This question is prompted by a word used in botanical nomenclature: coggygria.
Liddell and Scott show κοκκυγρεα and κοκκυγρια, words used for the tree in question. Is there any evidence that the word κογγυγρια might have existed? Also, were there such a word as κογγυγρια, in pronunciation would the first γ be treated as a nasal γ (and thus romanized as congygria)?

  • 1
    Why the "close" votes?
    – fdb
    Nov 4 '16 at 20:26

The classical Latin name for this plant is coccygia (it occurs once in Pliny); the Greek name is κοκκυγία (occurs once in a Byzantine dictionary) and *κοκκυγέα (an emendation in one passage in Theophrastes). None of these has an -r-. The Botanical name coggyrgia (sic, with -gg- and -r-) seems to have been coined by Scopoli in the 18th century. It is quite misguided to attempt to explain it as an ancient Greek dialect form. It is probably a mistake on the part of Scopoli.


To answer your second question first -- yes, in the combination γγ the first gamma is always pronounced as a nasal, e.g. ἄγγελος angelos (not aggelos).

To the question in your title, no, there is no dialectal interchange of κκ~γγ, and I can't think of any Greek word that shows such variation. I have no explanation for the origin of the gg in coggygria, but note that the form coccygria also gets some Google hits.

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