Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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Numerous changes occur before the semivowel y (= y, cross20) before a vowel. This y is often indicated by the sign y. In 110-117 (except in cross115) y is = y.


λy becomes λλ: ἄλλος for ἀλιος Lat. alius, ἅλλομαι for ἁλyομαι Lat. salio, φύλλον for φυλyον Lat. folium.


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

φαίνω show for φαν-yω, μέλαινα black for μελαν-yα, σπαίρω gasp for σπαρ-yω, μοῖρα fate for μορ-yα. (So κλαίω weep for κλαϝ-yω 38 a.) On ι after εν, ερ, ιν, ιρ, υν, υρ, see cross37 a.


κy, χy become ττ (= σς cross78): φυλάττω guard for φυλακ-yω (cp. φυλακή guard), ταράττω disturb for ταραχ-yω (cp. ταραχή disorder).

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(I) τy, θy after long vowels, diphthongs, and consonants become ς; after short vowels τy, θy become σς (not = ττ cross78), which is simplified to ς.

αἶσα fate from αἰτ-yα, πᾶσα all from παντ-yα, μέσος middle (Hom. μέσσος) from μεθ-yος (cp. Lat. med-ius), τόσος so great (Hom. τόσσος) from τοτ-yος (cp. Lat. toti-dem).

a. In the above cases τy passed into τς. Thus παντ-yα, παντσα, πανσσα, πάνσα (Cretan, Thessalian), πᾶσα ( cross37 D. 3).


(II) τy, θy become ττ (= σς cross78): μέλιττα bee from μελιτ-ια (cp. μέλι, -ιτος honey), κορύττω equip from κορυθ-yω (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 cross299 c.

b. ττ from τy, θy is due to analogy, chiefly of ττ from κy.


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

a. ντ before final ι becomes νς, which drops ν: ἔχουσι they have for ἔχοντι ( cross37).


Ioric often retains τ (τίθητι, ἔχοντι). σέ is not from (Dor.) τέ (cp. Lat. te), no is σοί from τοί.


δy between vowels and γy after a vowel form ζ: thus, ἐλπίζω hope for ἐλπιδ-yω, πεζός on foot for πεδ-yος (cp. πεδ-ίο-ν ground), ἁρπάζω seize for ἁρπαγ-yω (cp. ἅρπαξ rapacious). After a consonant γy forms δ: ἔρδω work from ἐργ-yω.


πy becomes πτ, as in χαλέπτω oppress from χαλεπ-yω. ρεγλιδε becomes ρρ in Βορρᾶς from Βορέα_ς Boreas. Here ε was sounded nearly like y ( cross44, cross61 a).


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.


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; εἱπόμην I followed from ἐ-σεπ-ο-μην, Lat. sequor.

a. When retained, this ς is due to phonetic change (as σύν for ξύν, σι_γή silence for ςwι_γη Grm. schweigen), or to analogy. On the loss of ( see cross125 e.


Between vowels ς is dropped.

γένους of a race from γενε (ς) -ος, Lat. gener-is, λύ_ει thou loosest from λύ_ῃ for λυ_ε- (ς) αι, ἐλύ_ου from ἐλυ_ε- (ς) ο thou didst loose for thyself, τιθεῖο for τιθεῖσο, εἴην from ἐς-ιη-ν Old Lat. siem, ἀλήθε-ια truth from ἀληθες-ια.

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a. Yet ς appears in some -μι forms (τίθεσαι, ἵστασο), and in θρασύς θαρσύς 128. ς between vowels is due to phonetic change (as ς for σς 107, πλούσιος for πλουτιος cross115) or to analogy (as ἔλυ_σα for ἐλυ_α, modelled on ἐδεικ-ς-α), cp. cross35 c.


ς usually disappears in the aorist of liquid verbs (active and middle) with lengthening of the preceding vowel ( cross37): ἔστειλα I sent for ἐστελ-σα, ἔφηνα I showed for ἐφαν-σα, ἐφήνατο for ἐφαν-σατο. Cp. cross102.


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 ( cross43). Thus, ναῦς ship, gen. νεώς from νηϝ-ός, βασιλεύς king, gen. βασιλέως from βασιλῆϝ-ος ( cross34).

b. In the augment and reduplication of verbs beginning with ϝ: εἰργαζόμην I worked from ἐ-ϝεργαζομην, ἔοικα am like from ϝεϝοικα. Cp. cross431, cross443.

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


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).


Hom. εὔαδε pleased stands for ἐϝϝαδε from ἐσϝαδε.


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. cross16 a.

ἀφ' οὗ for ἀπ () οὗ, νύχθ' ὅλην for νύκτ (α) ὅλην ( cross82); θἄ_τερον the other ( cross69), θοἰμάτιον for τὸ ἱ_μάτιον the cloak ( cross66); μεθί_ημι let go for μετ (ά) ἵ_ημι, αὐθά_δης 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 (τετρ ἵππος).


New Ionic generally leaves π, τ, κ before the rough breathing: ἀπ' οὗ, μετίημι, τοὔτερον. But in compounds (9 D.) φ, θ, χ may appear: μέθοδος method (μετά after + ὁδός way).


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 ( cross441) 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 (θύ_ω).

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

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e. The rough breathing, as an aspirate ( cross16 a), often disappeared when either of the two following syllables contains φ, θ, or χ. ἔχω have stands for ἔχω σεχω ( cross119, 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 ταχί_ων (rare) or θά_ττων (θά_σσων) from θαχι_ων ( cross112).

g. In ταφ- (τάφος tomb), pres. θάπ-τ-ω bury, fut. θάψω, perf. τέθαμ-μαι ( cross85); τρέφω nourish, fut. θρέψω, perf. τέ-θραμ-μαι; τρέχω run, fut. θρέξομαι; τρυφ- (τρυφή delicacy), pres. θρύπτω enfeeble, fut. θρύψω; τύ_φω smoke, perf. τέ-θυ_μ-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.


Transfer of Aspiration.—Aspiration may be transferred to a following syllable: πάσχω for παθ-σκω (cp. cross98).


Hdt. has ἐνθαῦτα there (ἐνταῦθα), ἐνθεῦτεν thence (ἐντεῦθεν), κιθών tunic (χιτών).


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.


Hom. and Hdt. have αὖτις again (αὖθις), οὐκί not (οὐχί). All the dialects except Attic have δέκομαι.

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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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