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

Next SubSect


Reduplication is the doubling of the sound standing at the beginning of a word. It is used in the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect tenses in all the moods, to denote completed action. It is sometimes found also in the present and second aorist.


Reduplication (or the augment for the reduplication) is generally retained in Hom. Exceptions are ἔρχαται and ἔρχατο from ἔργω shut, ἄνωγα order, ἕσται from ἕννυ_μι clothe. On δέχαται await, ἐδέγμην was expecting cp. cross634.


Verbs beginning with a simple consonant (except ρ) or with a stop and a liquid (λ, μ, ν, ρ) place the initial consonant with ε before the stem. λύ_ω loose, λέ-λυκα, λε-λυκέναι, λέ-λυμαι, λε-λύ_σομαι; γράφω write, γέ-γραφα; κλί_νω incline, κέ-κλικα; βλάπτω injure, βέ-βλαφα; πρί_ω saw, πέ-πρι_σμαι.

a. Exceptions: verbs beginning with γν, most of those with γλ, and some with βλ. Thus, γνωρίζω recognize, ἐ-γνώρικα; γι-γνώσκω know, ἔ-γνωκα; γλύφω carve, ἔ-γλυφα; βλαστάνω sprout, ἐ-βλάστηκα (usu. βεβλάστηκα).


An initial aspirate is reduplicated by the corresponding smooth stop: φονεύω murder, πε-φόνευκα; θύ_ω sacrifice, τέ-θυκα; χορεύω dance, κε-χόρευκα.


In all other cases the reduplication is formed like the augment.

a. Verbs beginning with a short vowel lengthen the vowel, as ἄγω lead, ἦχα; ὀρθόω set upright, ὤρθωκα; ἀγγέλλω announce, ἤγγελκα.

b. Verbs beginning with two or more consonants (except a stop with a liquid), a double consonant, and ρ simply prefix ε. ρ is here doubled (cp. cross429 a).

-- 148 --

Thus, κτίζω found, ἔ-κτικα; σπείρω sow, ἔ-σπαρμαι; στρατηγέω am general, ἐ-στρατήγηκα; ζητέω seek, ἐ-ζήτηκα; ψαύω touch, ἔ-ψαυκα; ῥί_πτω throw, ἔρρι_φα.

N.—μιμνῄσκω remind and κτάομαι acquire are exceptions: μέ-μνημαι, ἐ-μεμνήμην; κέ-κτημαι, ἐ-κε-κτήμην.


Hom. has ῥε-ρυπωμένος (ῥυπόω soil), ἔμμορε (μείρομαι obtain) for ἐ-σμορε 445 a, ἔσσυμαι (σεύω urge) for ἐ-κyυ-μαι; Ionic has ἔκτημαι.


The verbs mentioned in 431 which originally began with a consonant now lost, reduplicate regularly. Since the reduplicated consonant has disappeared only ε is left, and this often contracts with the initial vowel of the theme. Thus, ἔα_γα for ϝε-ϝα_γα from ϝάγνυ_μι break; ἔωσμαι for ϝε-ϝωσμαι from ϝωθέω push; ἕστηκα for σεστηκα from ἵστημι set; εἷκα for σεσεκα from ἵ_ημι (σι-σημι) send.


Pluperfect.—The pluperfect prefixes the syllabic augment ε to the reduplicated perfect beginning with a consonant; when the perfect stem begins with a vowel the pluperfect retains the prefix of the perfect.

Thus perf. λέλυκα, λέλυμαι, plup. ἐ-λελύκη, ἐ-λελύμην; perf. ἔ-σταλκα, ἔ-σταλμαι, plup. ἐ-στάλκη, ἐ-στάλμην from στέλλω send; perf. ἠγόρευκα, plup. ἠγορεύκη from ἀγορεύω harangue; perf. ᾕρηκα, plup. ᾑρήκη from αἱρέω seize.

a. Verbs showing ‘Attic’ reduplication ( cross446), in almost all cases augment the pluperfect.

b. The verbs of 431 follow the perfects of 443; as ἐά_γη (ἄγνυ_μι), ἐώσμην (ὠθέω), εἵμην (ἵ_ημι), ἐρρώγη from (ϝ) ρήγνυ_μι. ἵστημι forms εἱστήκη ( = ἐ- (ς) εστηκη), Ion. and poet. ἑστήκη (rare in Att. prose). ἔοικα am like forms ἐῴκη.


Hdt. has οἶκα (for ἔοικα), ἔωθα, ἐώθεα; Hom. has ἔωθεν and εἴωθε.


Some verbs beginning with a liquid or μ take ει instead of the reduplication: λαμβάνω (λαβ-) take, εἴ-ληφα, εἴ-λημμαι, εἰ-λήφη; λαγχάνω (λαχ-) obtain by lot, εἴ-ληχα, εἰ-λήχη; λέγω collect (in composition) -εἴ-λοχα, -εἰ-λόχη, -εἴ-λεγμαι (rarely λέ-λεγμαι); μείρομαι receive a share, εἵ-μαρται it is fated, εἵ-μαρτο with rough breathing; also the stems επ, ρη say, εἴ-ρηκα, εἰ-ρήκη.


Hom. δείδω fear stands for δε-δϝω from δε-δϝο (y) α (cp. δϝέος). So δείδοικα for δε-δϝοικα. For δείδεκτο greeted we should read δήδεκτο with η-reduplication. Hdt. has λελάβηκα and -λελαμμένος. λέλημμαι occurs in tragedy.

a. εἴληφα is from σε-σληφα by 37 (cp. Hom. ἔλλαβον for ἐ-σλαβον), εἵμαρται is from σε-σμαρται (cp. Hom. ἔμμορε). The other forms are probably analogues of εἴληφα.


Attic Reduplication.—Some verbs whose themes begin with α, ε, or ο, followed by a single consonant, reduplicate by repeating the initial vowel and the consonant and by lengthening α and ε to η, ο to ω. Thus ἀγείρω collect, ἀγ-ήγερκα, ἀγ-ήγερμαι; ἐγείρω awaken,

-- 149 --

ἐγ-ήγερμαι; ἐλέγχω confute, ἐλ-ήλεγμαι; ὀρύττω dig, ὀρ-ώρυχα, ὀρ-ώρυγμαι; ὄμ-νυ_μι swear, ὀμ-ώμοκα; ὄλ-λυ_μι destroy, ὀλ-ώλεκα. So also φέρω bear, ἐν-ήνοχα, ἐν-ήνεγμαι.

a. The name ‘Attic’ was given by the Greek grammarians to this form of reduplication though it occurs in Homer and in the other dialects.

b. ἀκούω hear has ἀκ-ήκοα for ἀκ-ήκο (w) α; ἄγω has ἀγ-ήοχα for ἀγ-ή (γ) οχα. The pluperfect augments except in the case of verbs with initial ε: ἠκ-ηκόη, ὠμ-ωμόκη, ἀπωλώλη; but ἐλ-ηλύθη, ἐν-ηνέγμην.


—In Hom. ‘Attic’ reduplication is even more frequent than in Attic; thus, ἐδηδώς from ἔδω eat, ἐρήριπα have fallen, ἐρέριπτο (without lengthening) from ἐρείπω overthrow, ὀρωρέχαται from ὀρέγω reach. For other poetical forms see in the List of Verbs ἀγείρω, αἱρέω, ἀλάομαι, ἀραρίσκω, ἐρείδω, ἐρίζω, ἔχω, ὄζω, ὁράω, ὄρνυ_μι.


Reduplication in the Present.—A few verbs reduplicate in the present by prefixing the initial consonant and ι, as γί-γνομαι, γι-γνώσκω, μι-μνῄσκω, τί-κτω for τι-τ (ε) κω, πί_-πτω for πι-π (ε) τω, ἵ-στημι for σι-στημι, τί-θημι for θι-θημι ( cross125 a), δί-δωμι. πίμ-πλη-μι fill (πλα-, πλη-) and πίμπρημι burn (πρα-, πρη-) insert μ.

a. In some verbs the reduplication belongs to the verbal stem: βιβάζω make go ἐβίβασα, διδάσκω teach ἐδίδαξα.


Reduplication in the Second Aorist.—ἄγω lead forms the second aorist ἤγ-αγον, ἀγ-άγω, ἀγ-άγοιμι, ἀγ-αγεῖν, middle ἠγ-αγόμην. So also ἤν-εγκα and ἤν-εγκον from φέρω.


Hom. has many reduplicated second aorists, as πέ-πιθον from πείθω (πιθ-) persuade, κεκλόμην, κε-κλόμενος from κέλομαι command, λε-λαθέσθαι from λανθάνω (λαθ-) escape the notice of, πε-φιδέσθαι from φείδομαι (φιδ-) spare, ἤρ-αρον from ἀραρίσκω (ἀρ-) join, ὤρ-ορον from ὄρνυ_μι arouse. The indicative forms may take the syllabic augment, as in ἐ-πέ-φραδον from φράζω (φραδ-) tell. From ἐνίπτω chide and ἐρύ_κω check come ἠνί_παπον and ἐνένι_πον, and ἠρύ_κακον.

Previous SubSect

Next SubSect

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