long alpha in dia?

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David McClister
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Joined: November 1st, 2013, 9:28 am
Location: Temple Terrace, FL

long alpha in dia?

Post by David McClister » October 13th, 2017, 12:30 pm

Friends,

I was asked why compound verbs with dia augment with eta, but compound verbs with para augment with epsilon. For example, parakaleo becomes the imperfect parekaloun with the epsilon augment, but diakoneo becomes the imperfect diekaloun (with an eta augment).

My suspicion is that the alpha in dia is long, so when the Greeks augmented the compound verb that used it, they in a sense made it even longer by making the augment an eta (instead of switching to the short epsilon).

So does anyone know if the alpha in dia is long? Is there a reference that shows vowel values in prepositions?

Thanks,

David McClister

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: long alpha in dia?

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 19th, 2017, 11:24 am

David McClister wrote:
October 13th, 2017, 12:30 pm
diekaloun (with an eta augment).
διηκόνει and διηκόνουν are the two extant imperfect forms of the verb in question.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: long alpha in dia?

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 19th, 2017, 12:29 pm

David,
To give you a little more information to feed into your analysis model, consider the Hellenistic novel by Longus, named after the hero and heroine Daphnis and Chloe, specifically 3.13.1.
καὶ ἄρνες καὶ ταῖς μητράσιν ὑποκλάσαντες // τὴν θηλὴν ἔσπασαν

ὑποκλάσαντες (+dat.) refers to the lambs posturing itself under the ewe. The prefixed preposition ὑπο- can mean "under".

Then we find in LSJ that the past tense (aorist) is ὑπώκλασε γαῖα χανοῦσα (of an earthquake).

It appears that the aorist (a normally past time tense) of a verb with the preposition ὑπο- prefixed onto it needs to have an omega.

But..... the verb to which ὑπο- is prefixed is actually ὀκλάζω. ὑποκλάζω is a combination of ὑπο- "down", "under" and ὀκλάζω "to squat with bent knees", but which omicron is lost and which remains?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Robert Crowe
Posts: 102
Joined: January 8th, 2016, 11:06 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: long alpha in dia?

Post by Robert Crowe » October 20th, 2017, 9:54 am

διᾱκονέω has a long α because it survives from an early stage of the language when compounding entailed vowel lengthening. So Pierre Chantraine:
l'α long de dia- s'expliquerait par l'allongement des composés qui prouverait l'anciennté du term.
[Dictionaire Étymologique de la Langue Grecque, p277]

In Classical times, ambivalence as to its compound status is indicated by the presence of both ἐδιᾱκόνουν and διηκόνουν as imperfects. The η in the latter retains the length and accords with the Ionic orthography.

File under 'Irregular'.
Tús maith leath na hoibre.

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