Length
(431 words)

Abstract

Vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound (for consonant length, see Geminates).

Vowel length is phonemic in Ancient Greek, as minimal pairs like the following show:

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tṓ ‘the two’ (nom.-acc. dual) :  ‘the’ (nom.-acc. sing.)
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hós ‘who’ (masc. sg.) : hṓs ‘like, as’

Since at least Hermann (1816) vowel length has been measured in Greek in terms of moras: a short vowel has a single mora, while a long vowel or diphthong has two ( Allen 1987:100; 1973:161-63). Accentuation is conditioned by the moraic structure of a …

Cite this page
David Goldstein, “Length”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 21 August 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000489>
First published online: 2013



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