Homeric k-aorists and/or k-perfects?

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Abstract

In classical Greek the aorist indicatives of dído:mi, je:mi, and títhe:mi end in -ka, -kas, -ke following a long vowel in the singular. Homeric Greek utilizes k-forms, both augmented and non-augmented, of these three verbs, and attests to third person plural forms ending in -kan and even to a first person plural form such as êne:kamen. There is a broad consensus regarding these forms as typical of Greek, while their relation to the k-perfect is still discussed. The paper considers the -k- to have a phonetic origin deriving from a laryngeal root,viz from *h1 or *h3, when they come into contact with *h2,the laryngeal of *-h2e,the ancient first person singular ending of the original perfect. Close analysis of certain passages from the Homeric poems exhibiting non-augmented k-forms of dído:mi, je:mi, and títhe:mi shows that these three k-formations may have originally pertained to the perfect as far as their meaning is concerned. The clashing forms that are nevertheless found in Homeric poems can be explained by considering that the cantos of the Iliad and the Odyssey go back to a period of linguistic transition impacting the morphological expression of time. The new had already begun but it had not yet completely supplanted the old.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Greek Verb. Morphology, Syntax, Semantics. Proceedings of the 8th International Meeting on Greek Linguistics. Agrigento, October 1-3, 2009
Pagine209-225
Numero di pagine17
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

Serie di pubblicazioni

NomeBibliothèque des Cahiers de l'Institut de Linguistique de Louvain 128

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Melazzo, L. (2013). Homeric k-aorists and/or k-perfects? In The Greek Verb. Morphology, Syntax, Semantics. Proceedings of the 8th International Meeting on Greek Linguistics. Agrigento, October 1-3, 2009 (pagg. 209-225). (Bibliothèque des Cahiers de l'Institut de Linguistique de Louvain 128).