A School Grammar of Attic Greek

Thomas Dwight Goodell

WORD-FORMATION/ Composition: Compound Verbs

437. Prepositions alone can stand as the first member of a compound verb; the second member remains unchanged. The name preposition (πρό-θεσις) arose from this use.
For sound changes see 32, 42, 50, 52.

a. All prepositions were first adverbs, modifying the verb. When the connection with a verb became very close, the two were regarded as one word, a compound; but the older use was also retained. Especially in poetry a preposition may be written separately (tmesis, τμῆσις cutting) as an adverb, which in prose would be joined to the verb. (Cp. English set off and offset, trodden down and downtrodden. The older use is still very common with English prepositions.)

b. Note applications of 435. Thus συν-αναβαίνω go up with, a compound of σύν and ἀναβαίνω, which is a compound of ἀνά and βαίνω.

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