H. W. Smyth

Greek Grammar (First Edition)

Part 1 77-127

 

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EUPHONY OF CONSONANTS


77. Assimilation. A consonant is sometimes assimilated to another consonant in the same word. This assimilation may be either partial, as in ἐ-πέμφ-θην I was sent for ἐ-πεμπ-θην (82), or complete, as in ἐμμένω I abide by for ἐν-μενω (94).

a. A preceding consonant is generally assimilated to a following consonant. Assimilation to a preceding consonant, as in ὄλλῡμι I destroy for ὀλ-νῡ-μι,


DOUBLING OF CONSONANTS


78. Attic has ττ for σσ of Ionic and most other dialects: πρά̄ττω do for πρά̄σσω, θάλαττα sea for θάλασσα, κρείττων stronger for κρείσσων.

a. Tragedy and Thucydides adopt σσ as an Ionism.  On χαρίεσσα see 114 a.

b. ττ is used for that σσ which is regularly formed by κ or χ and ι (112), sometimes by τ, θ, and ι (114). On ττ Ἀττικός see 83 a.


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79. Later Attic has ρρ for ρσ of older Attic: θάρρος courage = θάρσος, ἄρρην male = ἄρσην.

a. But ρσ does not become ρρ in the dative plural (ῥήτορ-σι orators) and in words containing the suffix -σιω for -τις (ἄρσις raising).

b. Ionic and most other dialects have ρσ.  ρσ in Attic tragedy and Thucydides is probably an Ionism. Xenophon has ρσ and ρρ.

80. An initial ρ is doubled when a simple vowel is placed before it in inflection or composition. Thus, after the syllabic augment (429), ἔ-ρρει was flowing from ῥέω; and in καλί-ρροος fair flowing. After a diphthong ρ is not doubled:  εὔ-ροος fair flowing.

a. This ρρ, due to assimilation of σρ (ἔ-ρρει, καλί-ρροος), or Ϝρ (ἐρρήθη was spoken), is strictly retained in the interior of a word; but simplified to single ρ when standing at the beginning, i.e. ῥέω is for ρρέω.  In composition (εὔ-ρροος) single ρ is due to the influence of the simplified initial sound.

b. A different ρρ arises from assimilation of ρσ (79), ρε (sounded like ρy, 44, 117), and νρ (95).

81. β, γ, δ are not doubled in Attic (cp. 75 D.). In γγ the first γ is nasal (19 a). φ, χ, θ are not doubled in Attic; instead, we have πφ, κχ, τθ as in Σαπφώ Sappho, βάκχος Bacchus, Ἀτθις (Atthis) Attic. Cp. 83 a.


CONSONANTS WITH CONSONANTS


STOPS BEFORE STOPS


82. A labial or a palatal stop (16) before a dental stop (τ, δ, θ) must be of the same order (16).

a. βτ, φτ become πτ : (τετριβ-ται) τέτρι πται has been rubbed from τρβ-ω rub;(γεγραφ-ται) γέγραπται has been written from γράφ-ω write. γτ, χτ become κτ : (λελεγ-ται) λέλεκται has been said from λέγ-ω say; (ββρεχ-ται) βέβρεκται has been moistened from βρέχ-ω moisten.


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b. πδ, φδ become βδ : (κλεπδην) κλέβ-δην by stealth from κλέπ-τω steal; (γραφδην) γράβδην scraping from γράφ-ω write (originally scratch, scrape). κδ becomes κδ : (πλεκ-δην) πλέγδην entwined from πλέκ-ω plait.

c. πφ, βφ become φθ : (πεμπ-θην) ἐπεμφθην I was sent from πέμπ-ω send; (ἐτριβ-θη) ἐτρφθη it was rubbed τρβ-ω rub).  κθ, γθ become χθ : (πλέκ-θη) ἐπλέχθη it was plaited (πλέκ-ω plait); (ἐλεγ-θη) ἐλέχθη it was said (λέγ-ω say).

N. 1. Cp. πτseven, βδομος seventh, φθήμερος lasting seven days.

N. 2. But ἐκ out of remains unchanged: ἐκδίδωμι surrender, ἐκθέω run out (104)

83. A dental stop before another dental stop becomes σ.

ἀνυστός practicable for ἀνυτ-τος from ἀνυτω complete, ἴστε you know for ἰδ-τε οἶσθα thou knowest for οἰδ-θα, πέπεισται has been persuaded for πεπειθ-ται, πείσθην I was persuaded for πειθ-θην.

a. ττ, τθ remain unchanged in Ἀττικός, Ἀτθίς Attic, and in κατθανεῖν die (75 D., 81). So ττ for σσ (78).

84. Any stop standing before a stop other than τ, δ, θ, or in other combination than πφ, κχ, τθ (81) is dropped, as in κεκόμι(δ)-κα I have brought. γ before κ, γ, or χ is gamma-nasal (19 a), not a stop.


STOPS BEFORE Μ


85. Before μ, the labial stops (π, β, φ) become μ; the palatal stops κ, χ become γ:  γ before μ remains unchanged.

ὄμμα eye for ὀπ-μα (cp. ὄπωμα ), λέλειμμαι I have been left for λελειπ-μαι from λείπ-ω leave, τέτρῑ μμαι for τετρῑβμαι from τρβ-ω rub, γέγραμμαι for γεγραφμαι from γράφ-ω write, πέπλεγμαι for πεπλεκ-μαι from πλέκ-ω plait, τέτευγμαι for τετευχ-μαι from τεύχ-ω build.

a. κ and χ may remain unchanged before μ in a noun-suffix: ἀκ-μη edge, δραχ-μή drachma. κμ remains when brought together by phonetic change (128 a), as in κέ-κμη-κα am wearied (κάμ-νω).

b. γγμ and μμμ become γμ and μμ.  Thus, λήλεγμαι for ληλεγγ-μαι from ληλεγχ-μαι (λέγχ-ω convict), πέπεμμαι for πεπεμμ-μαι from πεπεμπ-μαι (πέμπ-ω send).

86. A dental stop (τ, δ, θ) before μ often appears to become σ.  Thus, ἤνυσμαι for ἠνυτ-μαι (ἀνύτ-ω complete), πέφρασμαι for πεφραδ-μαι (φράζω declare), πέπεισμαι for πεπειθ-μαι (πειθ-ω persuade).

87. On the other hand, since these stops are actually retained in many words, such as ἐρετμόν oar, πότμος fate, ἀριθμός number, σ must be explained as due to analogy. Thus, ἤσυχμαι, πέφρασμαι ἤσυχμαι, πέφρασμαι, πέπεισμαι have taken on the ending -σμαι by analogy to -σται where σ is in place (πέφρασται for πεφραδ-ται). So ἴσμεν we know (Hom. ἴδμεν) follows ἴστε you know (for ἰδ-τε).  ὀσμή odor stands for οδ-σμη.


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CONSONANTS BEFORE Μ


88. β regularly and φ usually become μ before ν.  Thus, σεμνός revered for σεβ-νος (σέβ-ομαι), στυμνός firm for στυφ-νος (στῡφω contract).

89. γίγνομαι become, γιγνώσκω know become γνομαι, γνώσκω in Attic after 300 B.C., in New Ionic, late Doric, etc.

90. λν becomes λλ in ὄλλῡμι destroy for ὄλνῡμι.
λν is kept in πίλναμαι approach. On sigma before ν see 105.


Ν  BEFORE CONSONANTS


91. ν before π, β, φ, ψ becomes ἐμ μππτω fall into for ἐν-πιπτω, ἐμβάλλω throw in for ἐν-βαλλω, ἐμφαίνω ἐν-φαινω, ἔμψῡχος alive for ἐν-ψῡχος.

92. ν before κ, γ, χ, ξ becomes γ-nasal (19 a): ἐγ-καλέω bring a charge for ἐν-καλεω, ἐγγράφω inscribe for ἐν-γραφω, συγχέω pour together for συν-χεω, συγξύ̄ω grind up for συν-ξιω.

93. ν before τ, δ, θ remains unchanged. Here ν may represent μ:  βροντή thunder (βρέμ-ω roar).

94. ν before μ becomes μ :  ἔμμετρος moderate for ἐν-μεττρος, ἐμμένω abide by for ἐν-μενω.

a. Verbs in -νω may form the perfect middle in -σμαι (489 h); as in πέφασμαι (from φαίνω show) for πε-φαν-μαι (cp. πέ-φαγ-κα, πέφαν-ται).

b. Here ν does not become σ; but the ending -σμαι is borrowed from verbs with stems in a dental (as πέφασμαι, on which see 87).

95. ν before λ, ρ is assimilated (λλ, ρρ) : σύλλογος concourse for συν-λογος, συρρέω flow together for συν-ρεω.

96. ν before σ is dropped and the preceding vowel is lengthened to ει, ο to ου, 37) : μέλᾱς black for μελαν-ς, εἷς one for ἑν-ς, τιθείς placing for τιθεν(τ)-ς, τούς for τόν-ς.

a. But in the dative plural ν before -σι appears to be dropped without compensatory lengthening: μέλασι for μελαν-σι, δαίμοσι for δαιμον-σι divinities, φρεσί for φρεν-σι mind. But see 250 N.


CONSONANTS BEFORE Σ


97. With σ a labial stop forms ψ,  a palatal stop forms ξ.

λείψω shall leave for λειπ-σω

κῆρυξ herald for κηρυκ-ς

τρψω shall rub " τριβ-σω

ἄξω shall lead " ἀγ-σω

γράψω shall write " γραφ-σω

βήξ cough " βηχ-ς


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a. The only stop that can stand before σ is π or κ, hence β, φ become π, and γ, χ become κ.  Thus, γραφ-σω, ἀγ-σω become γραπ-σω, ἀκ-σω.

98. A dental stop before σ is assimilated (σσ) and one σ is dropped.

σώματι bodies for σωμασσι out of σωματ-σι, ποσί feet for ποσσί out of ποδ-σι, ὄρνισι birds for ὀρνισσι out of ὀρνιθ-σι.  So πάσχω suffer for πασσχω out of παθ-σκω (cp. παθ-εῖν and 126).

a. δ and θ become τ before σ : ποδ-σι, ὀρνιθ-σι become ποτ-σι, ὀρνιτ-σι.

99. κ is dropped before σκ in διδα(κ)-σκω teach (διακ-τός taught).
π is dropped before σφ in βλα(π)σ-φημίᾱ evil-speaking.

100. ντ, νδ, νθ before σ form νσσ (98), then νσ, finally ν is dropped and the preceding vowel is lengthened (37).

πᾶσι all for πανσ-σι out of παντ-σι, τιθεῖσι placing for τιθενσ-σι out of τιθεντ-σι.  So γίγᾱς giant for γιγαντ-ς, λύ̄ουσι loosing for λῡοντ-σι, σπείσω shall make libation for σπενδ-σω, πείσομαι shall suffer for πενθ-σομαι (πένθος grief).

101. a. ἐν in, σύν with in composition are treated as follows:

ν before ρ, σ, or ζ keeps its ν : ἔν-ρυθμος in rhythm, ἐν-σκευ-άζω prepare, ἐνζεύγνῡμι yoke in.

σύν before σ and a vowel becomes συσ- : συσ-σῴζω help to save. 
before σ and a consonant or ζ, becomes συ- : συ-σκευάζω pack up, σύ-ζυγος yoked together.

b. πᾶν, πάλιν before σ either keep ν or assimilate ν to σ : πάν-σοφος all-wise, παν-σέληνος or πασσέληνος the full moon, παλίν-σκιος thick-shaded, παλίσ-συτος rushing back.

102. On ρσ see 79 a. λσ is retained in ἄλσος precinctρσ, λσ may become ρ, λ with lengthening of the preceding vowel: ἤγειρα I collected, ἤγγειλα I announced for ἠγερ-σα, ἠγγελ-σα.


Σ BEFORE CONSONANTS


103. Sigma between consonants is dropped: ἤγελ(σ)θε you have announced, γεγράφ(σ)θαι to have written, ἕκ(σ)μηνος of six months (ἕξ six, μήν month).

a. But in compounds σ is retained when the second part begins with σ : ἔν-σπονδος included in a truce.  Compounds in δυσ- ill omit σ before a word beginning with σ : δύσχιτος hard to cleave for δυσ-σχιστος (σχιζω).

104. ξ out of ( = ἐκς) drops σ in composition before another consonant, but usually retains its κ unaltered: ἐκτείνω stretch out, ἐκδίδωμι surrender,


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ἐκφέρω carry out, ἐκθύ̄ω sacrifice, ἐκσῴζω preserve from danger (not ἐξῴζω), ἐκμανθάνω learn thoroughly. Cp. 82 N. 2, 136.

105. σ before μ or ν usually disappears with compensatory lengthening (37) as in εἰμί for ἐσ-μι.  But σμ stays if μ belongs to a suffix and in compounds of δυσ- ill:δυσ-μενής hostile.

a. Assimilation takes place in Πελαπόννηος for Πέλοπος νῆσος island of Pelops, ἔννῡμι clothe for ἐσ-νῡμι (Ionic εἴνῡμι), ἔρρει was flowing for -σρει, 80 a.

106. σδ becomes ζ in some adverbs denoting motion towards.  Thus, Ἀθήναζε for Ἀθήνασ-δε Athens-wards (26, 342 a).

107. Two sigmas brought together by inflection become σ : βέλεσι for βέλεσ-σι missiles, ἔπεσι for ἔπεσσι words (98), τελέσαι for τελέσ-σαι (from τελέω accomplish, stem τελεσ-).

a. σσ when = ττ (78) never becomes σ.

108. Many of the rules for the euphony of consonants were not established in the classical period. Inscriptions show a much freer practice, either marking the etymology, as σύμαχος for σύμμαχος ally (94), ἐνκαλεῖν for ἐγκαλεῖν to bring a charge (92), or showing the actual pronunciation (phonetic spelling), as τὸγ = (τὸν) κακόν (92), τὴμ = (τὴν) βουλήν (91), τὸλ (= τὸν) λόγον, ἔγδοσις for ἔκδοσις surrendering (104), ἐχφέρω, ἐχύ̄ω for ἐκφέρω, ἐκθύ̄ω (104).


CONSONANTS BEFORE xΙ AND Ε


109. Numerous changes occur before the semivowel ι ̯ ( = y, 20) before a vowel. This y is often indicated by the sign ι ̯In 110-117 (except in 115) ι ̯ is = y.

110. λι ̯ becomes λλ : ἄλλος for ἀλιος Lat. alius, ἅλλομαι for ἁλι ̯ομαι Lat. salio, φύλλον for φυλι ̯ον Lat. folium.

111. After αν, ον, αρ, ορ, ι ̯ is shifted to the preceding syllable, forming αιν, οιν, αιρ, οιρ.  This is called Epenthesis (ἐπένθεος insertion).

φαίνω show for φαν-ι ̯ω, μέλαινα black for μελαν-ι ̯α, σπαίρω gasp for σπαρι ̯ω, μοῖρα fate for μορ-ι ̯α. (So κλαίω weep for κλαϜ-ι ̯ω 38 a.) On ι after εν, ερ, ιν, ιρ, υν, υρ, see 37 a.

112. κι ̯, χι ̯ become ττ ( = σσ 78) : φυλάττω guard for φυλακ-ι ̯ω (cp. φυλακή guard), ταράττω disturb for ταραχ-ι ̯ω (cp. ταραχή disorder).


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113. (I) τι ̯, θι ̯ after long vowels, diphthongs, and consonants become σ; after short vowels τι ̯, θι ̯ become σσ (not = ττ 78), which is simplified to σ.

αἶσα fate from αἶτι ̯α, πᾶσα all from παντ-ι ̯α, μέσος middle (Hom. μέσσος) from μεθ-ι ̯ος (cp. Lat. med-ius), τόσος so great (Hom. τόσσος) from τοτ-ι ̯ος (cp. Lat. toti-dem).

a. In the above cases τι ̯ passed into τσ.  Thus παντ-ι ̯α, παντσα, πανσσα, πάνσα (Cretan, Thessalian), πᾶσα (37 D. 3).

114. (II) τι ̯, θι ̯ become ττ ( = σσ 78) : μέλιττα bee from μελιτ-ι ̯α (cp. μέλι, ιτος honey), κορύττω equip from κορυθ-ι ̯ω (cp. κόρυς, -υθος helmet).

a. χαρίεσσα graceful and other feminine adjectives in -εσσα are poetical, and therefore do not assume the native Attic prose form in ττ.  But see 299 c.

b. ττ from τι ̯, θι ̯ is due to analogy, chiefly of ττ from κι ̯.

115. τ before final ι often becomes σ.  Thus, τίθησι places for τίθητι; also in πλουσιος rich for πλουτ-ιος (cp. πλοῦτος wealth).

a. ντ before final ι becomes νσ, which drops ν : ἔχουσι they have for ἔχοντι (37).

116. δι ̯ between vowels and γι ̯ after a vowel form ζ : thus, ἐλπίζω hope for ἐλπιδι ̯ω, πέζος on foot for πεδι ̯ος (cp. πεδ-ίο-ν ground), ἁρπάζω seize for ἁρπαγ-ι ̯ω (cp. ἅρπαξ rapacious). After a consonant γι ̯ forms δ : ἔρδω work from ἐργ-ι ̯ω.

117. πι ̯ becomes πτ, as in χαλέπτω oppress from χαλεπ-ι ̯ω.  ρι ̯  becomes ρρ in βορρᾶς from βορέᾱς Boreas.  Here ε was sounded nearly like y (44, 61 a).


DISAPPEARANCE OF Σ AND Ϝ


118. The spirant σ with a vowel before or after it is often lost. Its former presence is known by earlier Greek forms or from the cognate languages.

119. Initial σ before a vowel becomes the rough breathing.

ἑπτά seven, Lat. septem; ἥμισυς half, Lat. semi-; ἵστημι put for σι-στη-μι, Lat. si-st-o; εἰπόμην I followed from ἐ-σεπ-ο-μην, Lat. sequor.

a. When retained, this σ is due to phonetic change (as σύν for ξύν, σῑγή silence for συ̯ῑγη Germ. schweigen), or to analogy. On the loss of ( see 125 e).

120. Between vowels σ is dropped.

γένους of a race from γενε(σ)-ος, Lat. gener-is, λύ̄ει thou loosest from λύ̄for λῡε-(σ)αι, ἐλύ̄ου from ἐλῡε-(σ)ο thou didst loose for thyself, τιθεῖο for τιθεῖσο, εἴην from ἐσ-ιη-ν Old Lat. siem, ἀληθε-ια truth from ἀληθεσ-ια.


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a. Yet σ appears in some -μι forms (τίθεσαι, ἵστασο), and in θασύς = θαρσύς 128. σ between vowels is due to phonetic change (as σ for σσ 107, πλούσιος for πλουτιος 115) or to analogy (as ἔλῡσα for ἐλῡα, modelled on ἐδεικ-σ-α), cp. 35 c.

121. σ usually disappears in the aorist of liquid verbs (active and middle) with lengthening of the preceding vowel (37): ἔστειλα I sent for ἐστελ-σα, ἔφηα I showed for ἐφαν-σα, ἐφήνατο for ἐφαν-σατο.  Cp. 102.

122. Digamma (3) has disappeared in Attic.

The following special cases are to be noted:

a. In nouns of the third declension with a stem in αυ, ευ, or ον (43). Thus, ναῦς ship, gen. νεώς from νηϜος, βασιλεύς king, gen. βασιλέως from βασιλῆϜ-ος (34).

b. In the augment and reduplication of verbs beginning with Ϝ : εἰγαζόμην I worked from ἐ-Ϝεργαζομην, ἕοικα am like from ϜεϜοικα.  Cp. 431, 443.

c. In verbs in εω for εϜω : ῥέω I flow, fut. ῥεύ-σομαι. 

123. Some words have lost initial σϜ : ἡδύς sweet (Lat. sua(d)vis), οὗ, οἷ ἕ him, ὅς his (Lat. suus), ἔθος custom, ἦθος character (Lat. con-suetus).


ASPIRATION


124. A smooth stop (π, τ, κ), brought before the rough breathing by elision, crasis, or in forming compounds, is made rough, becoming an aspirate (φ, θ, χ). Cp. 16 a.

ἀφ' οὗ for ἀπ(ὸ) οὗ, νύχθ' ὅλην for νύκτ(α) ὅλην (82); θἄ̄τερον the other (69), θοἰμάτιον for τὸ μάτιον the cloak (66); μεθημι let go for μετ(ά) ημι, αὐθά̄δης selfwilled from αὐτός self and ἁδεῖν please.

a. A medial rough breathing, passing over ρ, roughens a preceding smooth stop: φρουρός watchman from προ-ὁρος, φροῦδος gone from πρό and ὁδός, τέθριππον four-horse chariot (τετρα + ἵππος)

125. Two rough stops beginning successive syllables of the same word are avoided in Greek. A rough stop is changed into a smooth stop when the following syllable contains a rough stop.

a. In reduplication (441) initial φ, θ, χ are changed to π, τ, κ. Thus, πέφευγα for φε-φευ-γα perfect of φεύγω flee, τί-θη-μι place for θι-θη-μι, κέ-χη-να for χε-χη-να perf. of χάσκω gape.

b. In the first aorist passive imperative -θι becomes -τι after -θη-, as in λύ-θη-τι for λυ-θη-θι; elsewhere -θι is retained (γνῶθι).

c. In the aorist passive, θε- and θυ- are changed to τε- and τυ- in ἐ-τέ-θην was placed (τίθημι) and ἐ-τύ-θην was sacrificed (θύ̄ω).

d. From the same objection to a succession of rough stops are due ἀμπέχω ἀμπίσχω clothe for ἀμφ-, ἐκε-χειρίᾱ truce for ἐχε-χειριᾱ (from ἔχω and χείρ).


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e. The rough breathing, as an aspirate (16 a), often disappeared when either of the two following syllables contains φ, θ, or χ. ἔχω have stands for ἔχω ̂ σεχω (119, cp. ἔ-σχον), the rough changing to the smooth breathing before a rough stop. The rough breathing reappears in the future ἕξω. Cp. ἴσχω restrain for ἱσχω from σι-σχ-ω, ἔδεθλον foundation, but ἕδος seat, Lat. sedes.

f. In θρίξ hair, gen. sing. τριχ-ός for θριχος, dat. pl. θριξί; ταχύς swift, comparative ταχιων (rare) or θά̄ττων (θά̄σσων) from θαχῑων (112).

g. In ταφ- (τάφος tomb), pres. θάπ-τ-ω bury, fut. θάψω, perf. τέθαμ-μαι (85); τρέφω nourish, fut. θρέψω, perf. τέ-θραμ-μαι; τρέχω run, fut. θρέξομαι; τρυφ- (τρυφή delicacy), pres. θρύπτω enfeeble, fut. θρύψω; τύ̄φω smoke, perf. τέ-θῡμ-μαι.

N. The two rough stops remain unchanged in the aorist passive ἐθρέφθην was nourished, ἐθρύφθην was enfeebled, ἐφάνθην was shown forth, ὠρθώθην was set upright, ἐθέλχθην was charmed, ἐκαθάρθην was purified;  in the perfect inf. πεφάνθαι, κεκαθάρθαι, τεθάφθαι; in the imperatives γράφηθι be written, στράφηθι turn about, φάθι say.

126. Transfer of Aspiration. Aspiration may be transferred to a following syllable: πάσχω for παθ-σκω (cp. 98)

127. Some roots show variation between a final smooth and a rough stop; δέχομαι receive, δωροδόκος bribe-taker; ἀλείφω anoint, λίπος fat; πλέκω weave, πλοχυός braid of hair; and in the perfect, as ἦχα from ἄγω lead.

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