Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek

Contonation and Mora

The Last 3 Syllables and the Accents
•more examples



Multiple Clitics

Traditional Terminology

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

Recessive Accentuation

Contonation and Mora (1 of 2)

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The apparently complex “rules” of Greek accentuation can be understood in terms of a single general principle involving the concepts of contonation and mora.

Contonation is the combination of the rise of pitch generally thought of as the accent with the return or fall to standard pitch that follows it. In the case of an acute accent, the contonation includes both the syllable on which the accent is written (and on which the pitch rises) and the entire following syllable (on which the pitch falls), if any, whether it counts as long or short. In the case of the circumflex accent, the contonation occurs on the one syllable on which the accent is written, for there are both a rise in pitch and a return to standard pitch on that syllable.

pitchgraphicstandard pitch      pitchgraphicrise in pitch      pitchgraphicfall in pitch