Accentuation of Prepositions

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180. The rules for the accentuation of Compound Verbs have been already given in 5 88. They proceed on the general principle that (except in the augmented forms) the accent falls if possible on the Preposition; either on the last syllable (as ἀπό-δος), or, if that is elided, then on the first (as ὕπ-αγε).

In regard to the other uses, and in particular the use with Cases, the general assumption made by the Greek grammarians is that al Prepositions are oxytone. They do not recognise the modern distinction according to which ἐr, εἰς, and ἐξ are unac- cented. This distinction rests entirely on the practice ob the manuscripts (Chandler, p. 254), and apparently arises from the accident of the smooth breathing and accent falling on the same letter (Wackernagel, A. δ. xix. 137).

Disyllabic Prepositions, however, are liable in certain cases to become barytone. The exact determination of these cases was a matter of much difficulty with the ancients, and unfortunately vwe cannot noςw determine hoςww far their dicta rest upon observa- tion of usage, and hoςw far upon analogy and other theoretical considerations. The chief points of the accepted doctrine are:

  1. The disyllabic Prepositions, escept ἀμφί, ἀντί, ἀνά, and διά (except also the dialectical forms καταί, ὑπαί, παραί, ἀπαί, ὑπείρ, προτί), are liable to ' Anastrophe ; that is to say, when placed iπmπmediαteζγ after the Verb or the Case-form to which they belong, they throςw back the accent; as λούσῃ ἄπο (π ἀπο- λούσῃ, ἔχεν κάτα, ιὧ ἔπι, μάχῃ ἔνι, ἐφύρου ὕπο, 8ic. Some held that the insertion of δέ before the Preposition did not prevent Anastrophe, and accordingly ςwrote ὅὥσε δʼ ἄπο, etc.
  2. Also, according to some, if the Prep. stands at the end of a verse, or before a full stop (Schol. Α on D. 5. 283).
  3. Also, when it is equivalent to a Compound Verb (5 177); as ἔνι, ἔπι, πέρι, πάρα (for ἔν-εστι, 8dc.). So ἄνα (for ἀνάστηθι) ; although ἀνά according to most authorities was not liable to Anastrophe. Some wrote πάρα γὰρ θεοί εἰσι καὶ ἡμῖν(I. 3. 445, on the ground that in πάρ-εισι the accent is on the syllable παρ-.
  4. Twο Prepositions are barytone in the adverbial use.
    ἄπο when it is = ἄποθεν at a distance
    πέρι when it is = περισσῶς exceedingly

    Tο which some added ὕπο (as τρομέει δʼ ὕπο γυῖα, etc.).

Monosyllabic Prepositions when placed after the governed word take the acute accent (as an equivalent for Anastrophe); but only ςwhen they come at the end of the line. Some however accented Od. 3. 137-

καλεσσαμένω ἀγορὴν ἔς πάντας Ἀχαιούς.

Most Prepositions, as appears from the Sanscrit accent, are originally barytone, and the so-called Anastrophe is really the retention of the accent in certain cases in which the Preposition is emphatic, or has a comparatively independent place in the sentence. Just as there is an orthotone ἔστι and an enclitic ἐστι (ἢ 87, 1), so there is an orthotone πέρι and a 'procliticʼ περί, written περὶ before a governed Noun, but in reality unaccented.

This vieςw ςwil serve to explain one or two minor peculiarities ob Greek usage. Thus (1) it is the rαle that ςwhen the last syllable of a Preposition is elided before a Case-form, the accent is not throςwn back. This is intelligible on the ground that the Preposition is in fact without accent ; and the same account will apply to the same peculiarity in the case of ἀλλά and τινά. On the other hand, (2) in the case of elision before a Verb (as ὕπ- αγε) the accent is retracted, because the Preposition is then the accented wοrd.1 Again, (3) the general rule of the lοlic dialect, that al oxytones become barytone, does not extend to Prepositions, because they are not real oxytones.

The wοrd ἔτι (Sanscr. άtι) is a Preposition which happens to have survived (ςwith the original accent) in the adverbial use only : cp. πρός = besides.

One or two suggestions may be added in reference to the Prepositions which are generally said to be incapable of Anastrophe.

ἀνά was thought by some to be capable of Anastrophe, and this view is supported by the adverbial use ἄνα up!
ἀμφί is probably a real oxytone, like the Adverb ἀμφίς. Γhe corresponding Sanskrit preposition abἀi is oxytone, contrary to the general rule.

The assertion that ὀπαί, παραί, προτί, xc. are not liable to Anastrophe is difficult of interpretation. Ibt may mean only that these vwords are not Attic, and by consequence that later usage furnished the grammarians with no examples.

If this is the true account of Anastrophe, it is probable that the Prepositions retained their accent in al quasi-addverbial uses, including Γmesis-nοt only when they folloςwed the Verb or governed Noun. The doctrine of the grammarians is unintelligible unless it adhmits of this extension. For if ςwe vwrite πάρ. ἐμοί γε καὶ ἄλλοι because πάραππάρεισι, we must also write πάρα γὰρ θεοί εἰσι, vwhere πάρα its equally emphatic. In Sanscrit too the Preposition vwhen separated from its Verb is accented.

It is not so clear hoςw far the later rales for Prepositions in Composition are to be applied to Homer. In Sanscrit there is an important diβference betςween Principal and Subordinate Clauses. In a Principal Clause the Verb loses its accent, unless it begins the sentence (ἢ 87); the Preposition (which usually precedes the Verb, but is not alςways immediatelby before it) is accented. Thus vwe should have, on Sanscrit rules, such forms as πέρι δείδια, πέρι πάντων οἰδε, etc. But in Subordinate Clauses the accent is on the Verb, and the Preposition commonly forms one word ςwith it, as in περιδείδια. f the Preposition is separated from the Verb, both are accented. n classical Greek twο changes have taken place: (1) the Preposition and Verb are inseparable, and (2) the accent is placed almost uniformly ac- cording to the 'law of three syllablesb (5 88): if it falls on the Preposition, as in σύμ-φημι, κάτ-εχεν, or on the Verb, as in συμ- φήσει, κατ-έχει, the reason is purely rhythmical. The first of these changes had not taken place in the time of Homer. As to the second we are practically ςwithout evidence. VVWα do not even know ςwhen the aw of three syllables obtained in Greek. It may be observed however that

  1. When a word of three syllables could not be unaccented, the form πέρι δείδια became impossible ; but it does not follοςw the πέρι lost its accent at the same time. An intermediate πέρι δείδια is quite admissible as a hypothesis.
  2. In many places in Homer it is uncertain whether a Preposition is part of a Compound or retains its character as a separate word. Thus we find-
    Il. 4.538 πολλοὶ δὲ περὶ κτείνοντο καὶ ἄλλοι (Wοlf, from Ven. Α.)
    16. 497 ἐμεῦ πέρι μάρναο χαλκῷ (πέρὶ sic Ven. A.)
    18. 191 στεῦτογὰρ Ἡφαίστοιο πάρʼ οἰσέμεν ἔντεα καλά(so Ar.)
    Il. 269 καὶ μὲν τοῖσιν ἐγὼ μέθʼ ὁμίλεον (Ar.)

    with the variants περικτείνοντο, περιμάρναο, παροισέμεν, μεθομί- λεον. And the existing texts contain a good many Compounds vwhich we might vwrite diυiwiρι without loss to the sense ; as B. 18. 7 νηυσὶν ἐπικλονέονται, Od. 8. 14 πόντον ἐπιπλαγχθείς, Od. 16. 466 ἄστυ καταβλώσκοντα, Il. 2. 155, 34, 3- 12, 4- 230-, 5 332,763,772, 5. 100, etc.

    In reference to suet forms we may fairly argue that the tendency of grammarians and copyists, unfamiliar ςwith the free adverbial use ob the Prepositions, would be alςways towards forming Compounds ; hence that modern critics ought to lean rather to the side of ςwriting the words separately, and giving the Prepositions the accent which belonged to them as Adverbs.

    With regard to the accent of Prepositions in the ordinary use vwith Case-forms it is stil more difficult to decide. A Sanscrit Preposition generally folloςws the Noun which it governs : hence it does not furnish us vwith grounds for any conclusion about the Greek accent.

180*. Apocope. Most Prepositions appear in Homer under several different forms, due to loss of the final vowel combined (in most cases) with assimilation to a following consonant. Thus we find-

παρά and πάρ
ἀνά, ἄν, ἄμ (βωμοῖσι, φόνον)
κατά, κὰδ (δέ5 κάβ-ίβαλε), κάτ (θάνε), κὰρ (ῥόον), καμίμονίη), κὰγ (γόνυ), κὰκ (κεφαλῆς), κάλ (λίπε), κὰπ( πεδίον)
ὑπό, ὑβ (ςβάλλειν)
προτί, πρός (for προτ-, cp. ποτί, πός
ὑπὲρ (for ὑπέρι, ὑπέρ
ἐνί, εἰν (εἰνί, ἐν
ἀπό, ἀπ-(πέμψει

This phenomenon appears to be connected vwith the loss ob accent which the Preposition sufers vwhen closely connected ςwith a yVerb or Case-form. That is to say, from the adverbial forms πάρα, πρότι, κάτα, ἔνι, ἄνα (or ἀνά), 8ʼc. ςwere formed in the first instance the unaccented παρ, πρὸς, κατ or κα, ἐν, ἄν. Then the pairs πάρα and παρ, etc. vwere used promiscuously. Finally one form was adopted as normal.

  • 1. See Wackernagel, K. Z. xxiii 457 ff. On this view, however, the original accent would be ἄπ0-δος, ἕνισπεs, nαάρα-σχεs, etc. It may perhaps be preserved in the indicative ἕvι-σπεs and imperative ἕνυσπε (see § 88, where a different explanation of these forms was suggested).