Questions tagged [greek]

A Hellenic language principally spoken in Greece.

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461 views

How does the Greek 'legein' relate to PIE *leg 'to collect'?

ENTRY: leg- DEFINITION: To collect; with derivatives meaning “to speak.” Oldest form *le-, becoming *leg- in centum languages. [...] 3. lexicon, logion, –logue, –logy; alexia, analects, ...
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Why did Χ and Ψ have such different sounds in early Eastern and Western Greek?

Why did Χ and Ψ have such different sounds in early Eastern and Western Greek? Which sounds are older? If the Western, why were both Ξ and Χ created to denote [ks] (note that they both appear in the ...
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Ancient Greek: how to distinct true and false diphthongs? [migrated]

Ok, this is not about false diphthong /ou̯/(ου), 'cause it split with long /uː/ (but anybody know a certain time of this spliting? In Wiki this describes simple "at early times") and ...
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2answers
154 views

What is the position of the subject in a Greek sentence, whose word order is VSO?

The following is a Greek sentence Σε ποιόν φίλο νομίζεις ότι μιλάει ο άντρας; To which friend think.2SG that speak.3SG the man Its counterpart in ...
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3answers
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Is there a relationship between Arabic ka'b and Greek kybos?

This is a complete layman's question. Online etymology dictionary says about kaaba: 1734, Caaba, cube-shaped building in the Great Mosque of Mecca, containing the Black Stone, the most sacred site ...
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3answers
300 views

Meaning of suffix -tai in Greek

In Ptolemy's Geography, two people are mentioned by the name of Thamyditai (6.7.4, pg 402 of this book) and Oaditae (6.7.21, pg 406 of this book) Here's the scanned mention of Thamyditai Here's the ...
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Are there any proposals for a spelling reform of Modern Greek?

The orthography of Modern Greek is to a great extent historical and, therefore, complicated. There are multiple spelling variations for the [i], [e] and [o] sounds, and awkward digraphs to represent ...
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1answer
215 views

What Languages have historically had Purification Movements? [closed]

Greek has been notorious for trying to purify the language. People tried to conserve the Attic Dialect which evolved to what is today called Katharevousa, which even means purified. Historically, ...
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37 views

Some idea of PIE in the ancient world? [duplicate]

Did the ancient Greeks and Romans have the idea (at least partly) similar to the concept the Proto-Indoeuropean language? Many among the elite spoke Greek fluently or at least learnt it intensively. ...
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Are the Paris's names “City of Light” and “Lutetia” connected?

Paris is called City of Light. I wonder whether this name could come from ancient name of the city Λευκοτεκία (Ptolemy). Λευκος in Greek means light or white. And τεκ- root means "stone" (cognates ...
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Why are there words meaning both “breath” and “life/spirit” in so many languages?

In Ancient Greek, πνεῦμα (pneuma) can mean "breath" as in "a breath of air" (literal) or "divine breath of inspiration" (figurative); it can also mean "life", "spirit", and "vitality" as demonstrated ...
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1answer
87 views

Resemblance Between Turkish Ablative and Locative, Ancient Greek Ablative, Allative

I was studying some Ancient Greek, and found out that the declination of some irregular nouns are very similar. I started wondering if there is actually a language that is mother of Altaic languages ...
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578 views

Why do Spanish and Greek have such a similar phonology?

Is it just a matter of coincidence or did the two language influence each other in some way?
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5answers
13k views

Why are many ancient languages so complicated compared to many modern languages?

Many ancient languages have a structure that is more complex than that of the "respective" modern languages. Modern languages like English have simpler structure, without case, gender or declination, ...
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1answer
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What is the history of the word “addict”? [closed]

Usually the origins of the word "addict" are referred to Latin. Once I read somewhere that such word could have greek roots, from "diké", justice, rights. Something like "adiktoi" could mean "those ...
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212 views

*h₁éḱwos > ἵππος, (Aeolian) ἴκκος

(in short) What's the epigraphical support to the Aeolian word ἴκκος ? I can't find it in the (very limited) data I can consult. (full story) The history of the Greek word ἵππος ("horse") can be ...
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1answer
93 views

Derivation of Greek οὐρά (backside) from PIE *h₁ers (flow)

I'm trying to understand how the Greek word for backside/rear could be derived from the PIE word for 'to flow'. There is a Sanskrit word arsati which means 'to pierce', so the meaning of the PIE root ...
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1answer
166 views

Etymology/meaning of (Mount) Kyllene

My unabridged Liddell/Scott does not have any indication of what the name of the Greek Mount "Kyllene" means. Robert Graves in "The Greek Myths" says it means "Twisted Queen." I have seen where he ...
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1answer
369 views

Etymology of “Talo” (Finnish for “house”). Can it be a cognate of Thalamus?

The word Talo in Finnish means house. According to the wiktionary, it might be etymologically related to talas (boat-shelter). I was wondering if the word might have a common etymology with Greek ...
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1answer
364 views

Pre-Greek θάλασσα “thalassa” and Turkish talaz

Talaz is a word that means "wave, tornado" in Turkish dialects. dalga means "wave" in Turkish. You can use the following two links to look up the word's attestations throughout history: https://www....
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1answer
159 views

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language?

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language? If not, and if possible, about how much can we safely say there is?
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How does the initial consonant in “Jupiter” and “Zeus” come from the “d” in PIE “*dyew-”?

Jupiter, is from Proto-Indo-European *dyew- (“sky”) (whence also Latin diēs). Cognate with Ancient Greek Ζεύς (Zeus), Hittite 𒅆𒍑 (sius), Sanskrit द्यु (dyú). The nominative Iuppiter comes from ...
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Relation between keltoi and galatai?

The ancient Greeks used both words and appeared to have originated both. The first form appears first in 517BC by Hecateus of Milietus. The word is still known in the 12th century AD where it's used ...
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2answers
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from ekwos to ippo : transition from kw to p in greek

I can't understand how the transition from kappa-digamma to pi-pi happened in the transition from ekwos (same etymology as latin equus) to ippo. I mean how did the prononciation change ? Because is ...
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Resources on Middle Eastern Common Greek in the First Century?

QUESTION: I would like to ask if anyone knows any decent resources on how native middle easterners, particularly in Judea, might have pronounced greek koine in the first century. GOAL: My primary ...
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2answers
277 views

original sens of ἑκηβόλος, an epiklesis of Apollon

I was very surprised to learn (in LSJ s.v. ἑκηβόλος) that ἑκηβόλος originally meant "attaining his aim" and not "far-shooter" as I always thought. If the Liddell-Scott-Jones recalls the later ...
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263 views

Why are the scripts of Crete known as “Linear”?

Two famous, apparently related scripts now known as Linear A (which encoded an as-yet undeciphered language) and Linear B (used to write Greek) were discovered on the island of Crete. Why are these ...
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Why is Greek alphabet left-to-right?

The Greek alphabet and all of its child systems such as Roman, Cyrillic, and Gothic are conventionally left-to-right writting systems. But why is that, considering it comes from the Phoenician ...
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How did Ancient Greek 'πυρ' become English 'fire?'

fire is derived from the Ancient Greek πυρ. My question is: how did the plosive become a fricative? I believe pyre is also derived from πυρ; why is it that pyre didn't also undergo this "...
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1answer
53 views

Is there any commentary on the etymology of the Tocharian word empreṃ?

The Tocharian word empreṃ 'truth' is often marked as being of unknown etymology. I cannot find a lot of commentary on it except from that it could be a middle Iranian word meaning 'confidence'. So, ...
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1answer
434 views

Gemination in languages not supposed to have gemination? (especially Greek)

I have been listening to the song "Dinata Dinata" by Antique, and I noticed something. You see, I'm a Native Hungarian speaker, and my native language contains gemination. So what did I notice? In ...
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1answer
239 views

Which came first in Greek: λήθη, or Λήθη the proper noun?

i.e. λήθη: a noun meaning oblivion or concealment, and Λήθη: a proper noun referring to a river in Greek myth. My question is this: is this noun a reference to the mythological river, or was the name ...
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What are the historical origins of terms for north, south, east and west?

In the course of researching the etymology of the word "Australia", I was trying to find the Latin words for north and south (the cardinal directions). I found some websites that translate north as "...
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Why is “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” transliterated with a Chi in Matthew and Mark?

In Matthew 27:46 (Mark 15:34), Jesus says "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani (σαβαχθανί)", which is translated "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?". Why is this supposedly Aramaic word ...
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1answer
258 views

Quantitative metathesis in other languages than Ancient Greek?

The Attic-Ionic dialects of Ancient Greek underwent a sound change whereby, in a sequence of a long vowel followed by a short vowel, the quantities were switched: -V:V- became -VV:-, e.g. -e:o- > -eo:-...
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701 views

Etymology of the Biblical Greek words “sigao” and “sige”

Does anyone have any leads as to the etymology of the greek words sigao (strongs # 4601) and sige (strongs # sige) which are translated silence and silent respectively in the new testament?
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connection between Castor (one of the Διόσκουροι) and the animal (beaver)?

The history of the Ancient Greek word κάστωρ (beaver) is unclear. It may be : a foreign loan-word (? Sanskrit कस्तूरी kastūrī, “musk”) a Greek word meaning "shining (animal)" from καίνυμαι (perfect ...
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1answer
704 views

Schools of Greeks and Romans linguistics [closed]

Which arguments can prove that the Greeks and Romans did not practice linguistics in its modern meaning?
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Why does Greek “ναι” mean “yes” while it comes from a PIE root meaning “no”?

According to Wiktionary, the Greek word ναι comes from Ancient Greek ναί, which is a variation of νή, which comes from Proto-Indo-European ne, which means no. Why can a word have the opposite ...
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What is the etimology of the ancient greek word “εὑρίσκω”

I can't seem to find and Indo European root for this word. I'm not even sure if it has indo european origins.
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Why is “Aurora Borealis” from Greek, but “Aurora Australis” from Latin?

In astronomy we have the Aurora Australis in the south and the Aurora Borealis in the north. According to Wikipedia, auster is in fact the Latin equivalent of the Greek νότος, or southern wind. ...
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Does “tetrahedrization” make sense?

I am deciding on a spelling of "tessellation composed of tetrahedra" to use in my thesis. There are four choices I know of Tetrahedralization with 3,530 results on Google Scholar and 25,800 on ...
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Do we have to revise what we know about Thracian?

I have been reading the latest paper on Thracian by C. Brixhe (on the latest Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics) and I am really baffled by the conclusion. In the 6th ...
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2answers
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How did Gk. ταινία “band, ribbon” come from PIE *tn̥-yā- < *ten- “to stretch”?

AHD-IER (Watkin, 2011) P93 gives PIE *tn̥-yā- for Gk. ταινία: Suffixed zero-grade form *tn̥-yā‑. taenia; polytene, from Greek tainiā, band, ribbon. while EDG (Robert Beekes, 2010) P1444: ...
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Pattern to Prefixes and Suffixes in English

I've come across a list of English prefixes and remember learning in school about Latin and Greek being helpful for learning words in English based on prefixes/suffixes. I'm wondering though if there ...
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1answer
177 views

Voiced aspirated alveolar trill

Was there voiced aspirated alveolar trill in Ancient Greek? It was written in some sites in Russian that all Ancient Greek words which began with "rho" pronounced with the sound [rʰ], but it was ...
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2answers
142 views

Why do some languages distinguish between “identical” and “indistinguishable”, and others don't?

In some languages, there's a very prevalent distinction between different meanings of the English word "same" as in "These two items are the same". For example German: dasselbe / das gleiche Greek: ...
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1answer
368 views

On the etymology of Ankara / Phrygian Ἄγκυρα

I am wondering whether the Phrygian city "Ankara" (today capital of Turkey) meant really "anchor" in Phrygian? We know it means anchor in Greek, a sibling language to Phrygian with many isoglosses, ...
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Why did some Hebrew words beginning with Yod become transliterated into Latin as “hi?”

This is something I noticed when reading some different older English bibles. Often times, it seems there was originally & traditionally a digraph (I guess) ⟨Hi⟩ where now the more proper letter ⟨...
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How many of Latin words have Greek roots?

I was wondering how many of Latin (both Classical and Medieval varieties) words have Greek roots. Is Greek the common root of most IE languages?