It is well known that Greek underwent a major change in its accentual typology from theClassical to the post-Classical period, shifting from a pitch-accent system to the stress accent still attested by the modern language. On the other hand, different attempts to identify some kind of stress element in Ancient Greek – either connected to the accent or independent from it – have so far been controversial. Consequently, in Greek historical linguistics it is usually assumed that segmental sound changes typically associated with stress were unlikely or impossible. Proposed sound laws that pointed to the position of the accent as a conditioning factor have accordingly been rejected. However, cross-linguistic research on accent typology has largely surpassed the simplistic dichotomy between ‘pitch’ and ‘stress’, presenting instead a much more nuanced picture in which intermediate types are quite possible. In addition, I show that several accent-driven sound changes must be accepted already for pre-Classical Greek. On the strength of this evidence, I propose that the role of accent in Ancient Greek historical phonology should be reconsidered.

Stress in Greek? A Re-Evaluation of Ancient Greek Accentual Typology

Roberto Batisti
2019

Abstract

It is well known that Greek underwent a major change in its accentual typology from theClassical to the post-Classical period, shifting from a pitch-accent system to the stress accent still attested by the modern language. On the other hand, different attempts to identify some kind of stress element in Ancient Greek – either connected to the accent or independent from it – have so far been controversial. Consequently, in Greek historical linguistics it is usually assumed that segmental sound changes typically associated with stress were unlikely or impossible. Proposed sound laws that pointed to the position of the accent as a conditioning factor have accordingly been rejected. However, cross-linguistic research on accent typology has largely surpassed the simplistic dichotomy between ‘pitch’ and ‘stress’, presenting instead a much more nuanced picture in which intermediate types are quite possible. In addition, I show that several accent-driven sound changes must be accepted already for pre-Classical Greek. On the strength of this evidence, I propose that the role of accent in Ancient Greek historical phonology should be reconsidered.
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Greek Linguistics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5004394
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