Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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Attic has ττ for σς of Ionic and most other dialects: πρά_ττω do for πρά_σσω, θάλαττα sea for θάλασσα, κρείττων stronger for κρείσσων.

a. Tragedy and Thucydides adopt σς as an Ionism. On χαρίεσσα see cross114 a.

b. ττ is used for that σς which is regularly formed by κ or χ and ι ( cross112), sometimes by τ, θ, and ι ( cross114). On ττ in Αττικός see cross83 a.

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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 -σις for -τις (ἄρ-σις raising).

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


An initial ρ is doubled when a simple vowel is placed before it in inflection or composition. Thus, after the syllabic augment ( cross429), 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-ροος) single ρ is due to the influence of the simplified initial sound.

b. A different ρρ arises from assimilation of ρς ( cross79), ρε (sounded like py, 44, cross117), and νρ ( cross95).


In Hom. and even in prose ρ may remain single after a vowel: ἔ-ρεξε did from ῥέζω, καλλί-ροος. So ἰσό-ρροπος and ἰσό-ροπος (by analogy to ῥόπος) equally balanced. ἐκ χειρῶν βέλεα_ ῥέον M 159 represents βέλεα ρρέον. Cp. cross146 D.


β, γ, δ are not doubled in Attic (cp. cross75 D.). In γγ the first γ is nasal ( cross19 a). φ, χ, θ are not doubled in Attic; instead, we have πφ, κχ, τθ as in Σαπφώ Sappho, Βάκχος Bacchus, Ατθίς (Atthis) Attic. Cp. cross83 a.


1. Hom. has many cases of doubled liquids and nasals: ἔλλαβε took, ἄλληκτος unceasing, ἄμμορος without lot in, φιλομμειδής fond of smiles, ἀγάννιφος very snowy, ἀργεννός white, ἔννεπε relate. These forms are due to the assimilation of ς and λ, μ, or ν. Thus, ἀγά-ννιφος is from ἀγα-σνιφος, cp. sn in snow.

2. Doubled stops: ὅττι that (σϝοδ-τι), ὁππότε as (σϝοδ-ποτε), ἔδδεισε feared (ἐδϝεισε).

3. σς in μέσσος middle (for μεθιος medius, cross114), ὀπίσσω backward, in the datives of ς-stems, as ἔπεσσι ( cross250 D. 2), and in verbs with stems in ς (τρέσσε).

4. One of these doubled consonants may be dropped without lengthening the preceding vowel: Οδυσεύς from Οδυσσεύς, μέσος, ὀπίσω. So in Αχιλεύς from Αχιλλεύς. On δδ, ββ, see cross75 D. Aeolic has many doubled consonants due to assimilation ( cross37 D. 3).

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Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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