Skip to main content

The Etymology of Latin lībra

By Michael Weiss

A common system of measurement terms was a feature of the Italic cultural koiné, which extended from Central Italy to Sicily. The origin of the names of measurement terms, most notably, the unit (Lat. lībra Gk. λίτρα) and its duodecimal subdivision (Lat. uncia, Gk. ὀγκία) have been variously seen as Latin, Greek, or Sicel.

The Syntax-Morphology Interface in Ancient Greek: The Syntactical Properties of Morphemes

By Nadav Asraf

Syntax and morphology are generally taken to be two distinct, wholly independent components of human language, so that, on the one hand, morphemes merely constitute word parts and, unlike the words which they build, are not independent entities and do not possess syntactical properties, and, on the other hand, syntactical operations cannot access the internal structure of words and operate on their individual morphemes.

Non-Conventional, Non-Formulaic, and Recent Linguistic Features in Homeric Epics

By Sara Kaczko

2020 is an important anniversary for Homeric and Greek linguistics: 50 years ago, P. Wathelet (1970) drew attention to some non-formulaic “late” developments in Homer, such as the lack of 3rd compensatory lengthening in, e.g., μονωθείς, ξένος (vs. μουνω– < *μον.ϝω-, ξεῖνο- < ξέν.ϝο-), explaining them as Euboean elements. Over time, the exceptional archaeological finds at Lefkandi (Euboea), some remarks by Wathelet 1981 and Peters 1987, a systematic analysis by M.

Ares πολισσόος (Homeric Hymn 8.2): A New Interpretation

By Laura Massetti

The Eighth Homeric Hymn celebrates the war-god Ares and has long been recognized as an intruder in the collection of the Homeric Hymns (Gelzer 1987). Several stylistic traits speak in favor of a late age of composition (West 1970). For instance, the opening of the hymn features an accumulative set of epithets, among which the hapax eiremenon πολισσόος* ‘guarding the cities’ (LSJ s.v.), cf.

Ἆρες ὑπερμενέτα, βρισάρματε, χρυσεοπήληξ,

ὀβριμόθυμε, φέρασπι, πολισσόε, χαλκοκορυστά

Ἔρυκε Καλυψώ: an Etymologizing Pair?

By Andrew Merritt

Despite uncertainties of formal detail (v. Heubeck 1988:249), it is uncontroversial to assume that Καλυψώ derives from καλύπτω ‘cover’ (< *ḱel- ‘id.’), that this derivational relationship was apparent both to bard and audience, and that the name corresponds overtly to the character’s principal activity: the literal isolation and complete obscuration of Odysseus. Though the name alone is so transparent as to speak for itself (cf.

The Etymologies of ἄπειρος

By Thomas Davies

This paper explores an important technical term in early Greek philosophy, ἄπειρος. The first known use of the word (in the neuter, ἄπειρον) occurs in a cosmological fragment (DK A9/B1) of Anaximander of Miletus (traditional dates 610–c. 545 BC).

Noun Incorporation in Ancient Greek?

By Nadav Asraf

A large group of compound verbs in Ancient Greek such as στεφανη-πλοκέω, στρατ-ηγέω, and νομο-θετέω, can be seen, from a synchronic point of view, as noun-incorporated verbs. The morphological phenomenon of noun incorporation is well known mostly from polysynthetic languages, such as Native American languages. However, looking at this phenomenon typologically (based mostly on Mithun 1984, but also on other typological and theoretical work), one can argue that Ancient Greek also displays this morphological process.

Differential agent marking in classical Greek

By David Goldstein

Agents of passive predicates in Greek are realized either in the dative case or with a prepositional phrase. Standard doctrine holds that the realization of the agent phrase is conditioned by grammatical aspect ([2, p. 422], [3, p. 150.2], [4, §§1488, 1490], [1, pp. 1, 78]). Dative agents are licensed by perfect passive predicates, while prepositional phrase agents occur elsewhere:

(1) i. ἡ δὲ ὁδὸς ἡ ἡμερησίη ἀνὰ διηκόσια στάδια συμβέβληταί⸗μοι.

‘A day’s journey has been calculated by me at 200 stades.’

Hdt. 4.101.3

Subscribe to Greek and Latin Linguistics