Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek

Contonation and Mora

The Last 3 Syllables and the Accents



Multiple Clitics

Traditional Terminology

Persistent Accentuation
• a- and o-declension
• consonant declension

Recessive Accentuation

Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek (4 of 4)

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Although scholars can deduce how the tonal accent worked on single words and short phrases that were treated as a unit, there is no way to discover how the accents sounded in longer utterances.

One approach to pronunciation by a modern student of the language is to ignore the accent. But for mnemonic purposes it is more practical and helpful to give a slight stress to the accented syllable (this practice will also be useful if you later learn Modern Greek).

In writing and reading, accents should be used and attended to. Although some accents are not of crucial importance for understanding, there are also many that prevent ambiguities (as the following examples show), and the accents do mirror real facts about the ancient language that linguists can parallel in other languages.

τίς    who?
τις    anyone

οἶκοι    (noun) houses
οἴκοι    (adverb) at home

κάλως    (noun) rope
καλῶς    (adverb) well

δικαία    (feminine sing.) just
δίκαια    (neuter pl.) just

βαλών    aorist participle
βαλῶν    future participle

αὑτή    the same woman
αὕτη    this woman

ἀξίων    gen. pl. adjective
ἀξιῶν    participle or gen. pl. noun

εἴκοσι    twenty
εἰκόσι    (dat. pl.) images; probabilities

βούλευσαι    aorist imperative (2nd s. middle)
βουλεῦσαι    aorist infinitive (active)
βουλεύσαι    aorist optative (3rd s. active)