Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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Shortening.—A long vowel may be shortened before another long vowel: βασιλέων from βασιλήων of kings, νεῶν from νηῶν of ships, τεθνεώς from τεθνηώς dead.


In the Ionic genitive of  stems ( cross214 D. 8) -εων is from -ηων out of -α_ων. So in Ionic βασιλέα from βασιλῆα king. So even before a short vowel in Hom. ἥρωος, ἥρωι hero (cp. cross148 D. 3).


A long vowel before ι, υ, a nasal, or a liquid + a following consonant was regularly shortened: ναῦς from original να_υς ship, ἐμίγεν from ἐ-μιγη-ντ were mixed. The long vowel was often introduced again, as Ion. νηῦς ship.


Addition.—α, ε, ο are sometimes prefixed before λ, μ, ρ, ϝ (prothetic vowels). Thus, ἀ-λείφω anoint with oil, λίπος fat; ἐ-ρυθρός red (cp. Lat. ruber), ἐ-είκοσι from ἐ- (ϝ) είκοσι; ὀ-μόργνυ_μι wipe; ἐ-χθές and χθές yesterday, ἴ-κτις weasel (κτιδέη weasel-skin helmet) are doubtful cases.


Development.—A medial vowel is sometimes developed from λ or ν between two consonants; thus αλ, λα; αρ, ρα; αν ( cross35 b). Also (rarely) in forms like Ion. βάραγχος = Att. βράγχος hoarseness.

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Disappearance.—The ι and υ of diphthongs often disappear before a following vowel. Thus, ὑός from υἱός son, βο-ός genitive of βοῦ-ς ox, cow. ι and υ here became semivowels (y, w), which are not written. Cp. cross148 D. 3.


So in Hdt. κέεται for κείεται lies, βαθέα for βαθεῖα deep.


a. The disappearance of ε before a vowel is often called hyphaeresis (ὑφαίρεσις omission). Thus Ionic νοσσός chick for νεοσσός, ὁρτή for ἑορτή festival; ἀδεῶς fearlessly for ἀδεέως. Here ε was sounded nearly like y and was not written.


Cp. Hom. θεοί A 18 (one syllable). ι becomes y in Hom. πόλιος (two syllables) Φ 567. ι rarely disappears: δῆμον for δήμιον belonging to the people M 213.

b. The disappearance of a short vowel between consonants is called syncope (συγκοπή cutting up). Thus πί_πτω fall for πι-πετ-ω, πατρός father for πατέρος. Syncopated forms show the weak grade of vowel gradation ( cross35, cross36).


Assimilation.—A vowel may be assimilated to the vowel standing in the following syllable: βιβλίον book from βυβλίον (βύβλος papyrus).

a. On assimilation in distracted verbs (ὁρόω see, etc.), see cross643 ff., 652.

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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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