Breathing on elided kai

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
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Shirley Rollinson
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Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico

Breathing on elided kai

Post by Shirley Rollinson » June 26th, 2015, 9:15 pm

There's something that's started to bug me, that I never asked when starting Greek, and I've never seen explained in any of the grammars or textbooks - why does the alpha show a smooth breathing when και is elided , as in κἀγω κἀκειθεν κἀν etc. - I know it's picking up the breathing from the elided vowel - but why???
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Breathing on elided kai

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 26th, 2015, 9:39 pm

It's technically not a smooth breathing but a "coronis" to mark the presence of crasis, or contraction. It just happens to look a lot like the smooth breathing mark in modern fonts, and I think some fonts don't even provide it on account of their similarity and disjoint contexts.

Here's the discussion in Smyth: ... 1c_uni.htm
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Louis L Sorenson
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Location: Burnsville, MN, USA

Re: Breathing on elided kai

Post by Louis L Sorenson » June 27th, 2015, 1:38 pm

There seems to be some misunderstanding. Some people use the smooth breathing, but Smyth has always the hard breathing. I always had assumed it took on the breathing of the second word.
Smyth 62. Crasis (κρᾶσις mingling) is the contraction of a vowel or diphthong at the end of a word with a vowel or diphthong beginning the following word. Over the syllable resulting from contraction is placed a ‘ called corōnis κορωνίς hook), as τἅ̄λλα from τὰ ἄλλα the other things, the rest.
Smyth §68.c καὶ ἐγώ = κἁ̄γώ
BDAG: κγώ (since Il. 21, 108, also ins [Meisterhans3-Schw. 72]; pap [Mayser 159 w. exx. for all cases; s. also UPZ 78, 15 [159 B.C.]; PSI 540, 17; PTebt 412, 4 καἰγώ]; LXX [Thackeray 137f]; pseudepigr.; Jos., Ant. 7, 212; Just.; Tat. 5:2. Formed by crasis, as found in most edd., fr. καὶ ἐγώ) dat. κἀμοί, acc. κἀμέ. S. B-D-F §18; W-S. §5, 9; Mlt-H. 84.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 487). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
LSJ: κγώ [ᾱ], Att. crasis for καὶ ἐγώ.
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