accentuation: contonation and mora

From: Josh Kennedy (
Date: Sat Feb 27 1999 - 17:13:08 EST

I'm been a Greek student for a few years, but I'm trying to go back now and
figure out those principles of accentuation that I never learned.
I came across the concept of contonation and mora in Mastronarde's "Intro
to Attic Greek," and it seems to apply easily to most of the situations,
but I'm having trouble figuring out how verbs fit in.
The contonation on a word is the combination of rise and fall in pitch.
This comprises either two syllables (an acute followed by the entire
unnaccented syllable) or one syllable with a circumflex accent.
One mora is equal to syllable composed of a short vowel or dipthong.
"Two morae" is equal to two mora syllables or one syllable with a long
vowel or dipthong.
The general principle is that the contonation cannot be followed by more
than one mora before the end of the word.
Does anyone know what the oldest NT manuscript with accent marks is?

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