ϝ in Other Greek Dialects

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404. It seems desirable here to say something of the uses of the Digamma which are found on the older inscriptions of the chief Doric and ἅlοlic dialects. Phe forms preserved on these inscriptions do not indeed prove anything directly as to the Homeric digamma. We cannot infer from them, for instance, that the symbol F ςwas ever used in any written copies of the poems, or that the sound which it represented in other dialects was knovwn to the Homeric language. But they may serve by vway of analogy to direct our conjectures on these questions.

The most striking examples of f are found on the inscriptions of Cοrinth and its colony Corcyra (as fεκάβα, ξιόλαξος, ίφιτος, Δξεινίας, Aἴaας, lἐνων, Σενξάρεος, ορξος, Γλασίαξο, 8dc.), With these may be placed the Argive inscriptions (in one of which occurs Διξί), and the feςw Laconian inscriptions. In the older monuments of these dialects initial f is never wanting; but omission in the body of the word is occasionally found, as in Δαίφοβος and Πολυξένα (on the same Corinthian vase), and several names ending in -κλῄς (for -κλέfης), and -λας (for -λαfος). The scanty Phocian inscriptions yield the important forms fέξ, ἀίξει, κλέξος, with no early examples of omission ; and the little known bamphylian dialect is equally constant, so far as it has been made out. The Locrian dialect shows more decided indica- tions of falling of in the use of the digamma. On the inscrip- tions of that dialect (discussed by Prof. Allen in Curt. Stνud. iii. 207 fβf.) we find it in αστός, fέκαστος, θεκών, ξέτος, εσπάριος, οῖκος and its compounds (ἐπίΓοικος, 8ʼc.), also in καταιεί, ξεξαδηκότα: but not in δαμιωργός, ξένος, ἐννέα, Oπώντιος (for original Οποξέντιος). The only initial f which is wanting is in the ςwοrd ἱστίαι (vwe may compare the Laconian and Homeric ἐφέστιος). Similarly in the older Elean inscriptions initia is regular (2άργον, ἔπος, ράτρα, 8dc) ; and we have also Ερξαοῖοι (ρeορίe ʼ heraeα f), ἐέρεν (prοb. an hnfinitive), but ξένος, Διός without f. n the great inscription of Gortyn initial f appears in ξός (κμuuσ), ξίν (πκ οῖ), fέκαστος, ξεκάτερος, ἔρξοι, ἐργασία, ἧμα (εἷμα), εῖπαι, fοικεύς, ξοῖνος, ίκατι, ἐξήκοντα, and is onlLy lost in ὡνά, ὥνάω (before ωω, ἡ 393). Thα f is also fond in Compounds, as ἐνfοικῇ, προfειπάτω, δυοδεκαξετίες, and in the body of the word Γισξόμοιρος, but disappears betςween vovwels, as in λάω (Sea. of λᾶος α πtοne), αἰεί, παιδίον, the oblique Cases of CNouns in -ὗς and -ευς (υἱέες, οἰκέα, δρομέες, 8ʼc.), and the con- tracted words ἄτα (ἀξάτη) and ἂς (for ἄος,πι ἕως). br is also lost before ρ, as in ἀπορηθέντι.1

A somewhat later stage in the use οf is well exemplified by the numerous Boeotian inscriptions. In these the general rule is that initial F is retained : the only word from which it is regu- larly absent is ἕκαστος. On the other hand the only instances of F in the body of a word are, the compound Γικατιξέτιες (εἰκοσι- ετέες), and a group of derivatives of ἀείδω (αὐλαfυδός, τραγα- Γυδός, etc.). The same rαle applies to the Arcadian inscriptions, which hoςwever are too feςw to be of importance. The further progress of decay may be seen in the Doric dialect of Heraclea, of which a specimen remains in the ςwel knoςwn αὸναe Πera- ceenseς (of the 4th cent.). Wa there find Γέξ, ξέτος, ξίδιος, ξίκατι and the compound ἐγ-ξηληθίωντι (ππ ἐξ-ειληθῶσι), but ἕκαστος, ἶσος, ἀφ-ερξόντι, πενταέτηρίς, ἐργάζομαι, οἰκία, ῥήτρα : from which it follows that the use ob Γ even as an initial sound must have been fluctuating. A similar condition of at least partial loss of is found in inscriptions of Melos.

If we do not confine οαr vieςw to the character f, but look to the other indications of the sound which it represented, the most important evidence is that furnished by the Cyprian inscriptions. The forms which they yield belong, ggenerally speaking, to an earlier period of the language than is known from alphabetical inscriptions. Yet the use of the sounds answering to f is not uniform : we have Διός and Διός, βασιλέfος and βασιλέος.

An original f is represented by B in several parts of Greece, especially Laconia, Ells, Crete : but probably the B is merely a graphical sαbstitute for f. Ti is found in the inscriptions of later times, when β was probably = our v.

The substitution of ο for f is characteristic of the Colic of Lesbos, as εὔιδε (for ἔιδε), αὔως, δεύομαι, ἐνδευής (ππ ἐνδεής). n these forms the ξ is vocalisedd ; cp. Homeric αὐίαχος (πππ ἀ-ίαχος), εὔαδε, ταλαύρινος.

It is necessary here to notice a group of uses of the Γ in which it seems to have been developed from a neighbouring vowel (υu or ο). The vowel αsually precedes, as in Laconian ἐδήδοξας, ἐδήδοξε, Corcyrean ἀριστεύfοντα, Boeotian Eὐξαρα, βακευ2αι, Cyprian Cὐβέλθων, Eὐβαγόρω, κατεσκεύ2ασε: but we also find Γλασίαξο (Cοrcyr), Γίλγαξος (Cypr., Γιμοκάριξος (Cypr), ὅτι (LLocr). So perhaps the Boeotian αὐλαξυδός, τραγαfυδός, 8dc. (see above). VWi5h the former instances we might compare talian eπὅνα, adδνα (for Genoa, Padua) ; with the latter the n of Irtalian κοωο, αορο, the w of wἄοe, the provincial English νwtς for οαts, Sc. VWith Γότι we should compare the form Nαfπάκτιος, also Locrian. Both are exceptionalL and indeed must be considered as mere errors2: but they help to show how near was to a pure vowel sound. Tit is evident that this redundant f, growing out of the voςwel or ο, is a parallel phenomenon to the loss of F before these vowels which was noticed above as a characteristic of Homer (ὁ 393).

405. ϝ in Ionic. There remains the interesting question whether the existence of the ϝ in Ionic can be traced in inscriptions. The evidence appears to be as follows (Tudeer, De digammo etc. pp. 5 ff.).

  1. The form AYΓO (πναὐτοῦ) on a Naxian inscription of the end of the 6th century B.c. Buαt, as has been pointed out3 the Γ of ἀυτός indicates at most a special way οἱ pronouncing the υ, and is to be compared with the erroneous Νάfπακτος noticed above.
  2. The name ob the city οἔ Vεlia, which was founded by exiles from Phocaea (έλεα πmarsὰeς; but see ἡ 393.
  3. The forms lO, APPd2ONEΣ, OAΓIEΣ—all proper names—on vases found in Magna Graecia, and supposed to have come from Chalcis in Euboea, or one of its Italian colonies.

It is inferred by Tudeer (t. c.) that the ξ must have been a living sound in the onic dialect ob Euboea at the tine when the colonies of Chalcis were sent to Magma Sraecia, i. e. probably in the 8th century a.c. On the other hand, since there is no example on the inscriptions ob Euuboea itself, the sound does not seem to have survived there doςwn to the date of the earliest examples ob writing, vi2. the 6th century a.c. Hence Γudeer puts the loss of the F in onic Euboea at some time betςween the Bth and the 6th centuries.

It has been recently pointed oat by P. ΚΚretschmer (. δ. xxxi. 285) that the onic change of ἄ to η cannot be placed very early. The name Μῆδοι underςwent the change, -the original ἄ appears in the form MMᾶδοι on the monument ob dalion -and the Modes must therefore have become knovwn to the onians before it was completed. The Persian names which reached onia later- Δᾶρεῖος, Μιθριδάτης, 8c-retain their ἄ. Similarly the old Carian Mίλατος became the onic Μίλητος. Hence the onic η is later than the contact of onians with the nations of Asia Minor. Nοςw the anomalous η after ρ in the Attic κόρη and δέρη is to be explained from the older forms κόρξη, δέρξη (cp. κόρρη from κόρση). Consequently the loss ο ξ in Attic must be later than the change of ἄ to η, and a fοrtiοri later than the onian migration. This inference is confirmed by the ο of the Comparatives κενότερος and στενότερος, pointing as it does to the forms κενξός, στενξός (since the lengthening of the ε, as in onic κεινός, στεινός, never took place in Attic).

The former use of f as a letter in all Greek alphabets is shown by its use as a numeral, and also by the existence of the first non-Phoenician letter, TΓ, The addition ob TΓ, which was the earliest made, and perhaps contemporaneous vwith the introduction ob the alphabet, shows that the Greeks felt the need of a vowel distinct from the labial spirant Van. Otherςwise the Phoenician Van ςwould have served for the vowel υ, just as the odd was taken for the vowel ι. And as there is no Greek alphabet ςwith- out TΓ, it follows that the consonant f was equally universal4

Combining these inferences with the independent evidence furnished by the metre, we may arrive at some approximate conclusions regarding the value of f in the Ionic of Homer.

a. Initial ξ had the value of a consonant, except before ο or ω (b 393).

b. δf was retained, not only at the beginning of a word ( 39an), but also in ἔδεισα, δέδξια, 8c.: we can hardly suppose compensatory lengthening in these forms.

c. between vowels is more doubtful (ἡ 396). Since initial 5 vwas lost as early as Homer before ο or ω, it probably vanished before most Case-endings of the Second Declension, and before the -ος, -ων ob the Thirddἄ Declension. Γhus for λοξός, 8Sdc. we should have λαός, λαοῦ, 8dc. (but ξ possibly in λοξοί, λαοῖσι): and again ἡδύς, ἡδέος, ἡδέfι, 8xc, Πηλεύς, Πηλῆος, Πηλῆξι, 81c. Then other Cases might fοllοw the analogy of the Gen. Sing. and Plur., and so drop the f altogether. Hοςwever this may be, it is clear that F betςween vοςwels vwas generally lost much earlier than Γ at the beginning of the word (cp. btalian aρmai for aρaνi, c.). The absence of contraction proves little, as we see from the Attic χέω, ἔχεα, ἔχεε, 8dc. At the same time we occasionally find a partial survival of f in a vοcalised form, making a diphthong with the preceding vowel (ἡ 396).

  • 1. Baunack, Die Inschrift von Gortyn, p. 3739, 68.
  • 2. The ordinary form Ναύπακκτοs occurs on the inscription 19 times, the form with Να- only once. Similarly against the single instance of F6τι are to be set 2 instances of ὅτι, and 5 others of the Relative ὅ2, in the older Locrian inscription. See Allen in ort Stαd. iii. p. 252; Brugmann, ιbιd. iv. P. 133, 2. 57 : Tudeer, e άdιgαmaο, - 45.
  • 3. By Brugmann, Curt. Stud. iv. p. 132, a. 55, and Tudeer, p. 7.
  • 4. As the Vau is written χθ on the Moabite Stone, it has been suggested that it was the source of the Greek T. It seems not improbable that the letters F and T were at first only tςwο forms of Van, appropriated in course of time to the consonant and vovwel υυ,jusb as our ι and come from the tvwo uses of Latin V. f this is so, the place of at the end of the then alphabet is signiicant, as shovwing the importance attachedd to the original order of the letters. See Roberts, dτeeὰς ἅpισταρὰγ, 11 : Taylor, he ἀ9νhαbet, ii. p. 82.