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Quantitative metathesis (or transfer of quantity)
Smyth Smyth is an early variant of the common surname Smith (surname), Smith.Citation: Bardsley, 1901 Shown below are notable people who share the surname "Smyth". Notable people sharing the Smyth surname Listed here are people who share the 'Smyth' su ...
, ''Greek Grammar''
paragraph 34
on
CCEL The Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) is a digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In ...
: transfer of quantity
is a specific form of '' metathesis'' or ''transposition'' (a
sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured syste ...
) involving ''quantity'' or
vowel length In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
. By this process, two
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
s near each other – one long, one short – switch their lengths, so that the long one becomes short, and the short one becomes long. In theory, the definition includes both :long-short → short-long and :short-long → long-short, but
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
, which the term was originally created to describe, displays only the former, since the process is part of long-vowel shortening.


Ancient Greek

In the
Attic An attic (sometimes referred to as a ''loft'') is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a ''sky parlor'' or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the t ...
and
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...
dialects of Ancient Greek, ''ēo'' and ''ēa'' often exchange length, becoming ''eō'' and ''eā''. This quantitative metathesis is more accurately described as one form of long-vowel shortening. Usually if quantitative metathesis affects a word, other kinds of shortening do as well, in the forms where quantitative metathesis cannot occur: * ''ēwo'' → ''eō'' (quantitative metathesis) * ''ēōs'' → ''eōs'' (shortening of long diphthong before consonant) * ''ēi'' → ''ei'' (analogical shortening) In general, the vowels affected by this shortening were separated by the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
semivocalic versions of ''u'' or ''i'', usually deleted in later Greek: ''w'' (written ϝ or υ̯ ) or ''y'' (written ι̯ ).


First declension

The
Homeric Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...
form of the genitive singular in the masculine
first declensionThe first declension is a category of declension In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word, generally to express its syntactic function in the sentence, by way of some inflection. The inflectional change of verbs is called Gr ...
sometimes undergoes quantitative metathesis: *Πηλεΐδης ''Pēleḯdēs'' (
patronym A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names. An ''wikt:orthonym, orthonym'' is the pro ...
from Πηλεύς ''Pēleús'': "
Peleus In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A beli ...
-son",
Achilles In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A be ...

Achilles
) :Πηλεΐδᾱο ''Pēleḯdāo'' → *Πηλεΐδηο ''*Pēleḯdēo'' → Πηλεΐδεω ''Pēleḯdeō'' (genitive singular; alternate form Πηληϊάδεω ''Pēlēïádeō'' in the first line of the
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Moder ...

Iliad
) The Attic genitive singular Πηλεΐδ-ου ''Pēleḯd-ou'' uses a copy of the second-declension ending, which came from the same original form as the ending ''-oio'' (used in Homer) — ''o-syo'',
thematic vowel In Indo-European studies, a thematic vowel or theme vowel is the vowel or from ablaut placed before the ending of a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word. Nouns, adjectives, and verbs in the Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages ar ...
''o'' and case-ending ''-syo''). The Homeric form comes from the same case ending, with the first-declension pseudo-thematic vowel ''ā''.


Second declension

Nouns in a small subclass of the
second declensionThe second declension is a category of nouns in Latin and Ancient Greek, Greek with similar grammatical case, case inflection, formation. In particular, these nouns are thematic stem, thematic, with an original ''o'' in most of their forms. In Classi ...
(known as the " Attic declension") lengthen the ''o, oi'' of the ending to ''ō, ōi''. Sometimes this is quantitative metathesis:Smyth
paragraph 238 c
transfer of quantity and shortening in "Attic declension" forms
:Ionic ληός ''lēós'' (from λᾱϝός ''lāwós'') → Attic λεώς ''leṓs'' "people" :ληοί ''lēoí'' → λεῴ ''leōí'' (nominative plural) But sometimes, when a long vowel occurs in the ending, ''ē'' is shortened to ''e'' without an accompanying lengthening of the vowel in the ending (but ''ou'' changes to ''ō'' to follow the other forms):Smyth

shortening of long vowel before another long vowel
:ληοῦ ''lēoú'' → λεώ ''leṓ'' (genitive singular) :ληῷ ''lēōî'' → λεῴ ''leōí'' (dative singular)


Third declension

Some third-declension
noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many l ...

noun
s had, in
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
, stems in ''-u'' or ''-i'' in zero-grade, ''-ew'' or ''-ey'' in short e-grade, and ''-ēw'' or ''-ēy'' in long ''ē''-grade.Smyth
paragraph 270
stem variation of i, u-stems
Smyth

stem variation of au, eu, ou-stems
Others had ''-āw'' with no variation in ablaut grade, which changed in some forms to ''ēw'', by the Attic-Ionic ''ā'' → ''ē'' shift. In many cases, the ''w'' or ''j'' was deleted, but sometimes it is preserved as the last element of a
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
(''-eus'', ''-aus''). Stems with ''ē'' underwent shortening in Classical Attic-Ionic, but early forms with long ē are preserved in
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
to maintain the original
meter The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English ...
. Some forms exemplify the quantitative-metathesis type of shortening: *βασιλεύς ''basileús'' (shortened from *βασιλήϝς ''*basilḗws'')Smyth
paragraph 40
shortening of long vowel before u, i, nasals, liquid + a consonant
"king" :
Homeric Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...
(early
Attic An attic (sometimes referred to as a ''loft'') is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a ''sky parlor'' or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the t ...
-
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...
) βασιλῆος ''basilêos'' (from βασιλῆϝος ''basilêwos'') → Classical Attic βασιλέως ''basiléōs'' (genitive singular) :βασιλῆα ''basilêa'' → βασιλέᾱ ''basiléā'' (accusative singular) :βασιλῆας ''basilêas'' → βασιλέᾱς ''basiléās'' (accusative plural) *Attic ναῦς ''naûs'' "ship" (from *νᾱῦς ''*nāûs'' by shortening of ''ā'':
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
''nāv-is'') :νηός ''nēós'' (from *νᾱϝός ''*nāwós'') → νεώς ''neṓs)'' (genitive singular) *πόλις ''pólis'' "city" :πόληος ''pólēos'' (from *πόληι̯ος ''*pólēyos'') → πόλεως ''póleōs'' (genitive singular) *ἄστυ ''ástu'' "town" : *ἄστηος ''*ástēos'' (from *ϝάστηϝος ''*wástēwos'') → ἄστεως ''ásteōs'' (genitive singular) The accent of the genitive singular of the last two words violates the . Normally the long vowel of the last syllable would force the accent forward to the second-to-last syllable, giving *πολέως ''*poléōs'' and *ἀστέως ''*astéōs'', but instead the accent remains where it was before shortening.Smyth
paragraph 271
accent of genitive singular and plural of some i, u-stems
Smyth

exceptions to rules for antepenult accent
Other forms of these nouns shorten ''ē'' to ''e'', but because the vowel of the ending is long, no quantitative metathesis occurs: :*βασιλήων ''*basilḗōn'' → βασιλέων ''basiléōn'' (genitive plural) Some forms shorten ''ē'' to ''e'' before ''i'' according to the of the other forms, but without lengthening the ''i'': :Homeric βασιλῆi ''basilêi'' → Attic βασιλεῖ ''basileî'' (dative singular) Other forms involve no shortening, since they come from a short ''e''-grade form of the stem. The accent of the genitive plural is sometimes irregular because it follows the analogue of the genitive singular: : *πολέι̯-ων ''poléy-ōn'' → πόλεων ''póleōn'' (genitive plural — re-accented after genitive singular) : *ϝαστέϝ-ων '' *wastéw-ōn'' → ἄστεων ''ásteōn'' (also re-accented)


Participle

The perfect participle of the verb θνῄσκω ''thnēískō'' "die" undergoes vowel shortening, and quantitative metathesis in the
oblique Oblique may refer to: * an alternative name for the character usually called a slash (punctuation) The slash is an oblique slanting line #Conjunction, punctuation mark . Once used to mark full stop, periods and commas, the slash is now most ...
forms: * *τεθνηϝώτς ''tethnēwṓts''Smyth
paragraph 301 c
masculine/neuter endings for perfect active participle
→ τεθνεώς ''tethneṓs'' "dead" (masculine nominative singular:
perfect Perfect commonly refers to: * Perfection, a philosophical concept * Perfect (grammar), a grammatical category in certain languages Perfect may also refer to: Film * Perfect (1985 film), ''Perfect'' (1985 film), a romantic drama * Perfect (2018 ...
with
stative According to some linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic anal ...
meaning) : *τεθνηϝότος ''*tethnēwótos'' → τεθνεῶτος ''tethneôtos'' (masculine/neuter genitive singular)


See also

*
Metathesis (linguistics) Metathesis (; from Greek , from "I put in a different order"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome ...
* Ancient Greek nouns: Vowel-stems


References

{{reflist Phonology Historical linguistics Vowel shifts Ancient Greek language Greek grammar