TOPICS

Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek

Contonation and Mora

The Last 3 Syllables and the Accents
•acute
•circumflex
•grave
•ultima
•penult
•antepenult
•more examples

Proclitics

Enclitics

Multiple Clitics

Traditional Terminology

Persistent Accentuation
• a- and o-declension
• consonant declension

Recessive Accentuation

Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek (3 of 4)

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Gradually the Koine of the Hellenistic and Roman periods underwent a change in accentuation along with many other linguistic changes. By 400 C.E. a stress accent had fully supplanted the pitch accent. Subsequently, accent marking became even more necessary for dealing with the great literature of the past. In the nineth century C.E. Byzantine scholars modified and extended the accent-marking system, producing the conventions we now follow.

illustration of accents in a medieval manuscript

Extract of an image of a 16th-century Greek manuscript

Credit: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley: BANC MS 143 v.107, folio 306r, written ca. 1569 by scribe Ioannes Mauromates: Pseudo-St. Athanasius Sinaita, Contra Macedonianum dialogus I [Migne, Patrologia Graeca 28, 1292-1329]