Textkit Logo

Accent

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Accent

Postby Lavrentivs » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:17 pm

Crito, 53 b 1:

ὅτι μὲν γὰρ κινδυνεύσουσί γέ σου οἱ ἐπιτήδειοι …

Is this accentuation correct? I would have exspected:

ὅτι μὲν γὰρ κινδυνεύσουσι γέ σου οἱ ἐπιτήδειοι …
Lavrentivs
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:50 pm

Re: Accent

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:46 pm

It's because you have two consecutive enclitic words (γέ σου), and both transfer their accent to the preceding word.

See Smyth 183c and 185.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Accent

Postby Lavrentivs » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:36 pm

Thanks!

I wonder, though, what Smyth's evidence for § 185 might be? It seems very unnatural.
Lavrentivs
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:50 pm

Re: Accent

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:37 pm

I suppose this simply reflects what we find in medieval manuscripts. I think some papyri also have accents, so it maybe that this is also confirmed by papyri; but I don't know how much they made use of papyrological evidence in Smyth's time.

I far as I remember it is thought that ancient Greek had a generally rising intonation, and an acute accent means that there is a drop in tone in the following syllable; then the intonation again starts to rise until the next acute (or circumflex) is encountered. With a circumflex, the drop of tone is in the middle of the syllable. Accent is really what makes one perceive what constitutes a word; a gross simplificiation: one accent=one word (usually). Word spaces don't exist in speech, they are only a writing convention. From a phonological point of view, enclitics are really part of the preceding word.

Because an acute should be followed by a drop in tone, you don't usually have acutes on two consecutive syllables. There are a couple of exceptions to this, at least these:

1) interrogative pronouns: τίς τ᾽ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι; (Il. 1. 8.)
2) consecutive enclitic words, the present case

Now I don't know what these consecutive acutes really mean. Perhaps indeed the tone rises "more than usual" in these two cases (I think many languages have rising tone in questions), or it might be just a writing convention.

So, if hypothetically we wrote:
ὅτι μὲν γὰρ κινδυνεύσουσὶ γέ σου οἱ ἐπιτήδειοι
instead of:
ὅτι μὲν γὰρ κινδυνεύσουσί γέ σου οἱ ἐπιτήδειοι
or
τὶς τ᾽ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;
instead of:
τίς τ᾽ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;
I don't know if this would have changed the pronunciation or if it's just a matter of graphic convention.
Last edited by Paul Derouda on Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Accent

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:53 pm

The exact nature of the grave accent is uncertain, but I'm assuming it just means "no drop in tone yet", i.e. pronounced the same as no accent at all.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Accent

Postby jeidsath » Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:47 am

posting.php?mode=reply&f=2&t=61204

The exact nature of the grave accent is uncertain, but I'm assuming it just means "no drop in tone yet", i.e. pronounced the same as no accent at all.


This seems likely to me. Without the grave, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a forgotten accent mark on a word or a suppressed tone.

Word spaces don't exist in speech, they are only a writing convention. From a phonological point of view, enclitics are really part of the preceding word.


The Greeks didn't even have a word that meant "a single word."

Because an acute should be followed by a drop in tone, you don't usually have acutes on two consecutive syllables.


Allen suggests that Greek is like Norwegian, with a rising accent at the end of every sentence. We know, at least, that there is an acute at the end of many sentences. If there were a low tone following the ultimate acute, I would imagine that the mark for it would have been a circumflex (and concluding vowels would be lengthened). Then again, in Homer, the ends of lines "scan long," even for short vowels.
User avatar
jeidsath
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm

Re: Accent

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:51 pm

jeidsath wrote:Allen suggests that Greek is like Norwegian, with a rising accent at the end of every sentence. We know, at least, that there is an acute at the end of many sentences. If there were a low tone following the ultimate acute, I would imagine that the mark for it would have been a circumflex (and concluding vowels would be lengthened). Then again, in Homer, the ends of lines "scan long," even for short vowels.

I think the point with the acute in the last syllable of a sentence is that the accent drops in the first syllable of the next sentence, to rise again until the next accent or end of sentence is encountered.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], jeidsath and 40 guests