Stephen Colvin
  • The Cambridge Classical Journal, June 2016, Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: 10.1017/s1750270516000026

The origins and development of the different forms of the modal particle in Ancient Greek.

What is it about?

Five forms of the modal particle are attested in the dialects of ancient Greek. This paper argues that /an/ is an inherited particle, and that the k-forms were the result of reanalysis of prevocalic /ouk/ and /eik/ supported by the vestiges of an old topicalising/conditional force of the I-E particle *kwe (which appears elsewhere in Greek as connective /te/). The "Aeolic" form /ken/ is a creation of epic diction.

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