sake of non-native speakers.

i'd like to know if these exceptions, like the one bert picked up, were based on the what the grammarians actually heard, the pronunciation of the words in greek-speaking cities at the time, or whether they could be just errors persisting from manuscript copy to copy.

thanks! chad. :)
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Postby annis » Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:42 pm

chad wrote:william, do you know a good book describing the early history of how these accents were applied and worked out by the alexandrian grammarians?


I don't. That'd be interesting though.

i'd like to know if these exceptions, like the one bert picked up, were based on the what the grammarians actually heard, the pronunciation of the words in greek-speaking cities at the time, or whether they could be just errors persisting from manuscript copy to copy.


Well, the accents didn't disappear, they just changed their nature a bit. I suspect they stayed put most of the time, so even if the stress-accent was ascendant the location was probably the same. Grammarians loved strange things, and were surprisingly good at preserving them intact when they stayed clear of too wild speculation. So for common words I expect we have the accents correct.

I looked up "daughter" in my Vedic grammar (duhitár) and that seems to have normal accenting.
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Postby Lex » Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:44 pm

chad wrote:i only know the bare fact that it was someone named aristophanes (i think) who started applying the accents for the sake of non-native speakers.


Aristophanes of Byzantium, circa 200 BC, IIRC.
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Postby Miltiades » Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:22 am

If i'm not wrong what Bert talks about is the vowel shift case.
This has to do with the stem vowel and its alternations. I'm afraid i'won't manage to describe this linguistic procedure accurately as i'm very familiar with the english terminology (unfortunately). Hwever if asked i'll give it a shot.
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Postby Miltiades » Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:24 am

ha ha i mean "i'm not very familiar with english terminology"...
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Postby Bert » Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:38 am

Miltiades wrote:If i'm not wrong what Bert talks about is the vowel shift case.
This has to do with the stem vowel and its alternations. I'm afraid i'won't manage to describe this linguistic procedure accurately as i'm very familiar with the english terminology (unfortunately). Hwever if asked i'll give it a shot.

If you don't mind describing it I'm sure I'll be able to follow you English (As long as don't trow in to many 'trick words' like -familiar- instead of -not familiar-)
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Postby Miltiades » Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:22 am

This was a normal procedure in the ancient greek language. The stem vowel was generally very labile. The shifting was of 2 different types:
1) concerning the...quality of the vowel (eg. e --->o,) eg. verb: te/mno=, noun: tomh\
2) concerning the...duration of the vowel (e ----> e= ε ----> η, ο ---->ο= ο ----> ω.

There are also different stages of shift.

a) (the stem vowel is short) eg. pate/ra acc.
b) (the stem vowel gets long) eg. path/r nom.
c) (the stem vowel vanishes) eg. patro/s gen
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Postby Miltiades » Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:35 am

As far as the form patra/si (plur., dat.) the stem vowel is still not present.
In the Indo-European, l, r, were semi-vowels, which means that they had both consonant and vowel properties. So, they could appear as:
l ---> al or la
r ----> ar or ra

Therefore in the form patra/si the stem vowel is missing and tha a belongs to the rho.

I hope i've been enlightening...
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Postby chad » Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:10 am

hi bert, you've probably already spotted this, but with [face=SPIonic]path/r[/face] and [face=SPIonic]quga&thr[/face], it kind of looks like they're recessive in the other direction (from the start of the word). e.g. the accent for "father" sits on the 2nd syllable in all cases, whether expanded in the genitive and dative or not (except for the vocative), and the accent for e.g. "daughter" sits on the 3rd syllable (except for the nom., voc, and also alternate writings of the acc.).

i wonder whether these exceptions were based on how greeks spoke, e.g. for "father" it just developed that they accented their pronunciation on the 2nd syllable. it could just be a coincidence though.

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Bert » Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:02 pm

It was indeed the irregularities of the accents that had me confused but the information about the vowel shift sure is interesting too.

Thanks guys!
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