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Notes on Greek Comparatives

Alexander Nikolaev

Boston University

This paper addresses problems in historical morphology and etymology of rregular comparatives in Ancient Greek, expanding on the seminal treatment by Leumann 1945 and relying on recent work on Indo-European background of this morphological class (Widmer 2004; Rau 2014). The paper discusses the following topics: 1) etymologies of ἀμείνων, χείρων, ἥττων / ἥκιστα, λῴων / λῷστος, and ῥᾴδιος / ῥᾴων / ῥᾷστος; 2) extensive analogical changes that affected comparative stems in Ancient Greek; 3) some outstanding questions of historical phonology and morphology of this nominal class: the source of double -ll- in καλλῑ́ων and κάλλιστος; the relationship between χερείων, χέρεια, χέρηες and other forms of ‘worse’; the relationship between ἀρείων and Myc. a-ro2-a /aryo(h)a/.

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Greek and Latin Linguistics

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