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48. Initial commonly stands for an older ϝρ or σρ. When, by inflection or otherwise, a vowel precedes, the ϝ or σ usually appears as ρ instead of the aspiration. Hence the rule:

Initial ρ is doubled after the augment and reduplication, and in compounds after a short vowel.

49. After a nasal in a few words, by unconsciously closing the nasal passage too soon, a mute is developed. English examples are Thom(p)son, num(b)er [Latin numerus].

After μ a β:

γαμβρός for γαμ-ρος (root γαμ-)

μεσημβρίᾱ for μεσημ(ε)ριᾱ (ἡμέρᾱ)

After ν a δ:

ἀνδρός for ἀν(ε)ρος.

50. The nasal ν:

a. Before a labial mute or μ becomes μ.

b. Before a guttural mute becomes γ nasal.

c. Before λ or ρ may be assimilated, becoming λ or ρ. (But see e)

d. But νμ becomes σμ in forms of φαίνω and from some other verb stems in .

e. ἐν remains unchanged before ρ.


51. ν before σ within a simple word disappears with lengthening of the vowel before it; ε becomes ει, o becomes (27.a and 28.b):

a. in some derivatives;

b. in the accusative plural of ο-stems (62.a);

c. in the verb-ending -(ν)σι (older -ντι) (263.a);

d. but in the dative plural -ν- before -σι disappears without vowel lengthening.

52. Σύν in composition:

a. changes ν to σ before a simple σ;

b. loses ν before σ followed by a consonant, and before ζ.

53. The group ντ, νδ, or νθ before σ disappears, with lengthening of the vowel before it (28.b).

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, ed. Goodell’s School Grammar of Attic Greek. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-10-8.