Aperçu d’une histoire de la langue grecque by Antoine Meillet

By Antoine Meillet

The echoes of Greek are heard in lots of glossy languages. for instance, the summary vocabulary of the trendy eu languages derives mostly from the vocabulary of the Greek philosophers and students, no matter if without delay or through Latin writers who have been knowledgeable in response to the Greek culture. First released in 1913, Antoine Meillet's background of Greek indicates how the language, derived initially from Indo-European, constructed through the years based on sociological and geographical components. Meillet argues that its complexity is because of the consistent borrowing of vocabulary and grammar from modern languages and nearby dialects. regardless of - or due to - its versatile and ever-changing nature, and the shortcoming of consistency in utilization among person urban states, Greek ultimately turned the language of significant works of literature, philosophy and technological know-how.

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Une diphtongue constitute par deux voyelles tres fermees, anciennes sonantes, comme ui, resulte toujours d'une innovation grecque, ainsi dans [xuTa qui repose sur un ancien *musya. Les diphtongues anciennes subsistent encore toutes en grec commun. Mais d'une maniere generale, les diphtongues ont e"te dans la phonetique indo-europeenne un element instable; elles se sont simplifiees plus ou moins ; et le lituanien est la seule langue indo-europeenne actuellement vivante qui donne une idee, sinon complete, du moins encore nette, de ce qu'a ete l'ensemble des diphtongues indo-europe"ennes.

La plupart des consonnes sonores du grec appartiennent au type des sonantes r, I, n, m, dont la prothese de voyelle a Finitiale marque le caractere semi-vocalique. La sifflante 5 n'a subsiste en principe qu'avant et apres une occlusive, ou a la fin des mots : on a done Him, comme dsti en Sanskrit, est en latin, ist en gotique, et le nom de nombre si; comme sex en latin. La conserva: tion de a en fin de syllabe tient a la prononciation intense de 5 en pareille position, prononciation que traduisent des graphies epigraphiques frequentes, du type apuroTo?.

Iecl, oq en face du Sanskrit yah « lequel », ley etlew auraient tendu a s'assourdir, comme ils l'ont fait en irlandais, et c'est cet assourdissement qui les aurait conduits a s'amuir. Ainsi l'elimination ancienne du y et l'elimination moins ancienne du w viendraient de cette grande tendance a l'assourdissement qui se manifeste par la substitution des sourdes

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