Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis
Associate Editors: Vit Bubenik, Emilio Crespo, Chris Golston, Alexandra Lianeri, Silvia Luraghi, Stephanos Matthaios

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (EAGLL) is a unique work that brings together the latest research from across a range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of Ancient Greek. It is an indispensable research tool for scholars and students of Greek, of linguistics, and of other Indo-European languages, as well as of Biblical literature.

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Names of Months

(573 words)

Author(s): Valerie Hannon Smitherman
Abstract This article discusses the month-names attested in various forms of the Greek language, beginning with the Mycenaean evidence and continuing through to the Classical period. A brief discussion of the structure of ancient Greek calendars is included as well. Greek months were named after deities honored or festivals held in the times of the year the months delineated (although in later times some city-states used ordinal numerals to refer to months). There was, however, no standard set of these ‒ each community possessed its o…
Date: 2013-11-01

‘Narten’ Presents

(795 words)

Author(s): Sarah Rose
Abstract ‘Narten’ presents (both active and middle) are athematic root forms whose accent remains on the root throughout the paradigm, which displays lengthened/full-grade alternation. This phenomenon was described by Johanna Narten in 1968 and is named in her honor. In her seminal 1968 paper, Johanna Narten studied a specific type of Proto-Indo-Europeanroot present(Present Tense). The formation she described gained the name ‘Narten presents’ in her honor. As characteristics of this present formation are intimately connected to ablau…
Date: 2013-11-01

Nasal Presents

(2,164 words)

Author(s): Davide Bertocci
Abstract The label “nasal presents” identifies those present stems that are built through affixes displaying a nasal element, like, e.g. Gk. zeúgnumi ‘I join’ (suffixation), or tunkhánō ‘I happen to’ (infixation and suffixation). Nasal morphology is part of the strongest IE heritage in the Greek verbal system; in fact, data offers a great deal of variation, both on the main formal parameters and on the functional side. This article aims at giving a short overview of the Greek evidence, with a discussion of some classific…
Date: 2013-11-01


(4,622 words)

Author(s): Dagmar Muchnová
Abstract Ancient Greek has two complementary negators, the assertive ou and the prohibitive mḗ. While ou occurs with indicatives, mḗ is used with imperatives and subjunctives. Subordinate clauses, infinitives and participles allow for either ou or mḗ according to their function in the sentence and the communicative intention of the speaker. Ancient Greek is a non-strict negative concord language, i.e., the negator may occur with another negative word in the same sentence, but, on the other hand, the n-word may have the force of a negator and stand alone. Additionally, the…
Date: 2013-11-01

Negation (Morphology)

(624 words)

Author(s): Dagmar Muchnová
Abstract Greek has two ʽnegatorsʼ (negative words) ou and mḗ, classified by different scholars as adverbs or particles, and used in statements and directive expressions, respectively. This distinction also holds true for their compounds. Lexical negation is assured, e.g. by the privative prefix a- and dus- and by opposite words without negative affixation. Greek has two negators, ou and mḗ. The former is used in statements (‘objective negation’), mḗ in directive expressions and wishes (‘subjective’ negation). Mḗ  ‘not’ (< PIE * meh₁) is an old prohibitive negation (Beekes 20…
Date: 2013-11-01


(2,140 words)

Author(s): Rupert Thompson
Abstract (Germ. Junggrammatische Richtung, Junggrammatiker) A school of historical linguists originating in Leipzig in the 1870s primarily remembered for formulating what is today known as the Neogrammarian Regularity Hypothesis, viz. that sound change, when motivated and conditioned only by phonetic factors, is regular and exceptionless at a given time and in a given speech community; and that apparent exceptions can be explained away as the result of other processes. Despite receiving criticism fr…
Date: 2013-11-01

Nestor’s Cup

(1,501 words)

Author(s): Panagiotis Filos
Abstract The so-called ‘Nestor’s Cup’ is a drinking vessel from the late Geometric period (ca 730-710 BCE), which was discovered on the island of Ischia (Naples, Italy) in 1954. The cup bears a three-line inscription, which is probably the second oldest surviving Greek alphabetic text and apparently refers to figures of Greek epic poetry (Aphrodite, Nestor). The so-called ‘Nestor’s Cup’ is a clay drinking cup (Rhodian-style kotyle/ skyphos) from the late Geometric period (ca 730-710 BCE), which was discovered by G. Buchner in 1954 in a young teenage boy’s grave…
Date: 2014-01-22


(5 words)

See Conjunction Reduction
Date: 2014-01-27

New Testament

(2,188 words)

Author(s): Stanley E. Porter
Abstract The New Testament is an unstructured corpus of twenty-seven books, written primarily during the late 1st c. CE in a variety of Koine Greek, and reflects several different genres or text-types and registers. The New Testament is an unstructured corpus of twenty-seven books, written primarily during the late 1st c. CE (and by some accounts into the early 2nd c.), and canonized as a body of religious documents by the Christian church sometime between the 2nd and 4th c. CE. All of the books of the New Testament are written …
Date: 2013-11-01