Doubtful Syllables

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383. Besides the cases in which the metrical value of a syllable may be made uncertain by its place in a particular verse -i. e. by the circumstances ob Position, Hiatus, ctus, &c. -there are many instances in which the ' natural2 quantity of the vowel appears to be indeterminate.

Under the heading of 'doαbtful vowels should be classed, not only the vwords in vwhich the same letter may stand either for a long or a short vovwel, as Ἄρης, ἀνήρ, but also those in which the change is shown by the spelling, i.e. in which a short vowel interchanges with a long vowel or diphthong : as νεός and νηός, ὄνομα and οὔνομα, 8c. And vwith these variations, again, we may place, as at least kindred phenomena, the doubtful syllables which arise from the interchange of single and double con- sonants: Oδυσσεύς and Oδυσεύς, Ἀχιλλεύς and Ἀχιλεύς. As we speak of doubtful vowels, these might similarly be called "doubtful consonants."

In all such words the variation of quantity may either mean that there were tςwo distinct forms betςween which the poet had a choice, or that the quantity as it existed in the spoken languagg0 was in fact intermediate. The former case would usually arise vwhen a voςwel or syllable which had come to be short in the spoken language vwas alloςwed to retain its older quantity as a poetical archaism. n the latter case the poet could give the syllable either metrical value ; or (as in so many instances) he might treat the syllable as ordinarily short, but capable of being lengthened by the ictus, or by the poses of the verse.

384. Doubtful vowels appear to rise chiefly in two ways

  1. By the shortening of a long vowel or diphthong before a vοςwel: viz.—

    3, inn λαὸς (3 iα Ii. Il. 583, 2 iα ID. 9. ὅ39, 19. 178).

    η, in the oblique cases of νηῦς (except the Dat. νηί) and of several Nouns in -ευς, as Πηλῆος, ΓΠηλέος: the forms αται and ἕαται (ἧμαι) ἀφήῃ and ἀφέῃ (ἢ 80); ἢθς and ἐύς, ληίστοί and λείστή (l. 9. 408); perhaps also in ρήίκες, δήίος, ἤία, which shorten η when the case-ending is naturally ong (ρηίκων, δηίων, ἢἰων, 8Sʼc. scanned r -, unless we Suppose contraction or synizesis).

    ἴ, in ἱερός, κονίη, λίην : Comparatives in -ιων : Patronymics, as Κρονίων: ἴομεν, ἵημι (ἀφίει, 8c.), ἰαίνω, and Verbs in -ιωω, as τίω, ὀίω (ἡ 51, 1): probably also in the abstract Nouns in -η, the ι being treated as long in ὑπεροπλίῃ, προθυμίη, ὑποδεξίη, ἀτιμίη, ἀκομιστίη.

    , in Verbs in υα (ἢ 51, 4).

    , in ῆρωος (- - - inn Od. 6. 303) ὄρῳ, eν. ἥρωι (Ii.7. 453).

    αἱ, in ἀεί for αἰεί, ἔμπαιος (- - - in Od.20. 379), and the Compound χαμαιεῦναι, χαμαιευνάδες: also Verbs in -αιω, as ἀγαιόμενος and ἀγάασθε, κέραιε and κεράασθε, ναῖον and νάει, νάουσι.

    εἰ, in ὠκέα, βαθέης (for ὠκεῖα, βαθείης): Adjectives in -ειος, as χάλκειος and χάλκεος : ῥεῖα and ῥέα : πλεῖον, 8Sc. and πλέονες: βείομαι and βέομαι (ἡ 80), and many Verbs in -ἐάω ( 51. 3).

    οἱ, in ὀλοός and ὁλοιός ; also οἶος (- -, as in B. 13. 275 οἱδ’ ἀρετὴν οἰός ἐσσι, cp. D. 18. 105, Od. 7. 312, 20. 89.

    ευ, in δεύομαι and δέομαι, ἔχευα and ἔχεα, ἠλεύατο and ἀλέασθαι.

    υι, in υός (7. 4. 473, 5. 612, etc.).

    The genitive endings -ἄων, -εων fat under this head, if -εων represents an older Ionic -τηων.

    In some cases of this kind our texts have εἰ where it is probable that the original vowel was η: so in πλεῖος fμutt (Attic πλέως from πλῆος), χρεῖος debt and χρειώ πeed (from χpη, )

    Sometimes εἰ has taken the place of ευ before another vowel, as in the Verbs θέω, πνέω, πλέω, χέω, κλέω (ἡ 29, 3), also in λείουσι, Dat. Plur. of λέων (λεύων or λέξων), and perhaps in the Pf. εἴωθα (cp. εὐέθωκε Hesych.), εἰοικυίαι (Ii. 18. 418). Siαmilarly ἄ may stand for αυ, as φάεα eγeς (φαυ-), ἀήρ (cp. αὔρα) and other derivatives of ἄξημι (ἀλιᾶής, ἀκρ-ἄής), ἀέσαμεν νe πteρt (ἰαύω), ἀασάμην (ἀάτη), and probably μεμαότες, ἄίον, ἀείδω, Aιδος. Wa even find οἱ for οωω (from ο), in οἰέτεας for ὁ-ετέας off tἑe α9ε (l. 2.765), πνοιή for πνοξή: cp. ὄίες (- - - inn Od. 9. 425. τη for ευ may perhaps be seen in είδης, ἠείδει (ἐ-είδεας, -εε): but see the explanation suggested in ἦ 67, 3.

    Interchange of quantity is occasionally found : στέωμεν, κτέωμεν, φθέωμεν for στήομεν, 8Sʼc. (5 80): ἕως and τέως (if these forms are Homeric) for ος and τῆος. So the Gen. ending πν, for -ὰἄο (-ηο).

  2. By compensatory lengthening, of—

    ε to εἰ, in ξεῖνος (ξένξος) but ξενίη, κεινός and κενός, πεῖραρ and πέρας (ἀπειρέσιος), εἴνατος, εἶνεκα.

    ο to or, μοῦνος (but μονωθείς Il. 11. 470); οἶὗρος (a watcer) but ὁρ-άω: οὔρεα and ὄρος (ὁρξος f).

    α in παρέχῃ (παρ-σέχω), Od. 19. 1 13; in συνεχές, ll. 12.26.

    Under this head we should place double forms arising by Epenthesis, as ἕταρος and ἑταῖρος (for ἑταρ·5ος): ἐνί, ἐν and εἰν. But ἀπερείσιος bομuadteςς should be ἀπερήσιος, from 7πέρη (πέρην).

    Other variations, of which no general account can be given, are seen in Ἄρης, ἀνήρ, ἀμάω τeaρ (ἄ generally in the simple Verb, ἄἄ in the compounds); φίλος (ἴ in φίλε κασίγνητε); ἄτῖτος and τῖτός ; ὕδωρ, ἀντικρύ; δύο and δύω, δεῦρο and (once) δεύρω, Διόνυσος and Διώνυσος. The chief cases of a doubtful vowel being long without the help of the ictus are, ἀρή, ἁλῶναι (ἁλόντε with ἄἄ in Π. 5. 4877), πρίν, ἱμάς, πιφαύσκω.

385. Double consonants, causing doubtful syllables: chiefly-

σσ, in the 1st aorist (ἡ 39, 1), and dative plural (ἢ 102); also ὅσσος, μέσσος, νεμεσσάω (where σσππ τ5), Oδυσσεύς. So for ἴσασι (- - ) we should ςwrite ἴσασι (for ἴδ-σασι, ἦ 7, 3).

λλ, in Ἀχιλλεύς.

κκ, n πελέκκῳ (κκτeκf f), cp. πέλεκυς.

As to ππ and τι, in ὅππως, ὅττι, 8Sxc. see ἡ 108, 2.