900. Appendix Ι is a schematic summary of phonetic changes that arise in Greek from the juxtaposition of certain consonants and vowels in inflection, word-formation, and word sequence. For the most part, items presented at relevant points in the grammar are here collected together. This summary is designed to facilitate easy reference. Cf. §§080-085.

The following symbols are employed:

> becomes, changes into
< is derived from
# zero form (e.g. of a stem vowel)
λ sonant (vocalic) consonant
υ semivowel or consonantal vowel

1. The Classification of Vowels and Consonants

0901. A descriptively accurate classification of vowels and consonants in Greek is beyond the scope of this grammar. Such a full, scientific description would be illuminating, but for an elementary acquaintance with the phonological system of Greek it is unnecessary. A few preliminary remarks with respect to classification will suffice.


901. There are seven vowels in Greek: α, ε, η, ι, ο, υ, ω.

901.1 ε and o are always short; their long counterparts are η and ω, respectively.

901.2 α,ι,υ may be either long or short.

902. A diphthong (δίφθογγος [two sounds]) is the fusion of two vowels into one syllable. The second vowel is always ι or υ.

902.1 The diphthongs may be classified in three groups:

(1) αι ει οι υι
(3) αυ ευ ηυ ου

902.2 In group (2) the second vowel (ι) is written under the long vowel and is called iota-subscript; in this group the ι is silent. Cf. §058,2.

902.3 All diphthongs are long, except that final αι and οι are considered short everywhere but in the optative.

902.4 When ι or υ do not form a diphthong with a preceding vowel, a diaresis (διάρεσις, separation) is written over them, e.g. προΐστημι.

902.5 ει and ου are either spurious or genuine. Spurious ει and ου arise from the contraction of ε + ε, ε + ο, ο + ε, ο + ο (§917.2, 4), or from compensatory lengthening (§914). They are otherwise genuine, i.e. arise from the combination of ε + ι and ο + υ.


0903. Consonants may be classified in various ways, e.g. according to the nature of the sound, according to the vocal organs used in producing them, according to whether or not they are syllabic.

A full elaboration of these categories will serve no useful purpose in this context· It is sufficient to note certain categories and characteristics, the significance of which will subsequently become apparent.

903. The seventeen consonants may be divided into sub-groups as follows:

903.1 Stops (also called mutes), so-called because the breath is allowed to collect behind a closure before being released with a slight pop or explosions ny π, β, φ, κ, γ, χ; τ, δ, θ. (Cf. English p, t)

903.2 A spirant (σ, ς), so-called because the breath is allowed to escape with friction through a narrow passage in the mouth. (Cf. English f, s)

903.3 Liquids, so-called because they are produced by allowing breath to pass through the oral cavity without friction; they get their name from the rippling nature of the sound: λ, ρ. (Cf. English l, r).

903.4 Nasals as the name indicates, are produced by allowing part of the breath to escape through the nose: μ, ν. (Cf. English m, n) γ-nasal (§9030.1) is, of course r also a nasal. (Note §064.2).

903.5 Double consonants are single letters representing combinations of consonants: ζ, ξ, Ψ. (Cf. English x in lax, i.e. = ks)

9030. Notes:

9030.1 γ before κ, γ, χ, and ξ (= κσ, γσ, χσ) becomes nasal (§056.1).

9030.2 Initial ρ always has rough breathing.

9030.3 ζ is a combination of σδ. δσ, or δι (§932.·1). ξ is written for κσ, γσ, χσ; however, it is not written for κσ when έκ (preposition) is compounded with another word, e.g. έκ-στασις, ecstasy. ψ is written for πσ, βσ, φσ.

9030.4 The term liquid often embraces both liquids and nasals.

904. The nine stops are divided into three orders and three classes. The classes are determined by the part of the oral cavity used in producing them: labials (lips), palatals (throat), dentals (teeth). The orders are determined by whether or not the stop is voiced and by whether it is aspirated. A consonant is said to be voiced when the vocal chords vibrate as the air passes through; it is said to be voiceless when the vocal chords are slack in pronunciation; aspiration means pronounced with a strong emission of breath*

904.1 Stops belonging to the same class are said to be cognate; stops belonging to the same order are said to be coordinate. These relationships may be conveniently represented by the "square" of stops.

Labials (lips) π β φ
Palatals (throat) κ γ Χ
Dentals (teeth) τ δ θ

The kinship between and among stops plays an important role in consonant change.

904.2 Rough breathing (`) is also an aspirate (Note §928).

904.3 μ is a labial nasal and is thus akin to the labial class of stops (note §§926.1, 929.1); it is also voiced and is thus related to the middle order of stops (note §926.2).

905. Semivowels. ι and υ are sometimes called semivowels because, in addition to vowel sounds, they also often represent the consonantal sounds y and w. Consonantal ι and υ are designated thus: ι̯, υ̯. Consonantal υ was represented by the letter Ϝ (digamma) in an earlier period (disappeared in Attic; written as late as 200 B.C. in Boeotian). While ι̯ and υ̯ do not appear in hellenistic Greek as such, their former presence often makes itself felt in various phonetic changes or lack of them.

906. Sonants. Liquids, nasals (and σ) may function as syllables, i.e. when an unpronounceable combination of consonants arises, one of them may develop the force of a vowel. Cf. sonant 1 in English battle, m in English bottom, n in button, s in pst. When they are syllabic they are called sonant or vocalic (designated λ, ρ, etc.). Sonant λ may become αλ or λα; g > αρ or ρα; μ, > α; ν > α.

2. Vowel Change

907. Vowel gradation is the quantitative (short to long and the reverse) and qualitative change in the vocalic elements in related words. It is to be observed in both inflection and word-formation.

908. Quantitative vowel gradation. A short vowel may interchange with its corresponding long vowel: α with η (ᾶ after ε, ι, ρ); ε with η; ι with ῖ; ο with ω; υ with υ.

908.1 In the development of principal parts of the verb, e.g., τιμάω (present tense stem) becomes τιμήσω (fut.); έάω (pres.) becomes έάσω (fut.); ποιέω (pres.) becomes ποιήσω (fut.); δηλόω (pres.) becomes δηλώσω (fut.). S. §§358, 374.

908.2 In the inflection of nouns, e.g., γλώσσα (nom.) becomes γλώσσης (gen.); άλήθειᾶ (nom.) becomes άληθεἱᾶς (gen.); τιατήρ (nom.) becomes πατέρα (ace); ἅρχων (nom.) becomes ἅρχοντος (gen.). S. §§132.2, 184, 166.

908.3 In the interchange of long and short α, α becomes ἆ after ε, ι, and ρ, otherwise η. There are some exceptions. S. §§9140, 1321.1.

909. Transfer of quantity. The combinations ηο and ηα may exchange quantity: πόλεως < πόληος; βασιλέἆ < βασιλἦα.

910. Qualitative vowel gradation. Vowels and diphthongs may interchange in the same root or suffix in quality as well as in quantity. Cf. English sing, sang, sung; man, men; goose, geese.

911. In the verb system, qualitative and quantitative variations in corresponding vowels are classified as strong and weak grades. The weak grade includes the loss of a vowel altogether (# stands for the zero form) and the loss of one vowel of a diphthong. The following summary of patterns includes all the verbs in Appendix III (Bauer) showing vowel gradation (marked with ↑ in the catalogue).



ε/ο α/#
(I.7) έ-γεν-όμην/γέ-γον-α γί-ν-ομαι (< γί-γν-ομαι)
(VI) ήνέχ-θην/έν-ήνοχ-α ήν-εγκ-α
(I.3) πέμπ-ω/πέ-πομφ-α
(I.3) στρέφ-ω έ-στράφ-ην
(I.3) τρέπ-ω έ-τράπ-ην
(I.3) τρέφ-ω -ε-τράφ-ην
(I.3) πλέκ-ω -ε-πλάκ-ην
(I.4) δέρ-ω δαρ-ήσομαι
(II) κλέπ-τω έ-κλάπ-ην
(III.3) στελλ-ομαι -ε-στάλ-ην
(III.3) τέλλ-ω τέ-ταλ-κα
(III.4) -κτεν-ώ -ε-κτάν-θην
(III.4) σπείρ-ω έ-σπάρ-ην
(III.4) φθερ-ώ έ-φθάρ-ην
(I.3) ἕχ-ω (< *σεχ-ω) ἕ-σχ-ον
(I.3) πέτ-ομαι -έ-πτη-ν
(I.7) ἕ-πεσ-ον πί-πτ-ω
(I.7) ἕ-τεκ-ον τί-κτ-ω (< *τι-τκ-ω)
(IV) τέμν-ω -τέ-τμη-κα
(VI) έρ-ώ (< *Ϝερ-) έρ-ρέ-θην


ει/οι ι
(I.3) λείπ-ω/-λέ-λοιπ-α ἕ-λιπ-ον
(I.3) πέιθ-ω/πέ-ποιθ-α
(IV) μείγ-νυμι έ-μίγ-ην


ευ υ/ε/#
(I.3) φεύγ-ω ἕ-φυγ-ον
(IV) τέ-τευχ-α ἕ-τυχ-ον
(I.5) ῤεύ-σω -ρυ-ήσομαι /ῤέ-ω
(I.5) -ε-χύ-θην/-έ-χε-α
(VI) έλεύ-σομαι έλ-ήλυθ-α/ἦλθ-ον


η/ει α/ε
(1.3) τήκ-ω τακ-ήσομαι
(1.7) στή-σω έ-στά-θην
(1.7) όν-ίνη-μι όνα-ίμην
(IV) έ-δήχ-θην δάκ-νω
(IV) έ-λήμφ-θην ἕ-λαβ-ον
(IV) -λέ-λησ-μαι ἕ-λαθ-ον
(IV) ῤήγ-νυμι έρ-ράγ-η
(IV) -έ-βη-ν -βα-ίνω
(IV) έ-κέρδη-σα κερδα-ίνω
(I.7) -ἧ-κα -έ-θην
(I.7) τί-θη-μι/τέ-θει-κα έ-τέ-θην


α #
(I.5) έ-κάλε-σα έ-κλή-θην
(III.3) έ-βαλ-ον έ-βλή-θην
(IV) έ-καμ-ον κέ-κμη-κα
(V) -έ-θαν-ον τέ-θνη-κα


ω ο
(I.7) δί-δω-μι έ-δό-θην
(VI) πέ-πω-κα -ε-πὄ-θην


ου/αυ ο/α
(I.1a) άκού-ω άκ-ήκο-α
(I.1a) παύ-ω (-ε-πά-ην)
(III.5) ἕ-καυ-σα (έ-κά-ην)

912. In the noun system, quantitative variations in stem vowels are classified as strong, middle, weak. The following patterns are among those found:



ω ο
ῤήτωρ ῤήτορ-ος


η ε #
πατήρ πατέρ-α πατρ-ός
αστήρ άστέρ-ος -----

913. An unpronounceable combination of consonants arising from the loss of a vowel in the weak grade leads to the production of a vowel from a sonant liquid or nasal (§906).

πατήρ, dat. pl. πατρά-σι(v) (< πατρ-σι)
μήτηρ, dat. pl. μητρά-σι (ν) (< μητρ-σι)

914. Compensatory lengthening is the lengthening of a preceding short vowel to compensate for the loss of a consonant. The rules for lengthening are slightly different than those given in §908: ε > ει, ο > ου (spurious diphthongs); α > ἆ, ι > ι, υ > ύ.

έ-μεν-σα > ἕμεινα (§930.5)
τι-θεντ-ς > τιθείς (§929.9)
τονς > τους (§930.5)
δι-δοντ-ς > διδούς (§929.9)
λυ-ο-νσι > λύουσι (§930.5)
παντ-ς > πἆς (§929.9)
έ-κλι,ν-σα > ἕκλῙνα (§930.5)
δεικνυντ-ς > δεικνὖς (§929.9)

9140. In the 1st aorist tense of liquid (and nasal) stems, α > η (contrary to §914), except before ι or ρ (cf. §908.3), e.g. έ-φαν-σα > ἕφηνα

915. Prothetic vowels. Occasionally an initial short vowel is developed before λ, μ, ρ (called prothetic, place before)· E.g. ά-λείφω, anoint with oil (< λίπος, fat) έ-χθές, yesterday (< Χθές).

916. Euphony of vowels. The Greek ear, especially that of the Atticist (and later imitators), did not like the immediate succession of vowel sounds, whether they arose from inflection, word-formation, or the ordering of words in the sentence. To avoid hiatus (a slight pause between vowels to allow each to be sounded separately) various devices were employed:

916.1 Contraction (§917), the fusion of two vowels (or a vowel and diphthong) within a word;

916.2 Elision (§918), the omission of a short final vowel before another word beginning with a vowel;

916.3 Crasis (§919), the contraction of final and initial vowels of words, thus joining two words into one;

916.4 Movable consonants (ν, ς) (§§920, 921), added at the end of words when the next word begins with a vowel. Hiatus between words was of course allowable, but in varying degrees by different users of the language; within words a succession of vowels is often allowable, especially where contraction would obscure the root or form. Vowels once separated by σ, υ̯, or ι̯ in particular are contracted.

917. Contraction. Vowels brought together in inflection and word-formation are often contracted in accordance with regular patterns. These patterns may be schematized in the form of rules that are designed to reduce the bewildering variety of combinations to a relatively few principles.

917.1 Rule 1. Two vowels which may naturally form a diphthong do so:

α + ι = αι ε+υ=ευ
ε + ι = ει
η + ι = ῃ
ο + ι = οι

917.2 Rule 2. Identical and related vowels (§908) unite in a common long vowel or diphthong:

α + α = α ι + ι = ι
ε+η=η ο + ο = ου (spurious, §902.5)
ε + ε = ει (spurious, §902.5) ο + ω = ω

917.3 Unrelated vowels, which cannot form a genuine diphthong, are assimilated, either the first to the second, or the second to the first:

917.4 Rule 3. α and ε are always assimilated to ο or ω:

α + ο
ο + α
} = ω ο + η
ω + η
} = ω
α + ω
ω + α
} = ω ε + ο
ο + ε
} = ου (spurious, §902.5)
ε + ω = ω

917.5 Rule 4. In the combination α + ε or η, the second is assimilated to the first and yields either α or η:

α + ε
α + η
} = α ε + α = η
η + ε = η

917.6 Rule 5. A single vowel disappears when united with a diphthong beginning with the same vowel:

α + αι
α + ᾳ
} = αι ο + οι
ο + ου
} = ου
ε + ει = ει ο+ῳ =ῳ

917.7 Rule 6. A single vowel, when united with a diphthong beginning with a different vowel, contracts with the first vowel of the diphthong in accordance with the regular patterns; the iota becomes subscript (or adscript):

α + ει = ᾳ ε + αι = ῃ η + αι = ῃ
α + ῃ = ᾳ ε + ῃ = ῃ η + ει = ῃ
α + οι = ῳ ε + ου = ου η + οι = ῳ
ε + ῳ = ῳ

917.8 Qualifications of Rule 6. Diphthongs ει and ου, when spurious (§902.5), are regarded as simple ε and o:

α + ει (spurious) = α
η + ει (spurious) = η
ο + ει (spurious) = ου
α + ου (spurious) = ω

i.e. the second vowel of the diphthong (ι, υ) is ignored.

917.9 Contrary to rule 6 and the qualification in §917.8,

ε + oι = oι
ο + ει (genuine) = οι
ο + ῃ = oι

Although the ο prevails in each case, the resultant initial vowel of the diphthong does not accord with rule δ (§917.4).

917.10 In the contraction of three vowels, the last two are contracted first, and the resulting vowel or diphthong then contracted with the first, e.g. ποιε-ε-σαι > ποιε-ῃ (loss of intervocalic σ, §930.21) > ποιεῇ

918. Elision is the omission of a short final vowel before an initial vowel; the omission is marked with an apostrophe (᾽). Examples: δι᾽ αύτοϋ (for διἁ αύτοϋ) (Jn 1:3); άλλ᾽ ῐνα (for άλλἁ ῐνα) (Jn 1:8).

Elision occurs predominantly in adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. It does not affect the prepositions πρό and περί, the conjunction ὂτι (ὂτ᾽ = ὂτε, when), and the forms which take ν-movable (§920). Bl-D §17.

919. Crasis is the contraction of the final and initial vowels of successive words so that two words are written as one. A coronis (apostrophe in form) marks the contraction.

Crasis is less common in hellenistic Greek than in earlier periods. The common forms in the New Testament are: τούνομα (τὂ ὅνομα), τοὔναντίον (τὂ εναντίον), ταύτα (τα αύτά), and in combinations with καί, and: κάγώ (καί έγώ), κάμοί (και έμοί), κάκεῑ (και έκεῑ), κάκεῑνος (καΐ εκεῑνος), κἇν (καί ἇν). B1-D §18.

920. Movable ν. A ν may be added to words ending in -σι (dat. pl. 3rd declension nouns, pronouns, adjectives; verbal endings), to the 3rd sg. verbal ending in -ε, and to έστί(ν), theoretically to avoid hiatus (§916). ν-movable is regularly put in parentheses in grammars and lexicons. Bl-D §20.

From a later point of view, ν-movable is appropriate only at the end of a clause or sentence, or where the next word begins with a vowel. However, movable-v was employed in earlier periods before consonants as well. In the hellenistic era ν was sometimes added indiscriminately to forms other than those listed above; this ν is called irrational ν.

921. Movable ς. Α ς may be added to a few words for the same reason as ν-movable, i.e. to avoid hiatus. Like ν, it is employed inconsistently. It appears with ούτω(ς), ἇχρι(ς) , and μέχρι(ς). έκ also takes a ς before vowels (έξ). Bl-D §21.

922. The negative ου is so written before consonants, but the form ουκ is employed before a vowel with smooth breathing, ούχ before a vowel with rough breathing (aspiration, §928.1). The strong form, ούχί, is unaffected.

9220. μηκέτι, no longer (μή + ετι) derives the κ by analogy from ούκέτι.

3. Consonant Change

923. Final consonants. Only ν, ρ, and σ (ξ, ψ) may stand at the end of a word in Greek. As a consequence, in inflection it is sometimes necessary to drop other consonants. E.g. σώμα (nom.), σώματος (gen.), σωματ- (stem).

9230.1 Exceptions are the proclitics έκ (preposition) and negative adverb ούκ.

9230.2 Foreign words taken over into Greek, however, are permitted to violate the rulef e.g. 'Ισραήλ, 'Αβραάμ, Δαυίδ, 'Ιακώβ.

924. Assimilation. In inflection and word-formation clusters of consonants occasionally arise which are phonetically intolerable, i.e. they are either unpronounceable or difficult to pronounce. The tendency is to conserve movement and thus to assimilate such juxtaposed sounds to each other. Assimilation may be partial, e.g. a palatal (γ, χ) before τ is assimilated to κ so that the two juxtaposed consonants will be coordinate (§904.1). Or, assimilation may be total, e.g. ν before λ becomes λ. If the first consonant in a cluster undergoes change, it is called regressive assimilation; if the second (or last) changes, it is called progressive assimilation.

Assimilation may be classified in accordance with the types of consonants involved (§903).

925. Stops before stops. The "square" of stops (§904.1) is relevant to the following forms of assimilation.

925.1 A labial or palatal before a dental is assimilated to a labial or palatal of the same order, i.e. it is made coordinate:

βτ, φτ > πτ
γτ, χτ > κτ
πδ, φδ > βδ
κδ       > γδ
πθ, βθ > φθ
κθ, γθ > χθ

925.2 A dental before another dental may become σ.

Note: ττ arising from κι̯ and χι̯ (§932.2) is retained from Attic in a few words, e.g. κρείττων, έλάττων.

925.3 γ before κ, γ, χ (and ξ) becomes γ-nasal (§9030.1). Its form, however, is unchanged.

926. Stops before μ.

926.1 A labial before μ becomes μ (total assimilation).
πμ, βμ, φμ > μμ

926.2 A palatal before μ becomes γ (partial assimilation).
κμ, χμ > γμ

N. κ, χ are sometimes retained before μ in a noun- suffix and occasionally elsewhere.

926.3 A dental before μ sometimes becomes σ by analogy to a dental before a dental (§925.2) in the perfect middle conjugation (§§392.1, 3920).

927. Stops before σ.

927.1 A preceding labial coalesces with σ to form ψ; a preceding palatal coalesces with σ to form ξ (§9030.3).

πσ, βσ, φσ > ψ
κσ, γσ, χσ > ξ

Exceptions: §9030.3.

927.2 A dental preceding σ is assimilated to σ and one σ is then dropped.

τσ, δσ, θσ > σσ > σ

928. Aspiration and deaspiration.

928.1 A stop of the smooth order (π, κ, τ) is aspirated, i.e. assimilated to the corresponding aspirated stop (φ, χ, θ), before rough breathing (also an aspirate, §904.2). A labial or palatal before θ (as aspirate) is also assimilated to the corresponding aspirated stop (§925.1).

928.2 When two successive syllables begin with a rough stop, the first is customarily changed to the corresponding smooth stop (to avoid aspiration in successive syllables).

τεθέαμαι (for *θεθεαμαι, reduplication, §343.3)
τρίχος (gen., for *θριχος, nom. sg· θρίξ, hair, §§162, 1620)
έτάφην (for *έθαφην, verb base θαπ-)
πιστέυθητι (for *πιστευθηθι, §463)

928.3 Rough breathing is often lost when the successive syllable contains an aspirated stop: ἕχω < ἕχω < σέχω (§930.40).

928.4 There is occasionally a transfer of aspiration: πάσχω < παθ-σκω (§487.7).

929. ν before other consonants.

929.1 ν before π, β, φ (labials) and ψ may be assimilated to μ.

νπ, νβ, νφ, νψ > μπ, μβ, μφ, μψ

929.2 ν before κ, γ, χ (palatals) and ξ may be assimilated to γ-nasal.

νκ, νγ, νχ, vξ > γκ, γγ, γχ, γξ

929.3 ν before a liquid (λ, ρ) may be totally assimilated.

νλ > λλ
νρ > ρρ

929.4 In the hellenistic period non-assimilation was becoming common in the case of the prepositions σύν and έν compounded with verbs. Bl-D §19.

929.5 ν before μ is totally assimilated: νμ > μμ.

929.6 ν before ζ or σ is dropped in compounds with σύν, e.g. συζητέω, discuss (imperf. συνεζήτουν); συσταυρόω, crucify together (aor. pass, συνεσταυρώθην).

929.7 ν before σ undergoes various changes: In the dat. pl. of 3rd declension nouns with stems in ν, the ν is dropped before the ending -σι(ν) (§187). Nouns with a long final stem vowel (η or ω): αίών (αίών-) , gen. αίώνος, dat. pi. αίώςι(ν) (< αιωνσι(ν)); nouns with a short final stem vowel (ε or o): ποιμήν (ποιμεν-) , gen. ποιμένος, dat. pl. ποιμέσι(ν) (< ποιμενσι(ν)).

929.70 In connection with nouns with short final stem vowels, the question arises why this vowel was not subject to compensatory lengthening (§914) when the ν was dropped. The answer apparently is that the ε (or o) is not really a stem vowel and the ν was not really dropped. Rather, ποιμνσι represents the weak grade of the stem (§913), and ν became sonant (vocalic), producing an α in its place (§906): ποιμνσι > πουμάσι; the α was then replaced by ε (or o) by analogy to the other oblique cases (leveling; cf. §186). Cf. φρασί (Pindar) for φρνσι, which later became φρεσί by analogy to the forms φρένες, φρενών, etc. This is the explanation for the fact that the dat. pl. is ποιμέσι(ν) (short vowel) rather than ποιμεϊσι(ν) (as would be the case under compensatory lengthening) . Smyth §250 N.

929.8 More often ν before σ disappears and the preceding vowel is lengthened in compensation (§914): ε > ει, ο > ου, α > ᾶ): e.g.

λύουσι(ν) (3rd pl. present act. indic.) < λυ-ο-νσι
εῗς (cardinal, one) < ένς
τούς (article, ace. masc. pl.) < τονς
μέλᾶς (adj., nom. masc. sg., black) < μελανς
τεθείς (participle, nom. masc. sg., τίθημι) < τιθεν(τ)ς

929.9 ντ, νδ, νθ before σ: The dental is assimilated to σ and one σ is dropped (§927.2); ν then disappears before the σ and the preceding vowel lengthened in compensation (§929.8).

πᾶσι (ν) (adj., dat. pi.) < παντ-σι
τιθεῐσι, (ν) (participle, dat. masc.-neut. pl.) < τιθεντ-σι
πείσομαι. (1st sg. fut. mid. indic.) < πενθ-σομαι

929.90 See §930.5 for cases where σ is lost following ν.

930. σ. The behavior of σ has been treated in part under other headings.

For labials and palatals before σ, s. §927.1.
For dentals before σ, s. §927.2.
For ν before σ, s. §929.6-8.
For ν plus a dental before σ, s. §929.9.

930.1 Interconsonantal σ (σ between consonants) is sometimes lost. This loss is to be observed in the 2nd pl. mid.-pass, of the perfect tense (§391.1) where σ is dropped between a final stem consonant and θ: τέτριφε < τέτριβ-σθε; έσταλθε < εσταλ-σθε; but λέλυσθε. The same applies to the perf. mid.-pass. inf. (§4660.4): πεφάνθαι, < πεφαν-σθαι; but λελύσθαι.

930.2 Intervocalic σ (σ between vowels) is lost under a variety of circumstances, causing the vowels thus brought together to contract (§917).

930.20 In the future tense of liquid verbs (verbs ending in a liquid or nasal), -εσ ο/ε is added to the stem to form the future tense stem; intervocalic σ is then lost and the vowels contract (§917), e.g. μενώ < μενεσω; στελώ < στελέσω; έγερώ < έγερεσω. S. §376.

930.21 In the 2nd sg. middle endings, both primary and secondary (-σαι and -σο), σ is lost between vowels (except in the perfect/pluperfect tenses and the present/imperfect of μι-verbs). The vowels thus brought together contract (§917): λύᾑ < λυεσαι; τιμᾷ < τιμαεσαι; έλάβου < έλαβεσο; έλύσω < έλυσασο; έτιμώ < έτιμαεσο; but ῐστασαι, ῐστασο (pres./imperf., μι-verb); λέλυσαι, έλέλυσο (perf./pluperf.).

930.22 The same phenomenon is to be observed in the inflection of neuter nouns of the 3rd declension with stems in -εσ- (nom. in -ος) (§196), and of 3rd declension adjectives in -ής, -ές (§234).

930.23 Intervocalic σ is by no means always lost. It may be retained when it is the result of phonetic change or by analogy (Smyth §120).

930.4 Initial σ before a vowel is often lost. Its former presence may be marked by rough breathing: έπτἄ, seven (Latin septem); ᾶλς, salt (Latin sal); ῑστημι < σιστημι (reduplication, §3430.4).

930.40 The rough breathing (§930.4) may in turn be lost when the following syllable contains an aspirate (deaspiration, §928.2-3): έχω < σεχω, fut. έξω, aor. έσχον (stem σχ-, weak grade).

930.5 In the formation of the first aorist tense, σ after a liquid (λ, ρ) or nasal (ν) is lost and the preceding stem vowel lengthened in compensation (§914): έμεινα < εμενσα; έστειλα < έστελσα; έψηνα < έφανσα. Cf. §928.8-9 for the loss of ν before σ On liquid aorists, s· §410.

930.6 Two o's brought together in inflection are simplified as one, e.g. έθνεσι(ν) < έθνεσσι. Cf. §927.2.

931. Liquids. Phonetic changes involving liquids (λ, ρ) are considered under other headings.

For ν before a liquid, s. §929.3.
For the future tense of liquid verbs, s. §930.20.
For the aorist tense of liquid verbs, s. §930.5.
For sonant (vocalic) liquids, s. §§906, 913, 929.70.

932. Consonants before ι̯ (semivowel, §905). The combination of ι̯ with a preceding consonant produces a variety of phonetic changes that are relevant especially to the formation of the pre- sent tense stem of a certain class of verbs (§§484-4840).

932.1 δι̯ between vowels and γι̯ after a vowel becomes ζ.

ελπίζω < έλπιδ-ι̯ω
      Cf. έλπίς, ελπίδος (ελπιδ-)
άρπάζω < άρπαγ-ι̯ω
      Cf. άρπαγή, -ῆς, ή (άρπαγ-)
On -ζω verbs from δι̯ and γι̯, s. §§484.If.

932.2 κι̯, χι̯ become σσ (Attic ττ).

κηρύσσω < κηρυκ-ι̯ω
      Cf. κῆρυξ, -υκος, ὁ (κηρυκ-)
ταράσσω < ταραχ-ι̯ω
      Cf. ταραχή, ῆς, ή (ταραχ-)
On -σσω verbs from κι̯, χι̯, s. §§484.2f.

932.3 γι̯ and τι̯ occasionally appear to yield σσ

τάσσω < ταγ-ι̯ω
      Cf. ταγή, -ῆς, ἡ (ταγ-)
πλάσσω < πλατ-ι̯ω
      Cf. 1. aor. έπλασα (§927.2)

Present tense stems in -σσω developed from verbs with stems in γ and τ by the addition of ι̯ were created by analogy to verbs with stems in κ, χ (Smyth §516).

932.4 λι̯ becomes λλ.

βάλλω < βαλ-ι̯,ω
      Cf. 2. aor. έβαλον
On -λλω verbs from λι̯, s. §484,3.

932.5 τι̯ (θι̯) after long vowels, diphthongs, and consonants becomes σ.

πᾶσά < πανσα (§929.8) < παντ-ι̯α

932.6 ι̯ after αν, ον, αρ, op influences the preceding vowel rather than consonant: ι is added to the vowel or, more accurate- ly, the preceding vowel is assimilated to the u-sound.

ραίνω < φαν-ι̯ω
      Cf. 1. aor. έφανα
χαίρω < χαρ-ι̯ω
      Cf. 2. aor. pass, έχάρην

932.7 ι̯ after εν, ερ influences the preceding vowel as in §932.6: ενι̯ > ειν, ερι̯ > ειρ.

έγείρω < εγερ-ι̯ω
      Cf. aor. pass, ήγέρθην
φθείρω < φθερ-ι̯ω
      Cf. fut. φθερώ

On verbs in -αινώ, -αίρω, -εινω, -ει,ρω, s. §§484.4f. For adjectives exhibiting a comparable phenomenon, s. §2361.

932.8 Verbs with present stems in -πτω also appear to be derived from a labial + ι̯, e.g.

καλύπτω < καλυπ-ι̯ω
      Cf. 1. aor. έκάλυφα (§927.1)

933. ϝ (digamma). The former presence of ϝ (§905) occasionally leaves traces.

933.1 In third declension nouns with stems in ευ, αυ, ου, ϝ is represented by υ in the nom. sg. and dat. pl. (in some nouns in the acc. sg. as well). Its former presence in the other forms accounts for some irregularity of declension.

βασιλεύς, king, βασιλεϋσι(ν) (dat. pi.), but βασιλέως (gen. sg.)

933.2 In the augment and reduplication of certain verbs, initial ϝ, now lost, produces some irregularity.

δράω, see ϝοράω) , imperf. έώρων, perf. έώρακα
εῑδον, saw (έ-ϝιδον), cf. video
For details, s. §§3371, 3372, 3430.4.

933.3 The former presence of ϝ in the stem of some verbs is marked by the presence of υ in certain tense stems.

πνέω, breathe aor. έπνευσα
ῤέω, flow fut. ῤεύσομαι
κλαίω, weep (< κλαϝ-ι̯ω) fut. κλαύσω