Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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193

Roots.—The fundamental part of a word, which remains after the word has been analyzed into all its component parts, is called a root. When a stem agrees in form with a root (as in ποδ-ός, gen. of πούς foot) it is called a root-stem. A root contains the mere idea of a word in the vaguest and most abstract form possible. Thus, the root λεγ, and in another form λογ, contains the idea of saying simply. By the addition of a formative element ο we arrive at the stems λεγο- and λογο- in λέγο-μεν we say, λόγο-ς word (i.e. what is said).

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Words are built by adding to the root certain formative suffixes by which the stem and then the word, ready for use, is constructed. Thus, from the root λυ are formed λύ-σι-ς loosing, λύ-τρο-ν ransom, λυ-τι-κό-ς able to loose, λυ-θῆ-ναι to have loosed. The formation of the stem by the addition of suffixes to the root is treated in Part III. The root itself may assume various forms without change of meaning, as λεγ in λέγ-ο-μεν we say, λογ in λόγ-ο-ς word.

N.—Since Greek is connected with the other Indo-European languages, the roots which we establish in Greek by analysis of a word into its simplest form often reappear in the connected languages (p. 1, A). Thus, the root φερ of φέρω I bear is seen in Sanskrit bhárāmi, Lat. fero, Germ. ge-bären. The assumption of roots is merely a grammatical convenience in the analysis of word-forms, and their determination is part of comparative grammar. Roots and suffixes as such never existed as independent words in Greek, or indeed in any known period of the parent language from which Greek and the other Indo-European tongues are derived. The theory that all roots are monosyllables is ill supported. As far back as we can follow the history of the Indo-European languages we find only complete words; hence their analysis into component morphological elements is merely a scientific device for purposes of arrangement and classification.

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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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