Accent of A-Declension

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at
Wed Jan 1 20:52:37 EST 2003

Actually you might find it useful to go one step farther back than Carl has gone,
namely to -ASWN (cf. Latin -arum), since that ties the phenomenon into a broadly
based phonological rule in Greek, namely, the loss of intervocalic sigma. For a set
of basic rules please feel free to check my webpage at Then go to Course Material/Handouts/ #12


"Carl W. Conrad" wrote:

> At 3:23 PM -0600 1/1/03, David wrote:
> >?Hi, would anyone in the list mind giving me a help on the greek accent?
> >
> >    My grammar says that " In the A-declension the genitive plural will
> >INVARIABLY be accented with a circumflex on the ultima."
> >
> >    According to my understanding, the genitive plural of KARDIA (which is
> >accented on the antipenult) is KARDIWN (accented on the ultima with a
> >circumflex, not on the antipenult with an acute). Is it true? And WHY?
> >Please.
> >
> >    Thanks a lot, and Happy New Year to All my friends in the list.
> (a) I think that KARDIA is actually accented normally on the penult--the iota;
> (b) Yes, the genitive plural has a cirumflex over the omega; the reason is
> that the genitive plural of first-declension nouns is invariably a
> contraction from -AWN; as the accent on -AWN must be on the alpha, the
> accent on the contracted form is a circumflex on the omega.
> --
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> 1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> cwconrad at OR cwconrad at
> WWW:
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Albert Pietersma
Dept of Near&Middle Eastern Civilizations
4 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1C1
albert.pietersma at

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