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πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

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πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby vir litterarum » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:24 pm

I was just curious about the pronunciation of compounds as long as this one. Greeks generally had an aversion to more than three consecutive unaccented syllables, so wouldn't the pronunciation of a word such as this with only one accent be awkward to them? would there be some sort of change of pitch that is not recorded?
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby Astrea » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:17 am

generally it's true but this word in particular was made up by Solon (and didn't exist till... around the 600 BCE). This is the name for the highest class in the Greek society, separated according to wealth by Solon who basically disbanded the old aristocratic social system.
Anyhow! pentakosoi =500 and the word basically means something like 'the ones with 500' since in order to have that social status you have to make 500 bushels a year so it makes sense.
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby vir litterarum » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:15 am

I'm just wondering what the syllabic constraint on the formation of compounds is in Greek. In German, compounds of quite a significant length can be formed, but it uses a pitch accent, so the rules are different I'm sure. Is there a limit for how long Greek compounds can be?
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby annis » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:24 am

vir litterarum wrote:Is there a limit for how long Greek compounds can be?


Not really. Aristophanes delighted in producing absurdly long ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lopadotema ... nopterygon
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby vir litterarum » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:39 am

So would a compound such as λοπαδο­τεμαχο­σελαχο­γαλεο­κρανιο­λειψανο­δριμ­υπο­τριμματο­σιλφιο­καραβο­μελιτο­κατακεχυ­μενο­κιχλ­επι­κοσσυφο­φαττο­περιστερ­αλεκτρυον­οπτο­κεφαλλιο­κιγκλο­πελειο­λαγῳο­σιραιο­βαφη­τραγανο­πτερύγων be pronounced without any changes of pitch until the penultimate syllable?
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:00 am

What I understand of pitch-accent languages (I've tried reading a bit on Japanese) is that you still have sentence (or clause) intonation which is reflected in pitch change, and the word accent interacts with sentence intonation and in a sense is relative to the sentence intonation. So statements for example have a downward pitch, and I've read that you can even have cases where a high accent later in the sentence can actually be lower than the low accent earlier in the sentence. (I think it's very similar to how in English word stress interacts with sentence stress and intonation.) So even if long compounds in Greek didn't have any additional accents, that doesn't mean there would be no change in absolute pitch.

But about any such secondary accents, I don't think long stretches of unaccented accents is all that odd in Greek -- doesn't the grave accent after all represent a suppression of the accent? So that in something like ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἀνὴρ ἦλθε, you wouldn't have a change in accent until the last word? (Although I image you'd still have sentence intonation.) I've always imagined it's like French in that way, since in French too, there's only one accent per word-group, and all words but the final word in the word-group have their accent suppressed.
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby vir litterarum » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:22 am

I've never been able to get a clear answer on the grave accent. It seems the issue is still moot. Besides the suppression hypothesis, I've also heard that the acute accent represents a raise in pitch equivalent to about a musical fifth, and the grave approximately a musical third.

Your explanation makes sense. Too bad our knowledge about intonation units in Greek is so limited.
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:49 pm

You're right about the possibilities of the grave accent. That reminds me, though, have you checked out "The Prosody of Greek Speech" by Devine and Stephens? I don't know if they're right or wrong but I'm sure they'll have something to say about this.
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Re: πεντακοσιομέδιμνος

Postby OMEYA » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:06 am

vir litterarum wrote:So would a compound such as λοπαδο­τεμαχο­σελαχο­γαλεο­κρανιο­λειψανο­δριμ­υπο­τριμματο­σιλφιο­καραβο­μελιτο­κατακεχυ­μενο­κιχλ­επι­κοσσυφο­φαττο­περιστερ­αλεκτρυον­οπτο­κεφαλλιο­κιγκλο­πελειο­λαγῳο­σιραιο­βαφη­τραγανο­πτερύγων be pronounced without any changes of pitch until the penultimate syllable?



This is interesting.

I speak modern greek everyday, so i tried to read this multiword and i noticed that my pronouncation was without any changes of pitch until ρύ - γων . I assume that probably the same was the rule in ancient greek.

I have to tell you that since the landscape of Greece is wild and full of mountains the differences of the language from town to town are many, even now in 21st century. So i think that the subject that we discuss has no easy answer.

Πεντακόσια + Mέδιμνα = Πεντακοσιομέδιμνος
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