Category: Ancient Greek

Why didn’t Modern Greek unify all the ancient Greek dialects? See my comment.

By: | Post date: 2017-08-12 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

The answer is Niko Vasileas’ answer. I’ll add that koineisation, the merger of dialects into a new norm, happens a lot. Australian English is a dialect koine, for example, and so is the contemporary dialect of London, and so is Early Modern English. They do tend to have a dominant dialect as their basis, typically […]

Are the Trojans in the Homeric Epics portrayed to speak Greek differently than the Achaeans?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-11 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

There’s no dialectal difference, although I wouldn’t expect one from an epic poem: Homer is not Aristophanes. Of course, the Iliad is not a documentary, and while the poem concedes that the Trojans’ allies did not speak Greek, it’s doubtful that the actual Trojans of 1200 BC spoke Greek either. Trojan language – Wikipedia mentions […]

What did short monophthongal epsilon and omicron sound like in 5th Century BC Attic Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-11 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

One extrapolation is Modern Greek, which (as Rich Alderson’s answer says) has them as short mid-high tense: [e̞ o̞]. Sidney Allen’s Vox Graeca is the authoritative work in English on Ancient Greek pronunciation and the evidence we have for it, and it treats short mid-high tense as the default assumption. It rejects the notion that […]

What should I do and not do when visiting and praying at the Greek Acropolis?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-11 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Culture

Do bring a drink with you. Don’t expect to find cheap drinks in the vicinity. On my latest visit to the Sacred Rock, I said to a vendor at the foot of the hill: —As our ancient ancestors used to say: I’ll have a coke please. The vendor replied. —As our ancient ancestors used to […]

Why does it seem that the prefixes of compound words end in O?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, English, Linguistics

Ancient Greek used connecting vowels between two stems when forming compounds, unless the second stem started with a vowel (e.g. nost-os ‘homecoming’ + algos ‘pain’ > nost-algia). A vowel was also unnecessary if the first part of the compound was a numeral or preposition, which instead had their own optional vowels: tetr(a)– ‘four’, di(a)– ‘through’, […]

Why is the ancient Greek tonal pronunciation theory so refuted by Modern Greek speakers?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-27 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

The right answer to this is Dimitris Almyrantis’, which goes into the motivations and anxieties behind this attitude. I had passed on answering this, but I’ve just been asked this externally, by a user who pointed out the discrepancy with Chinese and Italian. There are a few linguistic and cultural factors that have made this […]

Can “αἰὲν ἀνάβηθι” be improved to resemble the Latin “excelsior?”

By: | Post date: 2017-07-25 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Not that I actually know much about Homeric Greek, but the infinitive does work better than the imperative, because it makes it less personal and more gnomic: it is a statement to the world, not a command to the individual. Although in context, it is not a command anyway, but reported speech: Ever to Excel […]

What is the etymology of the ancient Greek word “Otis”?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Frisk’s etymological dictionary concurs with Frank Dauenhauer’s answer, that the bustard was called ōtis ‘one with ears’ (“from its cheek tufts or head? See Thompson, Birds”); thus also ōtos ‘scops owl’, from its ear tufts. If you go to A glossary of Greek birds : Thompson, D’Arcy Wentworth, 1860-1948 Sir, p. 200, you’ll find he […]

Are patron saints the same idea as Greek gods under another pretext?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Culture, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

Thanks to the other respondents. Patron saints share with the Ancient Greek gods the notion of domain of influence. They also, significantly, share the notion of patronage: elements of folk religion such as Votive offerings (Greek tamata), and theological notions such as Intercession of saints, are tied up with that understanding of how the Heavens […]

Why is aponeurosis named as such? I know the “apo” part. What’s the word root: “neurosis”?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

To expand on Raul Hernandez’s answer: aponeurōsis = apo ‘away, from, of’ + neurōsis neurōsis = neuroō ‘to equip with sinews, to put strings on (a bow, a lyre)’ + –sis ‘nominalisation suffix, -ing’ neuroō = neuron ‘nerve, sinew’ + –oō ‘verb suffix, often factive: to make something be or have X’. So aponeurosis literally […]

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