[B-Greek] Accents

cwconrad2 cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Dec 10 08:24:57 EST 2010

On Dec 09, 2010, at 12:53 PM, Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org> wrote:

> A.T. Robertson says in his chapter 5.5 about accents:
> Ἑρμᾶς (Ro. 16:14) is from the old Doric form abbreviated from Ἑρ-
> μόδωρος; Ἑρμῆς (Ro. 16:14) may be merely the name of the god
> given to a man, though Blass doubts it. Likewise we may note
> that θευδᾶς (Ac. 5:36) is possibly an abbreviation of θεόδωρος;
> Ἰουνίας (sometimes taken as feminine Ἰουνία, Ro. 16:7) may be
> Ἰουνιᾶς as abbreviation of Ἰουνιανός.
> I don't want to go into the question whether Ἰουνίαν IOUNIAN in Rom 16:7 refers
> to a man or a woman. My question is only a matter of accentuation.
> Is it correct that the circumflex accent indicates that the word is assumed to
> be an abbreviation or contraction? Does it indicate anything about the gender of
> the person?
> Is is correct that Ἰουνίαν in the accusative could be either masculine or
> feminine, and that the acute accent does not decide one way or the other?
> There are many Greek transcriptions of Hebrew masculine names that end in -ίας.
> Al Wolters in JBL 127.2 mentions 15 in the NT: Ἀνανίας, Βαραχίας, Ἑζεκίας,
> Ζαχαρίας, Ἠλίας, Ἠσαΐας,
> Ἰερεμίας, Ἰεχονίας, Ἰωσίας, Λυσανίας, Λυσίας, Μαθθίας, Ματταθίας, Ὀζίας, and
> Οὐρίας.
According to Smyth §171.b. "b. A contracted penult has the circumflex when the
ultima is short ... " -- that would be the case IF we knew that the original form of the
name were ᾿Ιουνιάνος; §171.c "b. A contracted ultima has the acute when the
uncontracted form was oxytone ... " -- which would be the case if the original form
of the name were ῾Ιουνιανός. But the Latin name Juniānus is accented on the
penult; Latin never accents the ultima. So I think that ᾿Ιουνιᾶς could indeed be a
shortened form of ᾿Ιουνιάνος, but I don't think that the Latin name "Junianus"
would ever be accented on the ultima, as  ᾿Ιουνιανός. None of the proper names
in the GNT cited above is Latin in origin.

But all this seems highly speculative. 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (ret)

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